Out-of-Classroom Teaching

Having a formal curriculum is an important facet of our college, but this only encompasses one aspect of education. From the beginning, we've paid as much attention to developing an informal, non-compulsory, 'out of classroom' curriculum creating signature activities defining our college experience. While our dining hall and other spaces within the college provide for many conversations and informal encounters between our students and fellows, this deeper level of engagement requires planning and resources. Thus, a big part of the college experience happens in this 'middle space' between faculty-led seminars and entirely student-led activities (such as clubs, interest groups, and the like). What we have created in this space is true out-of-classroom teaching and learning: structured education-centered experiences designed either by fellows — in areas they are personally interested in and invested in — or ideally by fellows together with a group of students with similar interests.

Tembusu Forum

The flagship event of our college — the Tembusu Forum — takes place twice a semester, and is hosted and moderated by our Rector, Professor Tommy Koh. Compelling, important, and occasionally controversial, issues — often suggested by students — are taken up, discussed, and debated by eminent personalities at the forefront of their respective fields. Hearing the different views of experts will help you develop and expand your own thoughts on the crucial issues of the day. The forum is also one of the few of its kind, as all questions to our prominent guests are directed by students, allowing you to hone your public speaking skills.

Master's Teas

Over the semester, you’ll be regularly invited to the Master’s Common Lounge, a cozy room on the 3rd floor of the college, to meet and chat with guests — both local and international. Our guest list places value on diversity and typically includes politicians, diplomats, artists, writers, poets, scientists, and activists. The only thing we ask of guests is that they bring something interesting to our community. Hosted by the Master of the College, these sessions open the possibility for you to meet, mingle, and hear from our guests in an informal, small-group setting over cake and tea.

Fellow's & Student's Teas

In addition to teas sponsored by the Master, students and fellows alike are able to invite and host peers and guests — anybody they believe can bring something to, and enliven, the college community. Fellows often invite the whole college to have tea with guests they bring to their seminars, while student tea guests have ranged from interesting and successful alumni, to CEOs of start-up businesses, local social activists and entertainment personalities.

Curios Magazine

Curios Magazine is a thematic collection of essays, poetry, short stories, photography and illustrations, created and curated by our very own community in Tembusu. We feature works from perspectives of the Tembusu community, which are then interwoven into a critical and intimate examination of society, community, and human experiences. Written and assembled by the people of Tembusu, Curios is intended to encourage our community to think, reflect, and contribute to the college community.

Heart of Negotiation Workshop

Started in 2012, the Heart of Negotiation Workshop is a 3 day boot camp designed to develop and teach interest-based negotiation skills. Students are taught the tactics and deal design used in negotiations through role-play simulations. Students will also learn interdisciplinary skills of negotiation and how to claim and create value for the various stakeholders. Through the workshops, students are encouraged to explore and experiment on their negotiating styles and strategies, and of course, having fun in the process!


For those who want who want to contribute to the community, MarginaliTies is a student-led out of classroom initiative that aims to raise awareness about different forms of marginalised groups in Singapore and in the region. With a special focus on refugees, as well as migrant workers and underprivileged communities in Singapore, you are invited to contribute, even in a small way, to help these individuals overcome their difficulties. Over the last two years, MarginaliTies has organised talks, reading groups and learning journeys to engage and educate Tembusians about the different marginalised groups. We also organise volunteer programmes and activities in collaboration with local and international organisations from the humanitarian sector for those interested.


Techne is an umbrella for various groups who are passionate about making, building, inventing, and coding things to make changes in the College and beyond. Among our activities are product development, skills workshops and masterclasses, and a group for critical writing about technology.

Tembusu Urban Farmers

Initiated in 2013, the Tembusu Urban Farmers recognise that in an increasingly dense and urban environment, it is important for us not to lose touch with nature and to appreciate food production as a time-consuming process that requires effort and patience. We learn and bond over farm excursions and tending to our garden at Level 3, which we have christened “Tembusu Misty Garden” (after the inaugural Master’s cat). We experiment with different farming systems, from aquaponics to traditional soil planting, and conduct a range of garden-related workshops for the larger Tembusu community. To find out more about our activities, please read our blog here: http://tembusugardens.tumblr.com/

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.