After enrolling at SMU, there were several administrative tasks I needed to take care of. Firstly, I received a student email in the format [name].[year]@exchange.smu.edu.sg. This email was used by SMU for important administrative information, such as student card collection, as well as promotional emails from SMU fifth rows.
Next, I had to collect my student card from SMU’s admin building. Unlike other universities with a single campus, SMU consists of separate buildings allocated to specific fields of study. Each building has a name like SCIS 1 (School of Computer Science and Information Systems). The student card is essential for accessing the school buildings, as the entrances are secured with gantries that require card access.
The student card also offers a perk. Many food courts and establishments in the SMU area provide a 10% SMU student discount.
Similar to SUTD, SMU has its own Telegram group called Ask.SMU. I managed to join by asking the person sitting next to me during my first class. However, the main chat in Ask.SMU is mostly filled with people promoting their own stuff, rather than engaging in conversations like in SUTD chat groups. On the bright side, many of the promotional posts come from the fifth rows announcing events.
The SMU equivalent to myportal to oasis.smu.edu.sg. From there there’s several subapps to do various things like study room / meeting room booking and bidding for mods:
Module Selection and Bidding
SMU’s module selection process, called BOSS bidding, is quite different from SUTD. Instead of ranking module preferences, we were given 100 e-credits to bid on our desired modules over three consecutive bidding rounds. I didn’t know the optimal bidding strategy, so I initially allocated equal credits to all the mods I wanted. Unfortunately, the modules I wanted the most were fully taken after the first round. Later, I discovered a blog post discussing bidding strategies and the option to view past year bids, but it was too late for me to benefit from it.
I encountered an issue accessing module info within the BOSS bidding system. When I clicked on the module selection option, I was prompted to sign in again, and after doing so, I was denied access. It turned out that I had to enter my email as [name].[year]@smu.edu.sg instead of [name].[year]@exchange.smu.edu.sg, which was not obvious at first.
It’s also worth noting that some mods are marked as SMUX-X. SMU-X mods involve projects with external parties. While they can be valuable for adding school projects to your resume, they generally come with a heavier workload compared to regular mods, so it’s advisable to consider this before opting for them.
Fifth Row Events Registration
Another aspect related to email addresses is the registration process for SMU fifth row events. All SMU fifth rows use Google Forms for event registration, and they whitelist participants based on their student email addresses. Interestingly, most CCAs use the format [name].[year]@smu.edu.sg instead of [name].[year]@exchange.smu.edu.sg, which initially confused me.
Due to its central location, SMU is well-connected and easily accessible. My usual route to class involved taking the green line to City Hall MRT station and then walking a short distance to the school buildings. Alternatively, in rainy weather, I could use the underground area that connects all the SMU buildings when coming out of either Bencoolen or Bras Basah MRT stations.