With Singapore’s wide range of lifestyle and recreational options, completing your master’s program at ESSEC Asia-Pacific is bound to be an exciting milestone. But for those who haven’t been to Asia before, there are various questions one will have—the most important one being, where should I stay?

Here are some questions you can ask to help decide.

What kind of housing is available?

The most common housing options for ESSEC students in Singapore are HDBs and condominiums. HDBs are Singapore’s version of public housing built by the government. These apartments are usually near public transport, provision shops, hawker centers, and clinics. However, HDBs don’t have facilities like swimming pools, barbecue pits, and tennis courts.

Condominiums, on the other hand, do. They also tend to be better furnished, offer more privacy, and often have security guards patrolling the area to keep it safe. But with these added offerings comes a higher price.

A third option ESSEC Business School students have been looking into is co-living. This involves renting a room and sharing the communal space—for example, the kitchen, living room, and gym—with other professionals or students. The living areas of these spaces tend to be well-furnished and tastefully constructed, and as a bonus, the price usually includes housekeeping, too.

Which part of Singapore do you want to live in?

Six MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) lines make getting around Singapore easy. However, given that you’ll need to travel to school at least a few times a week, you might want to live somewhere near the North-South (green) line or Circle (orange) line, as these are most accessible to ESSEC Business School.

“I prefer places located on the green line so I can travel easily to both ESSEC and the center of Singapore,” Student Ambassador Chloe Wang, who moved to a co-living space, shares. “Now I live close to Tiong Bahru Mall, so I have easy access to meals, and I’m near areas like Clarke Quay and River Valley with all kinds of restaurants.”

What’s your budget?

Ultimately, budget is the most critical factor in your accommodation decision. Areas close to the city center, such as Tiong Bahru, Tanjong Pagar, Queenstown, or even River Valley, come with a higher price tag. In contrast, places like Clementi and West Coast—still reasonably close to ESSEC Asia-Pacific but further from town—tend to be more affordable.

HDBs are generally cheaper than condominiums, so if you’re looking for a place with excellent facilities, you might rent a condo room, look for a roommate to help cut the costs or choose a co-living option.

Do I need an agent?

The reviews are mixed for this one. An agent can smoothen the house hunt process by advising you on what features to look for, introducing you to the neighborhood, recommending spaces that fit your needs, and even managing the landlord.

But on the flip side, Chloe says, “In my first place, half my monthly rent went to an agent!”

With websites like PropertyGuru and 99.co, ESSEC Facebook groups, and more options abound for skipping the middleman. And in Chloe’s experience so far: “You can definitely find a place to stay through online platforms without paying any agency fees!”