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NUS – Blissful About A Bond-Free Scholarship

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If you are enrolling in NUS in 2015, you are likely to meet Phillina Phua, who is planning your freshmen orientation.

Why did you choose the NUS ­Scholarship?
The benefits that the scholarship offers are very attractive. The fact that it is bond-free gives me the freedom to choose what I want to do with my career in future. I think the experiences that one gets in university will, to a certain extent, alter his mindset on what he wants to do, and a bond-free scholarship allows one to be more daring and try other things as well. Furthermore, NUS is globally renowned for its high standards.

What was the selection process like?
I sent in an application consisting of my curriculum vitae and a referee report, and received a call for an interview a few weeks later. The interview went well – the interviewers genuinely wanted to know what I was like as a person, and what I would like to do at NUS.

Why do you think you were awarded the scholarship, and what are the qualities that a scholar should possess?
I think the main reason why I was awarded the scholarship was because I showed interest and passion in the Sciences, and prior to enrolling at NUS, had taken the initiative to further explore my interest by working at a research lab. Grades and CCAs definitely played a part as well. But at the interview stage, most applicants would be of rather similar calibre in these areas, so the interviewers would likely be looking for something more.
I think a scholar should be a determined, daring, and inquisitive individual who is willing to go beyond excelling in his course of study, and is looking to contribute more than what is required of him.

What are the benefits of taking up the NUS Scholarship?
I would say the best thing about the NUS Scholarship is the opportunity to be part of the University Scholars Programme (USP). Academically, the modules at USP are rigorous but interesting and I daresay I have learnt a lot in merely one semester. The subsequent modules that are available also seem extremely interesting. The scholarship has also given me the opportunity to pursue my passion freely without being burdened by financial worries, and for that I am very thankful. Furthermore, taking up the NUS Scholarship has allowed me to meet and learn from many other like-minded students who are inquisitive, ­determined and passionate about making a difference.

How has your NUS experience been, and what programmes and activities have you participated in so far?
My NUS experience has been very ­enjoyable thus far! I would say what I enjoy most is staying at the Cinnamon College under USP. It has been great meeting so many other students who are also ­passionate about their field of study and are ­constantly inquisitive. Such an environment has definitely been both enlightening and motivating for me – I think I have learnt a lot from my fellow peers outside of my area of study. Also, lots of initiatives at Cinnamon are student-run, which provide one with many opportunities to participate in committees.
With regard to the activities I am ­currently involved in, I am part of the ­Science Volunteer Corps (SVC) ­sub-committee ­under Science Club, and the Freshmen ­Orientation Project (FOP) committee under USP. While planning has only started ­recently, I am definitely looking forward to bringing our plans to fruition in the year ahead.

Felecia Tay Jing Yi
NUS Undergraduate Scholarship
Age: 25
Now: First year doing MBBS at NUS
From: NUS High School