From Singapore to Estonia: an Erasmus Experience

So far, you have heard what it’s like for a TTÜ student to go abroad via Erasmus, but today Royce, a student from Singapore, will tell you what it’s like to do an exchange in Tallinn. Read about his adventurous journey: 

My Erasmus Experience: 9,254 kilometres away from home

Walking around campus, you may have seen this sign on the second floor of the SOC building.

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I am Royce and I am an Erasmus student from Singapore. Singapore is known as a tiny little red dot, tucked away in South East Asia (SEA). Singapore has a tropical climate whole year round, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees. As I have not been out of SEA before, you could imagine my apprehension before departure considering the huge jump in temperature from 32 degrees to -22 degrees. I was basically sweeping thermal wear off the shelves in Uniqlo and the winter department shops! Moreover, it was my first time out of SEA for a prolonged period. Luckily, I had the help of seniors who had their Erasmus program here last year. They shared tips with me regarding life in Tallinn and in TTÜ.

I am a psychology major from National University of Singapore, currently reading my penultimate year in the university. In TTÜ, I am enrolled in the Work and Industrial Psychology course, which is for the master’s level. I was expecting lessons from Mondays to Fridays. Imagine my surprise when I found out that my lessons run from Friday to Sunday! Also, courses are different here. In Singapore, we have lectures and tutorials. Lectures run for one and a half hours and lecturers deliver the content in a lecture theatre. For tutorials, we are required to complete our readings prior to tutorials, allowing for discussion to be conducted during the class. However, in my WOP course, my professors usually split the lectures into two portions. They focus on the delivery of lecture material for the first part of the lecture. For the latter, the class is usually involved in some group work where some discussion and hands on activity is required.

For example, I got to engage in a team-building activity during my first lesson. The class was divided into two groups where one group had to participate in the activity first while the other oversaw observing the team dynamics and provide feedback to the individual members. Our group was instructed to build the tallest structure using some art and craft materials (paper, straws and tape) and scrambled to build it within the 20 minutes’ timeframe. Each of us was given feedback based on our interactions with other members. I thought such hands-on activity was interesting and engaging. Here’s our end-product, we tried!

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Like most other Erasmus students, I stayed on campus (Academic Hostel) for the first two months of my Erasmus program. I was fortunate to have met some excellent roommates, Walid and Filip. Walid is from France while Filip is from Czech Republic. We would usually hang out at the common area after dinner where we will share our experiences in our home countries. Talking about trips to Saaremaa and Stockholm was part of these conversations too and we eventually planned them in May.

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Me, Walid and Filip during our Stockholm trip

All in all, these 5 months have been nothing short of amazing. I got to experience studying abroad for the first time whilst forging strong bonds of friendship with the people It is true that friendship transcends language, culture, religion and ethnicity. I can attest to that! Being in the program also fulfilled my bucket list of visiting Trolltunga (in Norway) due to Tallinn’s proximity to the Scandinavian countries. I would like to thank the European Commission for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus+ program. Also, I extend my gratitude to Ms Kersti and Ms Ma at the International Mobility Office for always being so welcoming and helpful to my queries!

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Lastly, thank you Tallinn for the times I had. Will be back someday!


If you would like to share your experience studying in Tallinn, we would love to hear from you!



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