Arriving in Singapore

There are some things to prepare and do that will ensure you’re ready to start living and studying in this vibrant city.



Living expenses

Your day-to-day living costs will vary based on your tastes, interests and financial position. You should plan a budget to suit your needs, but make sure it is flexible enough to allow for changes. Singapore is a large city with a range of options to suit the lifestyle you choose.

Estimated monthly living expensesSGD$
Accommodation1,000 to 1,800
Public transport80 to 120
Food600 to 1,200
Communication30 to 90
Recreation200 to 500

The information in this table is intended as a guide only.

Pre-departure checklist

You are required to be in Singapore for the scheduled orientation session for new students. This is normally held one to two weeks before the commencement of the trimester.

Before you leave your country, you must ensure you have done the following:

  • Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months.
  • Organise your travel arrangements by booking and confirming your plane tickets with a reputable travel agency or with your service agent, if you are engaging the services of one. Take note of your orientation date before booking your flight.
  • Obtain all original documents, such as academic transcripts and awards, your birth certificate and passport. Please have your documents translated to English through a notary public or official translator, if they are in a native language.
  • If required, arrange your accommodation and airport pick-up through Curtin Singapore here.
  • If applicable, obtain a medical check-up in your home country and bring all medical reports along. Our Admissions Office will advise if a medical report is required for your Student’s Pass formalities.
  • Bring enough cash to cover local travel and living expenses. It is advisable to bring a traveller’s cheque or a credit card. A local bank account can also be opened using your Student’s Pass. Money Changers are available all over the island for you to exchange your currency for Singapore dollars.
  • Fill out the online SG Arrival Card (SGAC) up to 3 days before arriving in Singapore, otherwise, you will be asked to it fill up on the spot and may experience delays at the Singapore checkpoint.

What to pack:

  • Passport; passport sized photographs (35mm x 43mm); IPA letter; flight ticket; any other identification documents, such as birth certificates
  • Letter of Offer from Curtin Singapore; signed original Standard Student Contract; receipts of payments of tuition fees; medical reports (if applicable), etc
  • Original and English translated (where applicable) copies of certificates, transcripts and other stipulated documents
  • Sufficient cash, traveller’s cheque or credit card, where applicable
  • Light, comfortable clothing; toiletries; bath towel
  • Prescribed medication (where applicable)
  • Study and writing materials

Optional items may include:

  • Sports items, such as jogging shoes, etc.
  • Dictionary and/or calculator
  • Camera

Bringing any controlled drugs, CDs/VCDs/DVDs or reproduced copyright materials to Singapore is an offence and will result in either a fine, jail or both.

Arrival in Singapore

  • Present your IPA letter and your passport to the Immigration Officer when you arrive at Singapore Changi International Airport.
  • Change some cash to Singapore currency at the airport’s Money Changer counter, if necessary. Remember not to entrust large sums of money to friends, agents or strangers. Handle all money matters on your own.
  • Meet your airport-pickup transport representative at the exit of the Arrival Hall if you have made prior arrangement. Should you not have an airport-pickup service, taxis are conveniently located at the exit of the Arrival Hall and are reasonably priced to take you to your destination. Alternatively, you can take a train from the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train station, and buses are also easily accessible.

Getting around

Singapore has very easy and convenient modes of transportation!


Singapore has a large fleet of taxis, which are all fitted with electronic meters and air-conditioning, to conveniently and comfortably take you to your destination. In addition to the basic taxi fare which includes a starting fee, additional surcharges may also apply. Taxi fares can be payable by cash, credit cards or NETS, subject to availability in each taxi.

TIP: Always check with the taxi driver for mode of payments accepted before you board the taxi, as well as whether they have change for a large note.

Further details on taxis can be found at

Buses and Trains

Singapore buses are serviced by SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation (SMRT), and calculated by a distance fare charge. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains are a fast and convenient mode of travel in Singapore. The MRT trains in particular service many different areas of Singapore.

Bus and train transport websites are and

EZ-Link Card

The EZ-Link Card is a contactless, stored-value card that provides the traveller with a hassle-free and convenient mode of payment on buses and trains in Singapore.

To use, just tap lightly on the reading device at the entrance and exit, when boarding and alighting respectively. The EZ-Link card is highly recommend to avoid the need for exact change for bus rides, and to enjoy the added benefit of transfer rebates and discounts for selected retail purchases. A card can be purchased from any MRT station.

Alternatively, single trip tickets can be purchased from all train stations. More information on EZ-Link cards can be found at

General information

Safety and Security

Singapore is generally a safe and clean city to live in. However, precautions should be taken at all times with personal belongings and while travelling. You should be aware and alert to your surroundings at all times.

Curtin Singapore Security

Everyone plays a part in contributing to the safety and security of Curtin Singapore’s property, equipment and reputation. In addition to the security services provided, you are invited to approach staff for assistance at Student Connect.

Communication Services

Singapore has very good communication solutions ranging from the postal service, to residential and mobile phones, to internet and cable television.

  • Postal service – located mainly within housing estates, Singapore Post offers general postal services, including stamps and bill payment facilities. There are also 24-hour Self-Service Automated Machines (S.A.M.) installed outside Singapore Post branches, where you can pay your bills or purchase stamps independently.
  • Residential/Mobile and Internet Lines – Subscription cost and rates differ depending on plans and promotion of each applicable service and provider. For subscription, you may contact:
    Singtel Customer Service 1688 or visit
    StarHub Customer Service 1633 or visit
    MobileOne Customer Service 1627 or visit
  • Cable television – in addition to the local television and radio channels provided in the four main languages of Singapore, Singtel and StarHub also provide cable television, which you can subscribe to for movies, sports, documentaries or news.

Private clinics and government polyclinics can be found island-wide in Singapore, while 24-hour clinics and hospitals provide emergency medical care when needed. For a list of medical services, please visit

Useful Contacts

Emergency Contacts

  • Police: 999
  • Fire/Ambulance: 995
  • Non-Emergency Ambulance: 1777

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA): 
High Commissions and Embassies in Singapore:
About Singapore: