GEM booklet (view).pdf

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    https://www.facebook.com/gemstudentclub

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    GEM Student Club

    Who are we?

    Previously known as the Global Immersion Programme (GIP) Student Club, our club has recently

    expanded to include participants in all student exchange programmes under GEM Discoverer and

    GEM Explorer. Further information on exchange programmes offered in NTU may be found online

    at NTU Global Programmes: http://global.ntu.edu.sg/global/Pages/gdp.aspx

    What do we do?

    GEM Club aims to be a touch-point for all outward-bound and returning exchange students by:

    - Providing opportunities for students heading to the same region to meet locally prior to going for

    exchange

    - Facilitating information sharing by students who have returned from overseas exchange

    How can you participate?

    Outward-bound students

    Outward bound students are welcomed to attend our upcoming tea session to obtain mutual con-

    tacts and meet potential travel companions. Student coordinators will also be on hand to facilitate

    ice-breaking and provide information.

    Returning students

    Returning students are encouraged to join GEM Club as committee members. By doing so, they will

    have the opportunity to organize future events that promote student exchange in NTU, while get-

    ting to know other exchange students. They can also volunteer on an ad-hoc basis for specific

    events held throughout the year. Returning students are eligible to participate in the I Travel, I

    Eat, I Shoot Photo Competition to win attractive prizes! Look out for the competition details fur-

    ther in this booklet.

    *Updated information regarding our activities and photo competition will be available online on the

    GEM Club Facebook page.

    1

    Packed for a trip overseas, but your luggage weighs a ton? Many travelers face th

    question: What and how much should I bring with me? Heres a tip or two, based on o

    perience (and some extra information gleaned off the web), that we hope you will find u

    you are faced with the dilemma of choosing between your favorite book and a pair of e

    While were at that, we thought itd be helpful to include some safety and security tips a

    ing to a foreign land can be intimidating, so being prepared would put some of your fears

    1. Pack according to the weather and climate of the your destination.

    Research thoroughly on the climate of the country you are visiting what season will it be

    are staying there? If you are leaving in January for a cold place, we presume you would

    freeze up like an ice popsicle. So leave that extra singlet and shorts at home! You can a

    new clothes for spring or summer when the weather turns warmer. If youre going to a p

    it will gradually transit into autumn and winter, then bring sufficient jackets and sweate

    can wear, but dont bother stuffing those thick down jackets into your luggage. Chance

    wont need them until few months later. Plus, you can always buy these warm winter clo

    you are at your host countryits usually cheaper, and there will be more variety to choo

    2. Small bottles often do the trick for toiletries.

    Invest in travel packs or clear/see through bottles that comply with airlines carry -on lucies. Instead of lugging a big bottle of shampoo around in your luggage, you could fil l se

    bottles with the stuff you need, and refill them when you run out. These small bottles w

    in handy too if you are going for short weekend trips!

    Tips & Tricks for the road

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    3. Zip everything in!

    Divide your clothing and pack them into ziplock plastic bags (i.e. underwear, shoes, T-shirts, one

    bag for each type). Firstly, compressing the clothing creates more space when air is squeezed out;

    secondly, it makes life easier if you need to take something out of your luggage instead of having

    everything tumble out, you can take the plastic bag you need and keep some private items away

    other peoples prying eyes. Remember to keep the bags and reuse them for future travels!

    4. Keep important items separate.

    Try to split up your valuables (credit cards, cash, etc.) in different compartments and pockets, so

    that you wont lose everything at one go. If you have pockets, always have a bit of cash stuffed in

    them for emergencies you could also use the cash to pay for small items without taking out and

    exposing your wallet to potential pickpockets.

    5. Save an electronic copy of all important information.

    Before you leave for your trip, its best to scan your documents (passport, tickets, acceptance letter

    from your host university, etc.) and send it to your own e-mail. In the event you lose something,

    you can always access your e-mail to print it out again. If you need a replacement passport, it

    would also speed things up if you have a copy of it to show the authorities. If youre carrying credit

    cards, you might want to save the banks contact information, in case you need to cancel the cards

    right away. Also, having the contact information of your host universities and next-of-kin in your e-

    mail will be useful.

    6. Vigilant, vigilant.

    Be alert and aware of the surroundings as you explore new places. Keep an eye (or best, a hold)

    on your belongings, especially in areas like trains/bus stations and tourist attractions, where people

    with swift hands are likely to take action. Be discreet when taking items out of your bag, you

    wouldnt want others to know exactly what things you have in your bag. If you need to consult

    maps, choose a brightly-lit place where you can sit down, or have your back against a wall, so thatthere wouldnt be anyone sneaking up to you.

    With all these tips in mind, we hope you are feeling more confident about embarking on your trip.

    All the best on your exchange!

    3

    If you have been offered an exchange placement a

    it, great! After the flurry of applications and packi

    trip, all thats left for you to do is to get into the ri

    for the exchange experience. For many students, t

    the first time they will spend such a long period of time far away from home. Hence, m

    ration is just as important as having your bags packed and travel information handy.

    Going on student exchange is not just an easy way to clear as many academic un

    ble, or an excuse for a long holiday. Asking yourself what you hope to achieve through

    ence and setting personal goals will help steer the decisions you need to make while a

    will gear you towards greater personal growth and cultivation of friendships that will las

    the memories of your trip have faded.

    One of the keys to a unique experience is to be more than a casual tourist. It pos

    know local students and familiarize yourself with the social customs and history of the c

    are visiting. This will greatly enrich your appreciation of the places and local practices y

    Besides that, having an open mind to understand the value systems of different culture

    the effect of culture shock and help you adapt better to your new environment.

    The great thing about being on student exchange is getting to live with an intern

    dent community. Instead of sticking to your own clique all the time, make an intentio

    befriend students from other nationalities. Sharing food from your own country i s a fun

    mention delicious) way to make new friends. A few useful tips include brushing up on s

    home-flavoured recipes and bringing souvenirs from home as gifts. Interesting facts

    own country can also be good conversation starters and will be helpful for cultural prese

    Student exchange is also an opportunity for you to develop life skills such as bud

    communicating well with others. You will most l ikely have to share accommodation and

    plans with other students, hence learning to compromise is essential for an enjoyable sta

    a foreign country may cause students from the same university or country to rely mo

    other. This can lead to lasting bonds of friendship but can also cause a greater intensity

    faced. No matter what, remember to maintain a positive attitude and constantly keep in

    family members back home.

    Getting the most out of your student excha

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    In conclusion, having clear goals will enable you to have a successful exchange programme.

    Though you may initially feel uncomfortable about being outside of your comfort zone, the adap-

    tation process will cause you to mature as a person. With an outwardly focused attitude that is

    receptive to learning new things, student exchange will prove to be one of the most enriching

    experiences of your life.

    I Travel, I Eat, I Shoot Photo Competition

    GEM Explorer/Discoverer participants for May 2012 - April 2013 are eligible to participate in this

    photo competition. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes are up for grabs in each of the two categories below.

    Up to 10 consolation prizes will also be given away for shortlisted photos. So hesitate no longer

    and submit your entries from 11 March - 7 April 2013!

    Category 1: General

    Submit a photographic shot of you or you and your friends in a setting that best encapsulates

    My most defining moment in my overseas program in your host country. Provide a short de-

    scription (50 words max) of the place and your feelings at that moment.

    Category 2: Food

    Submit a photo that can best represent the food cultur