end of semester;

Too many opportunities, too short a life.

Two weeks after my previous post, and I have come to a conclusion. (Do note that this decision has been made after several weeks of research and thought). I have decided to continue my studies in the UK (or at least out of Perth, and preferably Australia). This decision has been made aware to my mum, but not my dad, which is kind of the problem here. 

BGI: From deciding to study overseas, choosing which agent to go to, which school to study, and which course to uptake, I have been the one making the decisions. During this process, there was a topic that was never brought up or discussed – the location of my studies. This was probably due to the fact that since my dad and aunties studied here, it was assumed that Perth would be the most ideal place for me to further my studies. However now, I choose to believe that, we all made an erroneous assumption.  

After spending close to 4 months in Perth, I have come to realise the importance of the culture and environment of a city/ country, when one chooses to study abroad. 

Being brought up in a fast-paced city, I have grown accustomed to the crowd on every street, and also the never ending list of things to do in the city. If New York City is the city that never sleeps, it would be right to say that Singapore is the city that never stops. However, Perth is fairly the opposite.

Perth itself is a beautiful city. Scattered with national parks and Australia’s iconic animals – Kangaroos and Koalas. That’s as far as it goes. Coming from a country that is on the other end of the “happening” spectrum, I find it a little challenging for me to fit in this city. 

As I was talking to my schoolmates about this issue – Perth being boring, they told me that, that was the reason as to why their parents sent them here to study. So that there would be nothing that could potentially distract them from their task at hand – studying. And apparently, my classmates had no comments to that thought of their parents.

However, I on the other hand, felt that, that idea can’t be any more wrong. To me, I feel that though the main purpose of studying abroad is to get a degree, there’s more to that. A degree can be taken up anywhere, but only by being in a specific country, can one learn about the culture of a different country. Tuition fees for an international student certainly doesn’t come cheap, hence, I feel that we should make the most out of it by learning what books can’t teach us. 

I’m not saying that Perth or Australia in general doesn’t have a culture, all I’m saying is that this culture of theirs, doesn’t seem to appeal or attract me.

Sadly, whatever I’ve said so far, isn’t something my dad would agree on. Or at least that’s what I think. 

I’m not sure as to how I should approach him on this subject. I believe that we could all come to an agreement that Australia and UK are two countries that are vastly different in terms of the economy and culture.

UK’ economy is definitely thriving at a faster pace than that of Australia, which I think is an important factor to consider when choosing a country to study. Generally speaking, one would want to study in the country where one graduated. This is because, there is a slightly higher chance of a company based in that country, recognising the degree as compared to a company of another country – of course this would not be a problem, if you graduated from a highly prestigious university eg. Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, which are undoubtedly internationally known, and of course, recognised. Hence, it is always better to study in the country which has a stronger economy.

My mum believes that experience is more important than education itself, however, from what I see, I think that my dad feels that it should be the other way round – that education triumphs experience. My mum supports me in the decision to study in the UK because she believes that there are more things going on there, and that the culture in UK is more vibrant than that of Australia. And since I intend to study law, she believes that law degrees from UK Universities are more prestigious. Besides, law degrees are cheaper in UK (approx. 30k per year, while it’s 35-40k in Australia). Also honestly, my mum has a very strong influence on me. For all my life, I’ve chosen path that she advised me not to, and for some reason, it ends up with me taking a U-Turn or regretting my decision. Hence, I have decided to heed her advice this time. I’d just have to find a way to break the news to my dad when I return to Singapore. 

And yes!! One more week and I’ll be going back to Singapore!! I can’t be any more excited.        I have actually made up a to-do list for me to tick off when I’m back. And subconsciously, most of the tasks I’ve listed involves me eating. I think the toughest part of studying abroad for me, would be having to deal with my random cravings for food back home, in the middle of the night. And of course, missing the company of my friends and family who are all back in Singapore. Can’t wait to return to the food paradise!! x

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