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  • 01 // SMU Culture
    SMU will bring you many surprises, but for some it could also be a culture shock! Here are some student experiences. Freshmen Orientation / School Event SMU encourages everyone to attend freshman camps. Every school CBd and various clubs have their own camps or retreat for team bonding and making new friends which is a crucial part of SMU's campus life. Try to attend as many of these events as you can as they are a great opportunity for you to meet new people and forge solid friendships! Information on Freshman Orientation Moves Online (FOMO) and other camps for summer can be found here! Class Participation It is really important to speak up and participate in class discussions during lessons. Professors award a percentage of the overall grade to how actively you partake in class discussion, so always remember to pre-read your lesson materials and don't be afraid to voice your opinions! Name Tent When you step into the class, don't be surprised if you see a piece of paper in front of everyone's seats with their names written on it. This is how professors identify you and it helps in scoring those precious class participation points! Group Presentation SMU has a culture where group presentations often make up a significant portion of the grade. It is important to always plan ahead, develop your speaking skills and focus on delivery of your presentation! Mugging You may be familiar with the term 'mug' as in simply a cup that is used to contain hot tea/ coffee. However, in SMU, this term has a completely different meaning! The term 'mug' or 'mugging' actually refers to studying intensively especially before exams.
  • 02 // SMU Lingo
    As if Singlish wasn't hard enough to get used to, you can expect to be thrown further off your guard by a flurry of acronyms shot at you on the SMU campus. To avoid getting confused by our rather convoluted language, here are some popular acronyms that will help you speak like a native SMUgger. General Terms CCA: Co-curricular activity Convoc: Convocation CSP: Community Service Project Facilitator/ Faci: Camp/ Orientation Group leader FOMO: Freshman Orientation Moves Online GSR: Group Study Room (For group meetings) ICON: International Connections OCSP: Overseas Community Service Project OG: Orientation Group PR: Project Room (Rooms equipped with LCD screens available in the library) RA: Research Assistant SAC: Students Association Council SMUgger: An SMU student ("SMU") that studies hard ("mugger") SMUSA: SMU Students Association TA: Teaching Assistant (Each module has its own teaching assistant, so hit them up for questions you may have about your class!) Faculty Names CIS: College of Integrative Studies LKCSB/SOB: Lee Kong Chian School of Business/School of Business SCIS: School of Computing and Information Systems SOA: School of Accountancy SOE: School of Economics SOSS: School of Social Sciences YPHSL/SOL: Yong Pung How School of Law/School of Law Locations Admin building: Non-faculty related offices are located here! Alcove: Located near the SMU Gym, the IS Lounge and Starbucks Connexion: Building beside national museum, connecting SOA & SOL CR: Class Room (Used for large group activities or some classes) Fishtank: Basement glass walled studying spaces MPSH: Multi-Purpose Sports Hall (Located in the admin building) MRA: Mochtar Riady Auditorium (Located in the admin building) NAKA: Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium (Located in SOA) SR: Seminar Room (Well-equipped room used to conduct most classes in SMU) Offices C4SR: Centre for Social Responsibility DKHMCC: Dato' Kho Hui Meng Career Centre IITS: Integrated Information Technology Services OCC: Office of Core Curriculum OCIS: Office of Campus Infrastructure and Services OCCM: Office of Corporate Communications and Marketing OFIN: Office of Finance OSL: Office of Student Life OSS: Office of Safety & Security OAFA: Office of Admissions & Financial Assistance PVO: Office of the Provost SSC: Student Success Centre WKLSWC: Mrs Wong Kwok Leong Student Wellness Centre CBds (Constituent Body) ACF: SMU Arts & Cultural Fraternity ASoc: SMU Accounting Society Bondue: SMU Business Society Ellipsis: SMU Computing & Information Systems Society InCISive: SMU College of Integrative Studies Society OIKOS: SMU Economics Society SICS: SMU Special Interest & Community Service Sodality SMUX: SMUXploration Crew SOSCIETY: SMU Social Sciences Society SSU: SMU Sports Union The Bar: SMU Law Society
  • 03 // Boss Bidding 101
