Information for First-Year Students

I. Arrival FAQs

What should I know about Singapore?

Singapore is a thriving city state in Southeast Asia. It is a thriving global financial hub and described as one of Asia’s economic “tigers”. The currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). Singapore has a population of over 5 million, primarily comprising Chinese, Malay, and Indian ethnic groups. With such a large diversity of ethnic communities, common languages include: English, Malay, Mandarin, Singlish, and Tamil. Singapore ranks high on its national social policies, leading Asia and 11th globally, on the Human Development Index (UN), notably on key measures of education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, housing. Changi Airport is the international airport of Singapore and is one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia.

Depending on your home country, Singapore may have a multitude of cultural norms and practices that may differ from your own. We recommend reading local websites and blogs to learn more before you arrive.

What is Orientation?

Orientation is the official start to your Yale-NUS College education and the chance to get to meet your classmates and immerse yourself into the community and the larger campus life, and learn about the resources at Yale-NUS College. Orientation programmes will involve Rectors, Assistant Dean, Dean’s Fellows, and faculty members. Certain days will be devoted to introducing you to the resources on/off campus, while other days are devoted to social and community activities. Details, including a schedule, can be found on the Orientation website.

Note: In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, Orientation 2020 will likely be held with modified arrangements. More information on Orientation 2020 will be sent out by the Orientation Committee at the Dean of Students’ Office at a later stage.

What events and programmes are available for parents/families?

In light of the ongoing developments surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, more information will be provided at a later stage

When can my family come visit me?

In light of the ongoing developments surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, more information will be provided at a later stage.

What if my family needs a visa?

We do not sponsor families members of students for a Singapore visa. However, we will provide an invitation letter to Family Orientation and Family Weekend for families, in case this might help them in their visa application process. Please contact to request for an invitation letter.

When do I need to arrive?

In light of the ongoing developments surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, more information will be provided at a later stage.

What if I cannot move-in on my assigned day?

In light of the ongoing developments surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, more information will be provided at a later stage.

How do I get to Yale-NUS College?

The address is 16 College Avenue West, Singapore 138527.

If you are flying to Singapore, there are multiple options for transportation to the campus but it is easiest to use the taxi stand located in each terminal although the College will arrange a few shuttle buses from the airport. Sign-ups for the free Yale-NUS airport shuttle service will be done through the First Year Forum.

The campus is located within University Town at NUS. Enter University Town via Dover Road at Clementi junction, turn right and drive down College Avenue West through the barrier. Continue along College Avenue West until you see a circular fountain entrance (the Oculus) to Yale-NUS College on the left. Depending on time, your taxi ride can cost between S$30-50.

If you are taking public transportation, the airport is connected to the city by the train. The mass transit train (MRT) station is easily accessible from all the airport terminals. The closest MRT stations are Clementi and Dover on the East-West line. There are buses (196, 96, 183, 151) from both stations to University Town along Clementi Road. A potential public transit route would be to take the East-West line to ‘Buona Vista’ and then the 196 bus to ‘aft Dover Rd.’ Campus is right along this bus route.

You will find a Yale-NUS representative at the Oculus.

What should I bring?

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE bring all important documents including your passport (bring both if you have dual citizenship) and ensure it is valid for the next 6 months. Bring identification cards, citizenship certificates, and any other relevant documents (e.g. letters of admission, originals of education and qualification certificates, vaccine info) to facilitate the immigration process.

Some useful items: Singapore weather can be described as hot and rainy. Average day temperatures throughout the year are in the low 30 °C to high 20 °C. We recommend bringing summer clothes, but do pack a shawl or light jacket as this comes in handy at the movies, dinner or any air-conditioned areas such as the lecture halls and classrooms on campus. Do try to pack an adequate amount of clothes. Pillows and bed linen are not provided in the residence so bring a set of your favourite sheets, or you can buy a set of new ones here.

Umbrella: A must have in Singapore, keep it with you all the time because the weather here is rather fickle. It can be scorching hot one moment, and then thunderstorm the next. Not many people wear raincoats here.

Shoes: Open-toed shoes such as sandals and flip-flops are comfortable and suitable. A good pair of walking shoes will be very useful when walking around the city. Even though it rains a lot, there is no need to bring rain boots.  Note: Flip flops/Shoes only go up to US size 10 (Men), 9 (Women) in most stores.

Formal Clothes: There will be several Yale-NUS functions and events throughout the year (Opening Dinner, semester celebrations, etc.), so do pack a few nice, semi-formal outfits.

You can basically find anything in Singapore so do not worry too much! However, there are items that are harder to come by or more expensive.

