Living & Studying in Singapore

LivingInSG-Map-1

1. Living In Singapore

Singapore is a vibrant cosmopolitan city known for its clean, green and safe environment. A choice destination for many international students, Singapore is the ideal place to study, live and play in.

2. Who Are We?

You definitely won’t feel out of place in our multicultural society. Singapore is a city where modernity and tradition fuses well together. We have a diverse population of Chinese, Malays, Indians, as well as Eurasians and smaller minority groups. This means we have a melting pot of different religions, cultures and languages.

Reflecting this multicultural aspect, we have four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are the major religions practised here.

3. What Is The Temperature?

If you love the sun, this city island is perfect for you. Singapore has a warm and humid climate all year-round, with temperatures ranging from 23 to 33 degrees centigrade. Sunshine is the norm, with occasional rain, especially during the year-end periods.

4. How To Travel Around?

Travelling around Singapore can be done without much hassle. We have one of the best public transport systems in South East Asia. As owning and maintaining a vehicle in Singapore can be expensive, most commuters travel by the Public Transport. Namely the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRT), bus and taxi.

5. How Much Do I Need?

Cost of living is relatively low, with basic items like food and clothing reasonably priced. Depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study, an international student in Singapore spends an average of about S$800 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses.

6. What To Wear?

It’s summer all year round, so keep your woollies at home. Many indoor places are air-conditioned so you might need a sweater or jacket if you are staying indoors for a long period of time.

7. Where To Eat?

Congratulations if you are a food lover! Singapore is a gourmet paradise where different types of food are available at a stone’s throw away. Most people dine in hawker centres, coffee shops and food courts where it is easy to find a variety of affordable Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western treats. Almost every major international cuisine can be found at hundreds of restaurants everywhere. So you never have to look far for that authentic taste of Italian pizza or Japanese sashimi.

8. What To See?

You can immerse yourself in this modern cosmopolitan city of arts, known for its lifestyle, entertainment and design trends. Explore the various facets of Singapore’s arts scene in art museums, gallery and exhibition spaces, schools, arts groups and more.

9. What To Do?

You can be a shopper, foodie, nature lover, adventurer, sports lover, night owl or anything you want to be in Singapore. It is a place bustling with activities – day and night.  Be it indoors or outdoors, you will never run out of things to do in Singapore.

10. What Else Should I Know?

Drinking Water
It is generally safe to drink water straight from the tap.

Smoking
Smoking below age 18 is prohibited. Smoking is also not permitted in many public areas.

Spitting
Spitting in public places is an offence.

Tipping
Tipping is not encouraged as most places levy a 10% service charge on customers’ bills. Tipping is not a way of life here and is prohibited at the airport.

Electricity
Singapore uses the square-shaped three-pin plug. You may need an adapter or transformer for foreign appliances, which are available at most hardware stores.

Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. Illicit traffic of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is strictly prohibited. Death penalty for drug trafficking.

11. Can I Work?

International students seeking education with Private Education Institutions (PEI) in Singapore are not allowed to engage in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of their Student’s Pass, unless they have the consent in writing from the Controller of Immigration. Violators will be prosecuted by law.

Ministry of Manpower

International Students that hold a Student’s Pass are strictly not allowed to engage in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore during the validity of your Student’s Pass unless a consent in writing from the Controller of Immigration is obtained. Violators will be prosecuted by law.

For more information on work-related matters, please refer to MOM website at http://www.mom.gov.sg for more information.

12. How To Keep In Contact?

Calling, Skyping or mailing home is no mean feat in Singapore. It is one of the most connected cities in the world with a large population subscribing to mobile and Internet services.

We have three service operators, SingTel, MobileOne and StarHub. Each offers a wide range of communication services at competitive rates, including:

  • Telephone
  • Mobile (cellular and paging)
  • Internet
  • International telephone

To make international calls, the access codes are:
SingTel: 001, 013 or 019
MobileOne: 002 or 021
StarHub: 008 or 018

Public payphones are located at most shopping malls and public places, and operate by credit card or stored-value phone cards. Stored-value phone cards are found in denominations of S$2, S$5 S$10, S$20 and S$50 and can be purchased from post offices and phone card agents.
Besides local calls, all card-phones provide International Direct Calling services and subscriber Trunk Dialling for Malaysian calls. International Calling Cards are also available at all post offices, 7-Eleven (24-hours) stores and other retail outlets.

Our main post office, Singapore Post (SingPost) has branches and authorized agencies that are conveniently located almost everywhere in Singapore. Most outlets are open Mondays to Fridays, 8.30am – 5pm and until 1pm on Saturdays. Letters to local addresses cost S$0.25 for the first 20 grams and aerogrammes to all parts of the world cost S$0.50.

