Why SMU: Our International Students Share Their Experiences

Why SMU: Our International Students Share Their Experiences

September 14, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


My name is Mario Renaldo. I’m from Jakarta, Indonesia. I’m Oanh from Vietnam. I’m Chong Yik Sean. I’m from Penang, Malaysia. My name is Arwika Ussahatanon. My nick name is Pat. I’m from Chiang Mai, Thailand. My name is Mohamed Fadhil. I am from Singapore. My name is Isabel Hilario. I’m from the Philippines. When I was in college, I had a friend who was very keen to join SMU. And I didn’t understand what, or why, SMU. I first heard about SMU from my mother because she is Singaporean. And she really, really, really wanted me to study here. I got to know about SMU through my older sister. She got a scholarship from the Singapore Government. After one year, she became a very active girl. And I just wanted myself to one day become like her. SMU has been in the news for all the good reasons over the past few years. It seems that SMU places a lot of emphasis on student life And making sure that students get a holistic experience. I think SMU has provided me with a lot of opportunities to transform and establish myself. I can’t say enough good things about SMU’s interactive learning model. I feel like that is really one of the best things that SMU has given me. In my old school we had 35 students in one class. Every single class had the exact same students. But now, I’m taking 5 mods and every single mod has completely new, different students. It’s taught me to really get out of my comfort zone. In my first class, I remember I had to do an individual presentation for one of my modules. And I remember writing down everything that I wanted to say, and I had to memorise it just so I could have it ready and prepared for my presentation. But now, today, after many many many many many presentations that I’ve had to do, and all the practise that I’ve had, and the advise that my peers and teachers had given me I can now freely say that I can do these presentations on the fly. And it’s made me more confident and more secure about the things that I have to say and how I want to say it. And I think in life it’s really important if you are able to present your opinions and ideas to someone in a clear and articulate fashion. I had a chance to work with students from different nationalities and backgrounds. And it’s really beneficial for me when I go to work. I think the requirement to perform my internship before graduation has benefitted me a lot because it has equipped me with the necessary skillsets and knowledge to excel in the corporate finance world as well as in the finance industry, not only in Singapore but also in Southeast Asia. I applied for an internship at P&G in 2011, in my third year. And after a year in the internship, I got an offer from P&G. My community service in the Philippines was a very meaningful experience for me. We went to a village in the Philippines which basically was a slum. And what this has done to me, is that it has made me a person who is more willing to give back to society. I particularly wanted to go into an education sector for my venture into community service. So I went to Indonesia to teach students English. I did a community service project in Thailand called Project Polaris. It was six months, and we spent 16 days all sleeping in the same small room. I think it’s a really great way to make extremely close friends. When I was in the hostel, I made a lot of friends from all around the world. So even now, after SMU, I’m still in touch with them. SMU is a family away from home. Wherever you turn, there is always something to do, people to meet, places to see. I could not be happier in SMU. SMU is the place you want to be For a Different U.