Written by Sage Corps Summer 2018 fellow, Emily Ye.
"I live in a hostel for international students in north-central Singapore. I share a room and a private bathroom with my roommate Kristy, who is another Sage Corps fellow. Our hostel is about a five minute walk from the MRT (metro) station with two large shopping centers and food courts nearby - I sometimes eat in those areas for dinner on weekdays and for lunch on weekends. There's also a Starbucks Reserve close for when I need my fix of western coffee!"
"My daily commute to work is about a half-hour metro ride with 8 stops on two metro lines! One of the trains is always quite peaceful because not a lot of people take that route, and it's always easy to find an open seat. The second train I take to get to and from work is almost always packed - luckily Singaporeans are much more respectful of private space than are people in other Asian countries I've been to!"
"My workplace is a five minute walk from the Tai Seng MRT station, which is located in northeast Singapore in a more industrial sector of the city. Our team in Singapore is small - just our founder and four interns including me, but we work in a larger office space with another company's employees so it never feels lonely in the office. Near our workplace are three hawker centers (the Southeast Asian version of food stall centers!) which we frequently eat lunch at, but sometimes when we want to walk a little more we go to the opposite side of the MRT station where there are 3 Michelin-starred restaurants in the same mall. One of them has a chicken and rice dish for a mere $3 - a pretty good deal if you ask me! After work, the other interns and I usually go and get dinner somewhere in town, whether it be in Little India or Chinatown or another hawker center."
"The name of the startup I am interning for is billionBricks - it's a non-profit design studio and registered Indian charity that creates sustainable housing solutions to solve homelessness around the world, but especially in South and Southeast Asia. I do digital design work, so I've been working on redesigning my company's website and also conceptualizing a new range of products and merchandise for a recent partnership between billionBricks and another company. I love how the work I do is not only detail-oriented but also provides me with creative freedom and flexibility!"
"After work, I usually go and get dinner with my coworkers (one of whom is a cohort mate!). Occasionally I'll go with cohort mates to do something fun after work as well - earlier this week, a group of us went to the Night Safari at the Singapore National Zoo, the world's first nocturnal zoo."
On the Weekends
"Weekends are always jam-packed with sightseeing and traveling - I spent this past weekend shopping in downtown Singapore (taking advantage of the Great Singapore Sale that runs from June through August!), visiting the ArtScience Museum, and seeing Gardens by the Bay with my cohort mates. A couple weekends ago, a few cohort mates and I traveled to Penang, the so-called "food capital" of Malaysia and nicknamed "the Pearl of the Orient." This weekend we'll be traveling to Bangkok, and at the end of the month we'll be laying on the beaches of Bali!"
What Surprised you MOst?
"A surprising fact about living in Singapore - it's cheaper to go out and eat than it is to buy groceries and cook your own meals. My typical lunch ranges from $3 USD to $5 USD - that's more expensive than a Big Mac meal in the US!"
Advice from a Former Fellow
"When you're in a new city, go out and explore! I'm not naturally a very adventurous person, but I've spent my time in Singapore telling myself not to say no, and I haven't regretted anything at all."
Also, check out this AWESOME video Emily made of her first few days in Singapore!