Foreign exchange students face housing crunch

Foreign students have returned in force for short stints at the National University of Singapore (NUS), but some have found themselves grappling with housing-related woes.

An NUS spokesman said the numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels after Covid-19 travel curbs were eased, but did not give a figure.

The university's website states that it welcomes more than 2,300 international exchange students every year.

Fifteen students who come from countries such as Spain, the United States and Britain for programmes at NUS lasting for up to nearly a year, said a messy application process, limited hall rooms and poor communication from the university created a stressful situation that left them paying more than they had budgeted for.

In response to queries, an NUS spokesman said: "While we have allocated a proportion of on-campus hostel rooms for inbound exchange students, hostel capacity on NUS campuses is limited."

She did not provide details on how many rooms on campus were set aside for them.

NUS website states that its residences at UTown in Kent Ridge can house up to 1,700 students. Figures from other residences such as Prince George's Park Residences are not published on the website.

The spokesman added that NUS had informed exchange students in advance that on-campus accommodation was not guaranteed.

The Straits Times

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