Dressed to Impress

Today we well and truly kicked off the official part of this study tour, beginning with an early morning rise dressed in fully formal suits and ties for our visit at the Royal Australian High Commission, I was very thankful that the weather was reasonably merciful today given our attire this morning. Unfortunately the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who represents Australia here in Singapore had taken ill and was unable to meet with us as planned, so instead we were hosted by two other women, one who primarily deals with politics more directly, and the other who deals with more trade and educational issues. They were rather impressed with our attire, mentioning that they felt slightly underdressed. Our meeting with them was a rather mind opening experience for me, before today I had no idea how much of a strong, close relationship Australia has with Singapore, in Defence, trade, education and collaborative research and development, in fact I was completely unaware of any such relationship whatsoever, so I was happy to have myself removed from that perimeter of ignorance. Given Singapore’s intensive investment in science education and development I think that this New Colombo Plan will be very beneficial for any Australian students studying science to do an exchange program here in Singapore because of NUS and NTU’s high world ranking positions in science education as well as their well funded facilities, also the internship, work experience and career opportunities that are available due to the large presence of research and development facilities. One of which we had the great privilege of visiting after a quick return trip from the Australian High Commission, which was A-Star’s IMRE (Institute for Materials Research and Engineering), a visit a very thoroughly enjoyed, I had never been to any sort of science research centre before and I must say that when we were looking at all the different lab equipment such as X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopes, Scanning Tunneling Microscopes, Atomic Force Microscopes, Scanning Electron Microscopes, Focused Ion Beams, Transmission Electron Microscopes and more, I felt almost like a kid in a candy store. I definitely look forward to the day I finish my education and start working in a research lab even more so after this experience. Cannot wait to visit the other research lab we will be seeing in the coming days