Singapore Management University

14 March 2019

Navya Sharan took courses in Global Mega-trends and Innovation in Asia’s Smart Cities as part of the Global Summer Program at Singapore Management University.

Navya Sharan, BSc Psychology

This summer, I attended the Global Summer Program at Singapore Management University (SMU). Students attending this program have the option of choosing either one or two courses from two clusters of different courses. I chose two courses – Global Mega-trends and Innovation in Asia’s Smart Cities. In Global Mega-trends, we studied technological, environmental, and economic trends among various others. We were assessed on a group project, which involved planning a scenario for an industrial sector of our choice based on the trends in that sector. Innovation in Asia’s smart cities addressed the increasingly popular field of developing smart, sustainable and green cities. Drawing on from the EU Smart City Framework, we learnt about how smart cities are developed and managed. We spent the term studying a smart location in Singapore (e.g. Changi airport) and a smart city (e.g. Songdo) and presented our research at the end of summer. For this module, we also had several excursions. During one of our excursions, we visited Gardens by the Bay and learnt about how a city as densely populated as Singapore could afford to have acres of green land in the heart of the city. Apart from our courses, SMU also organised company visits and Wine and Cheese sessions. I visited NEWater, which is responsible for recycling Singapore’s waste water. The Wine and Cheese sessions were talks led by chief officers of Audi, Shell and Liechtenstein Bank, among other companies. Overall, there was never a dull moment during my time at SMU. 

Personally, I enjoyed this program. While I attended this program with the intention to improve my understanding of the business world, I learnt a lot more than I expected to. SMU constantly challenged me, both on an academic and a personal level and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. Consequentially, I learnt to work with people who were completely different from me and to study subjects that were not supported by my background in psychology. Moreover, I was taught the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach as most of my projects required insights from various fields. Our professors, through their anecdotes, taught us lessons beyond what we could learn from any textbook or lecture. In addition to the phenomenal courses at SMU, I also used my time abroad to travel within Singapore. This was my first time travelling alone and it was a remarkable experience. From shopping on Orchard Road to watching the sunset from Marina Bay Sands, I explored Singapore from end to end. 

Finally, I would recommend a short-term study abroad to anyone considering it. It is a stimulating experience and leaves you with lifelong memories to cherish. So, if you have not already considered a short-term study abroad opportunity, I can assure you that it is worth a second thought!