Expensive Items in Singapore
• Vitamins, supplements

• Hydrocortisone (anti-itch creams you are probably used to; there are ‘alternatives’ here you can try…)

• Sneakers/athletic shoes (large sizes are hard to find, size 10+)

• Sunscreen

• Special health food items

• Certain cosmetic items can be more expensive here compared to your home country

• Electronics! Amazon has started delivering some items to Singapore if you purchase anything above $125. Electronics that require a battery do not fall in that category so you may want to purchase your gadgets. However, remember to bring an adaptor.

Difficult to Find Items in Singapore

• Workout supplements (pre-workout powder, creatine, BCAAs, etc)

• Prescription drugs for the first few months

Personal Items

• Printed photos of family and friends for your room

• Any prescriptions: medications and glasses

Note: Prescription and over-the-counter drugs: Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Benadryl, etc. are only available through a doctor’s prescription and some brands may be available under alternate names. Please check HSA for the current guidelines on bringing personal medications into Singapore.

What Not To Bring

• Illegal items include: large amounts of chewing gum, chewing tobacco, anything of pistol or revolver shape, firecrackers, controlled drugs, among others. Find more information here.

• Large electronic items (e.g. TVs, microwaves)

• Appliances: The voltage in Singapore is 220 V (US is 110V) and the plugs are different. Unless your electrical equipment is ‘multi-region’ or you can switch the voltage between 110 and 220 it is best to plan on buying new when you get here.

Note: High wattage items require big and expensive converters that you can buy here if you must bring them with you. All Apple items have dual voltages and are fine.

• Large/heavy books. You’ll probably be able to find them here and shipping/carrying them back will be a pain.

• Winter clothes! However, as mentioned before, please bring a few sweaters for over air-conditioned rooms.

Please note that there are stores that students can visit to purchase essentials. There is an IKEA near campus as well as several other large stores and a mall down the road, all easily accessible by public transit or taxi.

What about a mobile/cell/handphone?

You can purchase one in Singapore. However, if you already have an unlocked cell phone, please bring it with you. As for SIM cards, you have two options: a pre-paid top-up sim card plan or a monthly phone plan. The four telecomm providers are: Singtel, StarHub, Circles.Life, and M1.

The first option is a pre-paid SIM card, easily procured at the Cheers Convenience store in University Town (UTown) or other convenience stores and markets. The cost of one ranges from S$8 to S$10 or S$15 to S$18 for a 3G-enabled card. Some SIMs may cost more – it is S$38 for a nano SIM. This option works on a top-up basis, meaning you put more money on the card once your credit runs out. You will need your Passport to purchase a sim card if you are an international student.

If you foresee heavy phone usage, we advise you to look into a phone plan with one of the telecomm providers. Many of the plans involve a monthly payment, a 1-2 year commitment, and can include cellphone updates. Their plans are all very similar. You will need your Passport and Student Pass to get a cell phone plan. You can sign up with any of these companies on your own at the mall closest to campus, the Clementi Mall.

It is very common to use a top-up plan as many students only use data and a smartphone app called WhatsApp to text each other. However, please use the option most suited to your mobile needs.

More information will be communicated in mid-July about options to purchase sim cards on campus.

How much money do I need to bring? How can I access money before I open a bank account?

Daily meals are provided on-campus, but if you plan to occasionally eat off-campus, grab a cup of coffee, or shop – you may want between S$50-S$100 per week.  Most banks allow you to use an international network of ATMs, so you may be able to withdraw funds from your current account at any of the ATMs on campus.  You can also bring currency to exchange in the airport (no transaction fees) or use an international credit card at stores and restaurants.  Please check with your bank regarding international transaction and ATM fees.
IMPORTANT: Please bring sufficient funds to purchase textbooks and school supplies.

How can I purchase the course textbooks?

All Year 1 students will be pre-allocated with the following common curriculum modules for the first semester. Please refer to this Reading List for the required list of texts.

  • YCC1111 Literature and Humanities 1
  • YCC1113 Philosophy and Political Thought 1
  • YCC1121 Comparative Social Inquiry
  • YCC1122 Quantitative Reasoning

Literature and Humanities 1 (YCC1111), Philosophy and Political Thought 1 (YCC1113) and Quantitative Reasoning (YCC1122) require students to use set texts in specific editions (check the ISBN numbers). Some of these books are only available in hard copy, which are difficult to obtain in a timely manner in Singapore, and the NUS campus bookstore and campus library carry limited copies. The faculty of these courses strongly advise that you acquire your texts well in advance of your arrival on campus. You may be also able to obtain second-hand copies of these books from older students through social media or other informal channels, but please be prepared for your first day of class by having the correct editions of all set texts in hand!

