So you’ve submitted your application, written your essays, and then a few weeks later, find out that you have been accepted into INSEAD.
You’re still basking in the glory when you realize that the programme is gonna start in a few weeks and you still haven’t sorted out accommodation.
Many students have experienced this feeling over the years and the author of the piece is no exception.
The month of August had started (I was scheduled to reach Singapore on the 17th) and I still didn’t have a flat to call home. I thankfully managed to find a place before I could put Singapore’s anti-squatting laws to the test. To help the next generation of INSEAD students help in the flat-hunting process (and avoid making the same mistakes I did), I thought it best to put together some of the stuff I learnt along the way:
Options: Some students starting in Singapore would have already read the names of Heritage View and Dover Parkview. These two condominiums are next to each other and are a brisk 10 minute walk from campus. Given the proximity to the school (and the presence of modern amenities), flats in these buildings are quite popular with INSEAD students. The catch: rent is not cheap. Thankfully, there are other less expensive options near the campus, including government-built housing HDB (Housing Development Board) flats. If students are willing to spend just a little more time commuting, there are other options as well.
Lease terms: In Singapore, typically the minimum period for which a flat can be rented is six months. This might create complications for people who only intend to spend two academic terms in Singapore. As such, it is sensible to tell your agent to insert a clause that allows sub-letting. Given the number of people who swap campuses, it won’t be hard to find a sub-tenant but just make sure you’re not breaking any laws.
If possible, come to Singapore a few days before your programme starts:Agents in Singapore are extremely efficient and it is not uncommon to secure a flat within a day or two viewing the property. By visiting the country early, students can have a better feel of the property and allay any concerns they might have from merely looking at the pictures. Some of my classmates started the house-hunting process only after the programme had started and made initial fretting completely unwarranted.