Going to a Singapore international high school can be quite the daunting experience, whether you’re a local or a newcomer to the country. The culture will undoubtedly be quite different from other schools you’ve attended, specifically if you’re enrolling in an international school for the first time. However, with the right mindset, it can be one of the best and most rewarding times you’ll have in your life. Here’s how to make these years count so that you can look back on them fondly in the future.

Familiarize Yourself With The Place

The best way to stop being a fish out of water is to, of course, dive in! Your new international school surely has much to offer, and it’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land. It’ll definitely come in handy when classes start and you need to quickly get from room to room or building to building. In doing so, you might also discover prime hangout spots and facilities related to your interests, along with places that are just good to know, such as offices or a tucked-away snack bar. Just doing a bit of exploring can make the place feel more comfortable and a little less alien.

While you’re at it, you may as well explore the area surrounding your new school, too. Singapore is one of the most vibrant and exciting places on the planet, and there’s plenty here for a student to see and do. There’s the opulent Marina Bay Sands area, packed with a wide variety of (free!) activities. Must-dos include taking a photo with the iconic Merlion statue down by the waterfront, checking out the foliage and marveling at the beauty of nature at Gardens by the Bay, going up to the Sands Skypark Observation Deck for a scenic bird’s eye view, and much more.

There’s also the famous Orchard Road, known for being Singapore’s most well-known shopping precinct. You don’t have to buy anything to have a lot of fun here. Consider seeing TANGS, the oldest department store on the island, before taking a step towards the future at ION Orchard, one of the newest and most impressive shopping complexes in the area.

You can even start to fall in love with the city right when you arrive. Jewel Changi Airport can only be described in superlatives; the words “magical” and “majestic” come to mind. This is no ordinary airport—it’s a lifestyle destination packed with things to see, do, and experience. Check out the famous HSBC Rain Vortex, easily the Jewel’s most identifiable feature. This indoor waterfall—the tallest in the world—is surrounded by the lush greenery of the Shiseido Forest Valley, a must-see for any nature lover. Jewel is also where you’ll find the only permanent Pokemon Centre outside of Japan, which is always a delight to visit whether you’re young or young at heart.

Sign Up For Co-Curricular Activities

In Singapore, extra-curricular activities are referred to as co-curricular activities, and they’re always a good way to collect varied and meaningful experiences that will make your time at your international school more diverse, productive, and enjoyable.

Joining a sports team as a co-curricular activity is always a good idea. Basketball and badminton are especially popular in this country, though you can also try other sports such as football, swimming, rowing, or track and field. Trying out for a sports team isn’t just a great way to stay fit, it can also help you meet new people, build long-lasting friendships, and learn the meaning of teamwork and camaraderie.

Joining a drama guild or becoming part of your school’s acting club is another popular co-curricular activity that can give you opportunities to meet new people and build confidence in yourself. There are also other performing arts variants, such as musical theater, dance, and school orchestras.

Finally, some of the most meaningful and memorable co-curricular activities you can take part in are ones related to community service and volunteerism. Look into the options that your international school offers; you can join a club that focuses on environmental issues that will take you on clean-up drives or nature trips, or one that involves assisting elderly members of the community. Joining clubs like these will expand your horizons beyond what you’re taught in the classroom, and they will surely bring you a wealth of experiences that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Build Your Network

Our final tip for having a memorable experience while studying at an international school? Just be open to new things! You make the best memories when you’re willing to put yourself out there and push beyond the limits of what feels comfortable.

One of the biggest advantages of attending an international school is the variety of opportunities it can offer you, and it would be a waste not to take advantage of them. Here, you’ll likely enroll in an International Baccalaureate program or take Advanced Placement courses, hoping to be able to get into a top university after school. However, no man or woman is an island, and some of the people you’ll meet in school just might help lead you to promising professional and business opportunities in the future. Cherish and nurture these connections you make in school, and don’t be afraid to build your network as early as now. Make friends, join activities, and always consider trying something new that you’ve never tried before. You might just find yourself having the best time of your life.

An international education is not something that everyone will have the chance to get, so if you’re enrolling in an educational institution in Singapore that provides just this kind of education, it’s well worth considering making the most of the opportunity. Commit yourself fully to the experience, and you’ll be rewarded not just with quality education but also with lasting memories and more opportunities for the future.

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