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Thirty-three AUS students make cultural visit to Singapore
Thirty-three students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) enjoyed a cultural visit to Singapore from January 27 to February 1, 2014. The students, who are part of Office of Student Affairs' Student Multicultural Learning Program, represented eight nationalities.
The cultural visit started with a panoramic bus ride driving around famous Singapore landmarks including the Civic District, Padang playing field, the historic Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. On the following day, the students visited Merlion Park, a major tourist landmark, and the Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore's oldest Buddhist-Taoist temples, before driving past Chinatown. The group stopped by a local handicraft center and observed craftsmen at work. They then visited Little India.
The students continued their cultural expedition on a colorful journey into the history, lifestyle and unique characters of the Peranakan culture. The students walked through the Spice Garden to learn about the herbs and spices that go into Peranakan cooking. A brief visit to a local Peranakan shop had students fascinated by the display of Peranakan costumes, embroidery, jewelry, porcelain, furniture and craftwork. The visit was followed by a traditional Peranakan lunch at local specialty restaurant.
Exploring the country's rich flora and fauna, the students visited the award-winning garden attraction, Gardens by the Bay, featuring more than 500,000 plants; the Flower Dome, featuring nine different gardens from six continents; and the Cloud Forest, featuring orchids, pitcher plants and ferns from the highlands. Students enjoyed learning about different sea creatures in a visit to the Underwater World, and a visit to Singapore Zoo featured various mammals, birds and reptiles, including some endangered species.
On the entertainment part of the tour, the students took a ride on the Singapore Flyer to observe the beauty of the city from a height of 165 meters. Students took a cable car ride to reach Sentosa Island to enjoy various rides and shows. They also enjoyed a day-long visit to Universal Studios Singapore.
Addressing the students at the conclusion of the program, Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, said, "We have designed the Singapore trip to provide you with a rich cultural experience. I hope all these experiences add to your personal growth and development. I wish to thank you all for your interest in our programs and for your enthusiasm to explore other cultures. We wish to see you again in our programs."
"Discovering a country such as Singapore was truly an amazing experience. The culture was very rich and exotic. The highlights of my trip included going to Universal Studios, zip-lining and visiting the Spice Garden. I encourage students to go on these trips, as one gets to expand their skills and knowledge," said Meera Al Mulla, a senior chemical engineering student.
The AUS delegation was headed by Dr. Moza Al Shehhi and accompanied by Dr. Munketh Taha, Director of Student Development and Organizations, and supervisors Virgilio Mateo Jr. and Raja Subramanya.