The study of History at NUS not only prepared me professionally in my current work by equipping me with the necessary critical thinking skills and research methods, it also broadened my personal horizons with its wide array of modules on offer. Above all, it taught me about the lessons of life and gave me a bagful of tools to deal with life's difficulties. As the saying goes 'we must know where we came from before we can know where we are heading'.
I was privileged to study under distinguished teachers during my time in the History Department. Their diverse life experiences and backgrounds provided the resources to expand my mind and consider things I wouldn't have before. Each brought a distinctive quality to my learning - they challenged the way I learn things, but also how I see life. The teachers in the History Department gave me the space to be who I am, allowed me to experiment with my ideas and contributed to my personal growth and development immensely. As a result, I took on very interesting paths in life. My research skills provided me the opportunity to be hired on as a programme researcher at the then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. The ability to appreciate diverse point was a useful tool when I worked as TV producer later at Television Corporation of Singapore. Today my proficiency in other different cultures and historians allow me to navigate myself successfully here in the US.
The History Department has given me the best four years of my life. Throughout these years, I enjoyed every history module taken and have gained tremendously from the lecturers and tutors too. They have not only heightened my passion for the subject but have also opened greater avenues of knowledge. I have now a greater appreciation of cultures and societies.
My four year stint with the History Department has been both fruitful and satisfying. The lecturers in the department put me through four years of rigorous training and transformed me from a "D" grade student in the subject at 'A' Levels into a Memorial Medal & Book Prize Winner by the time I graduated from honours year. Under the tutelage and constant encouragement of the department, I was able to reach my full potential. Few departments can claim to churn out such success stories. History is a discipline that trained me to think systematically and logically. It taught me research skills on how to find, manage, interpret and analyse information, a core competency for employment in a knowledge-based economy
Reading History at NUS has grounded me in the fundamentals of information-gathering and analysis, vital skills I can impart to my students. My tutors have widened my perspectives to the understanding of historical events and serve as a reminder for me to instruct in a manner that cultivates the appreciation and understanding of the past and its relevance and challenges to the present and future.
The four years of my life with the History Department of NUS have been meaningful - viewed from pragmatic and personal perspectives. It is pragmatic as I have made the teaching of history my career! Yet it is even more personal in life's lessons - successes, failures or simply happenings - are somewhat reminiscent of humanity, human nature and lives of dramatis personae in history. Alas, instead of lamenting c'est la vie, the study of history provides the very perspectives of making sense of life.
My studies in History at NUS have equipped me with the skills of research, investigation and critical thinking that are necessary for the comprehension and interpretation of historical events, trends and evidences. Historical writings also demand a high standard of order, coherence and clarity in the presentation of findings and the making of informed judgments. This training is invaluable to me as a Curriculum Specialist.
My four years with the NUS History Department was an adventure for me. Through history, I have experienced the dreams of historic heroes and villains; the defeats and victories of conquerors, emperors, army generals and also the man on the street. A degree in history is not just a certificate. It is an opportunity to discover for yourself, the past, present, and what you want in your future. Contrary to common perception, a history graduate's destiny is not limited to the teaching profession, it opens doors to any vocation that requires both strong analytical and research skills, and most of all, imagination.
History should be studied as an essential component of our humanness. The study and discipline of history is an existential exploration because it makes a direct connection to our personal and societal memory. As such, it is not merely about facts, happenings or personages, but impacts our outlook on ourselves as human beings and as part of the communities we live in and relate to. Rest assured there are certainly pragmatic or even profitable reasons for studying history, but there is so much more. In taking it up, one should be prepared for some surprises and to challenge their assumptions. It broadens ones horizons in many senses, not least perceptually and perspicaciously.
I’m taking history because I “fell in love” with it during my first year in NUS. It came as a surprise even to me because I’ve dreaded history from secondary school through junior college. But the year one foundational history module (HY1101E) in NUS opened my mind to new aspects of history and whetted my appetite for more intellectual stimulation.
Initially I did not plan to major in history, but ... the introductory module to history (HY1101E) changed my mind completely. I'm pleased that history helps me understand who I am, and why I am the way I am, a lot better.