Studying in Singapore

Cost of Living in Singapore

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 about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This amount of course, varies depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study.

Accommodation

In Singapore, there is a variety of accommodation types to suit different budgets and needs. There are several accommodation options for international students. The choice will depend on individual circumstances and budget accommodation.
 
Most international students are eligible for accommodation provided by their institutions, such as boarding schools, school dormitories or student hostels. Depending on your budget and personal circumstances, you may consider living in private hostels or rent private housing - landed property, apartments, condominiums and serviced apartments. The cheaper alternative is to rent privately from tenants of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. Based on the HDB guidelines, you can rent a room or the whole unit of HDB flat. For short-term stay, a hotel room is the suggested option.

There are many accommodation options to suit your budget. The following table shows the different types of accommodation available and its estimated rental prices.

Type of Accommodation Rental
Hostels S$140 to S$440 per student per month depending on the number of students sharing the room
Private Homestays S$500 to S$1,000 per month
HDB S$250 (room only) to $1,000 (whole flat) per month
Serviced Apartments S$3,000 to $6,000 per month
Private Property S$1,300 to $4,000 per month
Hotels from $30 to $600 per room per night

For short-term accommodation, international students can contact their respective institutions. Or, they can call the Student Services Hotline at +65 6831 3764 for assistance, or visit the website http://www.singaporeedu.gov.sg. Once temporary housing has been provided, you can spend time to find your ideal accommodation to meet your needs and lifestyle.

Transportation

Travelling in Singapore is relatively quick and affordable. The following table shows the various means of transport available.

Types of Transportation  

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

The MRT operates a nationwide rail network. Trains operate from 5.30am -12.30am daily, every three to eight minutes. The guide to MRT Travel can be obtained from the Station Control Rooms at all MRT stations.

Please click here to view Singapore MRT Map
Public buses Public buses offer one of the most affordable and enjoyable ways to reach your destination. Public buses are air-conditioned and run daily from 5.30am - midnight. 
Taxis

Taxi fares are charged by the taxi meter. The flag down rate ranges from S$2.80 - S$5.00 depending on type of taxi.

Surcharges apply for

  • Peak hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 7.30am - 9.30am and 5pm - 8pm)
  • After midnight (12am - 6 am daily)
  • City area surcharges for cabs hired within the Central Business District (CBD) area (Monday to Thursdays, 5pm - 8pm and Fridays to Saturdays, 5pm -12 midnight)
  • Departing from the Singapore Changi Airport, Seletar Airport or Singapore Expo
  • On the eve and on public holidays
  • Trips passing through an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry
  • Credit card payments incur a 10% surcharge on the fare
Please click here to view Phone Booking Hotlines

Guide to MRT Travel can be obtained from the Station Control Rooms at all MRT stations.

EZ-Link Card
The EZ Link Card is a contactless smart card. It is used to pay for all the MRT, LRT and public bus rides. Students can purchase the EZLink card at any of MRT station. Its value can be increased or ‘topped up’ with cash or a NETS card at machines in MRT stations and bus.  Full-time students at public institutions enjoy the concession travel with the MRT and public busses. For more information, please contact your educational institution or visit http://www.ezlink.com.sg.