Living in Singapore
From Switzerland to Singapore: Julien’s Curtin Singapore story [2m 11s]
Singapore has been ranked the 24th happiest country in the world for 2012-2014, according to the World Happiness Report 2015.
Live and study in one of the most cosmopolitan and picturesque cities in the world. Experience a vibrant arts culture, stunning scenery, superb shopping and a pleasant climate while you gain an internationally recognised university education.
A cosmopolitan lifestyle
If there is one word that best captures Singapore, it is unique. A dynamic city rich in contrast and colour, you’ll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. Brimming with unbridled energy, this little dynamo in South-East Asia embodies the finest of both east and west. The former British trading post and colony has carved a unique niche for itself in its two short centuries of existence, offering a vivid combination of ultra-modern skyscrapers, remnants of tropical rainforest and colourful ethnic urban areas.
Singapore is well known in the world as a melting pot of cultures and for its religious tolerance. Singapore’s population of almost four million comprises 77 per cent Chinese, 14 per cent Malay, 8 per cent Indian and 1 per cent Eurasian and people of other descent. The original inhabitants were Malay fishermen, but after the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and its establishment as a British trading post, Singapore became a magnet for migrants and merchants. Seeking a better life for themselves and their families, they came from the southern provinces of China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Middle East. Each group has retained its own cultural identity while becoming an integral part of the Singapore community. In addition, there are more than 90,000 professional expatriates living and working in Singapore. They too bring their own unique cultures, adding vibrancy to the cosmopolitan community.
There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their native tongue as well as English. Malay is the national language.
With its ethnic mix also comes a diverse set of religions. Singapore’s skyline boasts the distinctive minarets of mosques, spires of gothic cathedrals, intricate figurines of Hindu temple gods and the distinctive roof architecture of Chinese temples. The main religions are Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism.
Singapore experiences a tropical climate with hot, humid weather all year round. Daytime temperatures average 86°F (30°C) and humidity is usually above 75 per cent. Singapore has two distinct monsoon seasons, the North-Eastern season from December to March and the South-Western season from June to September.
Singapore boasts a diverse range of options to suit all requirements and budgets. You may choose to stay in hostels with the option of single or shared rooms. Renting a room or sharing an apartment with friends is another popular alternative. You have the choice of renting government housing (Housing Development Board apartments), or private housing (landed property or condominiums). Learn more about accommodation in Singapore.
Cost of living
Living costs vary according to taste, interest and finances. You should set a budget based on individual needs with flexibility to allow for changes. Singapore is a large city with a range of options to suit the lifestyle you may choose to lead. Budget a minimum of SG$16,000 – 34,000 per year to cover essential living expenses.
|Expense||Cost per month SG$|
|Accomodation (rent and utilities)||800 – 1800|
|Food||300 – 500|
|Travel (public transport)||50 – 120|
|Books and stationery||50 – 100|
|Other||200 – 300|
|Total per month||1400 – 2820|
|Total per year||16800 – 33840|
* Costs are only provided as a guide.