National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School student Nicolaus Fernandez never imagined that he would one day be studying at an Ivy League university.
When the 24-year-old graduate of Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Business Management enrolled in university, he did not feel as smart as his peers from junior colleges, even though his poly grade point average (GPA) was 3.89 out of the maximum 4.
He said: "In poly, our lecturers would tell us that it would be harder for us in university because we didn't learn a lot of things compared with the JC students."
However, come August this year, he will be heading to Yale University as part of the Yale Visiting International Student Programme (Y-VISP).
The Y-VISP is a year-long honours programme organised by the American liberal arts college, which selects students from partner institutions to study and experience campus life at Yale in Connecticut.
There are only six partner institutions globally, with NUS being one of them.
Since the programme's inception in 2011, 32 students from NUS and 52 students from Yale-NUS have gone on the programme. This year, eight students in total from NUS and Yale-NUS will be heading there.
Number of students from NUS and Yale-NUS heading to Yale University this year under the Yale Visiting International Student Programme.
Mr Fernandez will be joined by two other students from NUS Business School - Ms Low Qiran, 20, and Mr Lim Tze Wei, 23. All three are pursuing a degree in business administration, and just completed their second year at NUS last month.
"The curriculum at business school, with emphasis on presentations and class participation, made me more confident and helped me through the rigorous application process," said Ms Low.
Applicants had to face a 16-person panel interview as part of the selection process, which also included the submission of three essays and recommendation letters from professors.
Students on the programme are awarded a scholarship from the NUS International Relations Office to offset the cost of studies at Yale. The one-year stint counts as an academic year and students will return to complete their honours year at NUS.
All three students are looking forward to the experience.
"I would like to build a name for Singapore by initiating something new in the university, and in that sense contribute to the students' lives in a tangible way," said Mr Lim. Yap Li Yin