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| Leeds Singaporean Society
| Newsletter | Issue 1415.01 | 22nd October 2014 |
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In this issue:

Greetings from..

Leeds SingSoc Committee 14/15

President: Zhane Kang 

Hello! I'm Zhane, the President of Leeds SingSoc! It's my honor to be in the committee and I'm glad to be leading the society hand in hand with my fellow committee members. I am the first contact point with the Leeds University Union, where I handle administrative matters and represent the society in University meetings and events. 

I'm currently a 2nd year law student and my favourite pastime is chilling in cafes with a nice cup of coffee or at pubs having a pint or two with my mates. I also enjoy exploring and traveling to new places, which gives me an opportunity to indulge in my other hobby, photography! In my free time, I play the piano and emcee as well. 
 

Vice-President: Naomi Lim

Heya! I’m Naomi and I have the pleasure of being the Vice-President of Leeds SingSoc for 2014/2015. I’m also currently in my 2nd year reading law in the University of Leeds. 
 
My role in the committee is basically that of support crew, standing in for the President in his absence and assisting the committee wherever necessary. What I love particularly about Leeds is that it’s so compact, with the train station, supermarkets, shopping malls and other amenities within walking distance of the university campus. 

Secretary: Eva Teh

Hi, I’m Eva, and the Secretary of Leeds SingSoc! My role essentially involves taking minutes at each committee meeting and managing our social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

I’m currently a 2nd year law student but I do love taking time off from studying to travel – that said, I really enjoy living in Leeds, with its mix of high street brands and eclectic vintage stores. One of my favourite things to do is chill at either a café or pub with friends and there is certainly no lack of either here in Leeds! 

Treasurer: Weihan Loh

Hi, I’m Weihan, the Treasurer of Leeds SingSoc. My role involves setting the budget for future events, cost management and liaising with Leeds Union’s cash office on our society’s monetary transactions.

I am currently a 3rd year Accounting & Finance student but I do love taking time off from studying to play the guitar, run and find great food places in Leeds. One of my favourite things to do is getting groceries at the Leeds Kirkgate Market; they take great pride in their quality produce while keeping their prices comparatively affordable to the local supermarkets. 

Sports Officer: Louis Heng

Sup guys, my name's Louis and I'm in my sophomore year in the School of Law.

My role in the committee is that of the Sports Officer, which involves having to organise and plan for most things sports-related.

I'm a pretty chill character, hence Leeds is perfect - small and compact, bustling yet peaceful! 

Liaison Officer: Kimberley Lim

Hi! I'm Kimberley, a 3rd year Accounting and Finance student. As Liaison Officer, my role is to secure sponsors for our society, and establish partnerships with restaurants in Leeds so members enjoy discounts when eating out. 

I enjoy playing netball and participated in both the Nottingham Winter Games 2013 and Warwick Summer Games 2014. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leeds so far, and appreciate the independence of living and studying abroad. However, I take comfort in the fact that there is a community of Singaporeans that I can study, travel and hang out with! 

As a committeewe will continue to work towards creating a home away from home here in Leeds for all of you, building a close-knit community and improving our outreach efforts to potential members and sponsors. We hope that you will continue to support us for the year ahead, while we put our best into planning the best parties, get-togethers and other activities for you! 

Spring & Summer

Leeds SingSoc Events...


1. "Au Revoir Seniors!", a farewell to our graduating seniors 


We say hello to new additions to the SingSoc family every year, but sadly, we have to say goodbye to some 'oldies' as well. On this very special occasion, we celebrated by having a little get together, with some performances by members and food cooked by our very own committee members! 

The theme was somewhat fittingly, "Geek is the New Sexy", which made for a memorable night with fun shots from our photobooth! 

 
It was the first event organised by the newly-elected SingSoc committee, and was a test of their teamwork, especially with finals right around the corner. Thankfully the event went off without any major hitches and everyone had a blast! 
 

