During the almost 8-month wait to enter university after my A-Levels, the one thing I missed the most about being a student was the student prices. While I will never get to enjoy the student transport fees again (goodbye 24 cent journeys, hello 95 cents for one stop), I realise there are other perks to being a university student. Hence, here are some of the best deals for NUS students!
1) Spotify Premium
As we all know by now, Spotify ads are annoying, to say the least. You’re studying or listening to an awesome playlist, when the ads remind you after every 2 songs that your standard of living could be improved with Spotify Premium. Before, you probably would have just gritted your teeth and bared through the ads while thinking of your wallet. However, these ads have definitely increased in frequency over the years, and no one would blame you for re-considering purchasing a Premium account, especially if you’re an avid user of the app.
Well, fret not, because as a student of NUS (or any other accredited university or college), you can now get Spotify Premium at a low price of $4.99 a month, compared to the original price of $9.90 a month. For as long as you’re a student (with proof of your student ID), prices are slashed in half, and your future self (and wallet) will thank you for it. Comparatively, Apple Music’s student plan is $5.98 per month, which makes Spotify the cheaper and thus more affordable of the two.
Source: Spotify Premium website
The process of obtaining the account itself is quick and easy - as expected of one of the world’s biggest music streaming sites. Simply head to the Spotify Premium site, and choose the student plan. After filling in your details, you’ll be directed towards NUS’s log-in portal. Log in, fill in your payment details, and you’re good to go!
At first, I was apprehensive about spending money on an app that was initially free to use, but now that I’ve actually gone through with it, I can never look back. Listening to music while studying has never been so peaceful. As someone who listens to music and uses Spotify for an almost-unhealthy number of hours a day, I can safely say that it’s money well-spent.
Admittedly, this is not the best deal that Spotify has to offer. The Spotify Family Plan is only $16.98 for up to 6 accounts, which amounts to around $3 per account. However, the plan requires account holders to be “family members living under one roof”, so this may not be feasible plan for everyone.
Pros: No pesky ads when listening to music. (If you’re an avid user of Spotify Free, I’m sure you can already recite some of the ads from memory!)
Cons: If you listen to podcasts on Spotify, the individual creators are still free to include their own advertisements in the podcast itself. This isn’t much of a problem for me as you can fast forward during these ads, but it could still seem annoying for some.
2) Apple Education
Now this is a hack that some of you may have seen on TikTok or elsewhere, but I shall reiterate it for the benefit for those who haven’t! With almost all university classes necessitating the use of a laptop, getting a discounted price on a MacBook is sure to help. For example, the new MacBook Air (M2) would usually cost $1699, but with the Apple Education discount, it costs $1549. During the Back to School promotions, students also get a free pair of AirPods with each purchase of a MacBook or iPad, along with 20% off AppleCare.
The Back to School promotions usually last from June to September each year, just in time for the start of a new academic year. However, the Apple Education discount is available all year round, so you can easily save without waiting for June to come around.
Source: Apple Education website
The process of getting the Apple Education discount is a little more complicated than the other deals in this article, but the plus side is that once you create an account, you immediately have access to other student deals. Apple Education uses UniDAYS to verify whether you are a student.
To sign up for a UniDAYS account, all you need is your NUS email and you’ll be good to go. Simply head to their website , click the sign up button, and enter your school email. They’ll send you a verification email, and from there, you will be registered with UniDays! You can also access your Apple Education discounts from UniDAYS, by clicking on the link to Apple on their website (as shown in the images). Alternatively, head to the Apple Education site, and log in to your UniDAYS account from there.
Source: UNiDAYS website
Pros: Brand new shiny gadgets at a cheaper price.
Cons: MacBooks may not be compatible with some necessary software programs needed for computer science and other modules, so be sure to check whether the softwares you need are compatible with the Apple iOS system.
Github is the world’s largest coding community. They have a student developer package which equips you with 6 months of 60+ courses covering in-demand topics like Web Development, Python, Java, and Machine Learning, all for FREE.
The package also includes a free year of domain registration, meaning that you are a registered Github user for that year. The package also includes a free year of advanced security, among other things. This is definitely the place (or rather website) to be if you would like to explore the world of coding and web development - without spending a cent! Amongst the companies that offer such courses are Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean, and StreamYard.
Source: Github website
Additionally, for computer science students out there, or anyone else interested in building their portfolio in coding, Github is one of the best places to do so. Most job recruiters are on Github to look for programmers or to fill in any roles in their projects, whether they are looking for a full-time staff member to bring onto the team or a freelancer. According to Ainul Razib, a popular tech influencer, Github is a great launching pad to put you in the view of such recruiters, especially since your experiences on courses that you accessed with Github can be added to your Github portfolio.
More than 73 million developers and more than 4 million organizations are present on the platform. You can find people and companies and share your code, collaborate, and network with them - all in one place!
Take note that the portfolio building section of the site is completely free to use, so the Student Package is more so for the programmes that are available.
Github Student Developer Pack
Pros: Easy to sign up, and building a portfolio here will be useful even after you graduate.
Cons: There’s definitely a learning curve for how to use the site, but the good news is that there are many YouTube videos detailing how to maximise your Student Package. Here’s a helpful article from Github themselves on how to navigate and use their platform so that it works for you.
4) Amazon Prime
Need an emergency gift for your roommate? Or maybe you need a specific brand of pasta sauce that you can’t find at any nearby grocery stores. Amazon is the site for you. This global e-commerce company is known as a one-stop platform for all your online purchases, including gifts, random knick-nacks, and now, even groceries (Amazon Fresh). Undoubtedly, as a university student where there is a need for services to be fast and convenient, there will be times when you will have to make use of Amazon’s famous efficiency, with them offering Next Day Delivery on thousands of items on their site.
The Amazon Student membership includes six months of Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, plus secure unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. You also get offers that are exclusive to Amazon Students.
After six months, you'll be eligible for 50% off an annual Prime membership. In addition to the perks that you got previously, you'll have access to unlimited streaming with Prime Instant Video, and over a million songs on Prime Music.
If you don’t wish to wait six months, you can upgrade to discounted Amazon Student Prime at any time as long as you remain an Amazon Student member. To sign up, you’ll have to use your NUS email and you’re good to go! The process is relatively easier as compared to some of the other sites on this list.
Source: Amazon website
Pros: Thousands of items at your fingertips.
Cons: There are still items that will take more than a week to arrive at your address, even with Prime. However, these items are among the minority!
As mentioned earlier, UNiDAYS is one of the sites for students to access exclusive discounts. With a UNiDAYS account, you can get discounts at CottonOn, Typo, Disney+ and deezer, and more!
Source: UNiDAYS website
There are also other NUS specific discounts arranged by either your faculty or the student union. For example, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Club regularly sends out emails regarding their activities, and this usually includes a page of the various perks that they have secured as well. This information can also be found on their website.
Source: FASS Club website
All in all, though as a university student you may find youself on a shoe-string budget, at least while you’re here, you can enjoy all these deals to make life sweeter, without breaking the bank!