This article first appeared in BTS Issue 4.
Freshmore Asian Cross-curricular Trips (FACT): Subsidised by SUTD, all Freshmore students are offered the opportunity to expand their learning overseas in their first year. FACT is incorporated into specific Freshmore courses where you can learn alongside students from partner universities.
*Freshmore subjects indicated are based on the Freshmore courses in AY2019.
10.005 Physics II* at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
By Feng Zhengqing Mark, Sophomore (Class of 2022)
Engineering Systems and Design (ESD)
Mahidol University is so pretty! There’s a nature park inside the campus – a perfect place for me to unwind and surround myself in the beauty of nature.
Every Friday in Mahidol University, there would be a “pasar malam” set up by external vendors, selling street food and clothes. Students will gather and visit the stalls during lunch time. Unlike SUTD, all Mahidol University students are dressed in white tops and black bottoms, as part of their uniform requirement.
The Mahidol university students were great hosts – they were our translators, helping us with our orders when there were no English menus, and tour guides, bringing us around Bangkok. Without them, the experience would have been different!
Our science knowledge was put to the test during lab experiments on the fifth day of the programme. Dressed in lab coats, we conducted experiments in areas such as 3D printing, hologram, nano materials and colour changing materials.
As an engineer, it was my first time dealing with materials science and I gained a deeper appreciation of it. I learnt that the glass on our smartphone screen is made from constant research and development on materials science.
During our FACT programme, we were tasked to solder and assemble a simple powerbank,using a linear regulator, resistors, a diode, a stripboard and a 9V battery. It was my first time soldering and it was a lot harder than it looks! In the end, Professor Teo Tee Hui demonstrated to us how to solder properly.
10.008 Engineering in The Physical World* at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Ratchaburi, Thailand
By Lee Min Shuen, Sophomore (Class of 2022)
Engineering Systems and Design (ESD)
Our KMUTT counterparts brought us around the university campus during sunset, and we got to witness a beautiful purple sky. It was definitely photo-worthy, so all of us were busy snapping away!
Designing and deploying the solar-powered lights to make the school environment more welcoming and safer for the staff and students that stay in school past dusk was truly an embodiment of SUTD’s tagline – “A Better World by Design”!
This was an eye-opening experience as I learnt how solar PV (photovoltaics) could be used as a source of alternative energy, especially in rural villages where the electric power infrastructure is less developed. Beyond the classroom, I also learnt how despite a language barrier, we can combine our knowledge to solve problems together.
Everyone working together to install the solar panels and weatherproof boxes housing the components for the solar-powered lights. Toiling in the heat together brought both SUTD and KMUTT students closer together, despite the language barrier.
We went on a short trip to the nearby reservoir while waiting for sunset to test our solar powered lights. We also saw pineapple farms along the way! At the reservoir, everyone was either taking pictures or skipping stones, the latter in which our KMUTT counterparts were professionals!
Thailand’s National Children’s Day (Wan Dek) falls on the second Saturday in January. We organised several fun games for this occasion, and the wide grins on the young Thai learners’ faces made me miss being a child again.
10.009 The Digital World* at University of Computer Studies, Yangon (UCSY), Myanmar
By Caryl Beatrice Aragon Peneyra, Sophomore (Class of 2022)
Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD)
During lessons, we learnt the basics of Python programming. Although I already had some familiarity with Python, I was still able to learn new skills from the lessons such as data visualisation, web scraping and good programming practices.
Break time! After having lunch together, the UCSY students would bring us around to explore their campus. Over drinks and snacks in the canteen (spoiler: great canteen food!), we joked and bonded over academics, pop culture and memes.
In the UCSY canteen, we were introduced to laphet yay – a classic Burmese tea made with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and black tea. I was so amazed at the creaminess and flavor of the tea that I brought back two packages of the drink to Singapore.
Running parallel to Strand Road, a major road in downtown Yangon, is the Yangon River. We trekked along Yangon’s riverfront to catch an amazing view of the sunset from one of the river docks.
On our last day in Yangon, we ventured to the amusement park at People’s Park, where we saw (and even rode!) several thrilling rides together with our UCSY friends. Definitely an exciting way to end a trip!
03.007 Introduction to Design* at Prasetiya Mulya University, Jakarta, Indonesia
By Aaron Soares, Sophomore (Class of 2022)
Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD)
One experience I will not forget is our outing at Taman Mini Indonesia which was a theme park showcasing Indonesian culture from all parts of the country. The highlight of the trip
was us zooming around in tandem bikes. It was the first time I rode a 3-seater bike and it was thrilling!
We had such an enjoyable time at Taman Mini Indonesia riding bikes, playing laser tag, boating at the lake and eating local delicacies that we lost track of time! Here is a picture of the folks I spent time with that memorable day.
At Prasetiya Mulya University, we were given a task of designing a chair catered to the Indonesian market. After exploring Jakarta first and interacting with our local groupmates, we finalised our design and started working on our prototype using cardboard. Here you can see us trying to get the right shape for our chair based on our body posture.
On the penultimate day of our trip, we had to present our idea to a panel of professors from the university. Our design was inspired by the Komodo dragon, the national animal of Indonesia and was to be used as a deck chair of sorts.
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