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story Pham Le Vi, Staff Writer
Residential colleges at Yale-NUS College will be closed in the coming holiday, from Dec. 12 to Jan. 8. International students remaining in Singapore will have to apply for alternative accommodation at the National University of Singapore (NUS), such as at residential colleges in University Town (UTown). Interim Dean of Students Brian McAdoo said students are not allowed to stay on campus as there will be no residential staff. The housing policy for future breaks has not been discussed, he added.
In an email interview, Mr. McAdoo said keeping the residential colleges open would require residential staff to stay on, but the school wanted to give them the option of spending holiday time with family, either in Singapore or overseas. The cost of keeping residential colleges open was not as much a concern, he added.
Construction and repairs on campus do not appear to be a reason for closing residential colleges. Contractors are working on the library and finishing up the science laboratories, but are not doing any major work on the residential colleges, said Senior Manager for Infrastructure Eugene Tan.
Students should look for housing on their own, said Mr. McAdoo. At NUS, the cheapest rate is $120.00 per week for a non-air conditioned single room in UTown, and $75.00 per week for a non-air conditioned double room at some NUS halls. Students should approach the NUS Office of Housing Services for assistance, said Mr. McAdoo.
Some students applying for vacation housing have found the process complicated. Tinesh Indrarajah ’17, who is planning to stay over the break for research and an internship, said that while he could find the housing prices easily enough, the process of applying was unclear.
Similarly, Erika Terrones-Shibuya ’17, who will intern over break, said she found the process of applying for NUS housing confusing. Instead, she will be renting a place off-campus with friends.
Students interviewed understood the rationale behind the vacation housing policy, but said the school should provide housing for students during future breaks.
Terrones-Shibuya said she was disappointed by the policy for this break. “I thought coming to our campus, we would have more flexibility [regarding housing policy],” she said.
Many students do internships and research in Singapore over the break, something which the school has encouraged, said Rohan Naidu ’17. He hoped that the school would offer vacation housing for such students. “That’s a great way to show that the school cares for us beyond the school year and academics,” he said.
Students interviewed had suggestions for the housing policy in future breaks. Indrarajah suggested setting aside a few floors in one residential college for students to live in during the breaks, reducing the number of residential staff needed.
Will Goebel ’19 said he hoped the housing policy would be more flexible, such that students would be allowed to move out later or move in earlier. “Jan. 8 is too close to start of semester and Dec. 12 too close to end of finals,” he said. He will be staying with a friend as he arrives in Singapore on Jan. 5 but cannot move in earlier.
Students can apply for vacation stay at NUS via the University Hostel Management System portal.