Undergraduate Adam Farid Tang Ming Yang hopes to take care of pilgrims on haj missions after he finishes his course in medicine at Tongji Medical College in Wuhan.
The 21-year-old discovered the need for doctors to be part of haj missions from Singapore to Mecca in Saudi Arabia after speaking with friends who had gone on the pilgrimage. "That's a dream of mine, to be able to help," he said.
On Saturday, Mr Tang received a bursary of $4,000 from the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore in Onan Road. The bursary covers converts, children of converts and those born Muslim. Mr Tang's father is a convert.
A total of $118,000 was given to 61 students pursuing either a diploma or a degree.
Mr Tang, who is in the second year of his studies, said that the award will help with his school fees.
His school is part of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. He decided on the university because of cost constraints and the good reputation of the school.
His course has been moved online indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic and he left Wuhan in January.
Mr Tang had wanted to study medicine in Singapore after graduating from Nanyang Junior College, but was unsuccessful in his university application. He then went on the unconventional path of studying medicine in China because the six-year course is less expensive there, compared with more popular options in Australia and Britain.
His mother, 60, is a teacher and has been the family's sole breadwinner after his father, a 70-year-old former police officer, retired in his 40s. Mr Tang is the youngest of five children and his family lives in a five-room flat in Woodlands.
He said he decided to be a doctor after a three-day observer stint at a family clinic, where he watched how the doctors tended to the needs of patients. "I find magic in healthcare, in medicine," he said. "I don't want to be someone who just gives treatment... I want to be someone there for my patients."