The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is committed to developing each student to the fullest of their potential, while ensuring that they enjoy a fulfilling undergraduate life. What better way to explore the special programmes and unique curriculum offered by the Faculty than to hear it from the students themselves? From Study Abroad Programmes to Structured Double Degrees and Major-Minor combinations, these students have experienced them all. Let's hear from some of them!
Year 4 Sociology Major
Student Exchange Programme: University of Toronto
There are just too many things to love about FASS. I enrolled in FASS because of the wide variety of disciplines available for one to choose from. Many of the classes are well-structured and encourage students to utilize critical thinking and open discussions rather than just rote memorization and regurgitation.
In FASS, I have had the chance to take a diverse range of modules such as Public Speaking, Cultural Studies and Medical Sociology which allowed me to broaden my perspectives and deepen my interests in the fields I would love to pursue.
Besides the enriching academic culture, I am grateful for the various opportunities that FASS have rendered me since I was admitted. From being a Frisbee Captain at Arts Open to participating in my first ever fashion show (Catwalk-on-the-Green) and to experience a semester abroad (SEP), FASS has inspired me time and time again to step out of my comfort zone and has mould me into a more confident and resilient person.
Of course, my life in FASS will never be complete without mentioning two other things – awesome friends and good food!
One of the greatest take-aways for me from FASS is probably the strong social support system and the network of like-minded friends and people!
BONUS: You will probably find the best Laksa Yong Tau Foo at FASS Deck too!
Mok Shu Xian
Double Degree Programme with Waseda University
Year 4 Communications and New Media Major with Sociology Minor
University Scholars Programme
Although I was a science student in junior college, I knew that I really wanted to learn about society and human interactions, and I felt that FASS was the best choice for me because of the wide range of options available. For starters, there is a great deal of freedom in choosing a major or minor. A major in communications and new media with a minor in sociology has allowed me to look at issues from different yet complementary perspectives. Even within my major, there is much flexibility to fit the curriculum to each person’s needs – there are modules relating to public relations, journalism, design, and social science research – allowing me to pursue different areas of interest. The high level of passion the professors and lecturers have for their areas of expertise also means that depth is not compromised while enjoying such an open curriculum. The double degree programme with Waseda University in International Liberal Arts has given me the opportunity to pick up a new language and further explore fields within and beyond the humanities and social sciences. Not to mention, studying in a different country and being immersed in a new culture and system has been an exciting learning experience in itself. In such a dynamic world that we live in, I think such an interdisciplinary education that FASS offers is truly a valuable one.
Nur Zakiah Bte Abdul Hamid
Class of 2017, Malay Studies Major
I was bent on majoring in English literature when I entered NUS but I took a module in my freshman year and it changed my decision. I ended up majoring in Malay Studies - a major that was not only rigorous in developing my critical thought as a student but it also allowed me to confront personal intimate questions about myself and the way I view my ethnic community. There is a gross misconception that Malays are the 'lesser race' and that we are always lagging behind in society. There’s also the prevalent stereotypes. I internalised this a lot as I grew up, but Malay Studies, along with sociology (which I took up as a minor) allowed me to look at the world with different lenses and to understand from a less prejudicial point of view. Sociology taught me to humanise 'deviants' in society, to understand why the way people are as a result of their experiences, social class etc.
I also love Malay Studies as it is multi-disciplinary in nature - we learn politics, history, anthropology and so much more with a focus on the Malays in Southeast Asia and beyond. I also love sociology because it allows me to look at issues from multiple perspectives revealing how society is way more complex than we think it is. Both my major and minor equipped me with not just critical thinking. It allowed me to develop better values and a more accepting, open-minded attitude as an individual in society. There were many, many moments during my undergraduate journey that I left the class feeling provoked as I reflected deeper on the issues we face in Singapore. That to me, is the real joy of learning – that I could link what I learnt to the real world.
Lim Zhi Hao
Year 3 Economics Major
At FASS, I had the privilege of gaining exposure to a broad range of courses, which enabled me to pursue my academic interests in an interdisciplinary fashion. For the past several semesters, I made a brief foray into Political Science, Social Work and Psychology, which presented me with new perspectives that could be integrated into my own major. In classes, we are trained to think critically and analytically instead of taking everything we learn at face value and that in my opinion, has been the greatest takeaway from the academic training at FASS. Furthermore, I am thankful to have learnt under some of the most inspiring Professors who are deeply passionate in teaching and would go the extra mile to interact with us.
Beyond academics, FASS has provided me with ample opportunities to enrich my campus experience. From my O’ Comm involvement in Arts Camp, participation in Inter-Faculty Games to an exciting exchange semester stint, I have met many like-minded individuals and forged meaningful friendships along the way. In addition, I had the valuable opportunity to conduct Economics tutorials as an undergraduate teaching assistant last semester. It was especially meaningful being able to engage my students, who are mostly in their freshman year, in classroom discussions and hopefully, to have played a small part in piquing their interest in Economics. In fact, I also learnt a great deal from my students, some of whom inspired me with their thoughtful analysis during class and consultation.
On the whole, my undergraduate journey has been nothing short of fulfilling and I look forward to my final year at FASS!
Syafiq B Mohd Abdul Muhaimin Ong
Year 3 Global Studies Major
When I was still in junior college, I heard about the new Global Studies programme that FASS was launching. The new major appealed to me the most, as compared to similar programmes in other universities, because of its unique combination of the theme, region, and language specialisations.
It goes without saying then that I am very pleased with my specialisations of War and Security, Americas, and Arabic language. Moreover, the interdisciplinary nature of Global Studies encouraged me to take modules from disciplines I never thought I would ever touch, which include Geography, South Asian Studies and Sociology. Furthermore, I am greatly appreciative of nurturing professors and tutorial assistants who are more than willing to not only discuss about class material, but also almost anything under the sun.
From a personal development perspective, my time in FASS has seen me go on my first solo trip to South Africa for a one-month Environmental Journalism and Travel Writing internship, as well as a semester-long Student Exchange Programme (SEP) in Ankara, Turkey. These opportunities have exposed me to new cultures and languages. The best part is finding new and like-minded friends from all over the world!
FASS has also encouraged me to take on leadership roles in extra-curricular activities to make my education here more fruitful. Within the first three years of my undergraduate career, I am proud to say that I have been the President of NUS Symphony Orchestra, Chairperson of NUS Capoeira Club, and President/Founder of NUS Civil Defence Lionhearter Club.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to many more adventures in my Honours’ year!