Where to Study outside of NUS?
Updated: Feb 27
Do you hate the fact that you have to wake up at 6am only to reach school at 8am when you live in the North-Eastern area of Singapore just so you can chope* the place at the Education Resource Centre (ERC)? Or the sinking feeling you feel when you tap your matric card and you realise that everyone who is living on campus is already filling up the seats? This unfortunately, could be a reality for most of us living off campus.
But fret not, I've got your back. This article divides Singapore into 6 regions (that's right, not 5) and explores the study spaces available. Even if you live off campus, you will still have options available to mug at during recess week.
*chope = a Singapore slang for reserve
Before we launch into the specific places, I would like to note a few things:
This regional "division" is entirely my own perception so if you live in between two regions... well, you now have two options wow!
This means that some of these places require you to pay a certain amount of buy a drink or two to study at.
For the vast majority of these places, you are allowed to study even with the current COVID-19 restrictions (because they are built as a co-study space). However, for places like Starbucks & the Good Therapy Cafe, their rules differ from outlet to outlet but I'm fairly sure that as long as its not the peak period (lunch or dinner time), you are allowed to stay for a prolong period of time.
This list is non-exhaustive, so do go out and explore and let us know if there are any other spaces we should add!
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
Under usual circumstances, Khoo Teck Puat hospital boasts huge ventilated areas with tables that are set up for visitors of the hospital. The luscious greenery surrounding the place is sure to be an attractive feature for those who enjoy taking eye-breaks once in awhile. However, just like most free public spaces, do note that power points are not easy to chance upon; but other than that there's free Wi-Fi, and the noise level is generally low because it is after all, still a hospital.
But you must be wondering - hospitals at this time? I know what you are thinking - it probably starts with a C and ends with a 9. You are absolutely right to have those concerns, which is why we highly encourage you to consider the next place on our list!
90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828
Woodlands Regional Library
Source: Street Directory
This 4-story building promises to have something for everyone - a dedicated space for reading, studying and learning. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the downside is that you probably need to wake up as early as 10am (when the library opens) to ensure that you get to secure the space that you need for that day. And yes, some people do queue outside before the building actually opens so seats can get quite competitive. On the other hand, there is free Wi-Fi and free air-conditioning for the whole day! Furthermore, you could probably find some books here that would be useful for your research.
900 South Woodlands Drive #01-03, Singapore 730900
10am - 9pm Daily (except PH & eve of PH)
*photo taken in real-time (Hougang Branch)
As someone who lives in the North-East, the existence of this co-study area has been a lifesaver If you get their student package - the Half-Day Productivity Boost ($50), you get 40 hours of studying, coupled with free snacks, drinks, Wi-Fi, power plugs and even screens for you to project your additional tabs on. Even if you get the space on a hourly basis, it is still only $1.90/hour for students. Check out this link for their other promotions, and make your bookings here!
Spatial Collective opens until 2am, so for all those night owls out there, I'm looking at you. You would also have access to the plethora of neighbourhood F&B outlets, making studying less of a chore!
P.S they also recently opened a new branch at Toa Payoh - so my central people, rise up!
Hougang Branch -
187 Upper Serangoon Rd #01-34, Singapore 533971
9am - 2am Daily
Toa Payoh Branch -
185 Toa Payoh Central, Lift E, #02-342, 310185
9am - 2am Daily
Starbucks @ Hougang 1
Source: Starbucks Singapore
Why is this Starbucks different from everywhere else? To be honest, there isn't much of a difference because they sell the same drinks, same food and play the same music. However, it is nestled in a quaint area in Hougang, which provides a sort of tranquility while you study.
It is very well-lit, has a open concept which creates an open feeling when you study. There is also the Starbucks Wi-Fi available for you to connect to. The downside is that you have to buy a drink to stay there, but there's always the occasional 1 for 1! There usually isn't a crowd there, so you are less likely to get chased out vis-à-vis if you were to go to other more popular branches like the one at the nearby Hougang Mall.
1 Hougang Street 91, #01-41 Hougang 1, Singapore 538692
Sun - Thurs: 8am - 10.30pm
Fri & Sat: 8am - 11pm
National Library @ Bugis
I don't think this place needs much introduction - it's the mother of all libraries! It occupies 14 stories, with a collection size that boasts more than 600,000 resources for researchers, or essay writers like myself. Uniquely, floors 7-13 stores Singapore's literary and publishing heritage, and the study spots are usually on floor 11 and up.
Equipped with power points at every study table, ample lighting due to the full-length windows and free Wi-Fi, this is really a to-go space if you live around the central area. Furthermore, there is also really good food surrounding the Bugis area, so lunch will never be dull!
100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
10am - 9pm Daily (except PH & Eve of PH)
According to its website, Lowercase is a "mash-up space for creatives to eat, work, study & play". The ambience, as cited by several websites, is quiet and school-like, and the architecture creates for a conducive environment to study. The place is armed with power sockets, aircon, and Wi-Fi - a student's haven! Food is also available there, and the menu looks pretty promising, so do check it out and let us know if its worth the money.
