This past week, The Echo sat down to talk with Julia Goh, an eigth grader who spent the last semester of her seventh grade year in Singapore.
Echo: How long did you live in Singapore?
Goh: Six months
E: What was it like going to school there?
G: The school I went to was a private and international school, so it was very different from here. What was funny was that everyone thought I spoke really good English.
E: What was the culture like?
G: There are a lot of different cultures and everyone is very accepting of everybody else’s culture.
E: What was the climate like in Singapore compared to here?
G: It is very hot with very high humidity every single day. The main difference is that there are no seasons in Singapore.
E: How was the food in Singapore?
G: The food was delicious. There is a food stall on every corner, and you can get whatever you want.
E: What are some differences between Singapore and Williamstown?
G: A big one is the snow versus no snow. Another is the freedom I had in Singapore. My family didn’t have a car, so we took the bus everywhere. I would leave at seven in the morning, and would just have to be home for dinner. Between then, aside from school, I could do whatever I wanted.
E: What was it like to be a female athlete there?
G: There was definitely a gender bias in favor of the boys. The boys got first dibs on fields and things like that. But, all of the girls were extremely nice and supportive.
E: Relating to the laws and regulations, what was the atmosphere like?
G: It is a very safe place even though it’s a city. Because everyone is required to serve in the military or police force, there are police with weapons in the malls, but you can also go to them to ask for help, which makes it very safe. They also try to keep it clean. You can chew gum, but you need a specific license to sell gum. That way there is not as much gum just sitting on the street.
E: What was the best part about living in Singapore?
G: The yummy food.
E: Would you go back and live in Singapore again, and for how long?
G: I would definitely live there again for six months. I would live there during the winter, and then here in Williamstown in the summer.
E: What have you learned from living there?
G: I feel that Singapore has strengthened my acceptance for all cultures.