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Biodiversity, National Univ. of Singapore

Study Abroad Program Overview

Undertake courses, field study and hands-on research in the tropics of Southeast Asia through the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Science summer program. Students work closely with instructors and within student work groups designed to integrate local and international students.

First explore biodiversity in the classroom, learn about distinct tropical ecosystems (fresh water, seawater, mangrove swamp, rainforest, and coral reefs), and then conduct your own investigation on a Malaysian island. Study of a local language and the culture of Singapore complement your understanding of the Singapore environment and its communities.  

The program is designed for science students, but is open to all majors. Prior study of biological sciences or ecology is recommended to get the most from this unique on-site learning experience. This program is an honors course for NUS biological science majors. ​​​

Students attend classes with international and/or host country students.

Language of Instruction


Language Study

​A beginning course on either Bahasa Indonesian or Chinese language is required. The courses include field trips and cultural ​activities.


​Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars. 
Summer :  
mid June - late July (Plus one additional week after the program ends to complete and submit your required research report electronically by the strict NUS deadline.)









UC students live in NUS dormitory residences on campus. In previous years during the weeklong fieldtrip to Malaysia, students have stayed at the Paya Beach Resort.
More information on housing...

Extracurricular Activities

Enjoy cultural activities and excursions arranged by NUS. The biodiversity course includes a week-long field research trip to Pulau Tioman, an island in the East China Sea, off the coast of Malaysia. The language courses also include activities and excursions.
You will also find opportunities for hiking, nature walks, bicycling, and beach activities throughout Singapore.

On-site Support

​UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of study abroad offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. The NUS Faculty of Science will administer the summer program and assist UC students in matters of daily life. 
​See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; units, exams, and grades; orientation; and housing.​

Course Opportunities

​Students take two courses in this program: 

  • Field Studies in Biodiversity (8 quarter/5.3 semester UC units; letter grade only)
  • Beginning Chinese or Bahasa Indonesian Language (4 quarter/2.7 semester UC units; pass/no pass or letter grade)
Field Studies in Biodiversity includes a weeklong fieldtrip to Pulau Tioman, an island off the coast of Malaysia. Students and experienced field biologists participate in field work, analysis, and discussions each day, followed by a debrief with the group​ each evening. In addition to field research the course focuses on the study of multiple species-rich habitats through lectures and practical learning. For this course, UCEAP students take a quiz, give a presentation, and write a required research paper that is due one week after the program term ends.

Students also take either Beginning Chinese or Beginning Bahasa Indonesian language, which teaches the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing to communicate on common topics. Students participate in various communicative tasks as well as cultural activities and field trips.

Use the following resources to learn more:


12 quarter/8 semester UC units required; 2 courses.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

​A written research report is a required component of the Biodiversity course.
Internships or independent study are not an option in this summer program.

The National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is an innovative global university with modern facilities and top-ranked academic programs. A leading center for the study of Southeast Asia, NUS is also distinguished in engineering, business, and the biological sciences.  Located at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula on the Indian Ocean, NUS offers notable strengths in the marine sciences.
Its main Kent Ridge campus is situated on a spacious area about 20 minutes from the city center, easily accessible by public transportation.
Visit the National University of Singapore website.
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.

These expenses are estimated for 2017-18. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2017-18 payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • Predeparture expenses (visa, etc.)
  • Round-trip transportation from California
  • UC fees
  • Tuition at host institution
  • Mandatory Host Country Health Insurance 
  • On-site orientation
  • Room and board
  • Program excursions
  • Books and other incidental expenses
  • Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​


UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​


Class Level:

Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate

Language Prerequisites:



2.85 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

Other Eligibility Requirements:

Prior study of Biology/Ecology is preferred.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by the National University of Singapore.

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: