The Story of NOC

The history of NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) begun way back in 2001, when NUS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Stanford University for students to intern at Stanford affiliated technological start-ups – which was launched by the former NUS President, Professor Shih Choon Fong.

The first college was hence established in Silicon Valley, the epitome of extraordinary innovation and entrepreneurship. The first batch of 14 NOC students arrived in Silicon Valley in 2002.

​With the success of the first NUS Overseas College, subsequent colleges was set up in Philadelphia - Bio Valley*, Shanghai and Stockholm.


With the rise of entrepreneurship in Singapore, in January 2008, NUS Entrepreneurship Centre (NEC) launched the innovative Local Enterprise Achiever Development (iLEAD) programme to offer NUS students the opportunity to intern at local start-up companies and be exposed to the entrepreneurial challenges in Singapore. The iLEAD programme was subsequently subsumed under the NOC office in 2010, and was renamed to NOC Singapore in 2015.

During that time, more colleges opened in India*, Beijing, Israel and New York.

In 2016, NOC set up in Munich and Lausanne, cities with strong deep tech culture – to provide technical students with the opportunities to intern at deep tech start-ups (based on true technological innovation or scientific discovery). The programme targeted post-graduate students with deeper technical knowledge, and the first 6 students embarked on the programme in January 2017.

2018 kicked off with the expansion of NOC to Toronto and Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asia programme is a three-month internship that seeks to introduce students to the dynamic economies of Southeast Asia and expose them to start-ups in areas such as agricultural technology, social enterprise, e-commerce and more.

​What’s next in the story of NOC? Stay tuned for more!

*NOC Bio Valley and NOC India have ceased operations