Being able to pass/fail my modules meant that I could pick modules I was interested in, and enjoy learning to the fullest without stressing over grades! I chose to take ESE2001 Environmental Challenges in the Anthropocene in NUS to map to my HASS elective in SUTD.
In week 1, I realized that the module was more focused on scientific concepts than humanities. Thus, I contemplated dropping the module, because I wanted to experience what humanities courses were like in other universities.
(Tips for juniors: Ask your NUS friends for GE module recommendations. I think those can potentially relate to SUTD’s HASS electives well. And note that the first number in the module code refers to the level of difficulty of the module!)
However, the class materials and final project piqued my interest, and thus, I decided to continue taking ESE2001.
I was surprised that, unlike in SUTD, there were no take-home assignments or projects for almost all the modules I took! As a result, the weightages of the quizzes and exams are much higher in NUS. ESE2001 was the only module I took that had a final project.
The ESE2001 final project was an interesting one! We were tasked to make an expansion pack to the Terraforming Mars board game by incorporating scientific concepts we learnt in class!
Many groups came up with innovative ways to play the game, which brought out the importance of the environmental issues we discussed in class. In SUTD fashion, for my group, I 3D printed stackable game pieces!
As a board game enthusiast, this module easily became my favourite module in NUS! This was also the only module with physical lessons I had. This led to more engaging lessons and allowed me to make new friends in NUS!
Overall, I was mainly surprised at the difference between NUS and SUTD course structures. A lot of my classroom experience was negatively shaped by Covid-19, since most of the lessons were online. I had many night classes too, which made it even harder to concentrate in class! But all these made me appreciate the many lecturers who tried to make the best out of the situation, and deliver quality education to the NUS students.