Wednesday 22 June 2016

Flat-Hunting in Singapore 2: Student Testimonials!

Student Ambassador Lucia Casagranda, currently in Singapore, has asked a few students to share their personal experience on renting an apartment in Singapore. In the previous post, Lucia explained what common obstacles you can expect and how to overcome them when searching for living space. In this second post, students tell you all about their personal situation. Are you coming to Singapore...? Then read on!

“I live at Chinese Garden and I share a flat in a condo with other 4 people, each pays 615€. The district is pleasant enough since there is a big garden next door, but I believe it is quite far from the city center. So every time you want to do something, you have to plan in advance and really need to take the commuting time into account. I'm in Parc Oasis, it's 3 minutes to Chinese Garden MRT.”
Parc Oasis, Chinese Garden         
Parc Oasis, Chinese Garden

“I really enjoyed living in Holland Village: this charming neighborhood is very calm but the area around the net station is filled with bars, coffee shops and an incredible number of restaurants which makes it so lively at night! It took me 20 minutes to go to Essec and 15 minutes to reach Botanic Gardens for a jog or a walk. I am staying in Fairlodge apartments, where many locals live. My flat is huge, with 2 master bedrooms, one junior master and one common room."

Fairlodge apartments

Holland Village is a very lively area of Singapore


“I live in Queens condo, strategically located one minute from Queenstown MRT (2 stops from ESSEC, and 15 mins to downtown). The rent here is quite expensive but I can say that the money are worth: the swimming pool and the gym are amazing, the facilities and common areas are always clean, the security is always present and happy to help you. Our flat is on the 18th floor and is very big and airy. The condo is close to 2 supermarkets, IKEA, restaurants and much more.”


“I live in Emerald Park condo near Tiong Bahru MRT station. First of all, Tiong Bahru is a bit expensive because its a very nice neighbourhood. There are lot of hawker centres close by if you are open to Chinese food. Moreover, it is just 4 stops away from  ESSEC (8 minutes). It takes around 30-35 mins in total to reach. It is also near to Raffles Place and Little India. I’d recommend the area!”

Lucia: many, many, many ESSEC students decide to live in Simsville condo, at Paya Lebar. It’s very far from ESSEC (40 minutes by MRT + 10 walking), but it’s traditionally the condo where most of the French ESSEC students stayed over the last years.

- Victor 
“I live in Simsville condo, 5 minutes away from Paya Lebar MRT and 40 from ESSEC. It  is a very nice place to live in. All the advantages of living in a Condo (Fitness Room, pool, tennis courts) and a very nice Mall with a foodcourt right down the MRT. Affordable accommodation + lively neighbourhood = what else ?”
– Paul
“I am staying at Simsville – So i'm in Paya Lebar. I think that living closer to the campus is a better idea. But other than that, we have good facilities and are conveniently located close to the airport, so good for those who like to travel. More residential, But geylang is pretty close. So yeah you can get downtown in 20mn and to the airport in 30mn. But going to essec is a pain” 

- Capucine
"I have been living at Paya Lebar, Simsville Condo, for 5 months now, and I still enjoy each time I come back from ESSEC, and I pass through the secured doors, greet the guardian, walk inside the condo with its strange towers that have become so familiar, turn in front of the cutest swimming pool ever, and get to my apartment on the 7th floor. Simsville condo is not the closest place to ESSEC, but because there are many ESSEC here, and because there is a kind of solidarity spirit that has developed, it is a place where you definitely feel at home." 


●You cannot change the duration of the lease once you have signed: 
Contrary to the French regulation, in Singapore there is no such thing as a leave notice 
Therefore, make sure you sign up for the right duration.

●If you leave earlier than expected:
You will not be able to shorten the contract 
No daily rate for the remaining days

●If you want to extend, advise your agent at least one month in advance.
●Payment of monthly rental: If you pay your rental by transfer from France or Europe, arrange it a few days before the due date to avoid any late penalty fees.
●Aircon Servicing (= cleaning and maintenance of aircon by a professional) is compulsory every three months and at the tenant’s expense. Keep the receipt!

Now you are definitely ready to tackle the flat-hunting process: start your search, and good luck

Thursday 9 June 2016

Flat-Hunting in Singapore

                   Lucia Casagranda
There are many tracks that students at ESSEC can attend at the Singapore campus: the Core Track, the Financial Market Track and the Global Manager in Asia are some examples. If you chose to enroll in one of them, it’s time for you to pack your suitcase and move to the other side of the world: Singapore is waiting for you! 

However, finding an apartment in Singapore might not be as easy. Firstly, you'll have to decide on your budget, the area that you might like (but how do you know if you’ve never been there?), find flatmates and engage in a flat-hunting process by your own or through an agency. 

But don’t worry! 

I have made this useful Housing Guide to clear your mind and to give you tips and tricks in order to survive a stressful flat search!

