Living in Singapore
The standard of living in Singapore is amongst the highest in Asia. However, compared to countries in western continents, the cost of living here is relatively low, and basic items like food and clothing are considered reasonably-priced.
Housing & Accommodation
Choosing a suitable accommodation to stay is one of the most important decisions you will make if you are an international student coming to Singapore to study. You are advised to start looking for a place to stay before you arrive in Singapore and before school term commences. Typically, demand for student accommodation is quite strong and good units may be hard to come by or taken up very quickly. Therefore, the sooner you begin your search, the higher your chance of finding a place that meets your needs and budget.
It is not advisable to look for housing from unfamiliar or dubious sources via email or telephone. Your personal safety is a paramount concern. Where possible, you should meet your prospective landlord and inspect the accommodation, together with a friend. It is also best to negotiate rental rates and use of facilities in person and together with any room-mate(s) if you are planning to search for accommodation after your arrival in Singapore.
Factors to consider when choosing Accommodation
This includes the monthly rental of the unit, rental deposit, security deposit, administrative charges, agent fees etc.
Do check whether the apartment/hostel is conveniently located and if amenities like public transport, grocery stores, food outlets or banks are easily accessible.
The minimum lease of a unit is normally at least a year. You are advised to negotiate the terms of lease with your landlord.
The cost of accommodation depends on several factors such as the locality, type of premises, size, furnishings provided, recreational facilities available, length of lease. Housing in Singapore is generally expensive, especially within the city.
Do note that the contract / tenancy agreement will be solely between the student and hostel management / owner. We advise you to read the contract / tenancy agreement carefully before you make any commitment.
When planning your budget for living expenses in Singapore, do consider these items:
- Books & Stationery
- Medical/Hospitalisation Insurance
- Personal Expenses
On average, an international student in Singapore spends about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. The amount varies depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study. (Source: Information adapted from Singapore Education at http://www.moe.gov.sg)
The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. A 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is imposed on all purchases. Tipping is not practised in Singapore as most hotels and restaurants already levy a 10% service charge on bills.
Major credit cards are generally accepted by establishments, including American Express, Diners Card, JCB, MasterCard and Visa.
Another widely-used method of payment is NETS, which allows you to make payment with your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.
(Source: Information adapted from Singapore Education at http://www.moe.gov.sg)
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Contact a programme advisor by calling
+65 6580 7700