25 June 2014: Yale-NUS welcomes the diverse Class of 2018

Written by Clare Isabel Ee | Image by Yale-NUS Admissions & Financial Aid 


The incoming Class of 2018 looks to be an eclectic mix of talents, skills and personalities, with so many musicians, artists, scientists, and even a YouTube vlogger arriving very soon. On 17 June 2014, Yale-NUS College officially announced its second intake of 177 outstanding students to the Class of 2018 from around the world.

“The incoming class hails from 35 different countries and represents a highly talented, inspired, and intellectual group of students who will become the next generation of global leaders,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Kristin Greene. “We are in awe of the contributions they have already made as entrepreneurs, authors, researchers, musicians, actors, adventurers, and social entrepreneurs. The diversity and curiosity in our student body spark lively debates and exchange of ideas in our community of learning. We can’t wait to see how our new students will push their intellectual curiosities and talents even further at Yale-NUS College.”

Similar to the inaugural batch of students, 60 percent of the incoming students are Singaporean, followed by 10 percent from the United States, while there are also students from India, South Korea, and Europe. The College attracted more than 12,000 applications this year, and the admitted 177 students come from 95 different schools on six different continents.

One incoming student is Simonas Bartulis, a Lithuanian citizen who is actively interested in debating, Model UN conferences, school government, and organising events. “While there were some aspects of Yale-NUS that worried me, such as moving into a largely unfamiliar (and humid) country, or having to spend some time working in Singapore, I knew that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Simonas said. “The College is new and I can help shape it, I was easily convinced by the staff that academics here can easily rival with the best universities of the world, and I get to challenge myself, which will enrich my learning opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Singaporean student Cheong Hui Ping is enthusiastic to start contributing to Yale-NUS. In her high school, she enjoyed activities such as drama, community service and caring for the environment. “I wanted the opportunity to be among the pioneering batches to create a new college culture, and the option of studying liberal arts in an East-meets-West context,” she said. “Yale-NUS College is a new option in Singapore and I am excited to go off the beaten track.”

Jeffrey Tong, a Singaporean who is interested in community service and volunteering, photography, and environmental and sustainability projects, also shared his thoughts: “There’s simply no other college like Yale-NUS in the world, which offers an unparalleled education within a closely-knit community that is located not too far from the comforts of my home! It’s also a new college where endless possibilities await, from starting clubs to organising events. I really love that there will be an abundance of overseas opportunities for greater exposure too.”

With the increase in the intake this year, the College’s plan to grow its class size to 250 a year remains on track. The total expected student population at full capacity will be 1,000 students. Come 2015, the Yale-NUS community will move into its permanent campus located north of the main NUS campus at Kent Ridge.

“I can’t wait to share the next four years with a new community of friends, exploring the world with them while remaining grounded at home. I can’t wait to see myself grow as a creative and reflective thinker, and I look forward to the multitude of introspective moments coming my way. I can’t wait to start new clubs and learn new skills, getting thrown out of my comfort zone in the process. I can’t wait for Yale-NUS to begin!”
— Shaun Lim Hsien Yang, Class of 2018
“People at home think I’m crazy – it’s highly uncommon for Africans to live in Southeast Asia. They said, ‘How are you going to a place without anyone from home? Who will make you sadza? Who will do your hair? Go to America instead!’ and I replied, ‘Then I’ll be the one of the first, so that I can make it easier for those who proceed me’. I’m honestly so excited to allay their fears of being a significant minority and to further establish connections between the two continents that are now my home. As a young African woman studying Computer Science in Singapore, I could be a game changer, and that’s completely worth it!”
— Iwani Zoë Mawocha, Class of 2018

Check out Iwani’s YouTube vlog she uploaded after experiencing Yale-NUS!

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