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International Exchange Day showcases overseas opportunities

07 September 2012

Prof Tan speaking at the 2012 International Exchange Day

Prof Tan with international visitors and students at the event

Ahmad Zin sharing his experience from his STEER stint in the Middle East

Students learnt about the varied and exciting global opportunities offered by NUS during this year's International Exchange Day themed "iJourney" on 6 September.

For NUS students to stand out and shine, they have to be highly effective in different cross-cultural settings. This can be achieved by studying overseas, said NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan in his address as Guest-of-Honour at the event.

He revealed that more than half of the current undergraduate population has overseas exposure, with nearly 30 per cent of them spending at least one semester abroad.

In her welcome address, Associate Professor Anne Pakir, Director of the International Relations Office (IRO), said that 2012 marked the tenth edition of the International Exchange Day. This was the first time that IRO's flagship event was held at the University Town.

IRO provides a number of avenues for students to gain overseas exposure such as through internships, research attachment programmes and summer programmes. One such programme is the NUS Study Trips for Engagement and EnRichment (STEER) which aims to familiarise students with the rich social, cultural, political and economic environments of emerging markets through classroom-based learning and experiential site visits.

The STEER programme has enabled students to enjoy engaging activities such as visits to Al Jazeera News Channel headquarters in Qatar and the SABIC petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia, as well as interaction with officials from the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam.

Ahmad Zin Bin Hasanusi, a second-year NUS Business School undergraduate, said that he gained invaluable lessons from his STEER stint in the Middle East. The experience helped him learn to be more confident in seeking work opportunities, adjust to different cultures and practices, as well as understand networking etiquette.