Lovely day to all reading this blog, and to all those not reading it too!
The weather is just wonderful here in Singapore – with rare waterfall-like rains. It seems that the period of uninterrupted good weather has finished, and the monsoon season has eventually come into force. Thanks Singaporeans there are covered paths to almost any destination – the most relevant piece of infrastructure to any country lying somewhere near the equator.
Actually, it doesn’t matter for me that it is raining cats and dogs here, because I anyway get to enjoy my exchange. No, it is not because there are covered paths all the way to McDonald’s. This is because my agenda here is like living the dream. The nerd student’s dream – one might say J It was precisely so, before I attended the Singapore Motorshow 2017 and had a different kind of pastime and experience for a change. Singapore does not cease to amaze me with an abundance of exciting events. No day is alike here, nor should it be. When two days in a row I was chosen as a volunteer for the Russ Swift stunt show, I thought that my pot of luck was deemed to have emptied, and the series of unthinkable events should have stopped. Nothing of the kind. It keeps happening to me. Here is a little story to it.
As you might have already noticed, I have been interested in economics and finance lately. Besides this, I have been researching on trading, investment and speculation – spheres contrary to each other. So contrary, that the proponents of both were, at times, about to put up a fight in disputes. To learn more and to somehow satisfy my interest, I have been searching for the information everywhere: I have been reading books, articles, attending seminars at the SGX and watching documentaries. Referring to the last, I have recently watched a British reality television series called “Million Dollar Traders”. Featuring in the series is a famous former Goldman Sachs’ Pan European equities trader Anton Kreil, who was mainly specializing on pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Do I even need to say that he is a real pro? That reality show stirred my interest even more, and I wanted to find out whether he has written any books on trading. It turned out that he hasn’t, but what I found was not less interesting and exciting. It turned out that he moved and is currently residing in Singapore.
Here he is his office in Singapore.
What a coincidence! How great it would be to meet him in person – I thought. Believe it or not, but I later found out that he has established Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management, and is running seminars and giving speeches every now and then. And where do you think he does that – yes, in Singapore! Next seminar is in few days’ time, and there are only few tickets left. I could not believe my luck and started to question my eyesight. No, everything is correct and I am not day-dreaming. I bought the ticket and started to look forward to the seminar’s date.
The day has come. In a nutshell, it was a great evening. I got to see and listen to an inspirational trading pro with a very extensive experience background. During the seminar he was talking about the worst and best retail traders’ traits, traders’ habits and the institute itself. It was very interesting and educative to learn what habits should be quit and what should be get into. He drew a common thread of behavioral patterns that retail traders display, and supported that with the up-to-date statistics from the institute. All in all, a good session on understanding yourself better and learning your potential weaknesses – an invaluable knowledge for someone seeing his future in trading.
It seems that there are even more seminars coming up, and I very much feel like attending those, as the price/value ratio is ridiculously low. I am also considering the courses they are running at the institute, but there are some obstacles to that. Let’s see what future brings!
This is all for today. I trust that you have days as fulfilling and exciting days as mine.
Have a great day and see you soon J
Good day to all J
Yesterday morning, I wrote a blog “The not so typical day on exchange in Singapore”, in which I shared with you my incredible experience from the Singapore Motorshow. I got to sit in the car with the holder of three Guinness World Records in precision driving, while at the same time he was doing J-turn stunts. Yes, I was in that very car at the time he was doing that. Nothing less than that.
Understandably, you weren’t the only one I shared my experience with. Pretty much everyone I met afterwards got to listen to the unbelievable story. I believe I was so thrilled that my excitement transferred to others and they could settle for no less than joining the ride with Russ Swift too. Very much willing to help them, I told everyone how to maximize chances of sharing the ride with one of the best precision drivers in the world. I myself could not get enough of the Singapore Motorshow on the first day. These brand new luxury cars captivated me and deprived of the sleep on that day.
They actually tried to sell me this Audi Q7. Was it the stunt ride that wore me out and made look older, or are they seriously lacking professionalism?
I wouldn’t believe one can leave that place indifferent. No man in his right mind can remain calm at the sight of Nissan GT-R.
