From China to Singapore: Yan Fei Fei

30 January 2015

img_3695_yanff_2First impression matters. For Yan Fei Fei, her first experience in Singapore led to a two-year stay here on this little Red Dot. Fei Fei spent a semester at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) during her undergraduate days, and was won over by the multi-cultural environment she found in NTU and Singapore.

Having developed an interest in Aerodynamics during her Bachelor Thesis, Fei Fei then decided to further pursue her interest in this field with NTU’s Masters in Aerospace Engineering, jointly conferred with Technische Universität München (TUM) here in Singapore. We catch up with Fei Fei to find out how her two-year stay in Singapore has been, and what her plans are after graduation.

Hi Fei Fei, can you give us a short introduction about yourself?

My name is Yan Fei Fei. I grew up in Shanghai, China and attended school up to university in China. I graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University before coming to Singapore to pursue my Masters. Currently, I have completed my coursework for my Master degree and I just concluded a five-month internship in Temasek Laboratories at NUS. Next, I’ll be going to join a research group in TUM, Germany to work on my Master Thesis.

So when did you decide you wanted to pursue a Masters?

I decided only when I was about to complete my Bachelor degree. My interest in Aerodynamics and the exchange to NTU prepared me for my application in a postgraduate degree.

Was Singapore your only destination in mind while applying to overseas universities?

Singapore was the priority destination but I will definitely use this experience as a stepping stone to explore the world.

So, why Singapore?

First and most importantly, it is because of safety. I am a girl living abroad and it is important that the environment is safe. Singapore also has fewer cultural differences. I liked it that I can find many elements in Singapore that remind me of home. And I am also familiar with NTU because of my previous exchange experience here.

What were some of your concerns when you were preparing to move to Singapore? And how did you overcome those difficulties?

Well, I knew that I was going to be away from my family which was difficult and lonely. To help me, I joined student associations and clubs where I made friends with local students. I also kept in contact with classmates that I met during my exchange.

Now that you have been here for a couple of years, can you name one difference between China and Singapore?

In China, we have four seasons. Here in Singapore there are only two seasons – indoor (aircon) and outdoor (hot)!

We are sure many students are considering moving abroad to study. As a senior, can you share your advice on what to look out for when moving to a foreign country?

I think the most important thing is to find out whether you are comfortable with the culture in foreign country. Being abroad alone, you need to manage your life well. Education is just a part of life, you will need to have a balanced social life and get used to a different style of life, a different culture. If you decide to move to Singapore, embrace new things here with a big smile!

(left) Fei Fei (fourth from left) with some of her Aerospace Engineering batchmates

(left) Fei Fei (fourth from left) with some of her Aerospace Engineering batchmates

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