By Shang Shaoxi, current SMU Master of Science in Management (MM) student
I still remember the first day I took a tour of SMU and how impressed I was. The university has an open campus, unlike the universities I usually see in my home country China, which have walls and even fences around the premises. SMU has an open concept, and welcomes tourists anytime to tour the building and facilities (certain restricted areas require one to tap an access card to enter, however). The SMU campus is made up of several school buildings for the different faculties, as well as the library. These buildings are located closely around the busy street crossings, connected by the underpass at Bras Basah metro station, which we call the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) here. Although the SMU campus is relatively small, it is well equipped with facilities like the gym with a ladies’ zone for yoga, and a swimming pool at the SMU Administration building. These can always satisfy your whimsical cravings when you’ve decided to take a break from studying.
The SMU campus
Walking along the underpass, you will almost always see students, most of whom are undergraduates, studying at the benches installed along the underpass, concentrating hard on their books or assignments. You will also get a taste of the vibrant student life, as it is not uncommon to see people working on their extracurricular club projects, fully attired in their costumes. The underpass has always been my favourite. It is a constant hive of activity, with energetic students practicing skating, hip-pop dancing and sometimes yoga in the evening (saw it once when I came by the school while walking home on foot).
Students studying along the SMU underground concourse
From time to time, students will also hold concerts, flea-markets (a treasure trove of interesting things because you can never predict what they’ll have on sale next), and guest talks at the T-junction. However, if you are worried about the noise these activities bring, don’t worry. The students at the studying benches located further away cannot really hear what is going on in this area, and that is probably because of the slope of the path in the underpass. The underpass is such a busy place, just like the school itself, being located right at the centre of the city; in the midst of the busy Central Business District area and the main shopping district. For me, this truly reflects the “Management” part in the name Singapore Management University.
One of the rare moments when the SMU underground concourse isn’t teeming with student life
The city campus is a paradise for shopping lovers. I recall once, one of my friends asking me: “How are you going to study at a place that’s this busy?” Well, the inviting sofas and the cosy individual desks in the library are perfect for logging in hours of quality studying time. But when you’ve reached your saturation point and want to have a little break, it’s always nice to be able to drop by the nearest shopping mall with your besties and then come back in one hour, isn’t it?
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