If you’re reading this, congratulations you are just one of the many who are thinking of having a chill semester with SUSEP. In case you still don’t know, SUSEP stands for Singapore Universities Student Exchange Programme or as we know it, local Student Exchange Programme (SEP).
This entry is specially dedicated for NUS and FASS students who are interested to embark on SUSEP with a focus on SUSS since that’s my Partner University (PU). You may or may not be thinking of applying to SUSS but the general procedures for the other local universities should be similar so the following information will hopefully be useful for you.
I thought of writing this since there are not many SUSEP posts out there for NUS students and considering this is the first time SUSS is onboard this great programme, nobody knows how exchange with SUSS will be like apart from the 6 of us (was shocked when I read that NUS will only send 6 full-time students to SUSS lol).
This post will go by chronological order and I will try to cover everything down to module mapping, timeline etc at different stages of SUSEP but do let me know in the comments if there is anything you want to clarify. Do read ALL information here since a mishap in one step could be, well quite troublesome.
What is SUSEP?
Already mentioned above. Similar to a SEP but with local universities namely NTU, SUTD and SUSS. Credits will be transferred if you passed the PU module and it is read on a pass/fail basis (that’s the most important part ain’t it).
Why go on SUSEP?
For me, I wanted a chill semester. If it weren’t for the exchange, I would need to do a 2k or 3k economics plus three 4ks economics modules and that is crazy. But on a more serious note, I really didn’t liked the 2k, 3k economics modules offered at NUS. They either are too financy or too macro or just have a crazy workload that deters students from taking it. I have always wanted to do EC2374 Economy of Modern China since year 1 but its heavy reading list and assignments really deterred me. Thankfully, when SUSS launched its inaugural SUSEP I was able to find similar module and mapped EC2374 successfully.
Note: My SUSEP is for AY21/22 Y3S2 so adjust the dates seen below when planning for your SUSEP in semester 1.
Week 4 to Week 6: Online application.
FASS SEP Office will send out an email invitations in Week 4(for all FASS students) along with a list of to-dos required for your applications. Do note that the requirements are:
- A CAP of 3.0 and above (or CAP of 3.2 in your last BA semester)
- Must NOT be your graduating semester
- Good disciplinary record
I honestly don’t know how they select candidates. This was my third time participating and I finally got a spot at my third attempt. Some people said it is based on seniority but I know a guy who went for SUSEP in year two? My friend with lower CAP also got a spot at NTU. Whatever your year of study or CAP is, just apply if you are interested.
At this juncture, you would be required to submit an online application form that requires you to rank your preferred PU, a personal statement that explains your choices and stuff like how you stand out, how you can be a good ambassador of NUS, and what you hope to gain. For my semester, the personal statement weighs more so do your job, do your research well and write a decent statement. PLEASE gather all the required documents e.g. unofficial transcript etc ASAP. The selection process is NOT first-come-first-served but it is best to get this application step done soonest since there may be a possibility where you lack documents etc.
Additionally, do a quick overview of what modules you want to do at which PU. You would be given the option to list the PU so take some time, find out the courses/modules that will be offered in the semester you are going for exchange in and see which PU you have a better chance of securing a spot + map successfully. Why is this important? For instance, you are an Economics student planning to go NTU (and NTU especially their economics is very popular). You wouldn’t want to write a nice statement, get a successful offer from NTU only to realise you cannot map a NTU economics module back to NUS Economics. Unless you like wasting time or am planning to fulfill UE requirements, otherwise don’t. NUS Economics has little room for flexibility and all its core modules cannot be mapped.
For the list of restricted FASS modules that CANNOT be mapped, see here.
But here is the catch, you are not able to map via EduRec until you receive the confirmed modules from your PU. But you need to know which PU modules you should apply for, what PU to rank first etc to apply successfully. This is a stupid feature which bugged me as I applied. It just doesn’t makes sense and I don’t get the rationale at all. It’s possible you get the PU modules but cannot map, or a PU module that you didn’t get can actually be mapped to NUS. Worst thing I’ve heard from my friends about NTU is that even if they approve your requests, you still need to go through their STARS WAR and everyone should know of the STARS WAR nightmare.
