Guest Post By: Jenny Chan, a Senior studying Marketing and CISB. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through Foster Exchange at the National University of Singapore in Queenstown, Singapore, during Autumn Semester 2023.
At NUS there are 3 different types of on campus housing available to students. Student dorms, residential colleges, and a more independent student dorm. The student dorm communities at NUS are a really big thing here. Much like frats but organized in a similar fashion as UW dorms. Named “Hall of Residences” there are 6 halls that are each known for something. During my time at NUS, I choose to stay in one of the Hall residences, Kent Ridge. Kent Ridge is known as the business hall and so many business students tend to stay there but there are many other students who choose to stay there as well.
The most unique thing about these Hall of Residences at NUS were how strict there were about joining the Hall community and engaging with your fellow roommates and hall members. Each semester students are required to gain a certain amount of hall points, they can get these through going to block dinners, joining in on volunteering events with fellow mates and as well participating in a CCA. Similar to clubs but more narrowed down to just hall specific members, there are several CCA’s ranging from talent, like singing and dancing to sports like badminton or track. These hall points are important for returning students who wish to stay in the halls, but it also offered many opportunities for international students like me to join in and participate in hall events and make friends. In terms of amenities and other nitty gritty things. In Kent Ridge the hall was split into 6 blocks, each with 7 gendered split floors. All the rooms at KR don’t have AC but some rooms are allowed to have portable AC’s plugged in. Each floor shares a communal bathroom and all students who choose to live in a hall must sign up for the dinning plan. Overall, the food at the dining hall could be a hit or miss and most of the time the menu was the same old dishes. But in terms of costs the halls are a bit cheaper overall when compared to the other housing options.
NUS also offers more independent housing options called UTR or PGPR. These housing options are more like apartments where students each have their own room but there are 3 others living in the same room number. In these rooms some have their own built in AC and others do not. As well students who choose these options don’t have to sign up for a dinning plan and are expected to find their own meals, but at each of these places they have their own canteen with several different stalls that offer different types of cuisine.