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Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

Participating in the EU-ASEAN Global Programme in Brussels.

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

Pei Shan (third from right) co-led a team to engage diplomats in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

On a study visit to Washington D.C. organised by the University Scholars Programme.

Ling Pei Shan

Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Alumna, NUS Arts & Social Sciences and University Scholars Programme

A holistic education and global exposure programme at NUS enabled Pei Shan to discover her passion and realise her potential. The multidisciplinary learning experience of the University Scholars Programme offered opportunities for Pei Shan to nurture her interest in international relations and public administration.

A Political Science major, she was actively involved in regional and international events, including ASEAN-related activities such as the ASEAN University Network Public Speaking Competition and the EU-ASEAN Global Programme. Her overseas exchange at the University of Washington further cultivated within her the qualities and skills to fulfil her aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A well-rounded individual, Pei Shan was Chair of the University Scholars Club Special Projects where she directed and staged a musical production and also a member of NUS Voices.

Why NUS ?

I chose NUS because I wanted to be home yet enjoy a global education. I found what I was looking for through my participation in the exchange programme at the University of Washington and the many other overseas programmes.

I have a keen interest in international relations and public administration and so I chose Political Science as my major. However, I wanted to learn things beyond Political Science. The University Scholars Programme (USP) provided me with a multidisciplinary education and enabled me to venture out of my comfort zone within my home faculty. I even remember reading a module on Mathematical Modelling! Being in USP also meant that I could read modules alongside students of the Masters programme at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, which was in line with my keen interest in public administration.

How did NUS prepare you for your career?

Looking back, I benefitted a lot from programmes organised and nominated by USP including the ASEAN University Network Public Speaking Competition, EU-ASEAN study visits to Brussels and Jakarta, as well as my exchange programmes in the United States. These experiences developed my passion for interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures and learning from their different perspectives.

USP, being a multidisciplinary programme, enabled me to take on modules outside of my Political Science major. The mentally stimulating discussions made me realise that being open-minded to new experiences and receptive to different perspectives, while defending my own, was important. These are qualities I believe are critical for a Foreign Service Officer tasked with safeguarding and advancing Singapore’s interests.

Overseas student experience

I chose the University of Washington in Seattle for my Student Exchange Programme and was there for one semester. I took the opportunity to sign up for interesting modules such as Minority Representation in Politics and US Constitutional Law. I also participated in the events of the Washington Bus – a youth movement which encouraged political participation (since voting is not compulsory in the US). It showed me how politically engaged and involved some youths in the United States are.

Student life

I chaired the Production Team of the University Scholars Club to put up a gig called “Eventually…”. It was a performance which showcased the diverse talents in USP including pop singing, choral singing, theatre, dance and script-writing. The gig took place at Far East Square Pavilion and it was great fun!

Advice to prospective students

Take full advantage of all the facilities and programmes offered by NUS. Go for modules that interest you. Join programmes that will stretch your mind, bring you to different places and enable you to meet more people. Initiate and participate in projects and activities that please your heart. In short, have fun!

For more information, visit NUS Arts & Social Sciences