Illustrations by Chris Williams
UNC-Chapel Hill and the National University of Singapore (NUS) collaborate on an undergraduate joint degree program — the only one of its kind at Carolina. The program, available in seven majors, enables students from both institutions to spend two to four semesters at the partner university and receive a jointly issued diploma by two world-class institutions.
Two students — Kui Wu ’22, a global studies major from Singapore, and Josh Evans ’20, an economics major from North Carolina — discuss their experiences studying on opposite sides of the world.
Why did you decide to go?
Kui: It was a great opportunity to take classes as part of the general education curriculum at UNC-Chapel Hill and get at least a year of study abroad experience.
Josh: Growing up in a small, rural town, this was an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, and I got to study at NUS, one of the top universities in the world.
What unique opportunities did you have?
Kui: The infusion of U.S. current affairs into our lessons has opened my eyes to how different interpretations, approaches and proposed solutions can be based on the country one is addressing.
Josh: One of my favorite campus experiences was the lively dorm life. Each dorm has its own group of clubs and sports teams that compete against each other. It was a great way to make friends and get involved.
Did you gain any career tools?
Kui: Broadening my perspective and learning from professors at both universities added a depth to my understanding of the interconnectedness of the world today. These perspectives drive me to question how each interpretation of a situation, choice or action influences others.
Josh: The classes I took at NUS all had a large amount of group work. These group projects taught me how to work with people from different parts of the world from a range of backgrounds. This is such a valuable skill in an increasingly diverse and global world.
What did you do for fun?
Kui: Outside of school, I was able to go on trips to the mountains and to different states. I even went to the state fair!
Josh: I enjoyed the food culture in Singapore, going to hawker centers — venues featuring a variety of food stalls — with my friends and trying amazing and inexpensive food.
What experience did you value the most?
Kui: As cliched as it sounds, I most valued being pushed out of my comfort zone and the cultural and situational sensitivity I’ve developed.
Josh: I most value the friends I made. I also experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth. I feel much more self-confident and independent now.