2. Freshers Meet & Greet at the Singapore Botanic Gardens 


We met some of our incoming freshers at the Pre-Departure event organised by the British Council on the 12th of July, Saturday. As a follow-up, we held a Meet & Greet event on the 2nd of August to get to know everyone better! 
With the typically hot sun bearing down on all of us during the picnic, it wasn't long before we broke for lunch but not before playing a couple rounds of double-whacko and other icebreakers! 
We then had a mini Amazing Race around the gardens, which had the freshers approaching tourists to ask what their favourite thing about Singapore is, among other tasks. 

The overall winning team of the day!
Some of our members also came down to share their experience of living and studying in Leeds, which was surely appreciated by the freshers who will soon be starting their own journey to Leeds (: 
Once again, we'll like to thank everyone for coming down and participating in our activities and we hope you had a good time! 
 

3. "From Leeds with Love", our inaugural black-tie dinner in Singapore 


This was our first ever black-tie dinner held in Singapore proposed by our President, Zhane! The dinner was held over the summer holidays on the 16th of August at the Singapore Cricket Club and was certainly a good opportunity for everyone to catch up and for some of the freshers to get to know more about SingSoc! 

Even though it was held in Singapore, we thought it would be interesting to have the theme reflect our time in the UK! Naturally, we chose James Bond to be our icon for the night, for who better to exemplify England than the great British spy himself? Everyone certainly had fun at the themed photobooth, judging from the many photos everyone took!
All the girls and guys turned up in their finest, and were certainly enthusiastic in taking part in our #ootd competition! While we wish we could feature everyone's photos, we'll just let Bernice and Dinesh have the honour, as our #fromleedswithloveootd competition winners ;)
Though each table had accumulated roughly the same number of points over our games throughout the night, Bernice helped her table pull ahead to win overall! We hope they enjoyed their prize of Capitaland vouchers (: 

The night wouldn't have been the same without Mark as our emcee and Bertrand as our photographer. A big thank you to both of them! We also loved Ariel and Bertrand's rendition of Payphone, and of course, many many thanks go out to Ariel for lending her voice to the committee's performance of "Home"! Last but not least, thank you to everyone who came and made the event a success! 


4. Warwick Summer Games 2014 

 
The Warwick Summer Games were held on the 23rd of August this year, from 8.30am - 5pm at Raffles Institution (Junior College). We sent in a total of 4 teams for soccer, netball and monodeal! 

Our soccer team also managed to win themselves 3rd place and so, had medals to bring home as mementos - congrats! 
As always, it was nice to see everyone playing games and cheering each other on. We can't wait for the Nottingham Winter Games already! 

Travel Feature

Ilkley, West Yorkshire & London


 

1. Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire by Zhane Kang


Traveling to Ilkley 

It's really convenient to get to Ilkley, as we simply purchased tickets at the Leeds Train Station and boarded a 30 minutes train ride to the Ilkley Train Station. Upon arrival, the town is within walking distance and the foot of Ilkley Moor is just about a 15-20 minutes walk from the train station. 



Our experience 

As curious and adventurous first year students in the UK, a group of us wanted to explore the surrounding towns around Leeds. We decided to head to the small town of Ilkley, situated in the Wharfe Valley, West Yorkshire, for a spontaneous day trip on one of the weekends.

Why did we choose to visit Ilkley? Well, we wanted to experience the English countryside and Ilkley Moor is certainly a good place to start, as it offers an eye-opening experience of the natural landscape. The hike up the moor afforded many stunning backdrops that made good photo opportunities (new profile pictures, anyone?). With endless plains and hills, the scenery will surely take your breath away – indeed, the hike may literally take your breath away, particularly for those still unaccustomed to the cold weather!

The town of Ilkley was a former spa town, where thousands of visitors flocked to in the nineteenth century for fresh air and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Today, the town may no longer be a premier health resort but is still famous for its fresh air and beautiful countryside. It is also home to one of the largest cycling clubs in the country! Of course, the main attraction is the Ilkley Moor, which is an ideal spot to appreciate both the Yorkshire countryside and the view of Ilkley town. At 402m (1,319 ft) above sea level, you will enjoy a panoramic backdrop of the charming little town. It is also the perfect place for walking, hiking and pony trekking, and the famous Cow and Calf Rocks are the ideal place to scramble or rock climb – if you're an experienced mountaineer, that is.