There are many websites that help you in finding a flat in Singapore. You can give them a look initially to understand the difference between the housing options, as well as the average monthly rent depending on the area. I suggest you to check out the following websites:

facebook group: findyourroominsg or on

The next step is deciding whether you want to tackle it personally or if you'll contact a local agent. In the first case, you’ll avoid the agent fees, but small risks linked to scams remain (although housing scams in Singapore are not very common). In the second case, relying on an agent is a great idea if you want a stress-free handling of the whole situation. Trusted agencies by ESSEC students in Singapore are OrangeTee and HSR Property Consultants among others. The agent would select some flats for you based on your necessities, and would show them on your arrival in Singapore. The downside is, you would have to pay agent fees, which usually amount to half-a-month rental for a 1-year lease or less, +7% tax (GST). 

I personally chose this second option, and contacted an agent on Property Guru working for OrangeTee. We created a Whatsapp conversation together with my other future flat mates, on which she often posted pictures of flats that we could have liked. We selected four and once we arrived in Singapore, we visited them together with her in one full day. At the end of the day, we decided the one that we liked and she helped us with the negotiation of the contract with the owner. The next day, we were already ready to move in! 

Students have three main accommodation options amongst which to choose:

Share a flat with ESSEC/non-ESSEC roommates in a condo or in Housing Development Board (HBD)
Rent a room in a hostel/boarding school
Stay in an expat family as au pair

The great majority of students at ESSEC go for staying with friends or locals in a condo: a typical residential skyscraper with many amenities, such as swimming pools, barbecue pits, gym, security guards and tennis courts.

Renting a flat in a condo will cost approximately between SGD4000,00 - SGD6000,00 per apartment with 3 to 4 bedrooms, depending on the location, size and condition of the apartment (prices are in local currency, Singapore Dollar). 

Flats situated near the MRT stations and closer to downtown (MRT Stations: City Hall, Raffles Place on the green line – see later) will cost more than the others. 

Internet and other utilities, around 30-50$ per tenant a month, are normally excluded from the rent, and need to be paid separately (though it depends from flat to flat!). 

ESSEC Asia Pacific is located at Nepal Hill and can be reached easily by MRT. The nearest MRT stations are Buona Vista on the green line and One-North on the yellow line. There are also many bus routes that stop near the school, namely 74, 91, 92, 95, 191, 196, 198 or 200.

Most of the places of interest of Singapore, as well as restaurants, clubs and bars are positioned downtown. City Hall and Raffles Place MRT stations, on the green line, are located at the heart of the city.

Here you have the MRT System map. You can see highlighted in black the location of ESSEC as well as where downtown is. In blue the areas where most of the ESSEC students decide to live while studying in Singapore. 

In my opinion, the best compromise for you would be to live between ESSEC and Downtown, near the green MRT line. Condos near Queenstown, Tiong Barhu and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations on the green line are good choices, although they can be quite expensive.

Do you want to know more about what housing in Singapore is really like for our students...? And do you want to see what the houses look like...? Then stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook page for student testimonials on housing in Singapore!

Friday 3 June 2016

5 Tips to Secure That Internship at a Fair

by Dominik Weiss
     The Forum Campus is the major recruiting event at ESSEC. More than a hundred companies offer students the unique opportunity to receive first-hand information and to ask their questions.

The Forum Campus is my second recruitment fair at ESSEC and I would like to share with you what I have learned and changed after the first fair to be more successful!

1. Speak French, the effort counts: The chances of getting an internship are equally divided between French and international students at ESSEC. Nevertheless, making the effort as an international student to speak to companies in French shows extra motivation. This is an attitude companies in France value very highly and which might open many doors.

·  2. Speak to as many companies as you can: It is wise to strategically pick the companies you want to speak with to have sufficient time for each of them. Nevertheless, do not stop afterwards, or worse leave the fair. Continue speaking to companies, in many cases companies you did not have on your mind have very interesting and challenging opportunities.

·     3Speak to the companies at the right time: To avoid waiting for ages to speak to companies, go at the right time. Especially right after the Fair starts is a very good moment. Most of the students do not go straight in the morning. Also, lunch time or late in the afternoon are good to avoid the rush-hours, however here you might take the risk that the company representatives are tired or hungry and will not take as much time for you as in the morning.

·       4. Get in the flow: Speaking to companies is all about selling and presenting yourself. To be at your best you need to be in “the flow”. Before you speak to the company you are interested in take the time and speak to 1-2 companies you are not that interested in just to practice and not to be nervous when it matters.

·   5. Host a company!: Hosting a company is the best and easiest way to convince a company that you are a perfect fit for them. Furthermore, the opportunity to spend the whole day with the representatives of a company is a great and interesting experience. It enables you to speak to more than one of them, so you can get insights in different departments of the company. 

Do not let this unique chance slip!