ALP – If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

16 May

By Kevin Josiah Neo (Theme 6 – Architecture & Design)

Duck spotting with some of the ALP people

Duck spotting with some of the ALP people

Within 2 weeks we went from preparing for our term 3 finals, to actually sitting for them. After which we rushed to move out of our hostel and had  a brief period settling down at home. Following this, many of us had to start preparing for orientation, and subsequently attend orientation (making many new friends) and then recover from it (who doesn’t have post-orientation hangover huh?). And for those of us on ALP, we had to pack and depart almost within a day!

Its so bewildering how drastic life can change in SUTD!

As much as i’m excited about the whole ALP Program, i do wish that i had more time to settle down back at home (spending more time with the family before flying off/ settling my OG down in SUTD during their first week in school). Nonetheless, we are already in Hangzhou and I really can’t wait for the actual program to start!

The group of us on the ALP probably ended up on this exchange for a variety of reasons. Personally speaking, i was a little disappointed that i didn’t get the MIT exchange (which i had previously applied for), but i realized that the ALP Program might offer me more than what the GLP could ever possibly offer to any burgeoning design student out there! To be honest, i have always had a prejudice against Chinese stuff, maybe because of all the negative press about China and maybe my lack of exposure to the country. However i realized that an important aspect of university life (and being a good designer/engineer/architect) is about daring to try new things to challenge current ideas! (whether it belongs to you or other people) So this 3-4 month trip might serve me as a good platform to challenge all my preconceived notions about the world (China included) and the way everything in it works.

Sometime during Term 3, i had a short talk with King Wang about ALP (he is SUTD’s Director of Strategic Planning) and i remembered him emphasizing the importance of observing things, both big and small, during our time in China. These things would be the ones that really count towards building our life experience. Most people don’t usually fully relish their time overseas, limiting themselves to known comforts, rarely moving off the beaten track. So for the duration of the ALP Exchange, I shall try my best to push myself beyond my comfort zone, and share as much observations/insight into the Chinese way of life and stuff like that with whoever that reads this blog! All these on top of all the Architectural stuff that we might be doing in our Theme (6 – Architecture and Design), and any cool or crazy stuff we end up doing! =P

Exploring uncharted territories in China with my roommate Benny(in the picture) and others..

Exploring uncharted territories in China with my roommate Benny(in the picture) and others..

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