As we visited in September, right at the start of the school term, the cool autumn weather made the hike up Ilkley Moor very enjoyable and truly memorable. Of course, a hike requires some preparation, so make some sandwiches or other picnic food and of course, remember to bring lots of water and a windbreaker! The wind gets quite strong as you make your way further up the moor. However, if it rains (a frequent occurrence in dreary England), you may be treated to the appearance of rainbows above the town of Ilkley! There are little cottages around the Moor, which you can use for shelter or a rest point for lunch. However, there aren’t any bathrooms till you reach the mid-point of the Moor, so take note! It is also highly recommended that you wear boots or shoes with a good grip, as some paths may be muddy and slippery. However, there’s no need to worry about being stranded, as there is mobile reception. So if you lose your way, have a bad fall, or are hungry and tired, you can always call someone to come to your aid!  

If you’re looking for some adventure, Ilkley Moor is the place to visit! It’ll certainly be a great bonding trip with your peers and a good introduction to the English countryside, the setting of many classic British novels. 

2. London by Kimberley Lim 


Traveling to and within London 

There are several ways to travel to London from Leeds: train (National Rail) or coach (National Express, Megabus). Below is a simple comparison based on my experience:
 
You may also want to consider purchasing a 16-25 railcard in order to enjoy discounted train travel throughout the UK and within London. There are 2 ways to enjoy the 1/3 discount off the price of your travel in London. You may select the 16-25 railcard option at the automated machines or show your railcard to the staff at the tube station as you purchase the Off-peak Day Travelcard. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase a standard adult Oyster card, which has to be registered first, and that works much like the “EZ-link” cards we have in Singapore. This means that you will enjoy 1/3 off single journey fares on the National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway. 

What to do in London 
  1. Visit Platform 9 ¾ at the London King’s Cross Station
Utilise the wands, scarves and other props provided when capturing this magical moment! Feel free to use your phones, but professional photographers are on-site too. Photographs may be purchased at the official shop a short distance away. Do drop by if you are keen on browsing through other Harry Potter souvenirs.
  1. Eat at Burger and Lobster

I’ve only been to the City branch of the restaurant at 1 Bread St, so I wouldn’t be able to say which my favorite branch is! That said, I’ve been to this branch twice and had a pleasant experience on both occasions. It is also easy to locate and a mere 2-minutes walk from the nearest tube station (Bank, on the Central line), making it really accessible.

The queues at Burger and Lobster are almost as famous as their food and good service. It is therefore a good idea to make reservations! It is different at each branch but at the City branch, reservations can be made for lunch and dinner for up to 8 people. This can be done via email (city@burgerandlobster.com) or telephone (+44 20 7248 1789). From my experience however, the restaurant is relatively empty from 2-4pm on weekdays, so this may be a good time to visit if you don’t have a reservation.

The offerings at this restaurant are straightforward – they serve either a burger or lobster. For 20 pounds, you can choose between the burger, lobster or lobster roll and all 3 options come with a serving of fries and side salad. Personally, I find the lobster dish the most value for money. You can have it steamed or grilled, accompanied by original or garlic butter. The best combination, in my humble opinion, is the steamed lobster with garlic butter!
  1. Explore Borough Market
This is a wholesale and retail food market with over 70 stalls selling a variety of food from all over the world. The nearest tube station is London Bridge, on the Northern and Jubilee Lines.

My personal favorite is the stall selling scotch eggs and sweet potato fries. The owners are friendly and their food is really tasty!

Coffee enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that Borough Market is right beside one of London’s best independent coffee shops, Monmouth Coffee! Great coffee and great service (not to mention the delicious aroma of the beans) contributes to the warm and inviting ambience of the café – a must-visit for all coffee lovers! 

