Approx. Time Difference
Apr - Oct: +15 hrs
Nov - Mar: +16 hrs
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
You will be fully immersed into academic and social life at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
- Attendance at on-site orientation
- 24 UC quarter units each term; four NUS modules (courses) of 6 UC quarter units each
- One course may be taken P/NP
- Concentration in your major field of study (although not exclusively)
- A strong record of class attendance (to be eligible to sit for final exams)
- NUS and MyEAP course registration
In addition to regular course offerings, the National University of Singapore has a number of challenging opportunities.
University Scholars Programme
Regular courses at NUS are already demanding; however, if you are seeking truly challenging interdisciplinary study, consider first-tier modules (courses) in the University Scholars Programme
. This program provides a rigorous multidisciplinary curriculum for active learners who like to think and write critically and make connections among different disciplines.
NUS offers innovative study opportunities. For example, you may take part in a program on information and communications management that combines the arts with information technology. There are also multidisciplinary studies that combine business and law, and a “Technopreneurship”
program that trains science and engineering students to take advantage of commercial opportunities.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs (UROP) are offered by the School of Computing
, the Faculty of Engineering
, and the Faculty of Science
. You can view the available research projects on the NUS website now and then register for a particular project after you arrive at NUS and obtain a matriculation number. You may e-mail the project supervisor and request written approval for a space in the UROP. You then submit this approval as part of the application documents. If you obtain an approved reservation, contact the supervisor personally upon arrival at NUS to officially register in the UROP course.
Research courses are also available through many departments and are listed on the module catalog.
The NUS Business School MBA Program has been ranked among the top three in the Asia-Pacific region by Asia, Inc. UC graduate students admitted as exchange students will participate in the second year of the MBA program and take the elective courses. Courses in this program are not open to undergraduate exchange students (UCEAP). The curriculum is characterized by an Asian focus and offers concentrations in the areas of accounting, finance, management, marketing, logistics and operations management, and decision sciences. Additional information is available on the NUS MBA website
NUS courses are called modules. Most modules at NUS are 4 credits (6 UC quarter units). Each module has a unique code consisting of a two- or three- letter discipline prefix and four digits; the first digit indicates the course level:
- 1000 level-one modules are UC lower-division credit
- 2000 level-two and 3000 level-three modules are upper-division credit (except for language courses)
- 4000 level modules are graduate level and are rarely open to undergraduates. To take these courses, you must get approval from the instructor and submit a UCEAP General Petition for approval from the UCEAP Systemwide Office.
The majority of courses are conducted over a semester, with an exam at the end of the semester; however, there are some year-long courses with an exam at the end of the academic year. If you are in the fall program do not enroll in year-long courses.
Instruction is in English, except in studies that have language prerequisites (for example, Chinese studies). Courses are academically solid and you will need strong academic skills and writing ability as well as personal initiative and independence. Most courses consist of lectures and required tutorials or discussion sections. Syllabi and reading lists are normally provided; the use of PowerPoint is widespread and students frequently bring laptops to class. More out-of-class reading is required and the reading is of a greater breadth than you may be accustomed to at UC. Attendance and paper writing are important components of the courses. Participation is expected in the tutorials and is considered in the final grade.
NUS requires more student group work than UC. This may require meetings in the evening and on weekends. Out of respect for your NUS counterparts, take this work and time commitment seriously. Be available to meet with fellow students as needed.
Before departure you will complete an NUS application that includes a list of the courses you wish to take. You will find out
which courses have been approved with your NUS admission notice approximately one month before departure. UC students are accepted into faculties based on the classes they request on the application. You may take courses outside your major provided the courses were noted and approved in the NUS application.
Certain courses or departments have restrictions. See restrictions on the NUS website prior to completing your NUS application.
When listing classes on the NUS application, sign up for at least ten (10) classes you want to take, then drop courses later. The classes should be in as many different faculties as you are considering taking classes, but the majority should be in the faculty where you are planning to register because it is better to take classes within one faculty. The faculties are independent—each has its own class and exam schedules. UCEAP students have taken classes from as many as three faculties at one time, but they found that this prevented them from sharing the camaraderie of close-knit study groups.
Acceptance into classes (modules) is not automatic. Take your most recent transcript with you to Singapore to verify completed coursework. In addition you must be able to provide documentation for the UC classes that you have taken recently that are not on the transcript submitted with your application. A letter of introduction from a UC faculty member in your home department could be useful to help in securing a space in an oversubscribed course.
You will register twice: once for UCEAP in MyEAP and once for your host university. In addition to enrolling in host university classes, you must fill out your MyEAP Study List each term.
It is important that you adhere to the established deadlines for adding and dropping courses at your host university and for submitting your MyEAP Study List. Be sure to review your MyEAP Study List carefully; the course information listed—subject area, title, and units—is what will appear on your UC transcript.
The process can be difficult; however, the Study Center can provide assistance after arrival.
Most exams at NUS are two-hour essay exams. Be prepared to write many essays quickly and cogently. Multiple-choice exams are rare. Exams can be either open or closed book. The writing styles of UC and NUS students are different. NUS students typically rely on memorization and support their topics with many facts, charts, and graphs. Instructors are not just looking for broad concepts; they want specifics.