Nissan GT-R itself.
His heart rate is sure to increase as naturally as it does upon inhalation. Then why wouldn’t I join my friends for the second time and make sure they do everything right to get in the car. So I did. It pretty much felt like déjà vu all the way, but not a false one. We did all the three queues and made sure that we were the first ones in all of them, but it later turned out that being the first in the queue doesn’t qualify us for stunt volunteers, and that the volunteers will actually be called out randomly from the audience. We had the front seats, so out chances were somewhat higher. You wouldn’t believe, but when the selection of volunteers started, I was chosen again out of 200+ people. I am joining the ride with Russ Swift again, second day in a row! I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I once again fill in the indemnity form, take a certain seat and wait for my turn. The next moment you see this:
I sit in this very car with Russ Swift.
Subaru made two of the best days in my life – that’s how you get people dedicated to your make. It all became possible thanks to the exchange I am having as a part of my studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. If you still have hesitations regarding your study place or whether you should go for an exchange, this might be somewhat of an incentive for you.
This is all for today and for the Singapore Motorshow. As for now, I don’t have any plans of going there again, but let’s see J
Have a great Sunday and see you soon!
Lovely Saturday morning to all J
In this blog today I would like to share with you something absolutely incredible that happened to me yesterday. A series of events so unbelievable and exciting I could not calm myself hours after, and could hardly fall asleep last night, as my mind was arousing my body by recalling moments from the ending day and bringing back the thrill. It was definitely my best day in Singapore, and one of the best days in my life.
It should be said that I have been interested in cars for all my life. Now that I am in Singapore contemplating all these luxury cars, this interest has somehow grown into an obsession. It is similar to a drug addiction: the more cars you see, the worse you want to see them again. Being in the grip of this obsession, I would eventually start to search the Web for where I can see more of these captivating vehicles, and I found. There was a Singapore Motorshow coming up, and I simply could not miss it. My lectures were not yet over yesterday when I found out that my friends are going there too. So I decided to skip the lectures and join them. I would have called it truancy, but there was more than a good reason to skip the lectures. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have such great memories and would have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So yes, skipping lectures can, at times, be the only right decision, and absolutely justified.
Coming to the show, I didn’t expect anything more than dozens of fancy cars put in a row. I would gaze, touch, sit in them, and take some pictures, and would have been pretty much satisfied with that alone. There was also something mentioned on the web site about a stunt show with limited admission. Already at the car show, I found out that the stunts are to be performed by world-famous car stunt-performer and precision driver Russ Swift, who is holder of three Guinness World Records and appeared in Top Gear show several times. The admission to the stunt show was, as I already said, limited, so I could not even be sure I will manage to get in. Nevertheless, I was seriously determined to do that. So seriously, that one hour later I found myself sitting in the car right next to world-famous stunt-performer Russ Swift while he was performing his world-famous J-turn stunt in a brand-new model of Subaru. I simply could not believe it was happening to me.
This is me sitting in the car on the right. On the left seat is Russ Swift himself.
You might wonder how I managed to get in the car. It might sound very easy if you do not take into account that in every other minute you can be plagued by doubts about the worthiness of even making an effort. This is what actually was happening to me, but I somehow managed to overcome the doubt and to try. All I had to do is to be the first in every of the three consecutive queues leading to the stunt show: stunt ticket queue, stunt show queue, and indemnity form queue. And I did it. It cost me one hour of awkward waiting, but the thing was absolutely worth it. If I knew in advance how spectacular it would be, I would not refuse to wait the whole day.
I just followed the predetermined plan, and here I am – sitting in the specially allocated section for stunt volunteers. My name is called out first and I head to join the ride with Russ Swift for his J-turn. I had a great adrenaline rush, and it felt like a dream. When the ride was over, I joined back the tribune to observe like as a spectator, which was not less exciting, as Russ jammed on the brakes to stop in half meter from the tribune or other brand-new models of Subaru cars. Besides J-turn, there was reverse parking, parallel parking, car dance, car on two wheels, and the well-known doughnuts moves.
Subaru made my day.
