As students, we enjoy a host of privileges such as laptop discounts and student meal offers, which play a big part in saving our wallets. However, did you know that there are also many other things we can do to make good use of our school fees during the few years that we are studying here in NUS?
From getting student offers on software (free Canva Pro, anyone?) and earning some cash from part-time jobs in school, to smaller things like personalising your NUS email address, here are nine lesser known things you can do as NUS students to make your student life just that bit easier and fun!
- NUS friendly email
During my freshman year, I often struggled with remembering my NUS email address as the long string of digits just did not work well for my numbers-adverse brain. While I have been able to commit it to memory over time, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we do have the option to make it sound more friendly and personalised compared to the default NUSNET ID. This also means that we can change it to our full names to make our email addresses look more professional to prospective employers.
Simply head over to the NUS IT website here and follow the steps to customise your NUS email address. Also, if you are worried about losing contact with those who only have your old email address with the NUSNET ID, I tried sending an email to my old default address and it went through, so apparently it works!
- Discounts & complimentary access to applications
Your student status affords much more than just student meals, which are already — let’s face it — sadly, becoming costlier, perhaps due to inflation. You can use your student email to register for accounts to get subscription discounts or even complimentary access to various applications, such as Adobe, Spotify, and even Canva Pro.
Professional software like Adobe is expensive for many, but students can actually save over 60 per cent on the whole suite of products. Perhaps an even better deal for designers out there is getting Canva Pro for free under their Education plan.
In addition, students get a discounted price on the indie-movie streaming site MUBI and free access to productivity software Notion. And if you are someone like me who absolutely must listen to music while studying and hates to be constantly disrupted by ads, Spotify offers their Premium music streaming service free for one month, followed by a discounted price for subsequent months. This list is not exhaustive, so you may want to check if the apps you currently use have student offers!
- NUS Libraries hacks
As much as people say that university is the best time of your life — where you can enjoy the last part of school life before you enter the working world — a large part of university is the academic life and we all cannot run away from research or having to read through tedious academic papers.
Fortunately, the NUS Libraries portal has a slew of resources to support us academically, and one hack which many of my friends swear by is the library proxy bookmarklet, which allows you to access articles from most academic sites simply by clicking the bookmark. In addition, the portal offers free access to news and research websites like Factiva and Euromonitor.
For those who want to get some extra practice for midterms and finals, you can look up past exam papers for your modules on the portal. Also, if you ever need to borrow something from the RBR stacks, one tip from a member of our The Ridge team is to check out the item within the last two hours before the library closes, so you can bring it home instead of being restricted by the two-hour time limit!
- Free museum visits
As NUS students, we can also enjoy complimentary access to NUS-related museums such as the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, which features over 2,000 natural history specimens, and the NUS Baba House, a three-storey townhouse that gives visitors a glimpse of the Peranakan Chinese culture of the early 20th century.
- NUS Student Work Scheme
For students who are keen to gain work experience on campus and earn some cash on the side, there is the NUS Student Work Scheme in which you can apply for jobs advertised by NUS departments in various areas like administrative work and research.
- Sports facilities
NUS has a myriad of sports facilities in UTown, USC and MPSH, such as fitness gyms and swimming pools that are open for students to use. No excuse for not working out, and it is also a great way to make your school fees worthwhile! However, do note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the facilities have capacity limitations, so you may want to visit early to avoid disappointment or a long waiting time.
- Career resources
A big reason why we come to university is to improve our career prospects, no matter what industries we will eventually enter. To that end, the NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates (CFG) has a wealth of career resources we can tap into, such as booking career consultations with the career advisors of our faculty, attending industry mentorship programmes, and receiving advice on resumes and interview preparations.
In particular, NUS has procured VMock, an AI-powered virtual career assistant which offers instant customised feedback on our resumes and video interviews. Every undergraduate student has 10 resume review credits to use on VMock per academic year, so make full use of them to evaluate your resumes and grab that dream job opportunity!
- Check crowd levels on the uNivUS app
We will definitely be familiar with the uNivUS app by now, especially with having to flash the green pass almost everywhere in NUS for access to facilities and F&B outlets. However, did you know that we can also utilise the app to check the live crowd levels for libraries, canteens and sport facilities? This can ensure that we do not waste a trip down only to find the places overcrowded, while also protecting ourselves during these extraordinary times.
- Zoom university tech tips
The pandemic has made Zoom university a norm for many of us, and sometimes you may find yourself frantically trying to find the correct Zoom link right before your classes.
Targeting this very problem, one Redditor in the r/NUS community has a tech tip for us to keep our Zoom links handy when we need it.
To do so, simply go to this link and connect your Zoom account to your NUS Outlook account. Next, add events for all your classes with Zoom meetings in your NUS Outlook calendar. For each event, paste the correct Zoom link in the description. Your Zoom meetings for the day should then show up under “Meetings -> Upcoming” in the Zoom app, and you should also be able to get notifications which allow you to join the room directly.
While Zoom university is not the ideal university experience that any of us anticipated, little things like this can definitely make it that bit more bearable.
And with that, here are the nine lesser known things that you may or may not know you can do as NUS students! Do you have anything else not in the above list? Feel free to share it with us at email@example.com, and let’s all make the best use of our time in university!