Stars & Crescent by calebk
My younger brother is currently in Canada for a short study trip and he wrote back explaining how food over there was so expensive. Averaging around S$10 per meal, he decided to buy some utensils in order to do his own cooking. Besides exploring the natural wonders around his area, he also plans spend his time by joining Muay Thai kickboxing, the triathalon club and a soccer league.
He’s a pretty outgoing guy who shouldn’t have any problems surviving anywhere really, but I thought I’d share my experience to help him along:
I responded by saying how a lot of students who go abroad (e.g. Europe, America) for the first year would definitely still feel a strong attachment to home. There’s a likelihood that you would compare things at home as better than wherever you are because you already know what you can expect from Singapore, while not much can be said about places abroad which you would barely know. I believe that once you spend a long enough time somewhere, you would start to discover unique qualities about the place which might even challenge the things you like from home.
My dad took it even further by sharing his life story when he studied in Australia:
I remember my study in Australia, Melbourne in 1974-1976. My objectives then was to enrich my experience by:
- mixing with the local Aussie and learning as much from them (I still do spent time with my singaporean and malaysian kind). My most memorable experience was to assist / accompany the Director of YMCA with his one week ultra Marathon run from Sydney to Melbourne sponsored by Adidas.
- visit / explore the areas around the city.
- participate in school ECA. I took up guitar course. I was hopeless.
- get job as I was not rich altho I had a scholarship – S400 per month, just enough to pay for my rent (I did evening receptionist work for Melbourne YMCA from 7 to 10pm each evening), did freelance design and took another day job during vacation. For this effort, I had more than enough to spend as there was no tuition fees for foreigners during my time. Free education. Now education is big business.
- Do well in my studies. I did OK. I won awards each year. Best in Photography in one year and best in Advertising the next.
- Learn to cook quick simple meals esp during winter. I often cooked noodle from Maggie pack (seasoning include and add my own meat and veg). Fruits are a plenty so I ate lots of them. Same in Canada I guess. Fish too. Lots of wheat product there. Like you said, restaurant food was too expensive and I just could not tahan the Aussie food which is Fish & Chips type as they were still very British influenced. Not now. I do pampered / reward myself occasionally with Chinese food at ChinaTown.
My Australian experience was one of my highlights in my life. Just to share my experience. Have fun – play hard and work hard.
I look forward to hearing from those of us who’ve lived abroad. What brings you home, and where is it?