The first thing that struck Miss Chia Hiong Hiong when she entered the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) was how she had to pick different clothes to wear every single day.
Said Miss Chia: “In JC, I didn’t have to think about clothes. We just wore a uniform every day and that was easier.”
The 19-year-old, who is doing the Foundation in Biomedical Sciences course at MDIS, said entering a private school means you have to make more choices on your own. It may be a whole new world for new students entering MDIS, but Miss Chia said they get a lot of guidance from the lecturers and other staff. She takes us on a journey of what her typical day is like at the school.
Miss Chia first makes a stop at the Student Resource Centre at the MDIS campus on Stirling Road. “Here is where we collect new books for new modules.We have six books per term for this course,” she said. She started the six-month course in August last year and will finish it next month. She takes six modules per term and she is now in her second term.
She then heads next door to the Student Service Centre to meet up with her student coordinator to ask some questions about her timetable. Miss Chia said: “Our timetable takes some getting used to. For example, whenever have the same lesson during the same time slot every week. It depends on lecturers’ timetables and other resources.” She added:
“Last semester, I wanted to drop a mathematics module as I was already exempted from it, so I went to see the coordinator to arrange that.” Mr A Saravanan, 21, who is in charge of three courses at MDIS, said: “I have a lot of students coming to see me and calling me every day asking questions about lab groupings and other administrative matters.We make it easier for students to ease into their schedules at MDIS.”
After that, she heads for the library to meet her classmates to discuss homework. “It’s always easier to discuss stuff with classmates to clarify any doubts wemight have,” she said.
Another way students can clarify lingering doubts is by watching previous lectures online. All lessons at MDIS are recorded and uploaded online on their virtual learning centre called the MDIS Blackboard. Said Miss Chia: “All you need is your student ID and your password to login to the learning centre. All students are issued a student ID and the password when they enrol.”
LUNCH AT FOOD COURT
Since she has a bit of time just before her lab lesson, she heads down to the Kopitiam foodcourt for a quick lunch. She takes her Kopitiam card which was issued to her when she started school. “Students get a 20 per cent discount when they eat at Kopitiam. We can also use the card at other Kopitiam outlets in Singapore and enjoy a 10 per cent discount,” she said.
After lunch, she rushes off to Block G for her three-hour molecular cell biology laboratory lesson, where she and her classmates make copies of a strain of DNA which they extracted in a previous lesson.
She said: “We all have to wear our laboratory coats for the lesson and remove them when we leave the laboratory to prevent contamination. “The labs at MDIS are much better than those in JC and secondary schools. The equipment is better here and we are exposed to a wider range of materials.” This term, she has a laboratory lesson once a week. “For one module, students doing this foundation course have two to three lab sessions per term.”
In all, she has been enjoying her journey at MDIS and plans to enrol in the biomedical sciences degree programme in April . “I like this place and I want to continue studying here,” she said
By Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS)
Source:[The New Paper 09012012] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.
Reproduced with permission