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Living in Singapore

Introduction to Singapore

Singapore is more than just a red dot. Strategically located in South East Asia, Singapore is known as a reputable financial and trading hub with home to 7,000 MNCs (1). Its solid workforce drives the economy of this developed nation, making Singapore a stable and prosperous place to live in. Apart from being a reputable financial and trading hub, Singapore is remarkably famous for being a shopping paradise and having many attractions for its visitors to try out different activities. Orchard Road of Singapore was chosen as No.1 Shopping Street in the world by Presence Mystery Shopping firm in 2012 (2).  Sentosa Island, which is also known as Singapore’s Playground is a perfect place for  nature lovers to explore scenery at gardens and beaches. For thrill seekers, Asia's top amusement park (3) Universal Studios Singapore is a great place to try out adventurous activities.  

Singapore lies near the Equator. Due to our geographical location, we do not experience seasonal changes. Instead, our climate is generally uniform in temperature (25 degC - 35 degC) and humidity (70% - 90%) range with changes in rainfall and winds due to relatively short Northeast and Southwest monsoons.

People, Culture and Language

Singapore is known for being a metropolitan city, where you will find a blend of diversity-Chinese count for 74.2%, Malays comprise 13.3%, Indians form 9.2%, and Eurasians and Asians make up 3.3% of Singaporean population, living harmoniously together (4). Be captivated with cultural treasures, in which you will find historical buildings and places of worship that exemplify our multicultural heritage. Due to its diverse cultures, Singapore has a variety of signature cuisines from different nations that make Singapore earned a title as Food Capital of Asia by its visitors. To amaze you more, many Michelin Star Restaurants opened by celebrity chefs are in town.

To reflect its diverse cultures, Singapore has adopted one representative language for each of the four major ethnic groups. English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil are four official languages in Singapore's constitution. So, you need not to worry if you do not speak Chinese or Malay (5) because English is mainly used in schools and conducting businesses. Due to its diverse cultures and languages, many Singaporeans grow up in bilinguals and multilingual environment. So, don’t be surprised when you see Singaporean children speaking two or three languages.


Students experience the highest standards of quality education. You can expect a transformative learning experience of studying abroad- gaining new insights and be inspired by fellow classmates and passionate lecturers. In 2015, Singapore is Asia's best country in higher education and training according to global index report (6).


Singapore lies near the Equator. Due to our geographical location, we do not experience seasonal changes. Instead, our climate is generally uniform in temperature (25 degC - 35 degC) and humidity (70% - 90%) range with changes in rainfall and winds due to relatively short Northeast and Southwest monsoons.

General Cost of Living

The general cost of living in Singapore vary according to the student's personal needs and lifestyle patterns. A typical average monthly cost however range from S$1,200 to S$1,980.

DescriptionMonthly Cost (SGD)Note
Food $450 - $750 Eat at budget joints or mid-priced resturants.
Accomodation $600 - $1,000 Assumes rented accommodation is in suburban districts. When leasing a room, landlords may require tenants to pay a monthly utility fee.
Transport $100 - $150 Public transport fares estimated based on commuting to and from school daily.
Communications $50 - $80 Includes internet access, mobile phone subscriptions, depending on choice of plan and does not include cost of phone.
Estimated Total Monthly Expenses $1,200 - $1,980  

Note: These figures serve as a guide as expenditures will vary depending on personal spending habits. These are rough estimates for the expenses of one adult, and do not include one-time fees, incidental charges, exceptions etc.

Source: Contact Singapore, as of 29 November 2016

Accommodation & Living

It is not advisable to look for housing by mail or by phone from unfamiliar sources. You may refer to the list of alternative accommodation providers below. Where possible, you should meet your prospective landlord and inspect the accommodation. It is also best to negotiate rentals and use of facilities in person, together with any roommate(s), if you are planning to search for accommodation after you arrive in Singapore.

Dorms by PSB Academy

For more information on Dorms by PSB Academy, please click here

Common Types of Accommodation

  • Shared House / Apartment
    A group of students can get together to rent a house or a flat, and share amenities such as living room, kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Residents do their own cleaning and may have to pay their own utility bills. Monthly rental range:  S$1500 - S$5,000

  • Room in Owner-occupied Apartments
    Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, as it is known, is the most common type of housing for international students. A student rents a vacant room in a flat occupied by the owner and will be required to negotiate with the owner on the use of amenities like washing machine, cooking facilities, telephone, television, internet access, etc. Monthty rental range:  S$500 - S$1,500

  • Private Student Hostels
    A number of privately run hostels take in foreigners that hold a Student’s Pass Card issued by the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Each hostel has its own range of charges for different room-types and facilities. Monthly rental range:  S$400 - S$1,200

 Other Accomodation Providers

There are numerous providers of accommodation in Singapore. It is important to use credible providers to have a peace of mind. We have a curated a list of possible accommodation for your consideration.

For more information on accommodation, please email us at

Transportation and Telecommunication

The towering and cutting edge skyscrapers redefined the city’s skyline. With one of the lowest crime rates in the world, you can safely and easily get around Singapore via our integrated transport system of air-conditioned bus services, modern Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines and affordable taxi services.

To keep you connect with your loved ones, Singapore has three main service providers that are M1, Singtel and StarHub. Students can buy pre-paid sim cards conveniently at 7/11 and applied for post-paid service at main service provider with deposit.


1) Ministry of Manpower. (21 July 2017). Living in Singapore. Retrieved from: 

2) Asia One. (11, Janurary, 2011). Orchard is No.1. Retrieved from:

3) Channels News Asia. (15 July, 2015). Singapore Zoos, Universal Studios Singapore tops in Aisa: TripAdvisor. Retrieved from:

4) Singapore Department of Statistics. Population Trends 2014. Ethnic Composition, 5. 

5) Your Singapore. (9 July, 2015). Culture, Language and People. Retrieved from:    

6) Weforum. Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. Retrieved from: 

Photo references

Visual of Universal Studio Singapore. Retrieved from:

Visual of Marina Bay. Retrieved from: 

Visual of Ion Orchard Shopping Mall. Retrieved from:

Visual of Chicken rice. Retrieved from: