Studying Overseas

I’ll be going over to UWA (University of Western Australia) in a little less than three weeks time.

This all still feels a little strange to me. I never quite expected to be one of those who “study overseas”.

But I plans in education haven’t always gone smoothly.

In primary school, I did rather badly and didn’t manage to get into a secondary school of my choice.

During secondary school, I did better than expected. I scored 18 points for my preliminary examinations, and managed to secure a place in a junior college for the first three months (the cut-off is 20).

These three months held three defining moments in my life. I realised I couldn’t survive another two years of Chinese classes; I found that I really enjoyed Economics; and I fell in love.

The first defining moment led me to believe that junior college was not for me, and so I took the polytechnic route.

The second defining moment moved me away from pursuing a pure “Information Technology” (IT) diploma, and into one that offered business as well. In the end, I obtained my Diploma in Business Information Technology.

The third defining moment, well, has nothing to do in this entry.

After getting my diploma, I applied for two universities: NUS (National University of Singapore) and SMU (Singapore Management University). Though I applied for both, for some reason or another, I only really wanted to go to SMU.

My application to NUS was rejected, while SMU granted me an interview.

I received news of my interview on voicemail. “Your interview will be on this coming Wednesday,” it said. I was in Taiwan at this time, on an overseas training trip for National Service. I wasn’t going to be back for another three weeks.

They promised to hold another interview “if there were still places”. I never heard from them until a year later.

I received news of my interview through SMS this time, from my parents. “Call home Donn,” the SMS said.

“Donn,” said my mom, “SMU called and said that your interview’s this Tuesday!” I laughed at this.

“That’s great, mom,” I replied. I was in Brunei, on an overseas training trip for National Service. I wasn’t going back for another three weeks.

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