Going to Singapore with an infant, one thing that needed to be sorted out before going to Singapore was the housing situation. Since both I and my partner had been to Singapore before, we decided on staying either closer to the city center or closer to the NTU Campus. After some discussions it was clear that we would have more quality time together as a family if we stayed on (or close to) the NTU Campus.
NTU has a fair amount of faculty housing on campus and, accord to my students that have studied at NTU during their exchange semester, both the faculty housing and the campus is nice, quiet and kids friendly. They thought that it was a little too quiet from time to time at the campus, but, in our case, I thought that it would fit a family with an infant perfectly!
I got in contact with NTU as soon as possible to try to arrange the housing situation, and got an answer from my administrative contact at NTU that it would be possible to apply for faculty housing. However, faculty housing do only consider you for housing one month before arriving. Although my contact at the campus stated that they had vacancies at the moment and was not too worried about the housing situation. We decided on me looking at the housing when I was coming on my planning trip to Singapore in March.
To add an option for housing, my partner’s second cousin provided us with a contact to their agent, that set them up with their apartment while living in Singapore during the last three years. This felt like a security if we needed to get an apartment quickly when arriving in Singapore, failing to get faculty housing.
The housing for faculty staff on NTU campus is great, they have both non-furnished (for longer stays) and furnished (for shorter stays) apartments. Due to our short stay we wanted a furnished apartment with the option of elevator to be able to bring the pram up to the apartment. After reviewing a couple of options, we decided that the best option for us would be the area called Nanyang Heights, close to the Executive Center, the training facilities, the bus stop and many of those nice canteens on campus.
When arriving in Singapore, we picked up our keys at the desk at the Nanyang Executive Center and moved into our flat at Nanyang Heights straight away. It is a 60-ish sqm newly renovated apartment with a small kitchen, a master bedroom of nice size (meaning that we could easily fit a cot beside our bed) and a spare room of decent size, that is now used as nursery. The apartment is equipped with random items in the kitchen, and we were lucky to have everything needed (so far), a TV, and all furniture needed for living here short-term.
There were just some minor problems when moving in, a broken tap in the kitchen that sprayed water all over the wall when used and some termites living in the wooden frame of the bed in our spare bedroom that we found after a couple of weeks. Strangely, they wanted to charge us $50 for a new tap even though it was already broken when we moved in. However, they came back a week later and installed a new one for free, guess they either got some remorse, talked to a supervisor, or just realized that taking care of the water damage later will be way more costly 🙂
The termite infestation became its own episode. But more on that later…
The outdoors environment is really family friendly and calm. There are two playgrounds just in this area and it’s clean, ant then I mean c l e a n. They clean the playgrounds at least twice a day using pressure washer and sweep the yard in the morning. I wish I did this back at our house and when was a playground cleaned back home, ever? At least two thumbs up to Faculty Housing, both for the facilities, the service and for the outdoor environment!
The NTU Campus is located in the western part of Singapore and the time it takes to go into Singapore CBD is fairly long if you are doing the commute every day (it takes approximately an hour and twenty minutes door to door). You need to catch a bus to Boon Lay Interchange and swap to the MRT to go downtown. However, if shopping is the goal, there are several (rather huge) shopping centers close to the campus, Jurong Point at Boon Lay being the closest, about 10 minutes with bus way from home. At Jurong East, three MRT stations towards the CBD there are several shopping centers, catering all the stuff you needs (and more).
After staying here a month now, we’re glad to say that this was absolutely the very best choice for us living here in Singapore (even though the problem below:-)). As an extra bonus, the two other Swedish families staying here as STINT Fellows are also living at Nanyang Heights.