Five school days a week. 13-week terms. Four modules each term. Is that all there is to life at SUTD?
Take a look behind-the-scenes at the campus lives of five SUTDents as they describe how they make the most of their typical day.
Meet our 5 SUTD undergraduates:
Energetic ISTD Senior student who models part-time on weekends. Outside of classes, you’ll see her mostly working out at the gym or studying at one of the benches in school.
SEAN MICHAEL LIM
Freshmore who takes on a second identity as BGourd (a rapper in green suit), and a third one as President of the SUTD Football Club. Outside of the football field, you’ll usually catch him with his headphones on in campus, deeply engrossed in his music.
LIM XIN YI
Rock climber. Keyboardist. Engineer. Lion dancer. This Freshmore will amaze you with the number of talents she has. As a dual-degree programme student, she takes engineering classes in SUTD and business courses in SMU.
EPD Senior with dance DNA flowing in her veins. Turn on any song and watch her get into her freestyle moves in an instant.
EPD Sophomore with a boxing passion. Watch the SUTD Boxer and part-time boxing coach throw deadly punches at trainings every Wednesday evenings.
Being an SUTDent isn’t all about coding and studying. Jam-packed with plenty of opportunities to learn, showcase talents and nurture interests, students find themselves living out a university life that never runs low on adrenaline.
On university life, Venessa says,”My schedule can be crazy sometimes, especially when exams are nearing. Balancing academic requirements with Fifth Rows and hall activities is not easy but I love all that I do, and that makes it more fun than stressful. By keeping an open mind and having an adventurous spirit to explore new activities, I believe you can decide how enjoyable you want your university life to be.”
Rise and Shine
Alarm hits 7.00am and Venessa is ready to kickstart her day. Staying in the school hall has given her the perk of waking just 30 mins before class. Despite so, she sticks to her early routine of a hearty breakfast and morning exercise before heading to class.
Sean, who doesn’t stay on campus, takes the public transport to school. He uses the travel time for song-writing. With a fresh mind in the morning, the rapper of SUTD’s adhoc band, Auryx, finds it the opportune time of the day to get his inspiration.
Off to the User Interface class! Venessa says this is a module worth waking up to your alarm for. Students put what they learnt from lecture to the test with hands-on design projects. Working on her dental appointment booking app project has allowed Venessa to finetune her design-thinking skills, which prepares her for her role as a UX UI Designer after graduation.
“What I really like about the classes in SUTD is that they are very application-based. We’re always analysing current situations in the world and developing ways to use technology and design to solve real-life challenges,” says Venessa.
With coffee in one hand and laptop in another, Xin Yi heads to her cohort classroom for her Digital World class. She presents her group project which is an automated laundry alert system that informs laundromat users on the availability of the washing machines.
The multi-talented Freshmore shares, “As part of the dual-degree programme, I take engineering courses in SUTD and business classes in SMU. What I learn from both courses may seem vastly different, but the skills can overlap and equip me with the ability to better innovate and create.”
After the morning class, if there’s time to spare before lunch, Sean and his classmates stir up some fun in their Freshmore classroom. They play a game of Carem or switch off the lights for a movie screening – these are just a few activities over which they bond together.
“My Freshmore class really knows how to work hard and play hard. We organise our own think tank sessions, movie nights, games and many more. It’s never a dull day for us.”
Time for lunch! Sharmaine looks out for familiar faces at her usual lunch spot – the school canteen. She picks her meal of the day from the myriad of food choices ranging from local fare such as chicken rice and nasi padang to international cuisines including western, Japanese and Korean dishes.
When you don’t see Xin Yi in the classroom, you’ll likely find her hanging out at Root Cove. She makes herself comfortable on one of the colourful beanbags. The newly opened student lounge has all things you need for a good chill-out time – PlayStation 4, foosball table and even a guitar for those in need of some music therapy.
Meanwhile, Venessa stays in shape with daily workout sessions at the campus gym. She prefers to do her usual weight-lifting routine during odd hours of the afternoon to avoid a crowd.
Creators at work
When she finds some spare time, passionate dance President Sharmaine heads over to the Fabrication Lab to create medals for the upcoming dance competition.
She says, “Instead of getting them done by a supplier, I prefer to make them on my own. It’s not just about the final product, but really the process of creating it that gives me the joy.”
Back at the 3D Printing Lab, Emil watches his CAD design of a rubik’s cube slowly form into shape with every move of the pin.
“It’s fascinating to see your CAD file take a life of its own when the 3D printer takes over. So far, I’ve created multiple gears and brackets for my projects,” says Emil.
Sean fuels up with dinner at Crooked Crooks. If time allows, he plays a few rounds of darts before starting on his band practice in the evening.
After grabbing dinner, Venessa joins several friends to hand-paint banners for this year’s Orientation. She has been volunteering as a Group Leader for SUTD’s Orientation for two years running. As a foreign student, she says SUTD is her home and she sees the importance in creating a sense of belonging within the community.
“I’ve received the warmth from the SUTD seniors, and I want to pass this on to the new additions to our family,” she says.
It’s 7.30pm. Emil changes into his sports attire, picks up his boxing gear and enters Dance Studio 8 with his game face on. A student by day, he is transformed into a boxer by night.
Emil shares passionately, “I always look forward to our boxing sessions. It’s the time when I get to sweat it out and take my mind away from schoolwork.”
Just a few doors down, music beats drop. Sharmaine dances off to the latest hip hop song. As the President of SUTD’s Dance Club, Dance Derivativez, not only has she set the culture for the 50-member group, she has organised UNI X, an inter-university dance event involving the five big local universities, where we had dance battles, workshops, and more.
“I believe in setting a welcoming and family-like environment where every member can gather to make friends, have fun and dance to their hearts’ content,” Sharmaine shares with great enthusiasm.
Xin Yi hangs single-handedly off the rock wall over at the sports center. The SUTD climber reaches the top with little effort. She may be petite in frame, but definitely not petite in strength.
Nothing beats a sumptuous supper together with friends after an action-packed day. The students meet at their usual school bench and indulge in a meal delivered from the nearby stall, Enak Enak.
These five SUTDents have shown us that every day at SUTD can be as enjoyable and rewarding as you make it to be.
“Four years can pass by really quickly. Making the best of it will leave you with memories that will stay with you for a lifetime,” says Sean.