This article first appeared in BTS Issue 4.

Global Leadership Programme (GLP): SUTD’s premier signature programme offers an at least 8-week, funded, fully immersive summer experience at Stanford University, TU Berlin, University of California, Berkeley, and Zhejiang University.

By Abu Bakar Bin Othman, Junior (Class of 2021)
Engineering Product Development (EPD)

Staying over at Grand Canyon in an RV!

The initial buzz of stepping foot in Stanford in Sunny California never really faded despite my 10-week stay around the West Coast. There was just so much to do, so much to explore: from trekking through the Grand Canyon, to visiting Los Angeles’ landmarks like Hollywood, to visiting Stanford’s National Accelerator Laboratory, I was constantly in awe at the opportunities and beauty it offered.

Conquering Heather Lake in Sequoia – my first time seeing snow!
We came across this beautiful architecture! This is the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA!
This is my roomie from Turkey!

Of course, learning in one of the world’s most reputable institutions was central to my experience there too. I took the opportunity to explore a life-long fascination with the stars, taking a course in ‘The Origin and Development of the Cosmos’. From characterising stars to decoding the mystery surrounding black holes, the course culminated with an open project of our own interests, where I proposed a statistical method to determine viability of life in extra-terrestrial planets based on extremophiles on Earth, micro-organisms that could withstand life in volcanos or ice-sheets.

We were definitely NOT wearing the right shoes to trek Grand Canyon…

Besides learning, along with the SUTD peeps, we went on a road trip to hike through some of California’s great national parks such as Sequoia and Yosemite. Taking short rests to absorb the awesome natural beauty that stood before us, all the while being humbled by the eerie silence that blanketed the vastness of the mountains, is definitely one to remember for life. I think that was the peak of my adventures in the West Coast.

We slid down this sand dune overlooking the endless Pacific Ocean!

By Lizabeth Mirabel Tukiman, Junior (Class of 2021)
Engineering Systems and Design (ESD)

One project I had at Stanford was a paper on the Global Financial Crisis as part of my ‘Principles of Economics’ course. I learnt more about the process of finding and validating sources. To support our analysis, we not only had to find multiple journal articles, but also had to justify that these journal articles were from a reliable source.

To help us with our paper, the professor invited a banker who witnessed the crisis firsthand to give us a guest lecture. This gave us many insights into the event that we may not easily find online.

The Green Library is only a short walk away from Branner Hall, where we were staying

In the process of completing this project, I also learnt about Stanford’s Cecil H. Green Library, the largest library on campus. In addition to the interesting coursework, I spent many weekends exploring Silicon Valley, which is located near the Stanford campus.

The main attraction at the Apple Park Visitor Center was a 3D model of the campus that incorporated augmented reality technology. We could even lift the roof off buildings to see what the inside of the buildings looked like.

The 3D model was a fun and engaging way to explore Apple Park

One highlight was the Android lawn statues, a bunch of large foam statues that are based on the code names for versions of Google’s Android mobile operating system.

You can spot Donut, Jelly Bean, Lollipop, and Oreo here!

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