When the car show was over, I was kindly invited to a photo session with Russ Swift, where he signed a brochure for me and we made this nice picture.
Me with a world-famous precision driver and stunt-performer Russ Swift.
This is what an exchange student from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences might get to experience if s/he dares to go for an exchange. In connection with this, I would like to ask you to dare to decide and act, and it will enlighten and enrich your days, and maybe the whole life, as it yesterday proved so for me. Exchange in general has so far proved to be an absolutely worthy decision.
This is all for today.
Have a great day and see you soon J
Hello everyone J
I trust that you guys are having days as rich in events and activities, as I do here on exchange in Singapore. Believe it or not, but every other day brings something new into my life and experience. Today, for instance, our class had a company visit to Jurong Port Academy.
You might wonder what is so special about all these company visits. I can tell you that there is something special about every trip I have so far got to attend. The insights into real companies’ operations, their premises, and the possibilities to learn from the field professionals are simply invaluable.
I shall start my narration from telling you a little bit more of what Jurong Port is, as it, understandably, has direct relation to the company I had the chance to visit today. Jurong Port is one of the leading international multi-purpose ports. It is, however, far from being the biggest port even in Singapore, but it’s importance can hardly be underestimated. The reality is that the substantial part of all bulk, general and containerized cargo meant for consumption in Singapore, actually arrives to Singapore through Jurong Port. It is, therefore, of critical significance to the country’s economic well-being and standard of living.
So what does Jurong Port Academy have to do with it? It basically performs Human Resource Development function for the Jurong Port. Various professional trainings, qualification courses – JPA provides all of these and some other educational products. It might sound insignificant, but don’t be so skeptical about it. Port’s efficiency and competitiveness is its employees’ professionalism and qualification. Our visit was not a two-hour boring lecture. It was instead a two-hour insight you can get from no university – the insight of how HR solves real business issues: bargaining with unions on collective contracts, negotiating with employees, solving out legal issues and many more. Beside this indeed useful insight into HR and its real-life applicability, we got to try crane operator simulator – the only one of its kind in Singapore!
They told me I should have studied for a crane operator instead, as it seemed I was practicing months before.
After that we ate some snacks kindly served by the Academy, and headed back to the polytechnic campus J It was a great experience indeed, and I hope there will be more of such visits in the future. I will, of course, be sharing them with you in this blog.
This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J
Studying in Linnala campus is quite cool. There are numerous reasons why I like my school so i'll introduce you my favorite things about this place.
1. Food: Restaurant Linnala offers great and tasty food for affordable price. The mealtime is always a pleasant happening and the food tastes like heaven. My absolute favorite is the warm bread straight from the oven. Ravenous students may choose between main dish, soup or vegetarian option. There are also pastries, cakes and fruits sold in cafeteria.
2. People: There are not many students but it is actually a good thing IMO. Many come from abroad so it is handy to make contacts to other countries, I, for example made good friends with an Italian student and visited Trieste, Italy few years ago. It is super easy to make friends and many people wave at each other.
3. Facilities: School area is cozy and full of lovely places to sit down and relax. My favorite is a little room behind the school library. There you are able to use computer, read books or play mitt favorit, Swedish Trivial Pursuit. Other student-friendly area is naturally Saiko's Office located in "a dark corner" of the school. Music, free coffee and magazines are examples of activities in the office.
Remember people, today is a party day :)
Lovely day from Singapore J
Do you know what could be better than a warm rain-free day in Singapore? A warm, rain-free and sunny day with a clear sky. No wonder every day is warm here, and every other day is rain-free, but there are significantly less sunny and cloudless days due to the high humidity. You can usually do with one hand to count such days in a month. It is even more so during the wet phases of monsoon seasons, of which there are two here. The difference between the dull and the bright weather is, however, very noticeable, which makes Singapore a city most admired by night, as it can admittedly be a little bit dull by day if the sky is covered in clouds and there is no way for sunbeams to play with glass of the spectacular local man-made creations.
Notwithstanding this fact, the weather has been exclusively rich in such dayslately, and let us hope it will continue to do so in the future for the joy of us and other tourists in Singapore. Yesterday was one of such days, and we eagerly headed to the city center to make the most out of the day.
