My four-year old grandson thought being in the tropics would mean lying in a hammock under a palm tree. Singapore is in the tropics, and there are palm trees, but so far I have not seen a single hammock.
Instead I am sitting in a very nice office with air condition (sometimes it is freezing cold) and am discussing exchange possibilities for undergraduate students between the Asian School of the Environment and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Stockholm University. The idea is to facilitate the exchange of students (and researchers) by providing clear guidelines as to which courses can be taken, which of the courses are in English, and how much credits each of the courses corresponds to. And of course having a contact person at each university, who can help and guide the students.
Spending some time here in Singapore would be a fantastic experience for our students, who could join excursions to for example Bali or Sumatra, who would learn much more about the geology and environmental changes in this part of the world and who could do small project works related to a variety of subjects. And Stockholm University, and Sweden as a whole would be a great experience for Singapore students, who have never seen snow and ice, or done fieldwork in a country that far north. Taking the students to Utö or a bit farther away to places where we currently have excursions to (Iceland, Islay, Greece) would certainly be a life experience!
Next week we will go on with our discussion and given the enthusiastic director of the Asian School of the Environment, Charles Rubin, I am sure that we will get a fruitful exchange going!