Living in Singapore


The island is warm and humid all year round, with only slight variations between the average maximum of 31 degrees Celcius and minimum of 23 degrees Celcius.



Culture and religion remain entwined in Singapore, far more than in the West. Throughout the year, a constant stream of festivals and celebrations in the streets and temples reflects the diverse beliefs and backgrounds of this multicultural society, comprising of Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs.


Cost of Living

The standard of living in Singapore is amongst the highest in Asia. Compared to countries in western continents, the cost of living here is relatively low, and basic items like food and clothing are very reasonably priced.

When planning your budget, you will need to cater for these items:

·        Accommodation

·        Utilities

·        Food

·        Transport

·        Clothing

·        Telecommunications

·        Books & Stationery

·        Medical/Hospitalisation Insurance

·        Personal Expenses


An international student in Singapore spends on average S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This amount varies depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study.

These estimated cost ranges in the table below give a rough guide of the basic expenditure an international student may incur per month.

To know more about the exchange rates based in your home currency, please visit



Traveling in Singapore is both easy and economical. There is an efficient public transportation network, which offers taxis, buses, and the modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system. With its excellent public transport system, Singapore is, without a doubt, the easiest city in Asia to get around.



Eating is a national pastime in Singapore. Furthermore, with the variety of places to enjoy this pastime, it is no surprise at all if the phrase “eat to your heart’s content” had originated from Singapore.

Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Peranakan, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean cuisine, and more compete one another in the “battle of the taste buds”!



Other Information


Drinking Water

It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stock.

The electrical current in Singapore is 240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. 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.

Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. Offenders can be fined up to SGD 1,000. While it is an offence to smoke in air-conditioned eating places, smoking is permitted in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots.

Work / Employment

International students are generally 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 Pass unless they have the consent in writing from the Controller of Immigration. Violators will be prosecuted by law.


The followings are special laws which you may abide:

  • Littering: Singapore has very strict laws against littering with heavy fines and corrective work for repeat offenders. Failure to flush a public toilet after use may attract very hefty fines. It is illegal to pee in an elevator.
  • Chewing Gum: As an extension of the “no littering” mantra, the import, sale and possession of chewing gum is banned. You are also not allowed to bring in chewing gum for your own consumption. In short, no chewing gum whatsoever.
  • Smoking: It is an offence for a teenager to smoke if he is under 18 years old. If the offender is caught, he/she will be charge in court and fined up to S$300.
  • Pornography: Pornography is illegal. You should never walk around your home nude as it is considered pornographic.
  • Theft & Shoplifting: Shoplifting and theft are considered serious offenses in Singapore.
  • Murder, abduction and weapons offenses: More serious crimes such as a murder, an abduction and weapons offences may also attract a death penalty.
  • Drugs: A drug offence in Singapore can attract severe penalties including a death penalty.
  • Alcohol/Drunkenness: Purchase and consummation of alcohol is not permitted for those below 18 years of age. Persons drunk in a public place may be fined, or can be imprisoned up to three months.
  • Driving/Car Theft: Legal driving age is 18 and it is illegal to drive a vehicle without the owner’s permission. Car theft has a mandatory imprisonment of at least one year.
  • Piracy: The importation of pirated copyright material is prohibited. Offenders may be fined and/or jailed.
  • Racism: Crimes that break up racial or ethnic harmony, such as racial insults, may attract severe penalties.
  • Employment: Student’s Pass holders are strictly not allowed to engage in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, or in any business, profession or occupation in Singapore. Violators will be prosecuted by law.



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