Karyn Ooi chooses NUS because it provides the best legal education, encompassing opportunities for learning, practice and making a difference in people’s lives.
Why did you accept the NUS Scholarship?
At NUS, there are a plethora of programmes and enrichment activities we can participate in, for example, volunteer work, networking events and interesting talks. NUS Scholarships emphasise community involvement and holistic university experience, and I decided that this is the kind of university life I would love and treasure.
Why did you choose NUS instead of going overseas?
I chose NUS because I felt it would be able to provide me with the best legal education, encompassing opportunities for learning, practice and making a difference. The chance to explore unchartered waters and grow as a person, not just as a student, was what drew me to study here.
Although it seemed tempting at first to study overseas, I realised that studying locally allows me to engage in pro bono programmes as well as gain exposure to Law through internships and working part-time at the State Courts. My passion for Law stems from the fact that this course equips people with the skills to help others in a unique way and make a difference. Aside from doing internships with the Pro Bono Society of Singapore and Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, I have taken part in a legal awareness pro bono programme (LAWS) and volunteer at pro bono legal clinics. These experiences not only open my eyes to how the Law comes into effect in the real world but also makes what I am studying more meaningful.
What was the selection process like?
For Law, the selection process was slightly different. Since the Faculty of Law is one of the few faculties that have admissions tests and interviews, the first round of scholarship screening was combined with the Law admissions process. After that round, I was called in for a second interview. It was a lot less stressful and much more welcoming than it sounds. (For most other faculties, scholarship applicants are required to attend one to two-panel interviews to determine their suitability for the NUS Scholarship.)
Why do you think you were awarded the scholarship, and what are the qualities a scholar should possess?
I am still very grateful I was awarded a scholarship with such good opportunities. I believe the panel saw that I would make use of all the opportunities and experiences to make my university education more meaningful and more directed towards giving back to the community. I think like a scholar, especially for NUS Scholars who are not required to serve a bond upon graduation, the most important thing is to engage actively in the community and make the most of the experiences provided to ensure the resources are being put to good use. Giving back and being actively involved in programmes to better the community is important not just as a gesture, but to ultimately help you to grow as a person and as a student, and allow you to see your field of study from a more multi-faceted perspective.
What are the benefits of taking up an NUS Scholarship?
There are tons of opportunities to take part in enrichment programmes and volunteer work, you get to take the financial burden off your parents, and there are opportunities to stay on campus, study overseas and much more.
How has your NUS experience been, and what programmes and activities have you participated in so far?
I think Law school has been very engaging and I have learnt a lot. It took me a year to adjust to the new learning environment, so at times it was challenging. I have really enjoyed NUS as well in terms of campus life. During my orientation period in Law school, I participated in both Law RAG dance and pageant, both of which were very memorable. RAG is something that you cannot find anywhere else except in NUS, and I met some of my closest friends through RAG dance.
Although it meant sacrificing part of my holidays before school started, the memories made and the feeling of doing something with your batch was very special for me. After orientation, I was also in a few extra-curricular activities in Law school, including NUS Pro Bono Group, NUS Criminal Justice Club and NUS Law School International Relations Committee. I also took part in some other pro bono programmes such as a legal awareness programme, LAWS.
Outside of Law school, I stayed in Kent Ridge Hall, and was able to take part in both sports (swimming and handball) as well as perform with the Kent Ridge Choir at various concerts and the annual carolling around Singapore. I was also in the IT Committee and Hall Production Committee, which puts up a play every two years. In addition, I had the opportunity to conduct a Community Development Programme with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and help out in other volunteer programmes.
Although it was busy at times, NUS has really given me an engaging, holistic and memorable first year.
KARYN OOI PEI YING
NUS Global Merit Scholarship
Now: Year 2 doing Law and Business Administration, NUS
From: Raffles Institution