    BOSS (Bidding Online System) is SMU's unique online course bidding system where you have the autonomy to choose your classes, class timings and professors. It is dreaded even by experienced seniors but worry not - by the end of this workshop you'll show BOSS who's boss! Information gathering Sign in to the OASIS portal. Click on the study tab> BOSS. Access “BOSS critical dates" and “Student Academic Handbook" under Quick Links. Try planning out your modules based on the curriculum and carefully read the Course outline for the various modules under 'Plan and bid'. Timing The BOSS window is the period within which students can bid for courses. There are 2 windows in each BOSS bidding session, each containing 3 rounds of bidding. 1 final window will open during the first 3 weeks of the semester for you to make the final changes (aka last chance to drop any mods). Check out SMUSA's handy BOSS bidding guidebook here! Checking it off Carefully read the BOSS handbook in your own time and take note of what you should look out for during bidding. Plan the courses you want to take and make sure that your classes and exams don't clash with each other. E-dollars (e$) BOSS gives you 100 e-dollars for bidding each term, in addition to any leftover e-dollars accumulated from previous terms. Students need to be careful about how they spend their e-dollars because overbidding on a particular term might cause your future bidding exercise to suffer since it is cumulative. A good way to estimate the bidding price is to check past bid results for the course which can also be found in OASIS, under BOSS> Quick Links> Overall Boss results for the minimum and median bids for all previously completed bidding windows. Number of modules You can submit bids for up to a maximum of 6.5 Course Units (CU) depending on your academic standing but can eventually only enrol in a maximum of 5.5 CUs. When a student bids for more than 5.5 modules (maximum term enrolment limit), BOSS will prompt the student to indicate the module you wish to drop should all the bids be successful. This is the D.I.C.E function where you indicate the priority of the module to be dropped in the event that all your bids are successful with value '1' being the first module to be dropped. However, some students are able to take 6 CUs with special written permission. Results You will be able to check the result of your bids via “BOSS bidding" > “Bidding results", or through email with the outcome a few hours after the bidding window closes. Students with the highest bid will be enrolled in the course until all vacancies are filled up and no more sections are left. If you do not get the course, try a higher bid if there are remaining vacancies, switch class sections or take another module in the next round. AfterClass AfterClass (formerly known as SMUMods) is a website where students get to share their reviews of professors and modules. Its analytics functions also allows students to understand the pricing trend of a module over the years. It is important that you should be taking what you read on the website with a pinch of salt as the reviews given are subjective and the class experience may vary for different individuals. Course Sequence This function under the boss bidding system allows students to understand which modules they should bid across different years in SMU. This is useful for you to plan out your modules for the next 3 or 4 years. BOSS > Quick Links > Course Sequence (Link) *NOTE: For further details on BOSS Bidding, do visit the website and "Freshmen Guide to Course Registration" via OASIS > Home > My Checklists > Pre-Term Activities (Available in late July) Spilling the beans on BOSS strategies Try not to bid in whole numbers. It's really down to the cents - even e$19.74 makes a difference over e$19.70! Be realistic and flexible. You may not always get all the classes you bid for. In this case, either bid for a different professor or bid for a different timing or both. The 'popular' professors are often expensive, so try to ration your e$ wisely. You need not always pick the most popular professors. Morning classes are generally found to be cheaper than afternoon classes. The same goes for Monday classes as well. Planning is key. Do your due diligence on the modules. Remember that each professor has a unique teaching style and grading criteria. Read the course outlines to determine which would best suit you. Take your time to plan your bids! BOSS is not a first-come-first-served system but you also need to be mindful of when the bidding windows are. Nothing beats experience. When in doubt, approach seniors and always check past bids when formulating a bid. Don't be too stingy while placing your bids but at the same time, don't spend all your e$. Advanced modules get more expensive in your senior years so save some for subsequent semesters. Do not forget to drop the courses you are not interested in by Window 2A. Subsequent withdrawals (Window 3 onwards) will result in a “W" (Withdrawal) grade being reflected on your transcript!
