13 July 2012

13 July 2012, Singapore – It’s going to be an ‘amazing race’ with a difference, as Singapore Challenge returns for the third time, bigger, more exciting and more diverse in its participants than ever.

Organised by the Singapore International Foundation, this annual event is designed to let international students get to know Singapore better while building friendships with Singaporeans as they team up and work their way through different routes and pit stops designed to showcase the head, heart and soul of Singapore. It’s also about sharing insights into Singapore society, and setting the stage for intense cross-cultural interactions in the course of the Challenge.

Singapore Challenge 2012 will see its highest participation rate so far, and on several levels. From 104 students who took part in 2010, this year’s figure is an impressive 1,000 students representing 125 teams. And from the 11 nationalities that were represented in 2010, this year will see close to 20 involved.

What began in 2010 as a collaboration between Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore International Foundation for an international student event has grown into an annual event that all five polytechnics - Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore and Temasek - participate in.

The eight members of each team must include at least three nationalities. The most diverse  team  calls  itself   8  Wonders  of   TP,  comprising  students  from  Temasek Polytechnic.   The   team   includes   members   from   India,   Indonesia,   Malaysia,   the Philippines, China, Myanmar, Taiwan and Singapore.

Starting off at Nanyang Polytechnic at 10am on Saturday 14 July, each team will have to travel along a specially-designed route. The routes were inspired by concepts such as A Liveable City, Diversity, City in a Garden, Biodiversity/The Water Story, Renaissance City and   Social   Innovation/Enterprise.   Along   the   routes,   the   teams   will   encounter checkpoints  at  which  they  will  have  to  complete  compulsory  tasks  in  the  shortest possible time.

After  the  participants  have  reached  the  finishing  point,  there  will  be  yet  more excitement with a range of post-event activities including interactive stage games, the prize-giving and a video and photo exhibition on the SIF’s recently-completed Friendship Express. FX, as it is called, was a youth-driven programme that saw 50 young people of eight nationalities travel from Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand on a journey focussed on doing good, designing sustainable solutions to social needs, cultural appreciation, and friendship.

Says Jean Tan, Executive Director of SIF, “We’re thrilled about Singapore Challenge 2012! Not just because so many students – 1,000! - of so many nationalities are taking part, but because it tells us that something good is taking root, and that SIF is progressing well in its mission to bridge Singaporeans and other communities. We want international students  to  get  to  know  Singapore  and  Singaporeans,  and  it’s  happening  with  this event.”

Along with Singapore Challenge, the SIF organises other events which are designed with the same objective of bridging Singaporeans and world communities. These include the Young Social Entrepreneur programme, the Young Business Ambassador programme, Artists in Residence (AiRx), FX and Singapore International Volunteers.

Singapore Challenge 2012 was made possible with the partnership of Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore and Temasek Polytechnics.