Adam Kennedy’s Singapore Stories

17 Feb

Adam Kennedy, one of our Bachelor of Development Studies students has been honoured with a prestigious New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarship. The Australian Government initiative is aimed at building relationships and developing a sharing economy that links the Australia with the Indo-Pacific. It also affords Adam with the unique opportunity to learn new knowledge and skills in a global context which will be influential to his studies.

Adam has been kind enough to share his experiences of the NCP and studies in Singapore so far…

Well here I am, arrived safely in the hustling urban, concrete jungle of Singapore (the little red dot). The city is electric, where else do you find a country that is so diverse, culturally rich, overwhelmingly friendly and safe. Singapore is so tolerant and respectful that they display all four languages spoken (English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil) within public spaces and infrastructure. There is definitely nowhere in the world quite like Singapore when it comes to multiculturalism.

Another key element to Singapore would be its food. In every district, suburb and neighbourhood a Hawker Market can be discovered. Hawker Markets can vary in size and usually consist of upwards of 20 local individual food stalls (no large fast-food corporations in Hawkers!). These food stalls consist of a variety of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian and western cuisines – you’re never out of new food choices! Hawker Markets are incredibly good value with an average meal costing $4, there really is no comparison here in Australia – and I’m not just here for the food believe it or not!

In November 2016, I was notified that I was successful in being granted a prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students who can meet a selective criterion of academic excellence, leadership in the community, adaptability and resilience and ability to contribute towards the New Colombo Plan goals of broadening knowledge building between Australia and the Indo-Pacific. The scholarship enquires students to undertake one-two semesters of study and undergo an internship.

The University I have chosen as part of my New Colombo Scholarship is the National University of Singapore (NUS). The reason to why I chose NUS is due to its reputation of being an institution of academic excellence, NUS is ranked as number one in Asia under the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and its geography subject rating is 9th in the world. I currently reside on campus in University Town (UTown) at the residence of Cinnamon College. The University, like Singapore is immaculate, perfectly designed with free, efficient transportation. I am undertaking a major in Urban and Regional Development, my subjects or “modules” focus primarily on urban and economic geographies. So far the subject content has been excellent, with fascinating insights into Singapore’s changing urban landscapes, its economy and tourism sector.

I will be continuing my studies here at NUS till the end of the semester in May. Afterwards I will begin an internship, which is yet to be determined.

For the meantime, I continue to study and explore Singapore piece by piece – the island is truly fascinating with incredibly diverse districts layered with temples, churches and skyscrapers. Nonetheless, Singapore balances its urban form by incorporating parks, trees and reserves with some spectacular hiking trails.

Well that is it for now, I endeavour to keep everyone up to date who wishes to read about the New Colombo experience. Until my next post, I wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year (year of the rooster).


Adam’s accomplishment is a great reminder about all the different opportunities available to UON students. It’s worth keeping an eye on the Scholarships page for any that you might meet the criteria for. Scholarships vary while some acknowledge academic achievement and study areas, others are awarded on the basis of equity and sporting achievement. It’s worth giving it a go to see where it might take you.

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