Final course grades depend heavily upon the results of a final exam. Exams are administered in large halls with up to 2,000 students and are graded by examiners, not necessarily the course instructor. You must attend tutorials and sign up for the finals according to NUS procedures. If you miss 20 percent or more of a class, you will not be permitted to take the final exam and your course grade will reflect that failure.
You may look up past exams on file at the library, study the questions, and request feedback from the teaching staff. It is important for you to request such feedback early in the semester, as the teaching staff is likely to be less sympathetic and responsive just before the exams. Instructors generally do not give the feedback, evaluation, and explanation of grading that is common at UC.
Fall grades are usually available in late January and spring grades are usually available in early July.
For additional information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation
It is possible to extend your participation from the UCEAP fall program to the spring program at NUS. If you are considering an extension, submit a Departmental and College Pre-Approval to Extend (DPA) form prior to departure. Once abroad, make an appointment with the UCEAP Liaison Officer to initiate the extension process. The Liaison Officer must submit a Request for Final Approval (RFA) form to the UCEAP Systemwide Office by the deadline indicated on the form. If you do not submit an approved DPA before departure, then you must submit a Petition to Extend form, which requires campus and department approval, and can take up to eight weeks to process.
UCEAP must approve your extension request. Approval is based on a number of factors including program criteria, academic performance, the support of your UC campus department, and available space.
Once your extension has been approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take with regard to finances, see the Extension of Participation chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Travel to Your Host Country
Additional information about passports and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
Passport & Student Pass
To enter Singapore, a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended stay is required.
Although U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa to enter Singapore, all NUS exchange students are required to apply for the Student Pass after registering at NUS. The Student Pass serves a similar purpose to a visa by granting permission to reside in Singapore for the purpose of study. The Student Pass is issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
NUS students will have access to the NUS Computer Center, NUSNET, and several computer labs on campus. NUSNET is a campus-wide network that interconnects 104 academic departments at NUS. It provides a wealth of network services with gateways to the Internet, e-journal, NUScast, newsfeed, CD-ROM databases, and more. In addition, you will receive an NUS e-mail account.
Fall, Spring, Year Students
The housing application is incorporated into the NUS online student application. You will find additional instructions in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
On-Campus Housing Options
The following on-campus housing options are available:
The halls generally offer more interaction with local students and the opportunity to participate in campus activities. Halls vary in distance but there is a good campus shuttle system that runs continuously every few minutes, so it is easy to get around campus. There is no charge for using the campus shuttle. Current students prefer housing at University Town for its new rooms and facilities.
"Living in the dorms is an honor, and local residents have to earn the right to stay there each year." - UCEAP Student
Note that due to a shortage of on-campus housing, NUS determines final housing assignments. Student enrollment and demand for on-campus housing has been steadily increasing at NUS. NUS receives more applications for housing than available spaces. Continuing local students are granted priority for housing assignments. Exchange applicants are not guaranteed on-campus housing; however, assistance will be provided for applicants needing alternate housing arrangements.
Internet is available in dorm rooms, as well as throughout the NUS campus. Linens and pillows are not provided. You can take your own or buy them in Singapore. Detailed descriptions and costs are posted on NUS Hostel Admission Services website
Off-Campus Housing Options
Your Housing Assignment
You will be notified of your housing assignment about one month prior to the program. Notification is sent directly from NUS via e-mail.
Once you receive your housing notification, you are required to accept the housing assignment, register, and submit a payment; or decline the offer by their stipulated deadlines. NUS is very strict with housing deadlines. Miss one deadline and your housing assignment will be given to another student.
You will receive an e-mail from the NUS housing office if you did not get an on-campus assignment as well. In this situation, they will provide you with information about off-campus housing, or you may opt for your own independent housing.
Check-in Date and Move-in Procedures
If you are assigned on-campus accommodations, the check-in date and move- in procedures will be included in the housing notification e-mail. You may also contact your assigned residence hall
for additional details. Arrive during regular business hours for an easy check-in process.
If you are securing off-campus housing arrangements, you will need to ask about the check-in date and move-in procedures in advance. Move-in dates may vary based on location.
Payment for the entire semester is due at the beginning of the program. Payments are only accepted in Singapore dollars. Rent can generally be paid with cash, international bank draft, or NETS. Credit cards are not accepted. Payment instructions and details will be included in the NUS housing allocation e-mail.
Private Hostels & Hotels Close to NUS
Hostels located closest to NUS include:
- Bukit Timah Hostel
- Pasir Panjang Inn
- Praisehaven Foreign Students’ Hostel
- Singapore Hostel One66
There are several hotels near NUS if you arrive early, need temporary accommodation until you complete an off-campus housing search, want to invite family and friends to visit you, etc.:
- Carlton Hotel, 76 Bras Basah Rd.
- Copthorne Orchid Hotel, 214 Dunearn Rd.
- Fragrance Hotel–Waterfront, 418 Pasir Panjang Rd.