Our first destination was Orchard Road, which is a very famous local shopping street. Some of the shopping malls along the street are very lavishly decorated with marble, glass and elegantly furnished. The experience at some of them was like this: you come in; you amaze at how ridiculously high the prices are; you go out. Despite this awkward experience, the Orchard Road was a place to be, as the glazed surfaces shimmered in the sunlight J
View from one of the shopping malls at Orchard Road.
The Orchard Road might at some places also look like a bazaar, but trust me, there are very few places with bazaar-like prices there J
When we walked down the end of the street, and there was nothing left to see, we discovered that there is a large park nearby. By the time we made it there, it was about 6pm, and the sun was about to set. Our timing, both in terms of weather and time of the day, was absolutely perfect.
Surprisingly and fortunately, there were very few people in the park. Setting sun was accompanying us all the way up to the top.
What a great place for an afternoon walk or run. The place was filled with birds’ chirping and singing.
No comments needed.
Having made it to the top, we were rewarded with this wonderful scenery.
What shall I say? This place was a real discovery. I could not image there was such a spectacular “island of pure nature” and a viewing place right next to Clarke Quay, which is another sightseeing place here in Singapore.
This is all for now, but more is yet to come, as I am now as motivated to discover Singapore, as never before. Thanks to the Fort Canning Park.
See you soon J
I would like to continue my blog entries about my trips in Chile because I have much to share with you. This blog entry will be about my trip to Patagonia. If you have already read any of my blog entries that I have published, you remember that my trips were quite risky. This adventure is not exception.
Have you ever experienced the situation when you are in a very challenging situation and you need to make decision very fast. I think that all we do. It was late evening before my trip to Patagonia when I got message from my Belgian friend that she is not going with me to Patagonia and canceled her flight. I was shocked. And I had to do important essay that night because I didn’t have time to do it before. The most terrible thing was that we didn’t book hostel because I waited for her to return from her trip. Thus I didn’t have accommodation, any person to go with me, however, I had much work with my essay :D I didn’t have too much time to think about it. After 2 hours of hesitating, I finally decided to go because it is time of my life. Fortunately, I found a hostel and have written the essay.
When I was coming out my house at 4 a.m, I still thought that if I did not catch a taxi (it was too early) or I was late for my flight, I would stay at home. At that time, I had kind of apathy about what would happen with me next because I didn’t sleep an hour that night. I remember that moment when I waited for any taxi to catch. Santiago was sleeping and I could hear only sounds of cars. I had a shadow of the stress but these feelings were very deep in me and mostly I felt sleepiness. I also thought about risk I take and decided that we take risk every single day even at home and there is nothing to worry about. Probably I even like risk.
I caught a taxi and was on time. I took my seat and finally closed eyes. In my sleep, I could hear very scaring sounds. Plane was screeching during the whole flight but I could not open my eyes. I think that even if we fall down, I wouldn’t wake up. Anyway it was a great lesson which says that it’s better not to choose low cost airline because life is more valuable. One of our professors in Universidad de Chile works in a very big international company and flies to different places every 2 weeks. One time he told us that his company prefers not to buy ticket in that low cost airline because the risk is already big as he flies very often so it increased 2 times if he would fly with low cost company.
Hopefully, we landed. I went out of airport and took a bus to Puerto Natales which is close to The Strait of Magellan. There you can see real whales, penguins and many other animals. I would love to go there but, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough money and time to take the trip. The idea was to go to Punta Natales, change the bus and go to Punto Arenas.
In the bus on the way to Punta Arenas, I met two brothers from Australia who directed to the same place as me. They were very kind and friendly and I was glad to meet them. Even though they had different plan in Patagonia, we spent some time together. So I wasn’t that alone thereJ
Punta Arenas is a very small but cozy town which is located very close to Torres del Paine. Torrese del Paine is a national park, which is famous for its pure, amazingly beautiful nature. In this place you do not only admire views but also can meet puma. I’ve seen one and it was a great luck because a small number people have seen it there.
