Reasons why I’m not living on campus

I chose not to pursue on-campus housing at National University of Singapore (NUS), mostly for personal reasons. I could probably get by living in dormitories, but I feel like I have already outgrown it a bit and below are some reasons why I’m so happy living off campus. I do have to pay a bit more for rent, but I think for me the benefits outweigh the costs.

  1. Fully functional kitchen – the number 1 reason for me is that campus housing for single people has at most a microwave, fridge, and sink. I guess I could buy a gas stove, but I’m not even sure if that is allowed.
  2. Not trapped on campus – I already need to spend so many hours of my day on campus, I would not want to have to spend all of my time there. Also, it is less convenient to get to places outside of campus by public transportation as there are only a few buses that run through campus. There is the train station but that is not always convenient either.
  3. Awesome roommates – For on-campus housing, I most likely would not have been able to choose who to live with.
  4. Overnight guests – As far as I know, on-campus housing does not officially allow overnight guests. I’ve already had one friend visit me and stay with me, and a colleague stay with us before she moved into her place. I hope more come to visit! [hint hint]
  5. Community – I feel more like I’m part of a community. Granted I have yet to speak to any neighbors, we are surrounded by families and people of all ages. There are community events, hawker food centers that are open late, and a good grocery store nearby. There is also a group of older folks who do tai chi in the evenings across the street from me and that makes it feel a bit homier.
  6. Avoiding the expat scene – I do enjoy spending time with other expats, but I don’t want to surround myself with them. I especially see a lot of Western expats around University Town (the posh new part of campus with residences but looks more like a mini-resort), and I feel like I already know what they are like. It is hard to describe, but in short I’m ok with dabbling but don’t want to be immersed in that scene.

Are you thinking about going for on-campus housing? What are your main concerns and priorities?