Story by Li Ting Chan, News Editor

Last semester, 24 members of the Class of ’17 had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in places ranging from London to Costa Rica. This week The Octant spoke to a few of them about their overseas exploits. Excerpts from the interviews follow:

 

Elson Ong ’17

Studied Abroad at University College Utrecht, Netherlands

(Elson Ong)

(Elon Ong)

 

There are rumors that you travelled to over 60 cities last semester! Could you tell us more?

That’s an exaggeration! I went to 47 cities in 20 countries, so I was travelling to a different place almost every weekend. Travelling so much made preparing for classes a bit tougher, but it instilled discipline in me, and I worked on my assignments and preparation for classes during the four days I was in Utrecht.

 

Favorite cities?

Copenhagen, Vienna, Edinburgh and Prague. I really liked the architecture in these cities, as well as how the urban spaces were planned out. And the beer in Prague was very good.

 

Wee Yang Soh ’17

Studied Abroad at Pitt in the Himalayas, India

(Wee Yang Soh)

(Wee Yang Soh)

 

What was studying in the Himalayas like?

It was definitely very immersive. Classes and academics were used to enhance the first hand experience that students would get outdoors and on expeditions, which we went on every one or two weeks. These trips also allowed us to interact with different kinds of people from different backgrounds.

 

What were some of the challenges you faced?

Adapting to the environment and assimilating everything that happens around you into a cohesive narrative was challenging. We had to deal with all sorts of obstacles and illnesses, unforeseen circumstances, and bad weather. Once while returning from class, my friend and I experienced a “cloud burst X [crossed with] hail storm X [crossed with] thunderstorm”, all at once. It was so intense that our umbrellas were heaving under the weight!

We also had to deal with stalkers as our group was made up mostly of white American girls. There were 3 or 4 men who rode their motorcycles to tail us even after we took a bus to another destination a few blocks away. There were times where the girls in our group wanted me to confront the stalkers, which I did, but I also asked our driver who was a local to help us chase the stalkers away.

 

This article is one in a two part series. Click here to find out what it was like returning to post-RC4 Yale-NUS.

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