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Internship and Exchange: A 3rd year EEE student’s experience.

​​Third year NTU EEE student Loh Bao Wei is having a stirring year. In the first semester, she was undertaking her internship at the NTU EEE’s Satellite Research Centre (SaRC) and in the second semester she went to National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan to perform her semester exchange. Being interested in the research and development industry and being curious about the experience of being a research intern, Bao Wei chose to perform her internship at SaRC. The projects she worked on included detecting the number of people in an area and tracking their movement, and also non-intrusive heart rate detection by placing the sensor in front of a person. 

She was tasked to process raw ADC data collected by a RADAR sensor to obtain various information such as the frequency spectrum and Range-Doppler Map. These information will have different applications in different environments, such as whether if anyone is in an area in the case of Occupancy Detection, or the heart rate and breathing rate of a person. The internship experience was very fulfilling and eye opening for Bao Wei. She gained different valuable experiences through satellite sharing sessions with Beihang University and even JPL from Caltech. The internship was quite challenging for Bao Wei as she have never been involve in signal processing related projects before and hence had to learn the fundamentals from scratch with regards to this subject. In addition to having more knowledge to the application of signal processing beyond what she have learnt in class, Bao Wei has also learnt soft skills such as being more organised in her work and being independent for her own learning. 
Intern Movement tracking.JPG

The internship experience also taught Bao Wei that there will always be unexpected challenges in a working environment and learn not to be afraid of asking for help in such times. She also learnt that different people may provide different perspective to the same problem, and this will help shape a more holistic view when facing future challenges. Another crucial aspect of university life that most students look forward to in their third year is the semester exchange. For Bao Wei, it was with National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the places she always wanted to go but hasn't had the opportunity. Hence, she decided to choose Taiwan for exchange to experience the culture and life of a student there. There were many good universities in Taiwan but Bao Wei chose NCTU as it is one of the top five universities in Taiwan and is strong in its engineering programme. The process of applying for exchange is pretty straight forward. Firstly, there is a list of host universities provided by NTU Office of Global Education and Mobility (OGEM), and every applicant will have to do their own research on what modules the various universities offer. After that, applicants will need to rank the top 3 universities of their choice and they will be sent an allocation offer if successful. 

After accepting the offer, the applicant will need to match the host university's module to NTU's module for credit transfer. Finally, after being accepted into the host university, each appicant will have to arrange your own air tickets and accommodation (on-campus/off campus) and just go for the exchange. The modules Bao Wei decided to take in Taiwan were Semiconductor Fundamentals, Electromagnetics, Engineering Math II, Digital Signal Processing and Computer Communications. While in Taiwan, Bao Wei notice a slight difference in style of learning and teaching. The content of the modules are more in depth theoretically and there aren't weekly tutorials like most modules in NTU. 

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There are also less online lectures as compared to NTU as most of them are live lectures. In addition, there are more students who voice out their questions and look for professors in their office after class. Bao Wei also found that in general, both professors in both NTU and NCTU are approachable and will not hesitate to answer any questions you may have in class. The professors in Taiwan are very friendly and helpful. For instance, when her exchange was cut short due the COVID-19 crisis, she seeked help from some of the professors to arrange remote learning and assessments, and they were very willing to help so that she can continue taking her modules back in Singapore despite the additional recordings and arrangements needed. 

Overall, it was a very fun experience and she made friends with Taiwanese students and Singaporean exchange students from other universities. She have learnt to be independent being away from home, and is really thankful to have been able to experience the student life of a Taiwanese university. ​

Published on 29 April 2020​​
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