Singapore Management University Marco Polo Report
S2534584 Chenkai Fan
A. General report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad My host institution is Singapore Management University. Due to short history and small size, it’s not still very famous globally although it’s one of the best business schools in Asia. The fall semester of SMU is from 18th of August to 5th of December in 2014. 2. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey I received the nomination from RUG in Feb, 2014. In April, I began to receive a range of instructions and other related documents from SMU exchange office to help me arrange all kinds of practical matters. 3. Residence abroad - Arrangements visa/ residence permit The arrangement of visa is not difficult. First, you have to receive a related document from SMU. After that, you can register and pay on Singapore immigration agency website. Finally, you will get a PDF visa for you to enter Singapore. To get your residence permit, you have to make reservation first on the website mentioned above. When you arrive, you should go to immigration agency on your own according to your reservation time. The queue is quite long and most applications for student pass (resident permit) are condensed in several days so finally it took me about 5 hours to wait for my student pass. It would be wisely for you to consider this when making arrangements. Vaccination is not required for exchange students in Singapore - Arrival and departure dates I arrived in Singapore on 6th of August and I left Singapore on 4th of December. - Accommodation SMU does not provide on-campus accommodation, but they recommended a student hostel called Evans Hostel. I lived in the Evans Hostel, it’s near Singapore Botanic Garden and it took me 40 minutes to commute to the university. The housing price was quite high. The hostel charged me 450 EUR for a little room shared with another exchange student per month. The hostel also offers breakfast and regular cleaning. The attractive part of this hostel is many exchange students of SMU live there so you can easily know other exchange friends. - Reception and introduction The reception and introduction arranged by SMU was helpful and interesting. They even arranged a campus tour and city tour for exchange students to get better view of the school and Singapore. Furthermore, there are many orientation programs like buddy program, host program and food trail to help you know new friends and discover the city and Asia culture. - Student life, culture and leisure The student life in SMU is busy and colorful. Besides studying, there are all
kinds of student clubs, international cultural events which you will have fun with. And you can also travel around South-east Asia at weekends, in recess week or after you final exams. - Language The formal language in Singapore is English. However, the English spoken by Singaporean has strong accent and many special expressions, so it’s called Singlish. You need some time to get used to their Singlish but it’s not a big problem. Actually many exchange students can even speak a little Singlish when they leave. 4. Grant - Amount I receive 1000 EUR in total for grant, it’s definitely far from enough but it is nice to get the grant to cover some part of your cost. The housing price in Singapore is much higher than Groningen, but the food is cheaper. It’s not difficult to find cheap and delicious food in Singapore. 5. Study (general) The study in SMU is quite different from traditional university. SMU has collaboration with Warton Business School and get help and advice about how to establish a world-class business school. All courses are small size and class participation is extremely emphasized. For many business courses you can’t get a good grade if you don’t actively participate in the class discussion. Besides, SMU has affluent budget and offer very high salary to the professors, so most Professor in SMU has a Phd degree from a top university and has strong academic background. As to the study, it’s a little intensive. The pressure comes from course content itself and competitive local students. Local students have good soft skills and they are very hardworking as well. So if you are taking a course you are not familiar with in the past you may suffer more or less. One thing very special for SMU is that almost every course contains a group project and it’s usually based on the course content but beyond course content. How to contribute properly in the group project will be a big challenge for exchange students because local students don’t really trust exchange students. In 2014, the lectures starts 18th of August and ends in middle November with one recess week in the middle, then you got one study week for review. After that was the two-week exam period. I have taken four courses, they are Computing technology for finance, Analysis of derivative securities, Management accounting and Japanese. These courses are well organized with specific learning object and good teaching approach. 7. Summary impression Singapore Management University is a first-class business school with leading business education method. The school culture is open, active and outgoing. I have very good impression for my exchange experience.
