The Fung Scholars Singapore Chapter was established in January 2012. It aims to provide a platform for Fung Scholars to explore opportunities to learn, grow and give back to local communities. With a focus on network, leadership, and community, the Singapore Chapter engages with the growing family of Singapore-based Fung Scholars through meaningful experiences.
Fung Scholars Stories
CHUA Xing YingFS2017-18, Singapore Manage University | to Sweden
I am Chua Xing Ying, a third year studying Accountancy and have been on an exchange to Sweden, Lund in academic year 2017-18 Term 1. Studying overseas has been exciting as I have gained knowledge from various students and professors of international backgrounds. Overall, the journey has been enriching and has made me more aware of the various issues happening around the world. Coming from a family that is not well-to-do, this experience was only possible with the help of your generous support.
The discussions in classes have broadened my perspectives and allowed me to think deeper into some issues especially in the environmental and social aspects. Being an environmentally friendly country, Sweden has taught me how they managed to recycle 100% of their waste and convince their citizens to separate daily waste to 8 different components. Other aspects include no plastic bags given out for free to encourage bringing of non-disposable bags when shopping and cashless payments to reduce papers. Sweden being a Scandinavian country has a well-developed welfare system, and it has been interesting learning about it. During the exchange, I got to hear from locals about their willingness to pay for the high taxes due to the eventual benefits they will receive in the future. During my trip to Oslo, I was also able to help distribute some rice and grains to the homeless people around the area. The Fung Scholarship has made it possible for me to worry less about my finances and to learn more in the international classroom. With that, I am really grateful and appreciative of your support.
In school, I was involved in Patron’s Day – a day to commemorate Singapore Management University’s 18th Birthday. As a stage management helper, I have learnt much about managing an event from the planning stages to executing the event itself. The tough work during late night rehearsals were worth it as we saw the audiences enjoying themselves to the show put up for them. Moving forward, I hope to be able to lead the next team next year and to groom new juniors who are ready to contribute back to SMU for the various show productions.
The past semester has been full of new friendships and bonds being made and I hope to be able to continue participating in activities and classes that inspire me and enrich me. Thanks to Fung Scholarship, I can work on my studies and at the same time take the opportunities to serve others.
The rice that was eventually given out
On a hiking trip with various international students
Dilys LOO Rui WenFS2017-18, Singapore Manage University | to Germany
My name is Dilys Loo and I am currently a third year undergraduate at Singapore Management University under the School of Accountancy. In August 2017, I was given the privilege to travel to Europe for the very first time. During the past five months, I have learnt so much about the German and European culture and have also met various people from all walks of life. It was also a journey of self-discovery and personal development that I am very thankful for.
As a student seeking a career in taxation, I undertook Masters level courses in tax planning at University of Mannheim. Though the learning curve was steep, the opportunity enabled me to understand various international tax planning concepts. These are also modules that my current university does not offer, enabling me to obtain a competitive edge over my peers and aid me in my future internship and job interviews. Additionally, these courses provided me the chance to work with local German students. This experience taught me a lot about the German way of life – from their history, religion and traditions to their recreational activities and food culture. Living in Germany has also taught me so much about recycling – that it goes beyond just bringing your own bags for grocery shopping but also returning your plastic and glass packaging after consuming the product. Their commitment to conserving the environment has greatly inspired me to do my best when I return to Singapore.
In Mannheim, I live in a student dormitory with five other exchange students from Australia, Canada and Mexico. These individuals have played an important role in my exchange experience as they allowed me to learn about cultures beyond the European continent. I am particularly close to my Mexican housemate, who is doing her Masters in Mannheim. Besides helping me settle in, she has taught me so much about Mexico, the Spanish language, their foods and their festivals. Interacting with other exchange students has really helped to alleviate the feeling of homesickness as we shared about our home countries and bonded over food from home.
Being on exchange has been a pleasant yet challenging experience. It has taught me some of the most important life skills – from opening bank accounts, budgeting, cooking and cleaning to dealing with unforeseen circumstances like train delays and language barriers and miscommunications. In other words, my exchange experience has taught me how to live independently while balancing academics and immersing oneself in the different cultures and traditions. Though difficult, it has been a fruitful experience with no regrets.
International travel is not always possible for many but the Fung Scholarship has made this rare opportunity possible. Real learning often happens outside the classroom and this exchange has been one of the best experiences of a lifetime. These would not have been possible without the Fung Scholarship and to give back, I would aim to partake in more Fung Foundation events to grow the Fung network and encourage greater participation in these events.
Exploring Mannheim with other exchange students from Hong Kong and Mexico
Jamie KO WeilingFS2009-10, Singapore Management University | to Germany
I am Jamie Ko from Singapore, a fourth-year student at Singapore Management University, taking a double degree in business management and accountancy. I spent a semester abroad in Germany at the University of Mannheim.
The experience allowed me to spend a semester living in a culture, in a country, that is completely different than back home in Singapore, and I really got to understand the differences in the lifestyles of the people over there and coming to respect that, but also realizing that beneath all these cultural differences, they are very much like myself, and if we just overlook all these slight differences, I could actually build friendships and have conversations with these people just like my friends back home in Singapore.
