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Survival Kit

Being an international student, you will need to adjust to a new environment, ways of living and university life. In order to help you navigate, we have designed this practical Survival Kit to address some of your concerns.

Getting Around Singapore
Getting around Singapore is easy and convenient with the efficient public transportation network which offers the modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) rail system, buses, and taxis. 

EZ Link Card

A contactless stored value card to be used for public transport. The cost of your journey will be automatically deducted when you tap out/alight from the MRT or bus. 
Getting Around NUS

Get an overview of the NUS campuses with this handy and interactive map. 

01 - Kent Ridge Campus

BY MRT, Public Buses, Internal Shuttle Buses

02 - Bukit Timah Campus (BTC)

By Public Transport 

03 - Duke Nus Graduate Medical School 

By Public Transport 

Getting Connected


Singapore has four main telecommunication providers, namely SingTel, Starhub, M1 and With these providers, you can subscribe to a mobile service plan or buy a pre-paid card with a local number. Click on each of them below to find out more. 


There are "plug and play" portable devices which will be convenient wherever you go. Access the same SingTel, Starhub, and M1 links in the previous page to choose which provider suits your usage needs best. WIFI hot spots are easily found in Singapore. On campus, you can access WIFI as long as you are a registered NUS student.


SingPost is the designated public postal licensee. Apart from domestic and international regular postal services, the post offices also offer services such as courier, retail, ticketing, government application and bill payment. The nearest branch to NUS is located at Clementi. Do check out their opening hours before heading down. POPStations are also a good alternative if you wish to selfcollect parcel items at your preferred time and location.  Find out more about them here.

Post box locations on campus: 

- Forum/Central Library (near bus stop) 
- Faculty of Science  (near bus stop)
- In front of NUH, Emergency entrance 

BTC Student Hub POPstation locations on campus: 
- Prince George's Park Residences (PGPR)
- Stephen Riady Centre (UTown) 

Making Payments


is a debit card that allows payment at retail shops/taxis advertising the NETS sign. Find out more here. 


is a stored value card, allowing cashless payment. Participating vendors will have CASHCARD signs on display. You may use the cashcard at the school libraries' printing rooms. Topping up of cash can be done at the library, convenience stores or car park kiosks.


is a convenient and cashless mode of payment provided by the bank. It is an arrangement that you can make with your Billing Organisation (such as NUS) to debit your designated bank account to pay your bills on a regular basis. 


may be done using bank drafts made out in Singapore dollars and drawn from a Singapore bank. These can be credited to your accounts and drawn in one to two days. Cheques drawn on banks with no branches in Singapore may take about 3-8 weeks to clear. 


You will be able to find local and international banks in Singapore. Please check with your home bank to see if you can use their services here. Otherwise, it would be wise to set up a local account. DBS, OCBC and UOB are the biggest local banks and all have Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on campus. 

  • Refer here for the full list of banks in Singapore.
  • Refer here for the full list of ATMs on campus.

For your convenience, the nearest DBS bank outlet is located on campus at Yusof Ishak House (YIH). Remember to bring sufficient cash or traveller's cheques to cover your expenses while deciding on the bank you wish to open an account with. 


To open a savings account, please have the following ready: 

  • Original Passport
  • Student's Pass *Note: some banks may allow the use of In-Principle Approval (IPA) Letter from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore instead of Student't Pass (e.g. DBS Bank at YIH)
  • Proof of Residency (e.g. Letter from Hostel Management Office/Student Service Centre or Tenancy Agreement of at least 6 months validity for private rental)   
  • Local or Valid Overseas Phone Number
  • Valid Email Address
  • Minimum Deposit, if required

Download the NUS Mobile Suite App. Available on both iOS and Android. It connects you to student life essentials and makes your life much easier. 

Getting Necessities


From groceries to quick bites to beauty items to stationery and gifts, you can find them all on campus (KR) or nearby.  Navigate here to access the stores' addresses and opening hours.       


Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English are the four official languages in Singapore.
English is the language of business, government, and is used in schools. English is the common language among the four main ethnic groups.  Although English is widely spoken, when Singaporeans gather in informal settings, we often speak in a mix of English and the vernacular languages.

This is Singlish, a localised form of English we have evolved over our history. While it may not be recognised as a formal language, it is useful to understand some of the common terms that you may encounter in your daily interactions on the next page.* 


  • AUNTIE/UNCLE - Respectful address for an older woman or man.
  • LAH - Used at the end of the sentence to emphasise a point.  Example: "Just do it lah" (please do it now)
  • ALAMAK - A general expression of dismay or incredulity.
  • SO HOW? - "So what do we do now?"
  • CAN CAN - "Yes, definitely."
  • DOHWAN - "No, thanks."/ "I don't want it."
  • SHIOK! - Used to express satisfaction or that something is great.
  • Oh, IZZIT? - "Oh, is that true?"


  • Emergency Ambulance/Fire 995
  • Police 999 
  • NUS Campus Security  6874 1616 
  • LifeLine NUS 6516 7777 
  • NUS Counselling Centre  6516 2376 
  • NUS OFM Maintenance Hotline 6516 1515 
  • Non-emergency ambulance  1777 
  • NEA Hotline 1800 2255 632 
  • Dengue Hotline 1800 9336 483 
  • Drugs & Poison (non-emergency) 6423 9119