This article first appeared in BTS Issue 2.

The Term 6 Global Exchange Programme (GEXP) offers opportunities for students to take courses in world-class foreign universities with deep expertise in various fields.

By Russ Chua, Senior
Engineering Product Development

Tjena! There comes a time in every SUTD student’s life where he or she dreams
to experience the “outside world”. As a Healthcare Engineering Design track student in EPD, I had the interest to pursue dedicated biomedical courses. My chance finally came in Term 6 thanks to my participation in the Global Exchange Programme at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mingling party with other students

While exchanges are thought to show a slower pace of academic life abroad, mine was anything but “comfortably paced”. As classes began in KTH, expectations were laid down immediately. Within the first week, I was already informed to:

  1. Produce a working pulse sensor prototype that communicates to a phone within two weeks for the Medical Informatics course.
  2. Form pairs and ideate seminar topics for the Implants and Biomaterials course to study and present on an actual implant that is used in industry.
  3. Study for an exam within the third week, covering over 140 pages of textbook content for my Medical Engineering course.
Collaborative cooking and eating sessions

Besides gaining opportunities to take a wider spectrum of academic courses, I enjoyed the experience of living alone whilst abroad. Soon, I found myself managing many things that I took for granted such as cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping all whilst studying for multiple master’s degree biomedical courses. Over the course of the schooling term, I also co-organised weekly collaborative cooking and eating sessions with my many new friends from different countries. Witnessing their initial taste of durian snowskin mooncakes was quite the experience!

Last but certainly not least, I took full advantage of term breaks to travel around Europe. With considerably cheaper airfares, my friends and I travelled to popular tourist attractions and savoured a variety of different cuisines. My exchange journey truly was a life-changing experience!

Dog sledding in Kiruna
Ice hotel in Kiruna

Read more about the fall adventure of Russ and his peers from the Global Exchange Programme at KTH Royal Institute of Technology here.

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