“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.”

I and two other Singapore Polytechnic students were selected by SPRING Singapore to represent Singapore in the 2017 International Standards Olympiad (ISO) organised by the Korean Association for Technology and Standards (KATS) annually.

Prior to being selected for this competition, I absolutely no idea what standards were really all about and was oblivious to its importance in our daily lives. Before the competition, my team went down to SPRING’s office and were a crash course on standards. How it facilitates industry transformation, improves quality, increases market access, raises productivity, enables inter-operability and boosts consumer confidence.

The ISO was held in Seoul, Korea from 10th August to 11th August 2017 and during the competition there were two rounds. The prototyping and report followed by a presentation round the next day. It was definitely hectic because the problem would be given on the day itself and there was a strict time limit.

My team did not win in the end because we did not have a working prototype at the end of the first round, which contributes to a large percentage of our total score. However, we learnt to appreciate the importance of standardization in our lives and also made a lot of international friends from Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and Rwanda.

Our time at Korea ended of with a full day city tour of Seoul where we visited places like the Blue House and historical sites like Gyeongbokgung Palace.

It was definitely an experience to remember.


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