  • 04 // Advices from Seniors
    Seek support Ask for help and it will be given. If you need professional advice, the Mrs Wong Kwok Leong Student Wellness Centre provides complimentary counselling services for those who need a listening ear. If you prefer to speak with a fellow student, the SMU Peer Helpers will be glad to help. These peer helpers are SMU students trained by the Centre's professional counsellors. Make an appointment with the WKLSWC here. Tel: 6828 0786 Email: Relax after class As a city campus, there are endless options nearby where you can unwind with some friends after a long day in school. Have a picnic at campus green Exercise at the SMU Gym or have a dip at the swimming pool located at SMU Admin Building Watch the latest movies at The Cathay Cineplex Just 15 minutes away is Clarke Quay with the largest selection of restaurants and nightclubs in Singapore as well as the adrenaline-pumping Gmax reverse bungee ride Guide to navigate SMU life Recommendations for some food places in SMU (personal opinion): Kenboru - Japanese salad Tea Party - Western pasta Koufu & Connexion Level 1 - Food court Soi Aroy - Thai food Recommendations for study areas: Li Ka Shing Library Kwa Geok Choo Law Library Study Lounge "Fish Tank" at School of Economics Group Study Room and Project Room at all school buildings and libraries through the Facility Booking System on OASIS. Useful links Class materials on eLearn Useful school apps and checklist on OASIS Code of conduct Exam Timetable Use this map to help you navigate your trip around SMU. With indication of essential buildings and landmarks in the map, you can easily locate your destination.
  • 04 // Opening a Bank Account
    Opening a bank account is fairly simple in Singapore. You will need a bank account to save your money, pay your tuition and/or accommodation fees and for regular withdrawals for day-to-day expenses. You can approach any of the major local banks with your passport, student pass and Letter of Admission from SMU to open a savings account. When selecting a bank, you may want to choose one with a branch or an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) which is near your accommodation. You can choose any bank in Singapore. SMU has a tie-up with DBS Bank, so that when the time comes for payment of tuition fees, the payment can be electronically processed through a system called GIRO. There are several banks to choose from but the most popular among SMU students are DBS/POSB and OCBC. You will need your passport and student pass to open an account. While opening a bank account, it is advisable to bring along an adult relative over 21 years of age, in case a guarantor is needed. You will be required to bring your passport, student pass and SMU acceptance letter. Do visit the bank's website for further information on student loans, etc. You may request for services to enhance your banking experience, free of charge, such as: ATM debit card/ NETS card- enable you to withdraw cash from ATM machines located all over Singapore. A convenient method of payment, NETS, is the most common form of cashless transaction in Singapore, the local equivalent of debit card services in many other countries in the world. NETS can be used in many places such as the supermarkets, various eating places, fast food restaurants, and entertainment places like the cinema. Internet Banking (IB) - allow you to view your account records from any computer with internet access. Transfer funds, pay for rent and online shopping via this quick and easy method. Inter-bank GIRO- a means to pay bills electronically. Just arrange for payment to be made and the system will automatically deduct the money from your account and pay it to the designated recipient. All you need to do is fill out an application form that you can get from the billing organisation. There is no charge for setting up a GIRO service. You are highly recommended to make use of this service. Cash card- help you make payments for many services, including the printing/ copying and library services. You can buy and top them up in any 7-11 store.
  • 01 // Useful Lifestyle Mobile Applications
    From food delivery services to hailing a cab or even getting your hands on some good deals, having some apps handy would be great for added convenience especially given how technologically adept Singapore is! Taxi Services Grab, Gojek, ComfortDelGro: All fares are stated up front, and you can choose what type of vehicle you would prefer. Public Transit MyTransport: Subway map of Singapore MyTransport, bus@sg: provide real-time schedule of bus arrival and allows you to mark bus stops you use often to get your information quicker Citymapper: Gives key details about journey in SG Google Map: Guide you the way and suggest the fastest route to get to a certain location Food For delivery: GrabFood, Foodpanda, Deliveroo For food deals: Eatigo, Chope, Burpple You can make reservations for restaurants beforehand and claim deals up to 50% off or 1- for-1 Helps you search for food based on cuisine and location as well Redeem offers: McDonalds, Starbucks You can find a McDonalds and Starbucks almost anywhere in Singapore! Weather MyEnv Shopping Clothing and other goods: Shopee, Lazada, Zalora, EZbuy Online marketplace to buy and sell goods: Carousell Grocery: Fairprice, Sheng Siong, Cold Storage Cheap grocery shops: Japan Home, Daiso, neighbourhood shops Entertainment Fave: get really cool deals off of food, activities, beauty and more! Shopback: Get cashback for your purchases from participating merchants Popcorn: book movie tickets and check out what's showing in the local theatre Banking: to easily transfer money via your phone number DBS Paylah! Paynow Google Pay DBS SG OCBC Bank You can also make payment for several food/ clothing items using the features in the apps listed above such as GrabPay, FavePay, AliPay and DBS Paylah! Do check out these apps and give it a download to make life a little easier! Messaging Telegram: this is one of the most important apps you will need in SMU. Given the frequency of group work in SMU, it's a norm for students to have Telegram. You'll be using this app for most of your communication and it's a great platform to stay updated on what's going on in school as well as potential opportunities Zoom: Online classes will usually be conducted through Zoom so it would be great to get acquainted with the platform Microsoft Teams/Webex: These are other great platforms for group projects and meetings online, so do set up an account for them as well!
