The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (also known as the Global UGRAD Program) provides one semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world for non-degree full-time study combined with community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment. In this series, we hear from Singaporean students who are currently on the program.
Danial Syazwan, a 24-year-old freshman at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, is currently on the Global UGRAD Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). As a curious individual with a passion for helping the underprivileged, Danial hopes to connect with others and trade opinions and insight about issues faced around the world.
1. What have you been enjoying about the program so far?
Something that I thoroughly enjoyed was exploring the U.S. Whether it is the beaches and parks of Wilmington, North Carolina or the famous landmarks around New York City. A couple of weeks back, I managed to sneak in a weekend trip to New York with fellow UGradder, Yi Suen where we managed to visit all the iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the spring break, I plan to explore more of the East Coast such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon.
2. Anything interesting you have experienced so far that has piqued your curiosity/ interest?
Something that has definitely piqued my interest would be American sports culture, specifically basketball and American football. Watching the UNCW basketball team play with my friends is definitely a highlight of my trip here. Last weekend, I also had the opportunity to catch the Superbowl with my American and international friends. As a marketing student, I was really intrigued with how different companies utilized the advertisement space during the breaks. Previously, I was only aware of the Superbowl for their famous halftime shows but now thanks to my friends, I definitely have a better idea of how the game functions and why it has such a huge following.
3. What’s your top takeaway from the program so far?
One of the top takeaways from the program thus far would be connecting with individuals from all over the world not just socially but also creatively and philanthropically. Immersing myself in the American lifestyle and learning about cultural norms and practices from other international students and Ugradders is something that I truly appreciate and enjoy.
4. What do you hope to see/ do in the next two months?
Aside from exploring more of the East Coast during the spring break, I am also really excited to give back to the community with UNCW’S Asian Students Association. Where we would assist in weekly food distribution to the homeless and provide tutoring to kids from underprivileged backgrounds.
Find out more about the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program here.