LASELLE College of the Arts; Blk D #01-01, 1 McNally St, 187940
Mon & Tues: 9am - 7pm
Wed - Fri: 9am - 10pm
Sat: 11am - 10pm
Sun: 11am - 6pm
The Book Cafe
Source: The Ordinary Patrons
As you can probably tell from the shelves in the photo, there are a lot of books available in the café. If you are a bookworm like myself, this place looks like a great place for us! Imagine being surrounded by the smell of books, the aroma of coffee beans brewing...seems like an absolute dream. The café is also said to have very cozy sofas, nice chairs and most importantly - Wi-Fi, power sockets, aircon and food. You can view their food menu here, and make your reservations for the place here.
20 Martin Rd, Seng Kee Building, Singapore 239070
8.30am - 8.30pm Daily
Group Therapy Coffee (Katong)
Source: Trip Advisor
To be entirely frank, after looking at Google Maps all the time whilst writing this, I am unsure whether Katong is considered the East or South of Singapore. But what I do know, is that Group Therapy Coffee is primarily a gourmet cafe that sells cakes and drinks. It seems to be more of a chill hangout spot (for all your high teas and fancy days), rather than a mugging spot.
However, after researching for this article, this seems to be a relatively popular spot that you could access if you are near the area. Fully furbished with free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, the cafe contrasts against the hustling life outside. This is also especially good for those that enjoy studying with white noise, because the footsteps of customers walking across the mall is pretty therapeutic in and of itself.
Additionally, there is also a branch at South Bridge Road if you would like to visit that instead!
Katong Branch -
30 East Coast Road #01-11 Katong V, 428751
8am - 6pm Daily
South Bridge Road Branch -
181 South Bridge Road #01-05 & #K1-04, 058743 Sun - Tues: 8am - 5pm
Wed - Thurs: 8am - 9pm
Fri - Sat: 8am - 10pm
Tampines Regional Library (in Tampines Hub)
Source: Must Share News
This seats in this library, much like the one at Woodlands, are rather competitive. The reason for this is because it is essentially a mini Bugis NLB situated in the East of Singapore. However, if you live a block away, the perks of this library are unrivalled! There is an attached study lamp to every studying area, power sockets, great view, free Wi-Fi, and nice looking chandeliers to make you feel a bit better and fancier (boujee!) as you get through your hell week. What's great about its location is that even if you fail to reserve seats early in the morning, there are a ton of tables that are littered all around the hub as well!
If you ever get peckish, it is also linked to the main hub and mall where you can get a quick bite before you continue the grind. Do note that they have a policy where you are only allowed to be away from your seat for 15 minutes (otherwise, your belongings would get confiscated), so I really do mean a quick bite!
1 Tampines Walk, #02-01 Our Tampines Hub, Singapore 528523
10am - 9pm Daily (except PH & eve of PH)
Productive: Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ)
We all know that PLQ is a place with several malls and a huge open area in the centre for people to hang out and chill, but it does not shield one from the rain or sun that Singapore often gets. Located near said areas, this cafe offers power plugs and Wi-Fi, and also provide snacks. We all know that some snacks and drinks can go a long way when it comes to studying. Additionally, you can also choose to have lunch add-ons if your tummy feels like it needs more. The pricing for booking your space for the day can be viewed here.
And because it is PLQ, the malls surrounding the area also promises good food and bubble tea options, so you will never need to feel that boredom from eating at the same few stalls in NUS.
2 Tanjong Katong Road, PLQ 3, #01-09 Paya Lebar Quarter
10.30am - 5pm Daily
Source: Vertical Space Pte Ltd
Pioneer is personally too far for me to access, but after scouring the internet for places that you can study in at the West, Vertical Space was one that stood out to me. They boast a ton of amenities in the space - mainly: fast internet speed, a pantry, mailing address services*, co-sharing of meeting rooms and many more! Furthermore, it is a 5 minute walk from Pioneer MRT, so even if you are coming by public transport, it would not be as painful to travel the distance. My only gripe is that it is probably too far for those living in any other region, so those living in Pioneer - this one's for you!
1 Soon Lee St, #06-14/15 Pioneer Centre, Singapore 627605
Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 6pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
*The mailing address service allows you to use their office address for business purposes so that you do not need to reveal your own personal house address.
Mug@Blossom is one of the initiatives set up by those in charge of running Blossom Youth Centre, located conveniently near Beauty World MRT. This place promises air-conditioning, snacks and a conducive environment for you to study after school. Well, emphasis on after school. It only opens for 4 hours every weekday from 6pm - 10pm, but I suppose its not a terrible thing because you will then be forced to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and that you don't over exert yourself.
There are overall, two reasons, why I think you should give this place a shot, especially if you are studying nearby! First, this place was recommended by my friend when I realised that the West had very few actual studying spots that was open to the public. But second, there is something really comforting about studying in a place that is similar to a neighbourhood community club; it is almost like you are at home but with people mugging alongside you.
Do give it a visit, and let us know what you think of it!
Blossom World Society
Toh Yi Drive, Blk 9 #01-321, Singapore 590009
Mon - Fri: 6pm - 10pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
It is tempting to want to continuously study and be productive so that you can make up for previous few weeks, but remember that burn out is a very real thing. As much as these study places are attractive and enticing, we would like to remind all of you to take care of both your physical, and mental well-being. Have a great recess week ahead everyone, press on!