I arrived at Punto Natales in the evening, said bye to my new friends and went to my hostel. That hostel was definitely the best that I have ever seen in Chile because there was heating. I suffered a little bit from the lack of heating in hostels and houses in Chile and when I saw the heater, I got excited. In the same evening I decided to go around the city and find any excursions.
Torres del Paine is ideal place to hike. It has many places you can rent to put your tent . Australian guys wanted to do the most famous destination for trekking – double W trek. They invited me to join them but, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time for it. So I decided to do my own plan. First, I took an excursion to various highlights of the park. Secondly, I booked trekking to base of Torres del Paine which is the most spectacular view of the park. Thirdly, I planned to go to Argentina for 2 days and go to el Calafate and take an excursion to Perrito Moreno there. I could also reach Perrito Moreno from Punta Arenas but it was very expensive so it would be cheaper to go to el Calafate which was very close to Perrito Moreno.
Unfortunately, not all my plans came true. First day I went for trekking to base Torres del Paine. As far as we came out a bus which took us to Torres del Paine, it started rain. Bad luck. We hoped it would stop and went up for long time until a path in mountains became very slippery. Our instructor decided to delay the hike for the day after tomorrow. For me it meant that my trip to Argentina is canceled because 1 day wasn’t enough to get to Calafate and come back without being late for my flight to Santiago. That day I accidentally met Australians in supermarket and we decided to have a lunch together. We walked around the town, talked and had a coffee together. My day wasn’t that bad even though it rained as hell.
Next day I had an excursion to the main highlights for Torres del Paine. The views were amazing! The only obstacle to take a good photo was a very strong wind which literally sent me sprawling.
One of our last stops was the Lago Grey where glaciers are. I have never seen them before. I was excited.
On the end of the tour we went to Milodon Caves. Just imagine that all you see on the picture now was deep in water and then came out. After that stage ancient people lived there. Men hunted huge mammoth and women cooked it. When I’ve seen that huge mammoth, I couldn’t believe that it’s possible to catch and kill it.
On the second day I finally went up to base Torres del Paine. I took 6 hours to go there and back. It was quite exhausting because the path was from stones going up. Some people even quitted to climb up. For me it was very interesting experience because I’ve never hiked through mountainous areas before. When we were quite high first time, I was about to cry from beauty of pure nature.
I would like to return to Punta Arenas for W trekking in Torres del Paine one day and go to Puerto Natales to see whales in the ocean. I have very good memories from this beautiful place and hope that I will have opportunity to visit it again.
Good Sunday morning to all J
Looking three years back in the past, I remember myself standing at the crossroad of choosing the future course of studies, and, consequently, at the same time taking my first step towards identifying future profession. Luckily, I had a rather developed understanding of where I want to study and the field of work I see myself in the future. My study place aspirations have come true, with which I am more than satisfied. As for the field of work, let’s see what future holds. It is, however, rarely the case that school graduates have a firm conviction of what course of studies they want to pursue. I was exceptionally fortunate in that regard, as I could see my peers hesitating between the two or three exactly opposite fields of study. What is more important, is that I see some of them unsure whether they made the right choice - now that three years have passed, and they are about to graduate.
To avoid such situations, universities organize open houses, at which you, yet a schoolkid, get to learn more about different courses of studies, possible future professions, and, what is more importantly, obtain incredible hands-on experience. A recently ended NYP Open House was a brilliant example of what it should be like. As promised in one of the previous articles, I am going to share with you my experience.
Not considering myself a future applicant, I skipped the less interesting part of various diploma presentations and info stalls. I, however, didn’t fail to participate in each and every activity organized thereafter :D
I, for instance, had an opportunity to fly Airbus A320 simulator. And, of course, I took that opportunity without hesitation. It was an amazing experience. I made the take-off, and cockpit counterpart made the landing. We then reversed the roles and did it again. Flying simulator gives a surprising adrenaline rush, as you kind of grow into the role of pilot.
I was rolling in this driverless car! It really does the job, though at a low speed.
