For those in National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, this post is for you!
How do I apply for exchange in NUS?
There are some criteria that you’ll need to fulfil before you can even apply for SEP. These include:
- Being enrolled at the NUS as a full-time student
- Have Completed at least two semesters of study before going on SEP
- Having at least one semester in NUS after returning for SEP before graduating (Some faculties would not allow you to go in your 4th year, do check with your faculty
- Having a minimum CAP of 3.0 out of 5.0, without any grade below “C” in any module
- Having sufficient financial means to cover the SEP (ranging from S$5,000 to S$15,000 per semester, depending on destination)
- Checking with the issuer of your scholarship to ensure there are no restrictions involving overseas study
- Satisfying partner institution and host country’s entry requirements
Every faculty has their own way of selecting students for exchange. Some uses purely the students’ Cumulative Average Points (CAP), others require interviews. However all faculties in NUS will use the same application for the Student Exchange Programme (SEP) called the:
Besides the usual personal details information, you’ll need to be prepared to prepare other details for your application. These include:
- Total budget for SEP
- Source of funding during SEP
- List of scholarships which support your SEP and its amount per year
- Statement of purpose (ie a short essay on why you want to or SEP – in some faculties, they base their decision on whether you get to go based on your essay)
- and of course.. your top 5 SEP choices (It is suggested that you apply to at least 3 different continents to increase the chances of you getting a place in SEP)
NUS Business School SEP Application Process
The business school has a unique SEP application process that no other faculties use.
“Moving in tandem with the BBA Programs’ alignment to the Business School’s mission to nurture well-rounded students who display the qualities of Analytical-thinking, Caring for the environment/community, and Enterprise, with effect from the application exercise for the Student Exchange Program for Academic Year 2013/14 (i.e. those applying to go on SEP in the semesters of AY2013/14), a refreshed grading system will be implemented.
The new criteria will consider the academic, co-curricular, competitive, and entrepreneurial and community involvements and achievements of each applicant.” – NUS BBA Official Website
The business school assigns points to each individual’s application according to 6 aspects and then ranks applicants based on their points. The diagram below shows the weightage of the respective 6 aspects to the overall “grade” of an applicant.
SEP Application Point Distribution
As you probably have noticed, the main bulk of your points still comes from your CAP. So CAP is definitely a huge factor in their decision to send you to a partner school for SEP. Your CAP will be re-weighted to 70% out of a possible maximum of 70 points, down to 2 decimal places. For instance, if your CAP is 4.0, then you will get 4.0/5.0 x 70 points = 56.00 points!
However, the other 5 factors are still very important and if you get 0 points in most aspects, securing a spot in SEP would be very difficult. If you plan to go for SEP, do try to get as many points in the 5 aspects as possible! Especially for those that you can definitely get full “marks” for (like attendance of business school talks, caring for community and CCA involvement). Start early! Everyone will be scrambling to attend any business school talk during the application period hence most talks will be fully subscribed during that period.
Now you must be thinking: how does the BBA verify all the 5 aspects? The answer is: you help them do it! As part of the application, you will need to submit 4 appendixes (for all aspects except achievements), which you can download from here, where you will write down everything that you have done related to the 4 aspects and get them signed and stamped by a coordinator of the organization. The last aspect, achievement, will be automatically processed using the office’s records together with your CAP. The submission of the appendixes must be in hard copy and soft copy (through a link that will be sent to everyone eligible for exchange during the application period).
In my experience, the most annoying part is that we need to get signatures and stamps from the BBA office to proof our attendances for past talks. If you do not already know, there are at least 5 different offices in the Mochtar Riady Building. When I was trying to get a stamp for a talk I attended in my first year, I was redirected 3 times to different offices at different levels in the building and took at least 30 minutes to finally find the right person who can sign and stamp my form. Apparently many of my friends experienced the same thing too. The best scenario would be to just bring your appendix form for any talks you attend so that the person-in-charge could sign it immediately after the talk (they may not have the stamps on hand though, especially if it is not the SEP application period. But you could always ask where their offices are to make your life easier.).
According to our conversation with the Business school SEP coordinator, they will start assigning students from most popular schools first (ie. partner schools with the most applications) and then rank the applicants to those schools by their points. They will allocate the slots available to the students with the most points from everyone who applied to the school.
SEP Application Timeline
I’m not too sure about the semester 2 exchange application timeline but I believe application starts around April yearly. For those going in semester 1 like me, the application was in October. The BBA SEP coordinator will usually send out an email about the SEP application briefing a few weeks before applications open so keep a look out for that in your NUS email. Some schools (like University of British Columbia (UBC)) are open for semester 2 applications during the October round too.
The school gives around 1 month for students to submit all their application material (including all hardcopy and softcopy appendixes). So there should be more than enough time for you to prepare everything before the deadline.
The internal offers were sent out at the end of January for my round of application due to the large amount of applicants. I think the internal offers were sent out earlier for other rounds. We had around 3 days to decide if we want to accept the offer. All this was done through the OPAS system.
After accepting the internal offer, the SEP coordinator will call for a SEP departure briefing (mine was during recess week) the semester before you leave for exchange. This briefing is when you will receive the official letter from NUS that you have been selected to go for SEP and this is also when they will give you more details of what is to come.
The application, however, does not stop after the internal offer. You would still need to apply to the host university – the timeline for this differs, depending on which school you are going to. So keep a lookout for SEP related emails in your NUS mail box.
That’s all for this segment, hope this clears some things up! If you have any questions, leave me a comment below 🙂