Week 0 | Singapore!

summary

First post about Singapore lays out some of the background surrounding the trip and Singapore itself. This summer is going to be awesome!

Singapore! I'll be heading out in a couple weeks and to say I am excited would be an understatement. Unlike other trips abroad, I won't be going alone. Through the MIT-Singapore initiative, seventeen other students and I will be working with incoming students at the newly formed Singapore University of Technology and Design to build a campus culture. In addition, my internship will be at Temasek Life Sciences under Ian Cheong. The project will focus on testing a liposome encapsulated immunomodulator's ability to reduce tumors in mice. Plus I might get to learn some techniques for using Python and GPUs to run computationally intense algorithms on the side. Should be fun!

Both the history of the country (read any of the books by the father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew) and recent growth make it a perfect place to explore how the old is mixing with the new. Also, the country has a high percentage of non-citizens; it'll be interesting to see how this affects daily life, if at all.

I have never been to southeast Asia before, so it should be interesting using Singapore as a home base for exploring nearby Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. Singapore itself has a variety of interesting locations that should be of interest, such as the Singapore Zoo. Southeast asia has some amazing architecture. I recently finished a survey course called Global History of Architecture. It exposed me to all the amazing works in the region, from Borobudur to Shwezigon Pagoda. While it won't be possible to visit all of these amazing places, I'll try and talk to people who've been there and write about those interactions in future posts.


Borobudur

The cuisine of Singapore is supposed to be amazing; Ian suggested a book of 101 dishes (looks awesome!) and I've started eyeing foods I intend to sample, such as Peranakan Cuisine. Hopefully my stomach can last through the summer! There are also fantastic places to shop, such as Orchard Road, Suntec City and Sim Lim Tower. While I don't aim to break the bank, there should be all kind of cool trinkets that I can find and bring back to the States.


MIT-Singapore Crew!

Singapore should have a lot of interesting things to do outside the cuisine, like exploring crazy theme parks. Where I will be working has a recreation club and there are facilities at SUTD, which is awesome; though, the humidity and heat might damped that enthusiasm. It might also be possible to scuba dive and get certified.

And I look forward to getting to know the rest of the MIT crew! This is going to be fantastic!

-biafra

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