On-Campus Accommodation

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.

1. Prinsep Street Residences


Refurbished in early 2018, Prinsep Street Residences (PSR) is definitely one of the most stylish on-campus apartments in Singapore. They offer single or twin-sharing rooms, both of which are well equipped with basic necessities such as microwave/fridges, wardrobes, and study desks.

For more details and pricing, click here

2. Yo:Ha Hostel @ Pearl’s Hill


Yo:Ha offers two types of rooms: twin-sharing, and quadruple-sharing (4 pax in one room). If you love being around people, consider the latter. It’s really near the popular People’s Park Complex Food Centre as well as public transport stations.

For more details and pricing, click here.


Off-Campus Options

Pros: more options and locations to choose from, possibly enjoy cheaper rent
Cons: miss out on campus student life

1. Hostels

Hostels are an unconventional choice but worth considering as well! They also offer the choice of 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 condos 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.

Do note that HDB might not be totally legal for short term rent so do check with the house owner on this issue!

Suggested area:
Waterloo Street- 263 Waterloo Street, 264 Waterloo Street | Queen Street – 269 Queen Street, 271 Queen Street

3. Condominiums


Condominiums offer slightly more privacy than HDB complexes as most of them come with extra security at the entrance.

Suggested areas:
Sophia Road/Wilkie Road- Hock Mansion, Le Wilkie, Wilkie 48, Wilkie Court, Casa Sophia, Sophia Crest
Mackenzie Road- Mount Emily, Mackenzie regency, Parc Mackenzie, Mackenzie 88
Orchard Road/Oxley Road- Orchard Court, Oxley Edge
Prinsep- Sunshine Plaza, Burlington Square

Rent: The centrality of these areas makes the rental cost a little higher as compared to units away from the city. For Condominiums, a 3-bedroom unit costs about 4000-5000 SGD, whereas a 2-bedroom unit costs about 3000-4000. For HDB the rent is a little lower. A 3-bedroom unit costs approximately 3500-4000 and a 2-bedroom unit costs about 2500-3000. Please keep in mind that the owners are extremely particular about the rent and 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 40-50 per person. For utility bill payment purposes, you are required to create a SP services account to transfer the bill amount. Gas connection and Wi-Fi installations are done separately.

Food: There are tons of restaurants and food courts to check out in nearby places such as Cathay, Parklane Mall, Raffles City, Plaza Singapura, and Bugis Junction. You might even enjoy student discounts at some places by flashing your student card. SMU itself has two food courts, a Koufu in the concourse and a Food republic right across the street. It also has other options that include, Subway, Pasta Mania, Swiss Bake, O’ Coffee Club, 1983 and Smoo Bar, B3 Basement Café.

On 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)

(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!


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