It is a “grab as much as you can with one hand”-type of activity. I grabbed so much they were sad I discovered their booth J
I tried to help this buddy lying on the ground, but I don’t think I improved his chances of staying alive, but rather lowered them L
It was all accompanied by energetic and beautiful dancing and singing.
This open house was a great marking of the end of holidays, and a great example of how career orientation should be set up. I am now thinking of becoming a pilot J
This is all for now. Have a great day and see you soon!
This view captivates me.
Hello everyone J
It is Friday, 6th of January, which means that only one weekend separates students of NYP from the commencement of new year’s studies. What an intrigue! Will students all over the world be able to follow our New Year’s resolution – that part of it relating to studies and assuring that you will from now on be the most diligent student in the universe, or at least not fail to attend the lectures.
The commencement of the next semester also means that there are only two months left to go before going back. The fact with respect to which I would like to say: Time really flies! It is running at a faster speed I get to enjoy it here! I better hurry up, and maybe sleep less or even give up sleeping, so that there would be more hours in the day? I am kidding, of course J But I am sure I will have hard times leaving this place.
Even though this last weekend marks the end of the term break, I feel just a little bit sorrow, as every student should, but only a little, and not at all desperate. It is partly due to the fact that the term break was absolutely fantastic. Yes, I admittedly spent a lot of time in the library, but nevertheless managed to explore Singapore not least thoroughly. I undoubtedly had wonderful times full of discoveries and even moments of astonishment. Several things fascinated me, made sit back and reflect at how interesting and diverse the world is. I am now ready to plunge back into my studies with renewed energy and interest, as the break gave me a great boost of positive emotions and motivation. How great it is that one can go abroad for a semester or two to discover the world, make friends and learn something new.
On the score of all written to this point, my sincere advice to myself and anyone would be to appreciate and live the moment. This is the life itself.
This is all for today J More is yet to come.
P.S. Dear Time! Please stop running so fast!
Good day to all!
I trust that you enjoy your last days of holidays, as I get to enjoy it here in Singapore. It is warm, sunny, and cheerful here J
But I, of course, I have come here not only because of the year-round warmth, sun and nearby beach. My choice of Singapore as a place of exchange was a well-informed one. I knew that I was heading to a country with a well-established and diversified financial sector, to a country which is often referred to as the “air and sea hub of Asia”, and a place where doing business is admittedly easier than anywhere else in the world. I was coming here with a firm intention to get the most out of it exchange. Learning from the best is best learning, right? With this in mind, I was thinking of ways how to get exposed to these spheres. As for financial sector and business-doing, Singapore exchange together with Bloomberg Terminal and numerous companies’ open houses and visits pretty much gave me that exposure and relevant valuable experience. As for the part of “air and sea hub of Asia”, I had a nerd’s dream to get to know Singapore Customs processes closer, and to find out what makes this country so attractive to shippers and carriers. And I did get the chance to do that!
When choosing study modules for my exchange in Singapore, I took a thought: “Where, if not in Singapore, should one study International Freight Management?” The answer was obvious, and I ticked that course as a preferred selection. Not long ago, when I was already here in Singapore, a teacher for the course announced that there would be some certification programme. I was curious and decided to find out. It turned out to be that much-desired J Certification Programme on Singapore Customs Procedure. I needed no second offer and signed right away.
It turned out to be a very informative programme. We first had a sequence of lectures on the main processes at the Singapore customs, customs tax regimes, national single window TradeNet platform, secure trade partnership programme and many more. It was then followed by a visit to a company where we not only got to know how this particular company interacts with the Singapore Customs, but were admitted to its Zero-GST (Goods and Services Tax) warehouse! It is indeed a very interesting system, which implies that goods are already in Singapore, but wouldn’t be taxed until they are released from the warehouse for sale.
The warehouse’s Command Center shouldn’t necessarily be huge
It is one of the many distribution centers in Asia-Pacific, so the stock is not very large, since medical-device do not generally have long shelf-life.
Should there be an emergency of stock-out in a hospital, medical devices can leave the warehouse in under two-hours’ time.
I hope my exchange will continue to be a sequence of such a nice learning opportunities.
This is all for today J
See you soon.