There is no escaping this death star (hah get it?) and to ‘bet’ your luck successfully, do your research research research. Try to find syllabus, reading list, assignments, whatever information you can dig out about the PU module you are interested in and match it with the NUS modules you want to do. Do the topics sound similar? Are there any similar NUS modules you can map to? Is the module even part of your discipline e.g. economics? If all else fails, don’t worry because there exists this thing called dummy modules (will get to that below).
For those interested in SUSS, click here to find the full list of SUSS modules they offer their students.
Also, be smart here. If everyone else is going for NTU, then why are you fighting for that few spots. Go somewhere you know people won’t apply. Apart from doing through research on what modules you are likely able to, crafting a killer personal statement lol and praying you get a spot, there isn’t really anything else you can do.
Week 8: Results and accept/reject offer from NUS.
If you reached this stage, hurray you are 40% done with the application. The SEP office will email you of your type of exchange (full or partial), PU and for which semester. Simply email reply them your decision but do note that there is a penalty should you later choose to withdraw.
Week 10 – week 11: PU application and module selection (differs from PU)
After accepting the offer from NUS, what NUS will do is send in your application details to the PU. The logic is this: You apply -> NUS reviews your application -> accepts/rejects -> nominates you to a PU -> PU reviews your application -> accepts/reject –> SUSEP confirmed. I think the PU will just accept the nominations from NUS so don’t need to worry about this portion.
So after you get nominated by NUS to your PU, you have to wait for your PU to send you an application form and this is the time for you to prepare essential documents like NRIC, photo, OFFICIAL transcript (yes, it is NOT the unofficial one on EduRec). Note that the timing and document required from each PU differs so read the email your SEP department sends carefully.
For those going SUSS, their office got back to me on a Week 10 Friday night and I was expected to prepare all my official transcript (I paid $10, took an ART test just for it…), ID photo, NRIC and LIST the modules I want to take by Week 11 Friday. The form looks something like this:
In the meantime, NUS SEP office will create a module mapping worksheet on EduRec. For non-SUSS goers, you do NOT need to take any actions yet. For those heading to SUSS, map your modules first, obtain the necessary approval from your department’s SEP administrator BEFORE submitting the SUSS application form. What does this mean? It means that you need to do a lot of research, gather your necessary links and whatnot and submit the module mapping request as soon as the worksheet is ready on EduRec.
Exam Week 1: Received confirmed modules from SUSS.
I only received the offer letter which includes a list of modules they offered. Thankfully, they gave me 5 out of 7 modules I requested and the other two were probably not given since they were from their full-time programmes. But there was a problem.
Possibly true for almost every other PU out there, module mapping is only done after the PU has approved and given you the modules you would read on exchange and this can be a tiring long process. For SUSS, this is entirely different. I was informed by NUS that module mapping should only be done after I have received the PU modules and hence, when I submitted the application form created by SUSS I submitted with the assumption that there will be a leeway for me to drop the SUSS modules should they fail to be mapped to NUS economics modules. Turns out that there was a penalty of $117.70 for every module I confirmed but dropped later. This meant that I needed to have NUS approve my modules mapping BEFORE I confirmed my choices with SUSS else I risk selecting a module that cannot be mapped to NUS.
It was a dumb move and till now I remain unsure why things were so different for SUSS but anyways, I brought up this issue with FASS SEP Office — to whom I owe my heartfelt gratitude to (not being sarcastic by the way) — and they suggested I expedite this issue with the NUS Economics department. THANKFULLY the economics office was quite understanding of my situation and approved ALL my module mappings the next working day. By the way, notifications of your mapping requests be it approved, rejected or actions required from you will have an email notification so you need be overly worried and check EduRec 24/7. Everything is done online so you need not submit any paper documents to NUS for approval.
But anyways, the point is when you do your research on modules to take, save a PDF or screenshot of the syllabus etc. Upload the syllabus on a Google Drive link so that SEP administrators of your department will have an easy time approving/rejecting your mappings; they look at countless each day so honestly, make your life and theirs simpler won’t hurt.
That’s all for now. I will continue in future posts on my experience with SUSS, their mode of learning and once the semester is over, my module review of CCS103.
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