  • 02 // General Living Expenses
    An international student in Singapore spends, on average, about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. The amount will, of course, vary depending on your lifestyle and course of study. This table gives a rough estimate of basic monthly expenditure for an international student: When having your meals in the eateries at the SMU basement concourse, ask for the SMU student discount. This discount may not be automatically given, so you MUST request for it by showing them your student pass.
  • 05 // Transportation
    MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) - train/subway, the tracks run through various regions. To get to SMU, alight at any of these stations: City Hall (EW13/NW25) Bras Basah (CC2) Bencoolen (DT21) Dhoby Ghaut (NS24/NE6/CC1) Bus - Singapore has more than 300 buses to take you to almost every street. While this offers the benefit of sending you to the doorstep of your destination, the journey usually lasts longer than a MRT ride. Taxi - The fastest and most convenient means of transport- especially when you're running late. Taxi fares may be expensive and there are considerable surcharges at peak hours. Be sure to check out the various taxi hailing apps to get the best price. Payment system EZ-Link You can pay for public transport with your prepaid EZ-Link card, though coins are also accepted for bus rides. The EZ-Link card is sold at all MRT stations. It costs $12 to buy one, which comprises a one-time, non- refundable fee of $5 and a value of $7 for your transport payment. SimplyGo With SimplyGo, you can use your contactless bank cards or Mastercard/Visa cards for fare payments. Your train and bus fares will be processed and charged to your bank account or credit/debit card bill directly. Juicy savings: As a university student, you are entitled to the concession card. It allows you to travel on MRT/bus at more favourable rates. There are 3 concession schemes: The bus concession pass The MRT concession pass The Hybrid concession pass (a combination of Bus and MRT concession) To apply, proceed to any Transit Link concession card replacement office with a passport-sized photo, your passport and student card. Alternatively, you can apply for a tertiary EZ Link Card which is personalised. The procedure for this will be sent to you via The Office of Admissions and handled by Student Services Hub. Note: You may also use your EZ-Link card to operate laundry machines in Prinsep Street Residences (PSR). Many modern bank cards can double up as EZ Link cards as well. You may check with your bank while setting up your account if you wish to activate this service.
  • 03 // The Art of Connecting
    While you will definitely make new friends at SMU, there is nothing that can warm the heart more than hearing your parent's concerned inquiry, old friends' gossiping or even the voice of that special someone back home. Mobile Phones Nothing beats good old international phone calls, and they do not have to come at a hefty price! You may want to consider a two-year contract with one of the five main telecommunications ('telcos') service providers in Singapore: StarHub, SingTel, M1, Circles.Life or TPG Mobile (for SIM only plan). Each service provider offers different types of subscription plans; you can compare and choose the subscription plan that meets your needs. You can get a mobile phone at a significantly cheaper price by signing up for a two-year plan; however, you will need to stay with that service provider until the contract is over. Deciding between a Prepaid or Postpaid Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card: One advantage of a post-paid SIM card is that if you lose your SIM card, you can have a replacement without having to change your phone number. You can also get cheaper rates with a subscribed line. Some phone plans provide free incoming and/or free IDD (international direct dial) calls. It is recommended that you get a postpaid SIM card if you make calls frequently Stick with a prepaid SIM card if you don't expect to make many and/or long calls; or just don't want to go through the hassle of applying for a subscribed line. Prepaid SIM cards are available in 7-Eleven Convenience Stores islandwide. All you have to do is bring your passport along! For a postpaid plan, you can approach any telco shops in most shopping malls for more information about the application process. There's no one telecommunications service provider that's distinctively better than the rest, so you might want to check out the different plans they offer and see which sounds best for you!