B. Specific report Host institution and study period My host institution is Singapore Management University and my study period is Term1 of 2014-2015 academic year from 2014/8/18-2014/12/5
QF205 Computing technology for finance 1. Lectures and literature I got one lecture which lasted for 3 hours per week. No compulsory literature, all the content are included in the slides and assignments 2. Overview of lecture program The professor will illustrate the slides during the lecture. You’d better read the slides before the lecture because it’s very brief, you need to make many supplements by yourself. 3. Contents 1. Introduction to Matlab and Excel VBA o Programming environment o Dissection of simple sample codes o Debugging tools 2. Programming concepts o Data types o Operators o Expressions and statements o Flow controls o Functions o Input/Output 3. Algorithms o Sorting and searching o Root-finding o Gauss-Jordan elimination o Finite difference approximation 4. Financial Modeling o Analyzing market history o Option pricing by Black-Scholes formula o Option pricing by Monte Carlo simulation o Option pricing by binomial tree o Option pricing by solving the Black-Scholes differential equation using finite difference method 4. Lecture-related activities There are two coding assignments, one for matlab and one for VBA. There is also one group project which require your team to develop a basic application for financial models. 5. Relevance to Groningen study program No comparable course in E&BE program.
6. Study load You need to attend the lecture every week. Besides, it took me about 3 hours per week to study the content in the slides every week. 7. Assessment in Groningen Class Participation: 20% Homework/Project Assignments: 30% Final examination (Closed-Book): 50 % 7.5 ECT is obtained from this course.
FNCE305 Analysis of derivative securities 1. Lectures and literature I got one lecture which lasted for 3 hours per week. Textbooks are supportive materials and class slides and homework assignments are main materials. Recommended literature: John C. Hull, Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives, 8th ed., 2011 2. Overview of lecture program The professor will illustrate the slides during the lecture. You’d better read the slides before the lecture and make some preparation. There are many calculations in this course. 3. Contents
4. Lecture-related activities There are 4 in-class quizzes. There is a also one group project which require you to do simulated trading and try to make as much profit as possible. 5. Relevance to Groningen study program Capital structure& financial planning provide basic knowledge about option. 6. Study load You need to attend the lecture every week. Besides, it took me about 3 hours per week to study the content in the slides every week.
7. Assessment in Groningen Class Participation 10% Quizzes 20% Group Project 20% Final Exam 50% 7.5 ECT is obtained from this course.
ACCT102 Management accounting 1. Lectures and literature I got one lecture which lasted for 3 hours per week. Recommended literature: Garrison, Ray H., Noreen, Eric W., Brewer, Peter C., Cheng, Nam Sang and Yuen, C.K. Katherine - Managerial Accounting, Asia Global Edition 2e, McGraw-Hill, 2015 2. Overview of lecture program The professor will illustrate the slides during the lecture. You’d better read the slides before the lecture and make some preparation. There are many calculations in this course. 3. Contents
4. Lecture-related activities There are 2 in-class quizzes. There is a also one group project which require you to do analyze the financial report of a company by management accounting methods. 5. Relevance to Groningen study program This course may be similar to the management accounting course in the business economic track. 6. Study load You need to attend the lecture every week. Besides, it took me about 3 hours per week to study the content in the slides every week. 7. Assessment in Groningen Class Participation 10% Quizzes 20% Group Project 20% Final Exam 50% 7.5 ECT is obtained from this course.
JPAN201 Japanese 1. Lectures and literature I got two study session which lasted for 1.5 hours each per week. Recommended literature: Minna no Nihongo Elementary 1-1 Main Textbook, Asian Edition, 3A Corporation, 2002. 2. Overview of lecture program The professor will teach some vocabularies and common expression in every session and give us time to practise with our buddies. 3. Contents This course is designed for students with no previous background in Japanese. It provides an introduction to the four skills of language: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as Japanese culture. Our emphasis is on oral communication skills in basic survival situations in a Japanese speaking environment. Hiragana, Katakana (Japanese scripts) and basic Kanji (Chinese Characters) to enhance reading and writing skills will also be introduced. By the end of this course, students will be able to: Hold simple conversations on daily topics. Use proper greetings and expressions in daily situations. Tell time, date, prices and telephone numbers. Write short essays on family, friends and daily activities. 4. Lecture-related activities There are three assignments, many dictation tests, three progress assessment quiz and one oral communication test. 5. Relevance to Groningen study program No comparable course in E&BE program. 6. Study load You need to attend the lecture every week. Besides, it took me about 4 hours per week to go over the vocabularies, phrases and dialogues. 7. Assessment in Groningen Hiragana/Katakana/Grammar & Listening Tests: 45% Composition: 10% Oral Communication Assessment: 25% Homework: 10% Class Participation/Performance: 10% 7.5 ECT is obtained from this course.