SMU works with students unable to meet overseas stint requirement

We thank Mr Han Ming Guang for his letter (SMU's new graduation requirement disconcerting; March 27).

All Singapore Management University (SMU) undergraduates can choose from a myriad of overseas exposure programmes offered by the university.

These range from international exchange and community service projects to study missions and student club expeditions.

The trips can last anything from about a week to 15 weeks, depending on the programme.

The costs involved also differ widely depending on the region and duration of travel.

Presently, 87 per cent of our graduates in the Class of 2017 have taken up these opportunities to go abroad, and more than half of them have chosen to go for more than one activity or programme.

As a forward-looking university with an unequivocal and determined mission to ensure that all our students are prepared for the global workplace and are not left behind, we want to see to all ways to facilitate their global exposure and help provide financial support for those who are financially needy.

In the coming academic year, besides enhancing financial support for needy students, we will also widen the range of overseas activities to cater to different student needs and interests.

In particular, we are looking to increase the number of programmes to South-east Asia.

These trips will give our young Singaporeans an opportunity to gain a good grasp of the region's opportunities and challenges.

Being closer to home, these trips will also be more affordable.

We are aware of students who have difficulties travelling due to medical conditions or being the sole caregiver of ailing family members.

We have university counsellors and faculty advisors with whom these students can discuss their concerns.

SMU is committed to our students' welfare and success, and we work with them to explore alternatives and even consider exceptions where necessary.

Lim Kian Guan (Professor)

Vice-Provost (Undergraduate Matters)

Singapore Management University

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'SMU works with students unable to meet overseas stint requirement'. Print Edition | Subscribe