November 20, 2011

Exchange @ Singapore!

Finally a message from far Asia; Singapore! Lets begin with a small intro; who I am and what I am (currently) doing. Well, my name is Gregor Hogetoorn, only 20 years old and a third year International Business and Languages (IBL) student at the HES. As some of you might know you have the chance to go on exchange. Currently I am on exchange, studying at the Nanyang Business School (NBS), to be found in Singapore. If you want to get to know more about my school, you can visit the following website:

Unhappily there was no place anymore on the campus and that’s why I’m living outside of campus. I’m a bit disappointed about the fact they gave all locals a place on campus while (some) exchange students had to find a place on their own. I managed to find a place together with three other Dutch students from the HES. The room rates outside campus are four times as expensive as the rooms on campus. And I can use that money so good for other things over here. Our room is located about 45 minutes from campus and we travel by the well-regulated public transport. During peak hours you have to be patient because sometimes you have to wait 1 or 2 buses. There are three different shuttle bus services (free) on campus because the terrain is huge ( It’s like a small village in a big city.

The NBS, a well-known business school and part of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I’m following four courses:

1) Compensation & Benefits;

2) Strategic HR & Consulting;

3) Services Operation Management;

4) Strategic Management.

The teaching approach is different from my home university. To start, all different subjects have, next to the ‘normal’ (home)work, a group project which needs a lot of time and attention. Back home I only had one bigger group project. I’m off on Mondays and Thursdays but these days were used for homework and group meetings (and travelling). Group meetings were held on the craziest places, ranging from picnic benches in gardens to McDonalds.

Next to that, a lecture hour is four (clock)hours, quite long. In the beginning it was hard to concentrate that long but at the end it was easier. (I’m not saying easy!) The school is more demanding and the students are far more serious and motivated than students on the HES (sorry to say this). I have so much respect for the students here and this gave me a new look at my study. It might sound weird, but I’m going to miss this school so hard.. Everything is perfectly organized and the schoolbuildings, shops, teachers/professors, students, etc are all great! And because the studying is more demanding doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying besides school! Everyday is a party

Singapore on its own is just a great city! Everything is planned very well and everything runs perfectly! They thought about every detail, on school as well as everywhere! The first few days I had to get used to this city (compared to Amsterdam) but for now; I feel like a local.

Realizing my school period is over in ten days makes me a kind of sad. I had such a great time here, although there were some stressful periods as well. My first exams will start in only two days, which means that I’m studying my ass of now. After my last exam (29th of November) I’m flying to Hanoi and will travel around SE Asia for two more months. Will be back in Singapore at the end of January to say goodbye to the city, the people and the life for the ‘last’ time. But I’ll come definitely back here!

For all students, please study hard; get the best out of it so you can go to a great place (like Singapore) for your exchange! Saying goodbye to your fellows and family back home is hard, but I’m sure you going to have a wonderful time on your exchange!

Wish you all the best and if there are any questions/comments don’t hesitate to mail me:

And of course, for people who are planning to go to Singapore; I’ve got some insider tips as well! Just let me know!

Ooh and last but not least, if any of you got some tips for travelling around SE Asia, please let me know!

Take care!


  1. Gregor, thank you for a very interesting story about your exchange. I hope your exams go well!Indeed, our school needs to be stricter with rules, deadlines and there should not be so much tolerance of demotivation and laziness. Sometimes students here forget that it is a privellege to have access to higher education. Looking forward to seeing you upon your return at HvA!
    IBL Insider

  2. A bit late, but enjoy your exchange! Mine was great too! I also did notice that in Asia the students there were far more serious about their study compared to here. Kind of made me change my view on study too.