Freshers' Special: 

Interview with Ronil, 1st  year Chemical Engineering 



1. Good day Ronil, before we start, would you like to introduce yourself? 

Hey everyone, my name is Ronil and I’m 22 this year. My first year in Leeds was the international foundation year and I will be moving on to the first year of my undergraduate studies this September. 

2. What was your first impression of Leeds as a city? 

I found Leeds to be a very student friendly city. Most of the places we needed to get to were within walking distance, unlike the bigger cities like Manchester or London where you would have to take the tube/tram to move about (not forgetting that the cost of traveling is cheaper in Leeds, particularly for the cabs). Leeds also has an extremely vibrant nightlife on top of being the second biggest financial/legal hub in the UK, with a bar around virtually every street corner.

I was initially skeptical of the idea of being away from the comfort of home (for example, having to make new friends and immersing myself in a new culture), but I’m quite thankful that the locals I’ve met here are very amicable and friendly. Additionally, the Singaporean Society in Leeds has really helped me settle down. Seeing familiar faces and hearing Singlish spoken made me feel as though Singapore is just a step away, and the activities organized by the Singsoc Committee have allowed me to foster strong bonds with my fellow Singaporeans. 

3. Would you like to share the highlights of your first year in Uni? 

One of the main highlights of uni life is the Otley Run. It was my virgin experience being on a pub-crawl and I must say I have never been to so many pubs in a single night in my entire life. I can’t remember the amount of alcohol I consumed! [laughs] The price of alcohol is not only much cheaper than in Singapore, the good thing about a pub crawl is also that it allowed me to make new friends – alcohol definitely helps to break down the initial shyness people may have.

Another highlight of uni was learning to be independent. Having to do my own laundry etc. and most importantly, learning to strike a good balance between studies and play. 

4. Any advice you would like to offer to a fresher coming to Leeds this September? 

I guess I would say that people may think that coming to uni means being extremely studious but I believe it is paramount to strike a balance between work and play. You definitely want to avoid a mental breakdown – chilling out and having some fun is part of the UK experience. Don’t coop yourself up at home 24/7; go out and meet your friends occasionally and let loose. And by loose I mean real loose! [chuckles] Of course, do your work consistently, don’t procrastinate and end up with a huge backlog of work to finish. If you’re a fresher, take the opportunity to join the many societies Leeds has to offer and mingle with people of other nationalities. 

5. Before we end, could you sum up your freshers' year in a sentence? 

Had the time of my life so far. 

Our Sponsors

For the academic year 2014/2015...


We’d like to give a big shout out to all our sponsors for their support this year!

Special thanks goes out to the following:
  • Overseas Singaporean Unit and Contact Singapore for supporting our events
  •  Singapore Pools for the t-shirts, jerseys and hoodies
  • Overseas Academic Link (OAL)Rajah & Tann LLP and Oriental Treasure for their generosity.
This year, OAL is offering 10 scholarships worth a total of £25,000 to Singaporean students studying in the United Kingdom from 2015. More information is available on their website (http://www.oal.com.sg/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OverseasAcademicLink)

Last but not least, a big thank you to our partners in Leeds:
  • Charco’s: 10% discount on minimum £6 purchase
  • Noodle House: 15% discount for 10 orders and above (excluding drinks and side dishes); all purchases to be made in a single receipt, discount on mass ordering for society event 
  • Ho’s Bar and Restaurant: 10% Discount off Bill excluding drinks
  • Thai Edge: 15% off a la carte except Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays
Singapore Sponsors:

 
 


Leeds Partners: 
 
   
           
 
 
Special Thanks to:
  • Bertrand Peh
  • Ronil Kishor
  • All other contributors to the articles in Issue 1415.01


In our next issue:
  • Autumn Updates!
  • More Travel Features!


Upcoming Events
  • Leeds Quintuplet Halloween Party @ HALO
  • Nottingham Winter Games
  • Leeds SingSoc Ordinary General Meeting 14/15

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leedssingaporeansociety@gmail.com

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