Pros: close to uni facilities (pool, gym, classes etc.), make friends with fellow students quickly, be part of a friendly community
Cons: if you’ve always liked to live alone, sharing the space with someone else might not be your cup of tea.
NUS halls are fantastic if you want a taste of campus life, and make close local friends easily. Each hall in NUS has their own culture and identity, so do check out which one appeals to you the most. There is also a variety of hall activities which residents are encouraged to take part in. Meals are provided in the halls, as well as basic amenities such as washer/dryer and a common kitchen.
There are 7 halls to choose from, some offering only single rooms, and others offering single and twin-sharing rooms.
2. Residential Colleges
There are 5 colleges to choose from, with infrastructures that are somewhat posh-er than the halls. The atmosphere in the RCs is definitely different from the Hall spirit that you can get – I would say that RCs are more laidback in terms of activity participation. Pricing wise, RCs are slightly more expensive than Halls as well.
For more details, click here.
Pros: more options and locations to choose from, possibly enjoy cheaper rent
Cons: miss out on campus student life
Hostels are an unconventional choice but worth considering as well! There are options of fully furnished hostel rooms available where you can choose to have a private room or shared room. Prices depend on the area you would prefer to live in and the size of the room. Here is a useful website that shows available rooms categorized by area and by proximity to various universities! Happy hunting!
2. HDB complexes
HDB complexes differ from condominiums as they do not have facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and gyms. HDB units, like condominium units, are often furnished with basic amenities such as a microwave/oven, washing machine, and wardrobes.
Clementi – Clementi West, Clementi Avenue, West Coast Drive | Dover – Dover Road, Dover Crescent
Do note that HDB might not be totally legal for short term rent so do check with the house owner on this issue!
Condominiums offer slightly more privacy than HDB complexes as most of them come with extra security at the entrance.
Pasir Panjang Road- Royal Palm Mansions, Palm Mansion | Dover Rise – Heritage View, Dover Parkview | Clementi- Normanton Park | West Coast – The Vision | One north – One-north Residences
An important thing to note is that apartments at Normanton park and park west in Clementi are to go under re-development soon. The landlords at Normanton have been notified to evacuate by early-mid 2018. The new buildings at Normanton park will be up by 2020/21.
Rent: Given that these areas are a little further away from the main city, the rental cost here is a little cheaper compared to the city units. For Condominiums, a 3-bedroom unit costs about 3500-4500 SGD, whereas a 2-bedroom unit costs about 3200-3800. For HDB the rent is a little lower – a 3-bedroom unit costs approximately 3000-3500 and a 2-bedroom unit costs about 2500-3000. Do keep in mind though that the owners are extremely particular about rent so make sure you transfer the rent before the end of each month.
Utilities & Wi-Fi: Take note that utilities are not included in the rental cost and are incurred separately per month. On average, the utility bill (water + electricity) amounts to about 40-5- SGD per person. For utility bill payment purposes, you are required to create a SP services account and transfer the bill amount via that. Gas connection and Wi-Fi installations are done separately.
Food: It’s not difficult to find food anywhere in Singapore. There is always a food court or hawker centre nearby, or a mall that offers cuisines of all sorts. NUS itself houses food courts such as Koufu, Flavours, Central Square, and Pines food court. There are also popular chains like Pizza Hut and Subway.
A final note
Do take caution if you look for places through property portals and Facebook groups. Independent room listings often do not put your name on the lease agreement, which leaves you at the mercy of the landlord and without legal protection of your stay or security deposit.
To save you from being a victim of another exchange accommodation horror story, services like OxfordCaps have been created. OxfordCaps is an online student-only platform which allows you to book your house/room and even chat with your roomies. Their homes are specifically managed for student needs and provide for all your basic necessities – wifi, fully furnished apartments around schools, basic furnishings in your bedroom and basic kitchen utensils. You just need to arrive with your luggage.
(PS: Units and outlook varies for accommodation location)
All you need to do is log in on the website and state your preferences for a roommate, duration and area. Get a home instantly without burning a hole in your pocket!