Cover Feature
Take a Leap of Faith...
... like Liu Xiaoyi did. He had a dream to stage a classic play in NTU and managed to put together a sell-out show in just two months without much help. Find out how...
Students and alumni
• Germaine Ng (student-owner of Pitchstop CafĂ© & Bar on campus)
• Ewan Sou and Jason Lee (entrepreneurs who founded deals review website All Deals Leak)
• Liu Xiaoyi (see side story)

But first, are you made this way? A passion for the arts burns deep within you. An appreciation for culture shapes you. Language is not just a means of communication, but poetry in motion when wielded by you.

Shakespeare, Haruki Murakami and Freud are people you admire. Aspects of the human condition and the workings of the inner mind fascinate you. The past and how it holds great lessons for the future intrigue you.

Your perfect match: the School of Humanities & Social Sciences. Facilities like a creative drama studio and communication and psychology laboratories get your juices flowing as you synthesise knowledge from different spheres, from linguistics to economics. For instance, if you take the new history degree programme, you will learn about the history of science, technology, medicine, business and the environment. If languages is your thing, the Centre for Modern Languages will give you the means to express yourself (Arabic, Spanish, anyone?).

Liu Xiaoyi:

Passionate Playwright

A few months after graduating from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences in 2010, Liu Xiaoyi was approached by two of his juniors to help stage local playwright Kuo Pao Kun's classic play The Coffin is too Big for the Hole.

The duo, Ng Yeow Tang and Tan Yong An, wanted to do "one last big thing" in NTU before they graduated. And Xiaoyi readily agreed to help his fellow Chinese majors, despite knowing there wasn't a drama club at the school.

With him showing the way as director, they managed to recruit over 20 students and complete the preparations for the concert in less than two months. The result: three sold-out performances at the school's Black Box Theatre.

Xiaoyi's big leap of faith sums up his passionate nature. When asked why he originally decided to pursue his undergraduate studies at the school, the theatre freelancer says simply that he trusted his "impulse". Already an active member of Singapore's theatre scene before he came to NTU, he credits his studies here with giving him "new tools to create a more robust path to theatre and life".

Today, the 29-year-old is one of Singapore's best Chinese playwrights and recently ran a play, 11, at the Kuo Pao Kun Festival 2012. Impressively, he also runs a guesthouse in Dali, a city in Yunnan, China, and commutes regularly to Singapore and Hong Kong for projects.

So, what keeps him going?

"To live in my own way and die as an artist," says Xiaoyi.