International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal

ISSN: 1757-1938 SJR : 0.847 SNIP : 1.89948

SMU Sharpens the Global Edge of Its Undergraduates

In partnership with 31 leading universities, SMU will organise the 2019 Study Abroad Fair to boost global exposure opportunities for students 

Singapore – Singapore Management University (SMU) will feature 31 leading universities at the 2019 Study Abroad Fair on its campus on 31 January 2019. International exchange students currently studying at SMU will also be at hand to share with students, insights into studying and living in their respective home universities and countries. Taken together, SMU students will get to learn first-hand about semester and short-term study opportunities offered by SMU’s expansive global network of 226 partner universities in 178 cities across 46 countries. The Fair is part of SMU’s commitment to increase overseas exposure opportunities and enhance support for students, ensuring all undergraduate students participate in at least one overseas programme to gain an edge and be global-ready with widened perspectives, enriched cross-cultural experiences and broadened networks of friends.

Professor Lim Kian Guan, SMU’s Vice Provost (Undergraduate Matters), said, “We are committed to creating opportunities that enable each of our undergraduates to study abroad for global exposure and cross-cultural immersion. Through global exposure, students will be able to prepare themselves for future careers in fast-rising economies of Asia and be exposed to innovation-led powerhouses of North America and Europe, while building the confidence and soft skills to navigate a global environment. The Study Abroad Fair is a platform to connect our students with local experts of prospective destination universities who can best answer their questions and add clarity during their decision-making process for an enriching global experience.”

Partner universities that will be present at the Fair include University of California, Los Angeles, University College London, Peking University, Seoul National University and University of Sydney. (Refer to Annex A for full list of participating universities.)

Toh Yi Min, a Year 3 undergraduate at SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business, who has completed three overseas exposure programmes, said: “I am glad that SMU has provided many opportunities for me to study abroad and be immersed in foreign lands. I got to visit second and third tier cities in China, where there are abundant business potential to tap, and where I made lasting friendships with students of different nationalities.

“Global student programmes are a great opportunity to quite literally see the world through different perspectives. People often talk about how eye-opening their international exchange experiences were. I think that you only truly understand what they mean when you have been through it yourself,” said Kelvin Fan, 24 years old, a Year 4 undergraduate at SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business. “My international exchange to Wharton in the USA taught me to better communicate and collaborate with people of different backgrounds, to always be mindful of differences in perspectives and assumptions, and prepared me to be comfortable with the complexities of work and life after graduation. There are a great many things that we do not know, both about the world and also about ourselves. These overseas stints were in a sense, transformative for me.”

For more information on SMU undergraduates’ overseas experiences, please refer to Annex B.

“I was initially unsure and even conflicted about where to go for my overseas exchange. Thankfully, I got to meet fellow students and experts at SMU’s Study Abroad Fair, who answered my questions and offered their views on what each university within a country could offer. This helped me with decide which university to go to,” said Hong Yang, 24 years old, a third-year undergraduate from SMU School of Information Systems.  Hong Yang attended SMU’s 2018 Summer Abroad Fair and is presently on an international student exchange programme with Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Boosting global exposure opportunities to students

Based on the latest statistics, 87% of the 1,922 SMU graduates from the Class of 2018 experienced at least one form of global exposure activity during the course of their university education at SMU;  56% graduated with at least two global exposure trips under their belt.

Starting from 2018, undergraduates joining SMU will participate in at least one global exposure activity prior to graduation. Global exposure also forms a component of the University’s new Core Curriculum, which will be rolled out in August 2019.  SMU strongly believes that these global exposure activities will broaden students’ perspectives, offer students more opportunities in this global world, and help students attain skills that are critical to thrive and succeed in today’s dynamically changing workplace.

International exchange is the most popular form of global exposure taken up by students.  At present, SMU collaborates with 226 universities in more than 178 cities spanning some 46 countries on a range of student mobility programmes for semester exchanges and short-term study. The University’s International Office is continually establishing new university partnerships to expand the overseas opportunities available to SMU students.