25 February 2020: Open House 2020 goes virtual as Yale-NUS brings campus experience online for first time

By Evan See

The Yale-NUS Admissions & Financial Aid student associate team. Image provided by Cai Lize.

Yale-NUS College’s annual Open Day is set be held in the virtual world for the first time.

As part of the National University of Singapore’s e-Open House, the College will be holding its Open Day online from 26 February to 5 March 2020.

Held annually, Open Day is an opportunity for prospective students to experience the College’s innovative curriculum and residential living. In previous years, Open Days have included sample lectures, campus tours, and opportunities to interact with students and staff members from various departments.

This year, these opportunities will be shifted online instead. The e-Open House programme will feature several exclusive live sessions held online on 26 February for students to interact with staff and students. Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Laura Severin will be sharing tips on the application process via Zoom video conferencing, giving prospective students insights to how best present themselves in their applications.

Another live session will be held with current students on the College’s Facebook page, where prospective students and their families can ask questions about academic and residential life opportunities. A tour of the College campus will also be hosted by current Yale-NUS students through a livestream on Instagram.

Apart from these live programmes, the College’s e-Open House website features video content created for prospective students. These include talks by interim Dean of Students Dave Stanfield on College residential life, and by the incoming Director of the Common Curriculum, Associate Professor of Humanities (Literature) Mira Seo on the Common Curriculum and how it impacts student learning and experiences. The Common Curriculum is a set of courses, which all Yale-NUS students study in their first two years, that introduces them to foundational concepts and modes of inquiry across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. This content is accessible from now until 5 March.

While the majority of live events are happening on 26 February, the College will hold additional live events on other dates as well. Another application tips session will take place on 6 March via Zoom, while a live session with the Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) will be held during the same week. CIPE is a department in Yale-NUS that creates global opportunities to enhance students’ academic learning, broaden their perspectives and hone their skills and character. Details for these will be released at a later date.

Betina K. Choa (Class of 2021) is one of the many Student Associates working with the Admissions & Financial Aid office on the e-Open House. Having worked with Admissions & Financial Aid on previous Open Days, she feels both excited and nervous about this year’s virtual Open House.

“It seems a little bit more nerve-wracking to be giving a live tour to a camera, having no idea how many people are watching,” Betina said. “At the same time, I’m very excited to see how all these new possibilities will unfold.”

In spite of the challenge posed by the circumstances, the College’s Admissions & Financial Aid team remains optimistic about their outreach.

“There might be some concern that having a virtual Open House means moving away from the traditional face-to-face interactions that people are comfortable with,” said Ms Jasmine Seah, Director of Admissions. “However, Open Days are one of the many platforms we use to engage our potential students. We have always maintained strong face-to-face contact with applicants outside of Open Days.”

For instance, Ms Seah explained, the College’s Admissions & Financial Aid team has consistently held weekly visit days, as well as application tip sessions where Admissions & Financial Aid team members offer insights to prospective students on the application process in person.

Beyond its traditional groundwork, Ms Seah believes that moving to an e-Open House could even be the next step in the College’s digital outreach strategy.

“We’ve always had a very robust digital strategy as part of the admissions process,” she said. “We’ve been reaching out to students on social media as well as conventional media like e-mail. Embracing an e-Open House would allow our very global prospective student base to interact with us in an even richer way.”

You can visit the Yale-NUS e-Open House page from now until 5 March.

Time (26 February)
Live Session
12.30pm – 1.30pm Application Tips Session by Laura Severin (Dean, Admissions & Financial Aid) on Zoom
2.00pm – 2.15pm Residential Living Talk by Interim Dean of Students: A Distinct and Defining Component of the Yale-NUS Education on Facebook (pre-recorded)
2.15pm – 3.30pm Student-led campus tour on Instagram
3.30pm – 4.30pm Meet our Kingfishers: Sharing and Q&A from Yale-NUS students on Facebook

Updated on 19 June 2020: Outdated links have been removed.