13. Where Can I Look For Assistance?

You should always keep a list of useful telephone numbers handy. Here are some crucial ones:

Police
999 (toll-free)

Emergencies/Ambulance/Fire Brigade
995 (toll-free)

Informatics Academy Student Services Hotline
Tel: (65) 6580 4500
Emergency hotline: (65) 9186 3746
Email: service@informatics.edu.sg

Committee for Private Education (CPE)
2 Bukit Merah Central
#01-05 Singapore 159835
Tel: (65) 6499 0300
Fax: (65) 6275 1396
Email: CPE_CONTACT@cpe.gov.sg

Operating hours:
8.30am – 6:00pm, Mon to Fri

CPE Student Services Centre
1 Orchard Road (YMCA Building)
#01-01 Singapore 238824
Tel: (65) 6592 2108
Fax: (65) 6337 1584
Email: CPE_CONTACT@cpe.gov.sg

Operating Hours:
9.30 am – 6:00pm, Mon to Fri

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Hotline
(65) 6391 6100

24-hour automated answering service for information on ICA services and procedures requirements. Customer service officers are available during office hours only:
8:00am – 5:00pm, Mon to Fri
8:00am – 1:00pm, Sat

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is responsible for the security of Singapore’s borders against the entry of undesirable persons and cargo through our land, air and sea checkpoints. Aside from border security, ICA also performs immigration and registration functions such as the issuing of travel documents and identity cards to Singapore citizens. ICA also issues various immigration passes and permits to foreigners. As a security agency, ICA also conducts operations against immigration offenders.

A foreigner is required to apply for a Student’s Pass if he/she wishes to pursue full-time studies in Singapore in a EduTrusted Private Education Institute (PEI) that is registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE).

With the Committee for Private Education (CPE)’s launch of the Enhanced Registration Framework, from 21 Dec 2009, all PEIs will need to be awarded with EduTrust to offer school placement for foreign students.

Student’s Pass applications will be accepted only if they are for foreign students who are enrolled in a EduTrusted PEI.

You are not allowed to engage in any form of employment, or in any business, profession or occupation during the validity of your Student’s Pass in Singapore.

For more information on Student’s Pass related matters, please refer to ICA website at http://www.ica.gov.sg for more information.

14. Embassy / Consulates

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
150 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247969
Tel: (65) 6418 0252
Fax: (65) 6734 4737

Operating hours:
9.00am – 12.00pm, Mon to Fri

Malaysian High Commission
301 Jervois Road
Singapore 249077
Tel: (65) 6235 0111
Fax: (65) 6733 6135
E-mail: mwspore@singnet.com.sgmalspore@kin.gov.my

Operating Hours:
8.00am – 5:15pm, Mon to Fri

High Commission of India
31 Grange Road
Singapore 239702
Tel: (65) 6737 6777, (65) 62382538 (only for after office hours queries, timing for emergency service procedures – 5:50pm to 10:00pm)
Fax: (65) 6732 6909

Operating Hours:
9.15am – 11:30am, Mon to Fri

Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
15 St. Martin’s Drive
Singapore 257996
Tel: (65) 6735 0209 (6 lines)
Fax: (65) 6735 6236
E-mail: ambassador@mesingapore.org.sg

Operating Hours:
9.00am – 1.00pm, Mon to Fri
2.00pm – 5.00pm, Mon to Fri

Royal Embassy of Cambodia
400 Orchard Road
Orchard Towers
Singapore 238875
Tel: (65) 62380429
Fax: (65) 63419201
E-mail: cambodiaembasy@pacific.net.sg

Operating Hours:
9.00am – 12.00pm, Mon to Fri
2.00pm – 5.00pm, Mon to Fri

Philippines Embassy
20 Nassim Road
Singapore 258395
Tel: (65) 6737 3977, 6834 2938 (Assistance to Nationals)
Fax: (65) 6733 9544

Operating Hours:
8.30am – 12.30pm, Sun to Thu
1.30pm – 5.30pm, Sun to Thu

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
7 Chatsworth Road Singapore 249761
Tel: (65) 67377422
Fax: (65) 67375037, (65) 62355783
Email: info@kbrisingapura.com

Operating Hours:
Mon to Thu
9.00am – 1.00pm
2.00pm – 4.00pm
Fri
9.00am – 12.30pm
2.30pm – 4.00pm

Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
10 Leedon Park Singapore 267887
Tel: (65) 64625938
Fax: (65) 64625936

Operating hours:
8.30am – 12:00pm, Mon to Fri
2.30pm – 5.30 pm, Mon to Fri

High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
51 Newton Road
#13-07/12 Goldhill Plaza
Singapore 308900
Tel: (65) 62544595, (65) 62544596, (65) 62544597
Fax: (65) 62507201
Email: slhcs@lanka.com.sg

Operating Hours:
9.00 am – 1.00 pm , Mon – Fri
2.00 pm – 5.15 pm, Mon – Fri

Royal Thai Embassy
370 Orchard Road
Singapore 238870
Tel: (65) 67372158, (65) 67372644
Fax: (65) 67320778
Email: thaisgp@singnet.com.sg

Operating Hours:
9.30 am – 12.30 pm, Mon to Fri
2.00pm – 5.00pm, Mon to Fri

15. Where Can I Stay?

There are different types of affordable accommodation available in Singapore. You can opt for home stays, student hostels, or rent a room/house.

Home stays
Home stays in Singapore usually provide students with full meals and daily laundry. Students are offered a home away from home environment with rooms of their choice. Amenities and services are complete and offered in a package. Prices range between S$1,200 – S$1,400 per month depending on room type. Room types vary between single or sharing ones (double, triple or quad).

Student hostels
Student hostels are more competitively priced depending on each student’s budget. Unlike home stays, student hostels exclude meal services and less frequent housekeeping services. Room types vary between single or sharing ones (double or quad).

Rent a room/ house
Monthly rental rates are between S$400 – S$1,500 depending on location. Room types vary depending on availability.