What is it like to do an exchange at National University of Singapore?


I am considering doing an exchange in Singapore - any one had any experience with this?


Hi @Curious.George!

I’ve had a great experience in Singapore for my exchange at National University of Singapore.

My exchange was awhile ago now, in 2011, when Yale-NUS just started. I was in my 4th year of my Masters in Architecture, and found out the University of Auckland (my university) had a deal with NUS. I signed up for a half year program in the School of Architecture, and it was the best semester ever!

The academic structure was very similar to UOA, hence the partnership, and the grades were transferable.

I looked into other countries like the USA, UK and Holland, but the cost factor was too high for those. Singapore’s exchange rate, and expenses were almost 1:1 with New Zealand. Also, NUS is ranked to be one of the worlds top universities with a brand new campus. So in the end, NUS became an obvious choice.

During my time at NUS, I have:

  1. Experienced learning in a new country, see what others are doing in my industry
  2. Made many good friends, and travelled with them. (A few of them I still keep in touch with now!) I managed to backpack throughout most of SE Asia.
  3. Expanded my horizons, built connections and understood more of SE Asia
  4. Played football for NUS, made lots of good friends on the team. Playing sports on exchange is a great way to integrate :slight_smile:
  5. Lived on campus, Tembusu College. Great exercise for independence .
  6. Got involved in campus communities and event planning. (Got to DJ a few big college events)

I cannot recommend NUS and Singapore enough! I would do the exchange again in a heart beat, it changed my life as a Uni student.

Let me know if you have anymore specific questions regarding the whole experience, I’m happy to help :slight_smile:


I was an exchange student to NUS as part of a joint degree program between the Australian National University and NUS. My conclusion is that it is a great place to go for exchange, but an extremely stressful environment as a full-time student. The quality and variety of food in Singapore is unmatched, and there are always exciting events happening in Singapore. I recommend applying for accommodation in Utown as they have the best facilities and are well kept. Singapore is also a great place to land your feet if you are planning to explore SE Asia and learn new languages.

Must do’s in Singapore:

  1. Visit the local hawker foodcourts
  2. Try the Altitude rooftop bar with an amazing view of Singapore
  3. Go to Sentosa island
  4. Marina Bay Sands


Hi @Curious.George,

I’m an alumna from National University of Singapore and studied Economics in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences full-time.

Most exchange students I know had an awesome time in Singapore! They like the warm weather, local and international food variety, clean and safe environment, campus life, night entertainment and travel opportunities around South East Asia.

I think there is a solid program in place for exchange students, with proper orientation, tours and activities organised specially for them. You will have plenty of opportunities to meet both locals and fellow exchange students!

Study-wise, full time workload is 5 modules per semester and each module is typically 3 to 5 hours per week. It could also be competitive and grades are bell-curved.

Some exchange students participate actively in campus activities, organising events and a few ended up being the wing leader of my accommodation block!

If you have any questions, just let me know! :slight_smile:


Heyyy! Thank you for the info!

What do you recommend for an exchange-student from Spain going from January to June? College or Residence like Utown or PGPR?

Thank you very much!

Best regards


Heyyy q.koh! Thank you for the info!

What do you recommend for an exchange-student from Spain going from January to June? College or Residence like Utown or PGPR?

Thank you very much!

Best regards


Hey, I stayed in Utown when it was first open to public and it was EPIC. The facilities and accomodation was amazing and beautifully designed. I would totally recommend it if you can get a spot in there!


Heyyy! Thank you for your quick response!
Yeah, i agree with you. UTOWN is my 1st preference.

But how would you fill the 2º and 3rd preferences of my application?

2º Raffles Hall? Any College like RC4?
3º PGPR?

That’s my concern. I dont know what to choose in 2nd or 3rd in case I dont get selected for UTOWN…

Any recommendations?

Thank you very much!



No worries. I would say what you have is what I would put as well.

The halls are historic and more local students stay there, which means a much more authentic experience.

Utown was much more international and foreign student focused when i was there.

Hope that helps!


Yeah, you’re right but I’ve seen that Halls are mainly focused on locals students (Like 95% or more are locals).

I mean, according to your experience… Would it be more suitable a college than a hall for exchange student? I would like a balance between authentic experience and chance to go abroad and travel a litlle bit

Thanks for your help!


I would try get into Utown or similar if you are keen for a more international exchange student experience. You are more likely to meet people similar to yourself with the same plans.

I’m pretty sure they will prioritise foreign exchange students for Utown anyway.