What if I have been awarded book allowance by Yale-NUS? How do I make use of this?

Please contact the Financial Aid office at

Where can I purchase school and personal supplies?

There are grocery and convenience stores within walking distance of campus. There is also an IKEA within a ten-minute bus ride from Yale-NUS. Additionally, there are two malls within five-minute bus rides from campus.

Should I open a bank account in Singapore?

Most of the international banks have branches in Singapore and some of them have ATMs on campus. We advise you check with your home bank to see if you can use their services here. Some banks will also allow you to open up an international account prior to arriving in Singapore.

If you don’t already have an account with a bank that allows international ATM usage, it makes sense to get a local account. DBS, OCBC, and UOB are the biggest local banks and all have ATMs on campus. DBS has the most ATMs on campus. One perk of a local bank is NETS, essentially a debit card which allows your ATM card to serve many other functions, including paying for all bus fares and MRT (subway) fares. Please note that you only need your IPA letter and your passport to open a bank account – so you can open your bank account before you get your student pass.

It is advisable to arrive in Singapore with enough cash for the first 1-2 weeks for any personal expenses, while you await your Student Pass. For many of these banks, they will require your Student Pass, Passport, and a Yale-NUS proof of residence letter in order to open an account.

To get your Yale-NUS proof of residence letter, email


II. Residential Living

What facilities are available on campus?

Our campus is designed to be a 24/7 residential community, with all amenities and conveniences you will need. There is a dining hall, laundry facilities, a student-run cafe (butteries), and common rooms in each of the three Residential Colleges. There is also a on-campus cafe, performing arts spaces, a gym, a comprehensive Learning Commons, and a Multi-Purpose Hall. In addition, there are plenty of communal study and activity spaces.

All Yale-NUS courses will be taught within the campus. You are also able to use the public facilities at NUS with a NUS matriculation card, such as: the UTown pool, recreation centre, food courts (FoodClique and Fine Foods among others), library, and museum.

How can I mail packages to myself?

Students can mail packages addressed to themselves at their Residential College Office:

Saga: 10 College Ave West, #01-101, Singapore 138609
Elm: 12 College Ave West, #01-201, Singapore 138610
Cendana: 28 College Ave West (RC3), #01-501, Singapore 138533

You will receive an email if you have a package waiting for you.

What will my room be like?

You will have a single room that comes with a bed, bedside table, desk, chair, tall shelf, wardrobe, AC and ceiling fan. Each room has a big open window and the walls are white so you will have plenty of opportunity to decorate and make it your own space. The rooms are situated within 4- or 6- person suites that overlook a sky garden. There is one shared bathroom with two sinks, a shower, and a toilet. First-year students are assigned to their Residential Colleges and their suites before their arrival.

Additional information including a 3D virtual tour is available via the Yale-NUS Housing page.

What kind of internet access is available in the residence?

There is wireless access throughout the campus and NUS campus. In addition, there will be one network port per suite located at the common hall.

I’ve heard about the hot weather. Do we have air conditioning?

Yes. Students will need to purchase air conditioning credits. More information will be shared during Orientation. Common spaces, including study areas, dining halls, and the learning commons are always air-conditioned. Estimated approximate cost for nominal usage of aircon is about S$20-30 a month.

Where can I find single stall bathrooms on campus?

There are multiple single stall (not gender specific) restrooms throughout campus. These include:

  • Cendana Tower A, Floor 1
    • Walk past the elevators, and make a right into the hallway. The door will be on your left.
  • Saga College
    • Walk to the bottom of the Saga courtyard. Make a right at the laundry room/vending machines. Make a left into the next hallway, and the stalls will be there.
    • Next to Classroom 5 
  • HR/Admissions building all floors
    • The building is located at 16 College Avenue West. To get there from Saga/Elm, exit the Elm gate towards the library, and make a left. Continue on the path until you reach the building. To get there from Cendana, walk towards the library, and either follow the stone pathway or the main path to get to the fountain. The building is on your left. 
  • Residential College offices


III. Dining

What are the dining plans like?

Eating is a major bonding activity at Yale-NUS and you will have a full meal plan (19 meals/week) in the dining hall. There are a variety of different cuisines offered in the dining hall, including Indian, Chinese, Malay, and Western and on some occasions, Japanese, Thai, and Korean.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

We have designed the meal plan to accommodate a variety of palates and dietary restrictions. Please let the Dean of Students office know if you have any serious dietary restrictions and we will do our best to assist

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore has officially certified the dining vendor at Yale-NUS as a provider of Halal service following several months of close observation of food sourcing and preparation and the Saga buttery is halal-friendly.

