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Live in Singapore



My name is Mariya Komarkovskaya; I am originally from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I am attending Bachelor program of international business and management, going to my second year next semester. I am an open-minded, confident person, who likes meeting new people and finds it crazy not to talk.

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I came to Singapore almost 2 years ago; in October it would be 2 years since I am here, in Singapore.  I chose Singapore to study, because I wanted to experience something else, I wanted to experience other cultures and I've heard that the level of education in Singapore is very high.

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My parents had a big influence on me to come to do my degree in Singapore, at first I did not want to go to Singapore, since my dream was to go for my studies to Europe, but after I've met a lot of very interesting people here and knew Singapore quiet well, I've realized that maybe it's the best thing that ever happened to me so far. I definitely do not regret listening to my parents and coming here. This is the best choice I was able to make.

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I joined Student Council when I was on my second semester in foundation program, which I was taking before pursuing my degree. The Student Council members became my first friends in Singapore, they taught me how to get around, how to be a better person and how to be communicative and not being shy around new people, because our job, as Student Council of JCUS, is to talk to other students and listen to them, improve the university life for them and organize great events. I have joined Music Club as well, since music has been my passion since I was a child. During our Music Club meetings, which normally are held in the studio, we cover different songs and just have a lot of fun! These activities helped me find more friends and improve my communication skills, as well as practice my English and being more confident and more sure in what I wanted to say.

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When I first came to Singapore I was doing Foundation Program in JCUS, which lasted for 8 months, where they taught such subjects as Mathematics, Statistics, English Foundation 1 and 2, Communication skills, Communication across cultures, etc. The subjects were fine, some of the things they taught were quiet new, but some of the topics were very familiar with what I've studied back home in high school. Foundation program helped me to improve my English, since I've never really had a lot of practice, although I've been studying English for 11 years before that. Also with the help of Foundation program I've learnt how to speak in front of big public, because we have been doing quiet a lot of presentations, I've improved my critical thinking skills and have learnt how to complete my assignments correctly and get full marks for them. During 2 semesters of the degree program I was taking before the one I am taking right now, I have learnt a lot of new information about modern markets and economics, I have taken such subjects as statistics, accounting, business law and business communications, as well as managing consumer markets and operations management. These courses are the ones that are the basics for any business-oriented job, which are really important to know before you step into the business world itself. All the courses are very interesting and lecturers try to engage students with the subjects by giving a lot of case studies, which are common nowadays.

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When I came to Singapore to study it was not my first time here, I've been traveling to Asia with my family beforehand, but it was my first time going somewhere abroad alone to study and for a long period. When I came, I just turned 17 and my spoken English was not that great, to be honest, I could understand everything, but I was very scared to talk, because I thought I would make a lot of mistakes in my speech. Also I did not know Singapore that well and it was very hard at first to get around here, without knowing anyone. After sometime here, I realized that Singapore is very safe, multicultural, that it is very easy to access different facilities for studying, as well as for entertainment. I had a cultural shock at first, I could not understand Singlish (the way Singaporeans pronounce some of the words), I could not get why people eat in food courts (the cheap places to eat, street food), because back home I would never trust such places, but here it is so easy, fast and cheap! I did not like the law about chewing gums (really miss them sometimes). All these small things, (the small things as I think now), were scaring me for a long time, while I was alone, but they disappeared the minute I became friends with Singaporeans, who taught me how and what to do in Singapore. Now I understand that I really love Singapore, even though it is very expensive, but people here are very open-minded and friendly, also there are a lot of beautiful places here, like Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By The Bay, Marina Barrage, Upper-Pierce Reservoir, Pulau Ubin, etc. When you are in Singapore it is also very easy to travel around South East Asia, everything seems so close, the travel time is very short and the tickets, whether you are traveling by plane, bus or boat, are very cheap (as for a student the money is always an issue, Singapore is the best start up point for traveling around Asia).

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Before I came to Singapore, I was very shy and quiet, I had a small circle of close friends, what, I thought, was enough for me. But after a while spending here, I realized that if you are very quiet and shy you will not achieve everything in your life, and I am very ambitious, I have big dreams, which I am definitely planning to achieve, so I have changed, my friends and family barely could recognize that girl, who I was before, after one year. I am more confident, communicative, I have plenty of friends, I am popular at university now and I even became a face of JCUS! I could not do all that if I still was shy and quiet.
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8.I can say that if you are still deciding where to go to study, I would tell you to come to Singapore! it is a magical place, which can definitely help you to find yourself, be more open-minded and confident! This is the place, where studying and social life coexist together. This is the place, where the dreams will come true! This is the place you want to pursue your education, trust me! The most important thing is, when you are here; do not hide behind the books and old friends!

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Be open, be friendly, be social, be you!

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