Singapore Summer Immersion Program
China:  Save the Best for Last?

As eye-opening, intense, and wonderfully enlightening as the first six weeks of the trip have been, I can’t think of a better place to spend the last four days then in Kunming, China. I was certain of this from the moment the Eastern Yunnan Airline plane touched ground and the pilot announced the current temperature […]

Thailand - An Introduction and Reflections

Where to begin? I could probably sit here and write for hours just presenting a recounting of everything that we did in Thailand - but I hope that a few select memories will suffice to offer you a brief insight into our groups’ experiences during this portion of our summer travels. Thailand is a beautiful […]


Thailand is very different from Singapore. As much as I liked Singapore I am happy we are now in a place that actually has a little dirt and everyone doesn’t speak English. The Thais we have encountered are all very nice. Thais almost always smile whether they are happy or not and are a very […]

Final days in Singapore

When the comfort bus dropped us off in front of Ginza Plaza after our amazing weekend in Malaysia, it felt like we were returning home. It’s strange to think that Ginza Apartments and Singapore will only be our home for two more days. Although we’ve mastered riding the MRT, adjusted to the aromas […]

Winding down: the Chancellor visits

It’s hard to believe that this is our last week in Singapore. The last few days have been a good time to connect what we have learned here to Carolina and the US. On Wednesday evening we attended the reception at the Shangri-La Hotel with NUS Administration and the delegation visiting from UNC. […]

Malaysia - A New Adventure

The much-awaited excursion to Malaysia began today! In order to get an early start, we left the apartments at 7 am. For most of us, this early wake-up call led to a swift jump on the bus before curling up to go back to sleep. Our napping was short-lived however because it […]

Week Four Post

As my addition to this weblog I will present you with my vital experiences on the fourth week of our stay in Southeast Asia. I can say with full confidence that I will be reporting on the best week yet. Though I can assure all of you that the SSIP class of 2005 is not […]

Arts and Adjustment

It’s amazing to think that the trip is half over. We’ll have been in Singapore three weeks tomorrow, and it’s as if we just got here. There’s so much more to do! I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but the longer I’m here, the more comfortable I feel getting […]

Evangelism sweeps the nation

“Are you ready to dance for God??!”
The crowd roared an affirmative ”YEAAHHH!” as I quietly cringed.

Homestays, football, and the arts

Singapore continues to be amazing. This weekend was the homestay weekend, which for some of us were the two most meaningful days of our Program so far. Roy and I were hosted by a Singaporean student named Joel Zheng who had attended UNC during the last semester. His family welcomed us into their home […]

Class with Dr. Barnard

Professor Barnard’s class was focused on Malaysia. The best part of the class was that it was not just a lecture class. It included trips outside of the classroom and Malay films. Professor Barnard was humorous and not only taught us about Malay history but also much about Singapore as well. Being […]

Visit to the Housing & Development Board

This afternoon’s trip to the Housing & Development Board (HDB) Hub was another opportunity to witness Singapore’s sprawling bureaucracy at work, and it also acted as our first — albeit surface-level — glimpse into the home life of Singaporeans.

About 85 percent of Singapore’s population lives in government housing (HDB flats) spread across the island. […]

Academics & Malay heritage

The second week here has been even more amazing than the first. Now that everyone is over jet lag and settled into their apartments, we have begun to explore more. Recently Dr. Barnard took us to see Fort Canning Hill, the site of an archaeological dig and also of Raja […]

Classes and discovery

We started classes at NUS on Thursday. The campus is a wonderful maze of buildings and staircases. The first class, taught by three NUS professors, is a basic overview of Malaysian, Singaporean, and Thai culture. Prof. Levine’s class is based around South East Asia’s interaction with the world. After class, people […]

Arrival at last

We arrived at Changi Airport early Tuesday morning after a long 21 hour flight. We were immediately struck by the cleanliness, beautiful flowers and greenery, and, of course, the humid air of Singapore. Many of us set out to explore the hawker stalls across the street and found delicious and inexpensive meals and […]

Picnic with our benefactor

A large group of future SSIPers led by Justin made the trek down Rosemary to enjoy the first of many meals together. I saw a yard full of adults and students milling around, sipping tea and talking. The idyllic setting provided a perfect refuge from the bustle and bricks of campus life. […]

Travel Clinics

After our all-day orientation, many of us had to quickly make an appointment at Student Health in order to get our immunizations before traveling. Many of us met each other to attend the travel clinic presentation. I became somewhat nervous about the diseases mentioned with travel to Southeast Asia: Typhoid, Malaria, and […]

Frisbees and Human Knots: Orientation Day

7:40am on a Saturday morning, twenty-nine sleepy people gathered in front of Carmichael Dorm. Our excitement overpowered our exhaustion, however, and we piled into cars headed to the Aqueduct, a pretty, wooded conference center. Breakfast was ready for us and we chatted happily as we ate. I remember thinking we all looked […]

First Orientation

The week after our pizza dinner, we all met Thursday evening for our first orientation session. Meeting in the Hyde Hall Conference Center, we sat down with two professors and an exchange student to discuss the social, political, and economic aspects of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Our meeting began with a presentation by Professor […]

Pizza Dinner - Our first meeting

After recovering from the initial shock of being accepted in the Singapore Summer Immersion Program and realizing that I would spend my summer in Southeast Asia, I couldn’t help but wonder who I would be traveling with. Shortly after spring break, we all met on Monday, March 28 for the first time at […]