How do I access the dining hall?

You will be asked to tap your access card each time you take a meal at the dining hall, so don’t forget to keep your card with you at all times.

Where can I buy food after hours?

There are plenty of food options in University Town and a number of hawker centres nearby. Each Residential College has a student-run buttery which will be open on certain nights during the week.



What is a user ID?  What is my email address?

You will receive a unique user ID during online pre-registration. This is the user ID that you will use to log in to all portals and platforms at Yale-NUS.

What kind of computer should I buy?

Although there are multiple computer labs for student-use on campus, we highly encourage you to bring your own laptop for personal use at school. Either Mac or PC is fine. You may also opt to purchase a new computer from the NUS Co-Op, which entitles you to a 10% discount and pre-loaded basic software. Some of the brands that Co-Op has are Apple, HP, Acer, Lenovo and Microsoft. Singaporean students usually get their laptops here when they matriculate and the computers are very affordable with all the software perks. Singapore has many technology-related shops, so if you are feeling adventurous, you can check out the various options available here. For more information, check here.

Should I bring my own printer?

There is no need for you to bring your own printer (although feel free to do so).  There is on-campus printing throughout the campus. These network printers also allow you to scan and make copies. You can also use the printers at the nearby Education Resource Centre (ERC) in UTown, open 24/7. It costs 4c to print one A4 page in grayscale.

How/where do I stay connected?

Wireless connection is available across campus including residential lounge, classrooms and your suite. The wireless connection includes the NUS campus as well.



As a first-year, when do I get to select an elective course and how often do I meet with my academic advisor?

During Orientation, you will meet with your academic advisor (your Assistant Dean) and your faculty advisor. Both advisors offer guidance with regards to your curricular choices. However, all first-year students are enrolled in the Yale-NUS Common Curriculum for their first semester. Students will have the option to add one elective course in the second semester of their first year. There will be many opportunities to consult with your advisors as you make that decision.

What are the students organisations like? Can I create my own?

One of the most exciting aspects of college is the opportunity to join and lead student organisations.  Yale-NUS is home to over 50 different student organisations and it’s possible to pitch ideas for new groups throughout the year.  Yale-NUS students are also able to join NUS student organisations and athletic teams

How do I get around Singapore?

The best way to get around is using the public transportation system.  Yale-NUS is located on several bus lines that can take you directly to many areas downtown.  The 196 bus will take you to the Buona Vista MRT (subway) station while the 96 bus will take you to the Clementi MRT station.  Both stations are located on the East-West line.  To use the bus or subway, you can pay with cash or with an EZ-Link card.  (All students will receive an EZ-Link card during Orientation). Once you set-up a bank account here, you can also enable your bank card to pay for the MRT or bus. Public transport is very inexpensive and there are several different smart phone applications you can use to monitor the bus schedules and routes.

Taxis are another popular way to get around Singapore.  You can often flag a taxi down from Dover Road or summon one via text message or smart phone app to pick you up at the Yale-NUS entrance.  Taxis in Singapore are less expensive than many major cities, but the fees can add up – especially if you use one at night.

You can also use transportation apps such as Uber or Grab which allow you to book taxi’s on demand but also provide the option of private cars and online payment.

What if I need a job during the semester?

Your student pass entitles you to seek part-time jobs and internships in Singapore. You can work outside the college, however the best place to work is at Yale-NUS College.  The Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE)’s Student Associate Programme helps to connect you with potential work opportunities around campus; students are hired to assist with faculty research, work in administrative offices, and plan events.  You will receive details from the CIPE staff later in the summer. 

What about health insurance?

As a Yale-NUS student, you are enrolled in the NUS Student Undergraduate Health Scheme.  The insurance plan includes general outpatient care at the NUS University Health Centre (UHC) and specialist and inpatient care at public hospitals throughout Singapore. 

For emergency situations, students are typically taken to National University Hospital (NUH)When travelling outside of Singapore, students are covered on a reimbursement basis for accidental medical issues.  When travelling on a Yale-NUS programme, students are provided with additional travel and liability insurance.  

Singapore has a world-renowned healthcare system and offers high quality medical care.  To learn more about the health insurance scheme, please review the details online.    


Matriculation FAQs


I. Health Screening for Singaporean and Singapore Permanent Residents

Where do I log in to book the health screening?

Please log in here using your Slate ID and email address. This link is only accessible within the submission period.

Your Slate ID is the same as your applicant number, a 9-digit reference number. The Slate ID can be retrieved from the application portal.

Where can I find my Slate ID?

