Campus Life – John

Living on campus was a whole new experience for me as I have never lived for this long outside home. At first, it was quite a depressing start as my room had no air conditioning to survive the humid weather and I knew of nobody to meet. (It does get quite depressing when it’s pouring with rain outside and your room looks like a colourless prison).

Typical room of RVRC

It wasn’t long however before I got to start meeting new people, especially those on exchange as well from Korea. (I really can say there is a thing for Koreans to group wherever they go). Staying close with these people made my campus life a lot better as we ate and hung out almost every day. We also celebrated each other’s birthdays and made food together on public holidays as well for a good Korean food session.

Celebrating one of our fam’s birthday (faces blurred for privacy)
Making Korean food for ourselves on Chinese New Year
UTown Residence (UTR) – one of the accommodation in UTown
UTown – #NUS sign in front of ERC (Education Resource Centre)

I’ve introduced this place before in my second blog and it is called University Town (UTown for short). It is a small town-like area located on the northern part of the campus. It is in my opinion, the most modern area where all the good things are such as good food, air conditioned indoors, plenty of study spaces inside ERC (and a Starbucks that’s open for 24 hours). This place is where I stayed the most often during my stay at NUS.

UTown Green

One time, we were chilling at UTown Green and met a few other students who were exchange students from Italy and the US who were singing with guitars. My friends and I asked to join in, and sang the whole night long. Something you would only imagine happening in movies came into reality on that day for me.

UTown is equipped with a few other of the on-campus accommodation including UTown residence, Tembusu college, Residential college 4, etc. Most of the people that I was close with during my exchange lived in UTown so it was a meet up place for us to study or chill together. If you happen to be allocated to one of the UTown colleges, here are some brief impressions of them from my point of view.

Cinnamon college – If you’re into board games, its lounge on the ground floor has a lot of them so give it a try. On an additional note, apparently this college is where the smarties are so it’s noise level is quite low compared to other ones.

UTown Residence – It has a pretty big lounge on the ground floor that is relatively accessible to non-residents as well unlike other on-campus lounges of UTown.

Residential college 4 – This college is the furthest one on the other end of UTown and its quite a pain walking to the UTown bus stop.

College of Alice and Peter Tan – I don’t know much about this college and I hope its name has no pun intended.

Tembusu college – From my impressions, this college seems to have the most social events.

Ridge view residential college (RVRC)

To be honest, these two places are the main places that I went to on campus excluding lecture halls or tutorial rooms. RVRC is where I stayed during my time in NUS. Five of the friends from our group including me lived in this part of the campus and meaningful time was also spent with them. I recall how when one of us wanted to eat something, we would always go and cook our midnight noodles. Overnight talks with these lovely people made unforgettable memories during my stay.

Korean spicy noodles a.k.a. shin ramen

My most favourite thing about living on campus is that you get to live within walking distances with your friends. The good thing about meeting other exchange students is that they are quite open to making new friends and trying new things. Also, quite a lot of local Singaporean students stay on-campus so try making friends with these nice guys too because they are such a lovely bunch of people. Luckily for me, I got to meet people who were very keen on travelling to nearby South-Eastern countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia and so many more. The location of Singapore is perfect for travelling around as it is not pricey whereas from NZ, it would cost thousands. So, continuing from this blog in my next blog, where I get to talk about a topic of my choice, I’d like to talk about my experience in travelling to countries around Singapore! (Because to be fully honest, I feel that I have lived about half of my exchange life out of campus.)

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