Living in Singapore as a Student

You may already know that Singapore is a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city-state, but did you know that Singapore was home to over 65,000 international students in 2018? (source) Students from around the world are drawn to this exciting, yet safe and comfortable, city that is a true student paradise.

Why do students like Singapore so much? Probably because it's so vibrant and culturally diverse, and there are countless things to see and do. When you are not busy studying, you will have many opportunities to expand your horizons by trying new sports and foods, or by learning about the history, religions, and traditions of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

Living on a student budget in Singapore is definitely possible. You just have to make the most of the city's many free and or low-cost attractions such as the parks and trails, outdoor sports, hawker centers and markets, all of which you can get to using the city's excellent public transportation system. 






International Tourists Yearly

65 000

International Students




Michelin-Starred Restaurants


Gardens & Natural Reserves


Singapore’s past is extremely well-preserved and highly visible throughout the city, so you can easily get an overview of the multi-cultural, colonial and wartime past of the country and the region. There are monuments, museums and memorials, and you can even take a trip through time by following a heritage trail.

Learn more about the cultural and historical influences that make Singapore what it is today:


Museums & Art

These are just a few of the museums and cultural centers where you can immerse yourself in the past or open your mind to present-day themes. 

  • National Gallery Singapore
  • Parkview Museum
  • Red Dot Design Museum Singapore
  • Deck
  • Vintage Camera Museum
  • Public Art Trails
  • Art & Science Museum

Walking Trails

You might not think that walking trails merit a whole chapter in this little guide, but Singapore's trails are so diverse and exceptional they merit their own section. These are not just trails, they are organized cultural and historical experiences that allow you to stroll through a piece of Singapore's culture and history, complete with a free audio guide. 


Singapore has a variety of neighborhoods where you will find a concentration of modern and traditional art, ethnic foods, and cultural artifacts that come from the diverse peoples and cultures that make up the population and social fabric of the country.
For example:

  • Little India
  • Kampong Glam – Malay
  • Chinatown
  • Tanjong Pagar – Korea Town
  • Arab Street


Singapore is home to some of the world's most famous hotspots for a night out. There are several world-famous dance clubs, such as the Attica and Zouk, both rated among the best by critics and clubbers alike. The city's many rooftop bars are unbeatable, being some of the world's highest (in floors) and they offer amazing views of the city. Trendy cocktail bars abound in the different neighborhoods of the city, and privately organized pub crawl tours are available. 

Costs of Living

The cost of living in Singapore depends mostly on your spending habits. According to some estimates, an international student will spend S$1000 to S$2,500 a month on living expenses. For EHL students, the accommodation prices will most likely be between S$1'500 - S$2'500 per month. Based on the Numbeo Cost of Living Comparison Engine, here are a few items and prices that might be of interest for international students:

  • 1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) SGD $96
  • 1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) SGD $51
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city SGD $6
  • 2 tickets to the movies SGD $24

Getting Around

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway is the best way to get around in Singapore. It is extensive, clean, efficient, inexpensive, and easy to understand. Maps are available at every station. 

Singapore's bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore and is the most economical way to get around, as well as being one of the most scenic. 

Taxis are great if you want to go to places that are not accessible by the bus or MRT. You can hail a taxi by the roadside at most places, or by queuing for one at taxi stands found at most shopping malls, hotels and tourist attractions. A taxi fare from the airport to downtown will cost around SG$ 25-30.  You can estimate the cost of transport by taxi with the Singapore taxi fare calculator.

Did you know? Singapore is the most expensive place in the world to buy a car. A new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, costs approximately S$100,000. Thankfully, you don't need a car to get around!



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