Living In Singapore

Pre Departure Checklist

Before heading to Singapore, please run through this checklist of things to do and bring.


Singapore’s weather is generally warm and humid, ranging from an average of 31 degrees Celsius during the day and 24 degree Celsius at night. It rains throughout the year with more consistent rain during the monsoon season from November to January

Dress Code

Generally Singaporeans dress casually. Loose and light clothing is recommended for comfort. Students usually wear jeans, t-shirts and bermudas.

Cost of Living

An international student in Singapore spends on average about $750 to $2000 a month on living expenses. This amount of course varies depending on your individual lifestyle. These estimated cost ranges below gives a rough guide of the basis expenditure an international student may incur in Singapore per month.

  • Accommodation: $200 - $1500 (depending on area, type and number of people sharing)
  • Utilities: $50 - $80
  • Food: $300 - $450
  • Public Transport: $20 - 100
  • Telecommunications: $30 and above
  • Books and Stationary: $30 - $100
  • Personal Expenses: $100 -$200

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Singapore has a well-organized public transportation service. Getting around Singapore is easy and convenient. Many parts of Singapore are easily accessible via public buses and MRT. Fares can be paid by cash or EZ link card, which can be used for both the MRT and public buses.


There are over 140 commercial and merchant banks in Singapore. Most of them offer full banking services, including savings and current accounts, ATMs, fixed deposits, loans, overdrafts and transfers, and changing of foreign currencies. The three major local banks in Singapore are POSB/DBS, UOB, and OCBC.

Opening a bank account in Singapore is relatively quick and simple. To open a savings account, you will need your passport, student’s pass and letter of admission. You will also need to deposit a minimum amount of $500 with the bank

Cheques take one to two working days to clear. There are quick cheque deposit boxes at every branch, so you need not wait in line to deposit your cheques

Internet/on line banking allows you to view your financial records from any computer that has internet connection. It can be used to transfer funds, pay rent, bills etc.

Transfer of Funds

Students may receive funds using bank drafts made out in Singapore dollars. These funds can be credited to your Singapore bank account and withdrawn in one to two days. Telegraphic transfers may also be made indirectly through another bank to your bank account

Note: Money transfers (from a bank account in your home country to your Singapore bank account) take between four to six working days. Bank drafts usually take one hour to process (there will be commission and postage charges depending on the countries currencies

Modes of Payment

Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) This is a cashless payment system in Singapore where you can use your ATM card to pay for almost anything but you’ll need a Singapore bank account with an ATM card

Staying In Touch

Students are advised to get a mobile phone. You might want to consider signing up for a two year contract with any of the three service providers: Singtel, M1 or Starhub Mobile. Each service provider will have different types of subscription plans; you can compare and choose the subscription plan that meets your needs.