Experience Life Like a Local is a 2-day programme run by Singapore Management University (SMU) for both international and local tertiary students to interact and participate in a series of local experiences. With almost 400 participants in total, the event brought local and international students together across their different backgrounds by diving deep to explore the Singaporean lifestyle.
Participants were first introduced to Singlish by local writer and former academic Dr. Gwee Li Sui. Through a talk and skits by student leaders, the group was able to learn about the evolution of Singlish and about its usage in today’s context in a fun and interactive manner.
The participants also joined in heartland tours where they discovered various neighbourhoods together. This enabled participants to learn more about each neighbourhood’s unique norms as well as familiarise themselves with local businesses in the area. Some students were even able to try their hand at prata flipping or making curry puffs too!
The experience of living like a local would also have been incomplete without a visit to our local hawker centres and coffee shops, where the students were able to bond over food. Another activity was local childhood games, which were also familiar to students from neighbouring countries as well.
Through the various activities, local and international students were able to get a glimpse into many local traditions that have become an important part of everyday culture and living. With these shared experiences of living like a local, the participants forged new friendships and bonds across cultures and languages.
This project is in support of the NIC 10th anniversary celebrations.