Great conversations at NUS College’s inaugural Experience Day

Singapore’s first honours college, NUS College (NUSC), recently held its inaugural Experience NUSC Day for students who have been offered a place for the coming academic year. The sessions, spread across 7, 13 and 21 May, were designed to simulate the small-group, discussion-based classroom experience offered by NUSC.

Attracting bold and curious students keen to expand their interdisciplinary knowledge and global perspectives, Experience NUSC Day provided a taste of what to expect at the College.

The students who attended Experience NUSC Day had gone through a stringent admission and selection process before earning their spot in NUSC. Outstanding academic results, co-curricular records and exemplary conduct are a given. More importantly, they are aligned with NUSC's ethos of cultivating students who are not only intellectually curious and critical, but also future-looking, global and committed to making an impact.

“NUSC is going to be about our students, who will form the heart and soul of this new college. Our vision is for NUSC to be a college known for its commitment to service, to creating positive change in the community, to being inclusive and united in its diversity,” said Prof Quek Su Ying, Vice-Dean (Designate) of Outreach at NUSC.

“We want to co-create this new college with our students and build a supportive community where our students can chart their own paths and come together in their pursuit of common passions.”

Experience NUSC Day welcomed the college’s pioneering batch of prospective students with a host of activities and avenues for interaction. Many stepped out of their comfort zones to attend the “Great Conversations” sample classes, make new friends, and connect with seniors and professors from the College.

One of the “Great Conversations” sessions, “What makes some thinking critical?”, was conducted by Professor Barbara Ryan. Known for her incisiveness and dedication towards her students, Prof Ryan helped deepen the students’ thinking by asking questions and probing the students further during the class. There was incessant chatter as the students eagerly shared their ideas with one another and engaged in thoughtful discussion.

With the multidisciplinary focus of NUSC, some students also had the opportunity to experience STEM-related classes. One such session, helmed by Dr Chan Kiat Hwa, asked the intriguing question: “How much science does a Martian need to know in order to survive?”. After watching a short clip from the movie The Martian, the class engaged in small group discussions on possible questions the main character Mark Watney would have asked in his bid to farm on Mars. Through the class, Dr Chan emphasised the College’s focus on inquiry and the importance of asking questions to learning and thinking.

After attending sample classes, the students bonded with their seniors and professors over a meal that provided much food for thought. They gained deeper insights on academic structure and student life through hearing seniors share personal stories of learning and living on campus, as well as advice on a plethora of items – from the module registration system and lesson structures, to the best food spots in University Town and the dining hall meal credits system.

Thung Yee Shien, a student who attended Experience NUSC Day, remarked, “Overall, the whole event was super enjoyable and I can't wait to see what else NUSC has to offer!”

Experience NUSC Day serves as a foretaste of NOW! – or NUS College Onboarding and Welcome –  welcoming the pioneer batch of NUSC students to a vibrant collegiate experience.

By NUS College