Do the professors hold office hours? How often can students interact with professors outside of class?

Do the professors hold office hours? How often can students interact with professors outside of class?

The professors do hold office hours in their offices, and they are also available to schedule meetings outside of these times with students. Different professors have different policies, but it is often possible to just drop in and see a prof during their office hours without scheduling in advance. Most profs are very friendly and responsive to emails, unless they’re trying to publish a paper or something like that, since those periods tend to be quite busy for professors. Professors are quite willing not merely to discuss questions about a course, but also broader areas of academic and intellectual interest.

Some profs will even hold events or attend panels to talk about various issues with the student body. There are, for example, weekly Philosophy Cafés where students and professors can hear about and discuss philosophical topics, depending on the subject for that particular week.

Moreover, there is also a lot of interaction outside of the classroom and office environments. Because a lot of the professors live on campus, it is very common to see them eating at the dining halls with the students, attending student productions and events, and generally spending time on campus. As a result, there are a lot of opportunities for both formal and informal interactions between students and faculty. Many students will share meals with professors to discuss non-class-related interests and things of that nature.

Some events are held specifically with both students and faculty in mind. YNC Community Basketball, for example, encourages teams comprised of professors and students.

I will say, though, that each professor is different. In general, the culture at Yale-NUS is quite friendly and community-oriented, which extends to profs. At the same time, some profs are more interested in chatting with students than others. Visiting professors or, as I’ve mentioned, professors who are in the middle of publishing a paper, may not be as available for these kinds of things. Nevertheless, professors are a fantastic resource and I would highly recommend you try to get to know them better.