The scramble and search for interim semester trips begins in October. Facebook group chats, Skype calls, and daily conversations are invaded with plans for the upcoming interim selections. Selection for the interim trips is prioritized by grade, with seniors having first pick of prime interim trips. This year, coveted trips featuring South African safaris, Bhutanese biking adventures, Mongolian dog-sledding and Japanese ski sessions were some of the first to go. And yet surprisingly, almost every year, so are a select group of interim semesters that remain in Singapore. When seniors could have their pick of trips to any number of exotic locations, why would they choose to stay local? As two seniors who decided to stay in Singapore for interim, we decided to ask our fellow peers on the all-senior Singapore Global Studies trip what they thought.
For senior Justine deJesus, her consideration for staying in Singapore was “more of a financial thing” and about “learning to prioritize.” As a senior, she has had valuable past experiences abroad with the Interim semester program, and was looking forward to enjoying her time in Singapore with a good group of friends. DeJesus best enjoyed the day at Universal Studios, stating that it was “not something I would ever do on my own.” But most importantly, deJesus’s experience on the Singapore Global Studies trip allowed her to make new connections. Although she acknowledges that she was already acquainted with many of the seniors on the trip, outside of a happy birthday wish on Facebook, she had “never had genuine conversations with these people” — something the relaxed pace of this interim allowed ample time for.
Senior Justin Pham also agreed that his reason for staying in Singapore for interim this year was because he “wanted to hold back and save my parents the trouble of paying for another expensive trip” since he was able to “go to places like Vietnam and Japan in the past which were quite expensive.” He had also heard from his friends who chose the Singapore Global Studies trip last year that it was a “relaxing and chill trip that allowed [students] to experience things in Singapore for free.” He went on to elaborate that he enjoyed the laid-back pacing of the trip and that it allowed for activities he never would have done in Singapore on his own, like visiting the Singapore Art-Science Museum. Pham was able to “interact with some people he hadn’t talked to in a couple of years, so it was nice catching up with them.”
Senior Lauren Kang offered similar reflections. She found interim in Singapore “relaxing and enjoyable,” calling it “the perfect trip for anyone who wants to relax and have a good time without spending a penny.” Her reason for staying wasn’t much different from others, being that she simply wanted to “explore Singapore before leaving for college” and to save money.” Kang stated that her favorite memory from interim was “bonding with her favorite friends and eating an unimaginable amount of food for free.”
The experiences offered by the Singapore Global Studies interim provided seniors opportunities to bond with their peers before graduating and to explore their current home country in a more engaging and exciting way. Not only could students enjoy participating in many activities without spending any money, they also got to relax and reap the benefits of unscheduled free time each afternoon after interim was over. All in all, we’d say this interim based in our home city of Singapore was a week well-spent.