How different is Yale-NUS College from other liberal art colleges?
First of all, the student body is much more diverse here than in other places. For instance, the Class of 2020 consists of ~ 50% international students. In Ivy League schools this number is around 10-15%. Secondly, the Common Curriculum is a unique feature of Yale-NUS. While it is sometimes considered controversial, its set of 10 obligatory modules from multiple disciplines is very beneficial for students. Thirdly, Yale-NUS has an unusual location: Singapore, the educational centre of Asia. The Yale-NUS style of teaching is a mixture of the best Asian and Western methods.
Furthermore, the school is more close-knit than other liberal arts colleges – firstly, because the campus is tiny. People spontaneously meet and communicate with each other more often due to the limited space. Second, students are not given any choice in accommodation type. There is only one universal floorplan for every room. Most of the students do not leave campus during the academic year. Even for local students, it is much more convenient to stay on campus rather than to travel to and from home every day.
One of the disadvantages of Yale-NUS in comparison with, for example, American liberal arts colleges, is a limited course selection. Yale-NUS is very new and has a small number of students. In 2016, the college reached capacity. Now there are students in every year of the 4-years bachelor’s degree program. Yale-NUS’s size and its relative newness explain the limitations the administration faces in offering more courses. High school students should keep this in mind when choosing whether or not to study at Yale-NUS.