The Faculty of Business Administration’s (FBA’s)
first International Student Exchange Programme (SEP) was established
in 1990. However, exchanges only commenced in 1993 when 9
students spent a semester abroad and 8 foreign students were
hosted. Positive responses from early participants encouraged
significant expansion in both the number of exchange partners
and the numbers of students sent and hosted under the SEP.
By mid-2000, the FBA had established 45 student exchange
agreements with universities in 19 countries. To date, we
have received 494 students and sent away 414 students. For
the July 2000 semester, we received 91 undergraduate and 32
postgraduate students from 25 countries.
What Foreign Students Can Expect at the FBA
At the FBA, foreign students are valued for their contributions
to the diversity of the student body and in-class academic
experience. To make the transition easier for foreign students,
the FBA goes out of its way to ensure that they are well looked
after before and after they have arrived at the Faculty.
Prior to their arrival in Singapore, foreign students are
sent copies of relevant application forms for their studies,
travel documents, housing, etc. Information on their programme
of study, general background information on NUS, Singapore,
and campus life, as well as travel information, are also provided.
To facilitate foreign students’ gathering of information
about NUS and FBA, the relevant application forms and information
are also available via the Faculty’s SEP website. The
website serves as a one-stop information site containing data
and links to course offerings, module outlines, academic calendar,
and other information critical to their stay at the Faculty.
The FBA also runs an ‘Airport Pickup Service’
for foreign students. Student representatives from the External
Relations Committee of the BIZAD Club assist the Faculty in
receiving foreign students who have requested to be met on
Upon arrival, an orientation programme is usually conducted
for these students before the commencement of the semester.
This programme focuses on introducing the campus and academic
facilities, the programme of study, the basics of campus living,
and the social side of campus life. At the FBA, the non-academic
part of the orientation is organised and conducted by local
Each foreign student is also assigned a ‘buddy’
who is a local FBA student who has participated in the SEP
to the foreign student’s university or country. This
buddy is required to set up initial contact with his/her assigned
foreign student(s) by sending an introductory email to them
before their arrival in Singapore. This will help to mitigate
some of the possible anxiety the foreign student may have
prior to arrival, and will also serve as a contact point from
which he/she can solicit information from, especially regarding
the social aspects of settling into Singapore. Buddies are
requested to be present at the orientation briefing to meet
up with their assigned foreign students to facilitate further
communication and socialising.
Foreign students are not forgotten after the orientation
period is over. Additional contacts with foreign students
are maintained via a specially designated notice board and
irregular informal gatherings, as well as through appointments
with the FBA Exchange Coordinator and Exchange Administrator
who are assigned to look after the foreign students. Thus
throughout the semester, the FBA Exchange Office is always
on hand to assist foreign students with curricular or administrative
At the end of each semester, a Farewell-cum-Feedback tea
session is normally held to allow foreign students a last
chance to get together as a group and also to get any outstanding
issues clarified. Feedback is also solicited to assist the
FBA Exchange Office in refining operating procedures and practices.
Ensuring a Successful Exchange
The key concern of the FBA’s Exchange Office is that
students, both local and foreign, must be able to gain from
and enjoy the exchange experience. At the FBA, we try our
best to help foreign students benefit from and value their
SEP experience as much as possible, so that they will return
home and speak well of the FBA and NUS. This will in turn
open more doors for our local students to go overseas for
exchange, arriving at a win-win situation.