- Fragrance Hostel, 63 Dunlop St.
- Garden Hotel Singapore, 14 Balmoral Rd.
- Hotel Grand Central, 22 Cavenagh
- Hotel Royal Singapore, 36 Newton Rd.
- Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Rd.
- Peninsula Excelsior Hotel, 5 Coleman St.
Eating at NUS
You can prepare your own food in the housing kitchenettes. You can also eat in the numerous canteens on campus, at hawker centers, or in the cafeterias, where a few dollars will buy a hearty meal.
"Even if you eat at a different place everyday, you still won’t be able to hit all the restaurants, not to mention all the stalls in the hawker centers." - UCEAP Student
There are five canteens and two take-away kiosks on campus. All of the canteens and cafés operate on a self-serve system, so be sure you deposit your plates and cutlery after meals in the appropriate trolleys.
With the exception of Prince George’s Park Residences, NUS students living on campus must enroll in a mandatory meal plan, which includes breakfast and dinner.
"I often socialized with my Singaporean peers. That’s the best way to get to know the country; they show you their culture." - UCEAP Student
"Volunteering was one of the most rewarding activities. Not only do you meet a lot of amazing people outside of NUS, you are also exposed to another side of Singapore that isn’t the government promoted, squeaky clean image of economic
prosperity and racial harmony." - UCEAP Student
NUS Student Societies and Organizations
There are several NUS student societies for recreational, religious, and cultural purposes. Examples include Outdoor Activities Club, Catholic Students Society, and Southeast Asian Studies Society. A complete listing is provided on the NUS Office of Student Affairs
"My advice for any incoming UCEAP students to Singapore is to fully appreciate all the academic and club activities available on campus. There many clubs that will allow UCEAP students to really immerse with the local students." - UCEAP Student
NUS Host Family and Buddy Programs
During the semester, the NUS Office of Student Affairs offers a host family program to assist exchange students with adapting to the Singaporean lifestyle and culture. The host family program offers relationship-building opportunities with local hosts and access to cultural exchange activities.
There is also a buddy program that pairs you with a local NUS student.
"The NUS student I was paired with showed me many of the sights in Singapore and even took me as a guest to a Malay wedding in Malay attire." - UCEAP Student
NUS Residence Hall Activities
The residence halls organize a variety of activities that range from team sports to acting in a play. These are excellent ways for you to integrate into the local student culture. NUS students express a great deal of enthusiasm about participating in residence hall activities.
"All of the students are involved in service committees, culture groups, and sports teams. The students have tremendous spirit; during our intramural basketball games, the whole dorm would come to watch." - UCEAP Student
Sports & Outdoor Activities
Singaporeans are active in sports. There are a great variety of sports you can choose from, and most of the teams welcome exchange students. There are judo, tae kwon do, wushu, tai chi, soccer, track and field, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, diving, kayaking, biking, handball, triathlon, biathlon, and more.
Swimming and water sport activities are also easily accessible along the beaches. There are several parks and nature reserves, such as Bukit Timah, that are optimal locations for hiking and mountain biking.
Students with Disabilities
In addition to the mandatory UCEAP Insurance Plan, NUS requires all students to have a specified amount of medical insurance coverage. You must pay the premium for the insurance policy offered through NUS, Group Medical Insurance Scheme (GMIS). Additional information is provided with the NUS Offer Package.
Good medical care is widely available. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate payment for health services by credit card or cash. The Study Center specifically recommends two health care facilities, the National University Hospital and NUS Health Clinic.
If you experience a medical emergency, go to National University Hospital. It is located approximately 15 minutes from NUS.
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Phone: (65) 6779-5555
24-Hour Hotline: (65) 6772-5000
Fax: (65) 6779-5678
The NUS Health Clinic, open during regular business hours, offers services such as medical examinations, general health screenings, lab tests, and women’s wellness for NUS students. After hours, you can go to the Clementi Clinic, which is located 15 minutes from campus and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dental care services are available at NTUC Denticare Clinics.
“If you receive health care, be sure to keep receipts and you can get reimbursed through your UCEAP insurance." - UCEAP Student
NUS Counselling and Psychological Services (CPS) offers a variety of services including individual assessment and counseling, group workshops, crisis intervention, and training events.
There is also a dedicated phone line, LifeLine NUS, maintained by CPS for crisis management and life-threatening emergencies.
The LifeLine NUS phone number is (65) 6516-7777.
If you will be studying in Singapore for more than six months (i.e., participating in the year program), you are required to complete a medical report, which includes compulsory HIV and TB chest X-ray tests. The Singapore Immigration and Security Checkpoints Authority requires this medical report to issue specific immigration documents.
While you have the option of completing the medical report at the NUS University Health and Wellness Center upon arrival in Singapore, it is better for you to complete the medical report in the U.S. before departure in order to receive your Student Pass immediately upon registration at NUS and avoid hassle. The Singapore Immigration and Security Checkpoints Authority views medical reports as valid for three months after completion. Do not complete the medical report more than three months prior to your arrival at NUS.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Travel Warnings and UCEAP Policy
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.