  • 06 // Food Recommendations
    Singaporeans love to talk about food, food and more food! Our number one sport is eating. Yes, the Singapore cuisine is fantastic, and the choices are mind blowing. Luckily, there is no shortage of delicious food options in and around SMU. A comprehensive list of all the food places within SMU can be found here. Majority of these meals are below $10 so get ready to dig in! Must-try Singaporean dishes Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and that is truly evident in the cuisine which draws inspiration from the various regions in Southeast Asia. You may have heard of the famous Chicken Rice, Laksa and Hokkien Mee. But there are just so many exciting dishes awaiting in Singapore- the list is truly endless, but here are some must-try (perhaps not as common) dishes to get you hyped and ready! Fish Head Curry- originally created by Singapore's Malayalee (Indian ethnic group) with Chinese & Malay influences, the dish includes the head of a red snapped stewed curry consisting of coconut milk, tamarind juice and vegetables and served with rice or bread. Chilli Crab- probably the most popular seafood dish in Singapore. Despite its name, chilli crab is not a very spicy dish. Was listed as the top 50 in the world's most delicious foods! Roti John- egg dipped bread filled with various ingredients (meat and onions) and fried. Accompanied with chilli sauce- a hawker centre staple. Curry Puff- a flaky pastry stuffed with curry chicken or sardine, potato cubes and a slice of hard boiled egg/ Pineapple Tarts- small, bite-size pastries topped with pineapple jam. Mainly sold during festive periods such as Chinese New Year Singapore Sling- famous cocktail founded in Raffles Hotel Sambal Stingray- slices of stingray smothered in sambal and served on a banana leaf. Very unique in Singapore! Ice Kacang- a mound of grated ice on a base of jelly, red bean, corn and attap seeds, topped with coloured sugar syrups such as palm sugar, rose syrup and evaporated milk Bobur Cha Cha- yam and sweet potato cubes served in coconut milk and sago Chendol- coconut milk drink mixed with palm sugar, cendol (green, pandan flavoured starch strips), red bean and shaved ice Kueh Lapis- a rich, multi-layered cake using a large amount of egg whites and stuffed with prunes Bandung- rose syrup drink with evaporated milk. Best served ice cold! Tropical fruits- some must-try fruits in Singapore are rambutans, mangosteen, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, star fruit, mango, papaya and the king of fruits, durian Dum Biryani- basmati rice baked with either spiced mutton, chicken, vegetable or fish curry Murtakbak- Indian-Muslim dish consisting of folded roti prata dough stuffed with spiced miced meat, onions and egg and served with curry Kaya toast and soft boiled eggs- unofficially Singapore's national breakfast set meal. People enjoy kaya toast and eggs throughout the day, washed down with a cup of coffee or tea. This is a breakfast that truly transcends race, language and age group (starting at $1.20 for two slices of toast) *AND that is still not the end. We hope you discover your favourite Singapore foods. And remember, the best way to start a conversation with locals is to talk about the food! Places to get hometown snacks Please note that these are just suggestions from ICON Cultural Clubs! China Snacks: Yue Hwa Chinese Products & Si Jia Ke Supermarket located at Chinatown France Online shop: thefrenchgrocer + so-france India Snacks and groceries: Mustafa Centre located at Farrer Park Restaurants/shops at Little India Online website selling snacks and drinks: Shivsaga Indonesia Snacks: ABC Bargain Sari Ratu Restaurant at Haji Lane Japan Snacks: Don Don Donki located at several places such as Somerset, Farrer Park and Novena Korea Snacks: Shine Korea located at Bugis Malaysia Online shop: buyjb Shop selling snacks: Fairprice Restaurant: JB Ah Meng Restaurant located at Geylang Rd, Makan Melaka at Jurong West Myanmar Restaurant and snacks: Peninsula Plaza located at City Hall Philippines Kabayan Filipino restaurant located at Lucky Plaza Mall Max's Restaurant located at Far East Plaza More information and suggestions available at Paluto sa SG on Facebook Thailand Restaurant and snacks: Golden Mile Complex located near Nicoll Highway MRT station Vietnam Shops selling snacks: Tạp hóa Việt Nam tại Singapore located at Jalan Berseh Restaurant: Am Thuc Viet, Quan An Vat & Shoonkou Cafe at Bugis
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