I lived in Singapore for about five months, and it was the best experience of my life.
I got the opportunity to do this from my school, and the association of IB and roundsquare schools, in which you have to opportunity to do exchanges and gap years amongst the community’s schools. Through this association I was able to apply for a kind of exchange with the UWCSEA in Singapore and work there as an assistant for the Spanish department.
I lived in the school’s boarding house and got paid a salary for my work there, and I had the opportunity to do a lot of travelling around South East Asia. I learned to live on my own, travel on my own and take on a lot of different responsibilities, from doing my actual job to planning our trips.
I was lucky enough to be able to live this experience with four very close friends who also applied for the same gap year program. We lived together for about five months in Singapore and travelled to different places like Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
I can easily say that this was the best experience of my life; I learned a lot about myself, about living on my one and about several countries that have cultures that are so different from my own.
It was five months of very different contrasts, starting with the fact that every month, after having lived very comfortably in Singapore, we embarked on a new journey with very tight budgets, and even though the comfort from Singapore was amazing - I wouldn’t have traded the 5-dollar hostels and street food from our trips for anything!
If you ever get the opportunity of backpacking around South East Asia take it; I promise you won’t regret it.
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