“How did this day come so fast!” exclaimed my Mom, stuffing the backpack with my favorite snacks. After a long freshman year in the United States, I had just returned to my home in India for vacations and now (blame my “exploration tendencies”), it was already time to leave for a whole new study abroad experience waiting for me in Singapore. It was still a month of summer left before the start of the new academic year at Drexel; however, the semester system at Nanyang Technological University required me to leave my home early and my Mom was clearly not very pleased with it. Despite that, I knew she was proud of me for making my way to the places that she had always dreamt of visiting herself.
It was a long flight and since I was traveling alone, I had more than enough time to recollect all the vacation memories as well as prepare to make space for the new ones. Too many thoughts in mind and vacant adjacent seats gave way to a totally strange feeling about the totally new country I was going to. The excitement was definite but mushed with a bit of nervousness. Neither I nor anyone in my family had ever been to Singapore before, I had no family-friends waiting to receive me at the airport and the count of people I knew there was zero. The mixed kind of feelings lasted throughout the flight hours until I peeped out of my window at 3 A.M. to find a view like that:
Singapore!! The country, state, city and island that’s been there on my ‘Places to See Before I Turn 30’ list since forever. Actually, there’s no such list (Haha!) but I’m planning to make one now that Drexel has such awesome study abroad programs and locations to choose from! Anyway, I was telling you how my nervousness got totally overpowered by the adrenaline rush right when I saw that scene out of my window and realized how not everyone gets to experience it in a lifetime. There are so many people in this world who have never got out of their homelands, have no idea what a satisfying feeling it is to get out of one’s comfort-zone for once and there are so many of them who never will. At that very moment, as the plane descended to land, I decided that I am going to make this opportunity count by exploring the city to its full stretch with a lot of amazing new friends.
The flight had a safe landing and in no time, I was inside the best airport in the world, Singapore Changi Airport. The word ‘changi’ in my mother tongue means ‘nice’ which although has no direct relation to the name but if you ask me, it totally could have. I was dazzled by the beautiful architecture and the mind-blowing facilities available at the airport <check it out>. I found the airport so impressive that I spent the rest of the night inside it instead of opting to go for a nearby hotel room. In fact, it has been ranked the best airport by the travelers to sleep in as well.
At 6 A.M., I booked an Uber directly to my allotted residence hall at NTU. The University campus is situated near the western coast of the island which is completely at the opposite end from the airport and this gave me my first chance to travel across the city admiring its metropolitan view of the skyscrapers and its unmatched cleanliness. The first impression already had me swooning at it. It took me almost an hour to reach NTU’s campus and there I entered my new home away from home for the next few months.
The whole beauty of Singapore at one side and the awestruckingly huge NTU campus on the other, it looks that great.. like an actual resort on an island! The residence hall allotted to me was Hall of Residence 16-E which is also known as ‘Home of the Knights’. It is one of the most well-furnished halls with great views of the campus. Being tired, I wasted no time in completing the formalities and collected the keys from the hall office. The office staff was courteous enough to send help for guiding me to my room and explaining the ways to access the various facilities of the hall on the way. I unlocked the door of my room to find a suitcase already present there. I had a shower, a little rest and then went out to get some breakfast in the canteen just adjacent to my hall called Canteen 16 which is such a boon for foodaholics like me. I returned to room to get the much needed sleep before moving on to the exploration and slept like a baby with absolutely no hints of the adventures waiting in store for me beyond the sleep…
The story’s been perfect for me so far and hope it keeps getting better! Check out this page regularly to find out about the people I met, the general life in Singapore and some amazing new facts as we proceed further with the story. Here I sign out leaving you all with a sneak peek of my awesome residence hall:
Dream Big! Live large! B-)