Thee A*STAR Scholarship

Bạn chuẩn bị sang Singapore du học trung học 4 năm theo học bổng ASTAR? Bạn không biết điều gì sẽ chờ đợi mình trong bốn năm học tiếp theo? Đừng bỏ lỡ những dòng chia sẻ của chị Hoàng Ánh Quỳnh, Anderson Junior College ’13 về quá trình học trung học tại Singapore nhé!

You emerged from the interview room, breathing heavily. You hugged your mom and both started to cry. Tears of joy — you got the scholarship for which you’d been working your butt off! You felt like you were on top of the world. A super star among the other dull flickering lights them losers, though A*STAR doesn’t stand for any celestial objects (forgive my horrible sarcasm). However,  you have no idea of what’ll come next after your long and agonizing holiday filled with anticipations… and maybe false expectations.

(Let me cut to the chase before I go on prating) Girls, you’ll probably suffer from PMS almost every time before your class tests, your assessments,  your mid-years, finals, prelims. And why are there so many exams every term? You’ll probably swallow your first big fat F9, E8 and the like. Guys, same for you, plus that pressure to complete that set of pull-ups and muscle trainings in the gym, though you’ve never before known what gyms are there for. Brace yourself for the torture of PE classes. Before you know it, you’ll churn out the “lah”, the “lor”, the “meh”, and you think you have a tongue infection. You’ll probably also walk turbo-ly faster than your countrymen back home. And before you become too kiasu-ly occupied with DSA-ing into RI (trust me, you’ll eventually comprehend these acronyms in the acronym nation)…

Please remember to abide by the all-time favourite motto #workhardplayhard. Discover your passions, your niches by taking up some new hobbies, joining more activities and signing up for courses, subjects you’re curious about. Do some pranks to your teachers on April Fool and Halloween (I’m not responsible for any unwanted consequences). Go camping, hiking, dragon boating… Be *mildly* crapulous with your new friends at Pastamania, Din Tai Fung, Manhattan Fish Market, Pepperoni pizzeria, Say Bons (I can’t keep my saliva in my mouth)… Singapore is every tummy’s paradise, so make sure you don’t miss that out… and maybe it’s okay to go broke — once in a while (chuckle). Explore the cultures, the meanings of those sparging days-off throughout the year, some of which you can’t even pronounce correctly. Visit the Hindu, Taoist, Muslim temples and churches. Finally, beware(!) because your international/multicultural friends would love to teach you swear words in their languages without you even realizing. Do take revenge. Finally finally, change all the ‘z’ in “realize”, “dehumanize”… into ‘s’: use British English! I hope this helps. Don’t worry,  you’ll have a great time!

Image taken from saybons Singapore official website at

Image taken from saybons Singapore official website at

– Author: Hoàng Ánh Quỳnh (Hannah Hoang), Anderson Junior College ’13, Tufts University ’18.

Updated June 2014


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