Duo Singapore Exchange Fellowship Award Essay

The below is a message from the International Relations Office (IRO)

Dear NUS students,

The DUO-Singapore Exchange Fellowship Award by Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to promote student exchanges between NUS and European ASEM members. The Award, based on merit, funds up to three pairs of students exchanges (3 incoming and 3 outgoing) between NUS and its respective partner university in Europe in any academic field. Each student will be  awarded 4,000 Euros, which will partially subsidise the cost of airfare, accommodation, living expenses, etc, for SEP. This award carries no obligatory bond period.


Applications for AY 2017/2018 are now open!



NUS students with the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • Are Singapore citizens/ permanent residents/ ASEAN citizens
  • Have been nominated for SEP to an NUS partner university in a European ASEM member country (Refer to the IRO website for the list of ASEM member countries which NUS has SEP partnership with)
  • Participating in SEP in Sem 1 and/or Sem 2 of AY2017/2018


Application Process

You need to submit BOTH an online and hardcopy application to IRO by Friday, 31 March 2017. More details are provided on the IRO website.


Please note that this deadline applies to ALL students going on exchange in AY 2017/2018.  Hence, students going on exchange in semester 1 and/or semester 2 are to apply now.


Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.


Further queries
More information on the DUO Award and its application procedures can be found at:  http://www.nus.edu.sg/iro/fa/sch/out/sep/duo.html.

For further enquiries, please contact the International Relations Office for assistance.
We look forward to receiving your applications for the DUO-Singapore Exchange Fellowship Award!


NUS International Relations Office


This entry was posted in Undergraduate: Student Exchange Programmes.

Hey at all, I am Philipp and new here,

I would really appreciate any advice you guys have for me to make my essay better and to spot my mistakes. I already have some questions:

1) When do I have do use an apostrophe? E.g. don't vs. do not, I'm vs. I am, etc.
2) My essay is too long (643 words). Which part would you advise me to shorten in order to stick to the 500 words from the task?
3) In the task it says "about your interest in the scholarship". I kind of feel like I didn't point that out enough but since it is obvious that it would reduce the financial pressure and does not include any courses or workshops I don't know what to write about the interest in it except for the financial aspect.

4) Any more ideas for the title?
5) Please especially checl my comma placement

Thank you very, very much in advance!! :)

Task: "Short essay of not more than 500 words about your interest in the scholarship."

The DUO Scholarship enabling Intercultural Competence

The main reason that moved me to study abroad is the improvement of my intercultural competence. An internet research on the term "Intercultural competence" provides plenty of different definitions, graphics and course offers that promise to convey this ability. Thus, there are several ways to become intercultural competent. In the following I will point out why I personally consider a semester abroad in Singapore as the best to achieve my goals, why cultural understanding is so important to me and how the DUO scholarship would help me to realize my plans.

Intercultural competence has become more and more important in the globalized world and I don't doubt it to be the key competence of the 21st century. As an exchange student in the U.S. in 2007 I had the opportunity to gain valuable experience abroad for the first time and to realize that the personal experience of the contrast of the own culture with a different one is essential to develop intercultural competence. In this context, the contrast between Western and Asian Cultures fascinates me in particular, which directed my attention to Asia in general when I started planning my semester abroad. With the term "Asia" I rather I've always associated countries like China or Japan and I frankly speaking, I didn't know much about Singapore at this time. Though, while visiting several information events and reading reports of students' experiences that changed quickly. Finally, in the counseling interview in my home International Relations Office emerged that the city state of Singapore as a gateway to the Southeast Asian world fits a lot better to my expectations and aims than countries in East Asia. Singapore is a cultural melting pot which offers me unequaled opportunities to enhance my intercultural competence. In addition to the main population groups, the Chinese, Indians and Malays, the Western world and its influence organizational structure is evident. So in the metropolis is a social structure has emerged, characterized by a unique cultural and religious diversity. This clash of so many different cultures in a single city allows me to experience not only one other culture, but several different and also their interaction with each other cultures over a longer period of time. This in turn is in my opinion a very special opportunity to improve intercultural understanding. Finally I am particularly strong interested in interlacing of Western with the Asian culture, which is more concise in Singapore than anywhere else on earth. The safe and well-ordered character of Singapore offers me a gentle introduction to Asian cultures, from which I expect to ensure that I will be able to exhaust semester academically as well in the way I intend to. The educational offerings of the National University of Singapore perfectly fit into my curriculum and furthermore there are courses which reasonably complement both my academic studies and my ambitions to develop my intercultural competence.

The DUO Scholarship would support my plan in two dimensions. Obviously it would reduce the high financial pressure on my intention, which even could take the wind out of my sails. It would help me to concentrate on my studies without having to worry about the costs incurred during the semester. In addition to that, the fact that the award is based on partnership supports my attempt to connect with people from Singapore in order to improve my cultural understanding. I may have the opportunity to meet my DUO-Partner and to establish that will exist far longer than the duration of my exchange.

In conclusion this opportunity to combine intercultural competence with academic challenges and a treasure trove of experience - all under the assuring shield of the DUO scholarship - is the perfect complement to my individual plans and ambitions. A successful application would strengthen my intention and motivate me to make more than push the envelope of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

my opinion is regraded and u can take long for:
- use " " when u want to quote an opinion of others
- in your essay, u should write little in the introducing and take your idea for body paragraph if there are many points
- " about your interest in the scholarship" , talking about motivation when have interest scholarship, ex: motive for studying, development brainchild, inside power of national... if u take care them


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