Your Slate ID is the same as your applicant number, a 9-digit reference number. The Slate ID can be retrieved from the application portal.

Can I have my health screening done at an external clinic?

The health screening can be done

If you choose to (a) or (b), you are required to download the Medical Examination Form. Please email the Medical Examination Form and medical reports (if any) that are completed in ENGLISH to NUS UHC at by the stipulated deadline.

If you have done a similar health check not more than six months prior, you must still complete and email Part 1 of the prescribed medical report form, together with documentary proof of the earlier medical examination to NUS UHC by the stipulated deadline.

Please contact NUS UHC at should you have further query.

Please take note that the health screening cost will be borne by the student whether it is conducted at NUS UHC or at an external clinic.

What must I bring for the NUS UHC health screening?

Please refer to the link here for the items to bring.

What is the cost of the NUS UHC health screening?

Please refer to the link here for the price guide.

I am an international student. Do I have to undergo health screening at NUS UHC?

You will be receiving an email with more information about the health screening from our Student Services. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Student Services directly at

I will be overseas during the NUS UHC Health Screening dates arranged for local students. Can I arrange an alternative date myself?

You can arrange an alternative health screening slot with NUS University Health Centre (UHC) directly. However, please ensure that the health screening is completed before Registration Part 2 (Matriculation Day).


II. Digital Photo Submission for Student ID Card

Where do I log in to submit my photo?

Please log in here using your Slate ID and email address. The link is only accessible within the submission period.
Your Slate ID is the same as your applicant number, a 9-digit reference number. The Slate ID can be retrieved from the application portal.

Whenever I click the “submit your photo” button, it shows “internal server error” or “web error”. I have tried different browsers on my computer yet the same thing occurs. What should I do?

Please ensure that your photo is in JPEG format and that it adheres to the Requirements of Photograph for Online Submission given.

If the problem persists, please email a screenshot of the error to for further assistance.


III. Registration (Part One)

Where can I find my user ID and password for Registration (Part One)?

You will receive two separate emails from on the first day of Registration (Part One) containing your:

  1. User ID (a number starting with E)
  2. Password

Please contact if you do not receive the emails.

I made a mistake in the postal code while filling in the Registration Form (Part One). How should I correct it?

You can update your addresses/contact numbers/emergency contact numbers by logging in to myEduRec with your NUSNET ID and password. Please note that your NUSNET account and NUS Email will be activated two days after completion of Registration (Part One). Do remember to change the default NUSNET password at This must be done before you can access any system that requires the NUSNET password.

If you are having any issues logging in to the system, please contact NUS IT Care at 6516 2080 or email

I am an international student. Should I put Yale-NUS address or my actual overseas home address as the “Payment Address?”

Payment address is equivalent to the billing address. You may leave it blank at this moment and log in to myEduRec later to update. The payment address can be either local or overseas home address.

I am an international student. What is the implication of selecting “I do not authorise” option under Authorization of Medical Procedures for international students?

International students will have to make declarations for both sections below:

  1. Authorization of Medical Procedures
  2. Appointment of Local representative

Students are recommended to appoint a Singapore-based representative. This is very important during an emergency when the student requires surgery/other medical procedures/treatment but is not in the capacity to make any rational decision. As such, in the scenario that you did not appoint any Singapore-based representative, but you have authorised the NUS Officer/Staff to make that decision, they will be able to do so. If the authorization is not given, the NUS Officer/Staff will have to contact your next of kin who might be overseas and unreachable at that critical point in time.

I am an international student. Is there a criteria guideline for appointing my local (Singapore-based) representative?

The definition for a Local (Singapore-based) representative is someone who is “above 18 years of age and who will have the authority to authorize or refuse consent to any surgery or medical procedure or treatment on the student on behalf of the student or his/her parent/ guardian”.If you do not know anyone who can act as your local representative, you can declare that you do not wish to appoint any at the point of Registration (Part One). Once you are more familiar with Singapore, you can log in to myEduRec and update the declaration.

Under the “Family Financial Background” section, is the family gross household income referring to annual or monthly basis? What is the currency used?

The family gross household income is referring to monthly basis in Singapore dollars (SGD).

Please contact Yale-NUS Financial Aid at if you need to make amendments after completion of Registration (Part One).

I completed the Registration (Part One) and I have forgotten my NUSNET password.

Your NUSNET account will only be activated two days after completion of Registration (Part One).

Students who have forgotten their NUSNET password but have not changed it yet can access the Registration Part One System to retrieve their password.

Students who have forgotten their NUSNET password after changing it can seek help by sending an email to , stating their full name and Student ID.