Wei Ling Pearlyn MAK FS2016-17, 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.