By SEO Kyung Pyo, SMU School of Accountancy
Honestly, it was rather an impulsive decision for me to come to Singapore from my home country, South Korea. My father had a chance to work with a Singapore company and he simply asked me, “Kyung Pyo, would you follow me if I went to work in Singapore.” It took all but a few minutes to Google “Singapore” and then, “Yes, why not” was my answer.
Singapore turned out to be a wonderful place. The warm weather treated me well (I am not a fan of Korean winter). People approached me in a really friendly manner, mainly thanks to the Korean wave. Perhaps the question that I was asked the most during my first month of school was, “Do you watch Running man?” Since I loved living and studying in Singapore, I decided to stay on longer and entered a local university, SMU.
Choosing SMU and School of Accountancy has been the best decision I’ve made on my own. The main reason for my decision was SMU’s seminar-style lecture as well as the numerous global exposure opportunities such as overseas community service projects (OCSP) and international student exchange experiences that the school provides. For this, I’ve always kept in my mind the importance of making the most out of what SMU has to offer over the four years of my studies.
I still remember my first ever course in SMU and that was a module called, “Technology and World Change”. The discussion topics were extremely interesting and most students in the seminar appeared so knowledgeable and outspoken. I recall participating the most in that lesson, over my entire SMU life. In fact, immediately after that lesson, I made a phone call to my father who was back in Korea then, to share how good my first day was.
For my first long summer break, I took part in two volunteer programmes: one in Thailand through Project Shining Lights IV, and another in Taiwan through SMU AIESEC club’s Global Volunteer Programme. I was tasked to teach students English and support the schools residing in the less-privileged area.
For several weeks, I had to interact directly and stay with the local people. Learning the basics of their language was just one of the first things I had to do. One of my favourite memories was when my friends and I ran in a heavy downpour to follow a school van, and made sure we said goodbye to every single child who was going back home. From those two volunteering opportunities, I could really see how the world looks like from a different perspective, and I also learned to always appreciate even the little things in life.
What I’ve found most challenging so far is ‘time management’. As most people would agree, SMU school life is quite hectic. It seemed as if I always had things to do (usually one of these: revision, assignments, project or CCA commitments). During my freshman year, when I was still very inefficient in studying, I spent most of my life in the Li Ka Shing library. Listening to the song, ‘Closing time’ in the library was my daily routine. One of the few regrets I have is that I did not enjoy my freshmen year better by trying out more things like CCAs and various school events. It was only after my freshman year that I learned how to manage my time better, and to engage in new and interesting activities.
For now, I’m looking forward to my Winter Internship, followed by an exchange opportunity in Fudan University, China. This year is going to be real exciting, and I thank SMU for the development and exposure opportunities that it has offered me!
To learn more about SMU’s Undergraduate Admissions, visit admissions.smu.edu.sg.