Admissions Blog


Gwen Hwarng (Year 1 MD student)


Gwen (standing, right behind) and her team enjoying a feast at Gluttons’ Bay: celebrating one teammate’s birthday and showing another (international) teammate the sights and sounds of the Singapore River.

Tell us about your path to Duke-NUS.

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Tar Heels! And go Blue Devils of course). I majored in Public Health and Nutrition.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I love to dance. In my younger, fitter, free-er days, I used to do Malay and Chinese dance. The feeling of moving in synchrony with a whole troupe of dancers is pretty amazing. These days, my main source of movement is limited (sadly) to walking to and from the MRT station.

Would you share a great experience or opportunity you’ve had at Duke-NUS?

There are too many! The cool thing about being at Duke-NUS is that we get so many opportunities to connect with the local community in our capacity as medical students. We’re currently running the World Autism Awareness Singapore campaign, which was started right here at Duke-NUS by our seniors, hoping to raise awareness for and build solidarity among individuals with autism spectrum disorders. I’m also really excited for our upcoming Camp Simba, another student initiative featuring a weekend camp for kids who have family members with cancer. We’ll be playing games, hanging out, having fun, and most importantly, showing these kids that there are people out there who care about them.

What’s one thing awesome about Duke-NUS?

The people. Definitely the people. My classmates are a fascinating mix of individuals, each with their own unique personalities and interesting stories. When we come together as a class, it gets even better. For our school’s annual Christmas party last year, all 62 of us did a dance flash mob together. How cool is that?!

And our professors – so many of them truly care for us and just want to teach and guide us. Once, we had to vote our professors for best faculty awards and we could only choose 3 from the long list. It was really quite a challenge to decide whom to pick!

Not to forget, the staff at Duke-NUS who make sure the school runs like clockwork, from managing our tests and countless team exercises, to taking care of our welfare and even organizing lunchtime Pilates classes. And it’s always nice to start the day with a ‘good morning!’ and coffee from the people over at Narambi Café.

Okay…I think that’s basically something good about almost every person in the Duke-NUS community. And to me, that’s one of the best things about our school.

Still want to know more? Contact her at