I feel that having understood that there are cultural differences and when we come to respect that, we tend to overlook these differences, and I feel that our generation and the next generation can build and foster friendships and relationships that will help us build and progress our world, instead of having all these conflicts that we had in the past.
In terms of self-development, I had a chance to be more independent when I studied abroad, because I was always studying in Singapore for my entire life, and this allowed me to live alone. When I was travelling, I had to learn to be street-smart, but at the same time, I also had to be open-minded enough to actually immerse myself in the culture of the city that I was travelling in.
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LEE Ying HoFS2017-18, Singapore Manage University | to Denmark
I am thankful for this scholarship as it allowed me to go for the exchange at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). I choose CBS as it is a world-famous business education institution that provides intriguing courses in business, accountancy and data science, all which I am very keen on learning. I applied for exchange scholarship as the financial support would enable me to participate in student activities which can at times be costly due to Denmark’s high cost of living. I am also encouraged to give back to the Fung Scholar community, particularly the new comers to the Fung Scholar community. Thus, I organized the Pre-Departure and Welcome Gathering for the new batch of Fung Scholars in Singapore on 13th January 2018.
I major in Accountancy at my home university but made a deliberate choice to in courses related to data science at CBS to (1) increase the breadth of my knowledge and (2) to keep myself relevant in the expected rise of data analytics at workplace. My first classes were intriguing as the professor shared about the uses of data analytics. I think that created a better learning culture, as the people attending classes seemed genuinely interested to learn. Compared to my home university, CBS had greater academic inclinations as exams were often just a 15 page research paper to be written on the course subject. Whereas my home university had more written exams, projects and mid-semester tests in comparison. This exposure was only obtained through the exchange supported financially by the scholarship.
Learning in a foreign environment allows me to appreciate the beauty of having a common language (English), as communication would be tough without that. Speaking with foreigners, especially those whose first language isn’t English made me realize how the “Singaporean accent” hindered my communication with others. I would then try deliberately to speak slowly and clearly so people can understand what I am saying.
Making international friends and connections was an exciting part of the exchange. We engaged in cultural activities I seldom partake, such as mooncake baking and moon appreciation on mid-autumn festival. I have attached a photo of the event with us taking a photo together with our mooncake creation.
In summary, the exchange has enriched myself with both knowledge, cross-cultural exposure. I am truly appreciative of the financial support provided by Victor and William Fung Foundation, and believe that this exchange scholarship will continue to enable students to develop themselves through an unforgettable exchange in a foreign land. After this experience, I am motivated to participate and organize activities for the Singapore chapter of Fung Scholars.
Photo of Fung Scholar Pre-Departure Gathering
Leftmost male on the left, last row
Photo of friends baking Mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival
Wei Ling Pearlyn MAKFS2016-17, Singapore Management University | to Norway
I went to BI Norwegian Business School in Norway for my overseas exchange programme. It was an enriching experience for me.
I felt that I learnt a great deal from my experience overseas. I realised that Singapore is a very small country, as compared to Norway, even though our population size is roughly similar. While speaking to some Norwegians, I found out that we were very different in the sense that Norwegians feel very strongly about certain issues, like those concerning the environment, and they are unafraid of speaking up. For instance, I was eating some Marks & Spencer biscuits, when my Norwegian friend spoke up and told me that the biscuits contained palm oil and the process of refining palm oil harms the environment, therefore there are no Marks & Spencer stores in Norway. He also advised me to not buy it in the future.
This came as a surprise to me as many Singaporeans have problems forming an opinion about any issue. We tend to go with the majority and accept what is given to us without questioning. This is contrary to how Europeans have been brought up as I have also seen, on several occasions in Europe, peaceful public protests. After this experience, I understand that we, as Singaporeans, must learn to have our own thoughts and speak up more for the issues that we care about.
I was able to put this into practice during President Tony Tan’s state visit to Norway. During the RSVP period, we were sent the invitation very late and even though we replied immediately, it was already past the deadline to RSVP for the event. If we were unwilling to speak up, we could have just accepted that it was already past the deadline for RSVP and gave the event a miss. However, we decided that we wanted to participate in this event so we stepped up and contacted the liaison, who sent us the invitation. From there, we were directed to many different parties before we were able finally confirm our attendance for the event.
In conclusion, I would not have been able to learn and experience the things that I have mentioned and more without the scholarship. This scholarship lessened my financial burden during my overseas exchange programme. Thus, I would like to thank you once again for your generous financial support.
A photo with all the Singaporean students during President Tony Tan’s state visit to Norway.
Jamie KO Weiling
Fung Scholar since 2010. Awarded the Li & Fung Scholarship in 2010. Exchange student at University of Mannheim, Germany in 2010. Graduated from Singapore Management University (SMU) with a double degree in Business Management (Marketing Major) and Accountancy. Currently working at the Boston Consulting Group’s Singapore office. Served as the President of SMU Initiatives for Social Enterprise during her time at SMU. Completed internships at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts, and International Enterprise Singapore’s Guangzhou Overseas Centre.