Living in Singapore

Living in Singapore

Singapore's unique characteristics and highly accessible infrastructure make it one of the best places to study and work in Asia. Aiming to be the regional educational hub Singapore provides students with an exciting platform for personal growth, professional fulfilment and cross cultural interaction. Living conditions in Singapore are among the highest in Asia, with state-of-the-art facilities for education, shopping, sports and recreation.

Singapore offers the best of both worlds. It is cosmopolitan enough to be familiar, yet sufficiently exotic to inspire a walk on the wild side. The city fuses modernity and tradition, with both celebrated in equal parts.

Singapore is a distinctive place. With a total land area of just 646 square kilometres, it is a compact country brimming with the vibrancy of over 4 million people.

In this country you will find a diverse population of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other ethnic groups, covering a wide spectrum of religions, cultures, and languages, living harmoniously together. The synergistic mix of ethnic groups offers international students a wide spectrum of choices for living and playing in Singapore.

Singapore's safety, low crime rates, and high standards of living are well renowned, offering international students an ideal environment for study. When it's time to put away the books, myriad sports, entertainment, and other fascinating sights and sounds are available to relax your mind and fill your senses.

There are a number of things students can do in Singapore during the leisure time. There are various tourist spots to visit such as Sentosa Island, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, East Coast Beach, Chinese Gardens, Night Safari, Chinatown, Little India and many more. The many theatres, cinemas, video arcades and shopping centres offer a wide range of entertainment.

Those more inclined towards outdoor activities will not be disappointed as there are many sporting facilities island wide that will cater to their needs. There are opportunities for sailing, wakeboarding, golf, canoeing, tennis, cricket, rugby, basketball, squash and many more.

As a centre of learning and research, Singapore’s numerous libraries, museums and bookshops are all easily accessible.

Learn more:

Cost of Living in Singapore

The living cost in Singapore is estimated to be $12,000 - $40,200 per year.

Accommodation $550 - $2,400
Meals $200 - $400
Travel Expenses on Public Transport $100 - $150
Personal Expenses $150 - $400
TOTAL PER MONTH $1,000 - $3,350
TOTAL PER YEAR $12,000 - $40,200

Please note that the living costs above are an estimate and serve as a guide only. Living costs will depend on type of accommodation chosen, lifestyle needs etc and vary from person to person.


Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) legislation specifically forbids international students to take employment while they are studying in Singapore.

For more information please visit

Bringing Family Members

As a student, you may bring an immediate family member who is a spouse or de-facto partner and/or dependent children with you to Singapore. They must obtain separate visas prior to entering the country. Please note that obtaining visas for dependent family members can take longer to arrange than a student pass.

For more information, please contact the immigration officials at the nearest Singapore Embassy in your home country or visit ICA website at


Public transport is efficient and very affordable in Singapore.

Bus fares vary from $0.83 to S$2.68 per trip.

MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) – the Singapore train system – fares range from $0.83 to $2.08, depending on distance of travel.

Singapore MRT Maps


Taxi fares start from $3.00 to $3.40 and a 10km trip should usually cost around $8.00.

For further information on taxi fares and charges, please click here.

Transport Apps


Singapore is situated near the equator and has a typically tropical climate, with abundant rainfall, high and uniform temperatures, and high humidity all year round. Many of its climate variables, such as temperature and relative humidity, do not show large month-to-month variation.

Singapore’s climate is characterised by two monsoon seasons separated by inter-monsoonal periods. The Northeast Monsoon occurs from December to early March, and the Southwest Monsoon from June to September.

Compared to countries in the temperate regions, temperatures in Singapore vary little from month to month and also from day to day.  The daily temperature range does not usually fall below 23-25ºC during the night and not rise above 31-33ºC during the day.

Rainfall is plentiful in Singapore and it rains an average of 167 days of the year. Much of the rain is heavy and accompanied by thunder.

Relative humidity shows a fairly uniform pattern throughout the year and does not vary much from month to month. The mean annual relative humidity is 83.9%.

Medical Insurance

EduTrust requires that students must be covered under a medical insurance coverage for the students’ hospitalisation, surgery and treatment costs throughout their course duration.

Students should be aware of the coverage and benefits being covered under the Student Group Hospitalisation and Surgical Insurance Scheme. Students should also view the details on the product summary and the terms and condition. Please click here to download the claim form for this insurance.

International students holding passes other than the Student’s Pass, and students who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents, who are already covered by their own medical insurance plans, can opt out of the medical insurance scheme.

However, they have to provide the Singapore campus of James Cook University a copy of their medical insurance policy/certificate which meets the following EduTrust stipulated requirements:

  • annual limit not less than S$20,000.00 medical costs coverage per student;
  • at least B2 ward (4-bedder) stay in Singapore Government and Singapore Government Restructured Hospitals); and
  • 24 hours coverage in Singapore and overseas (if student is involved in school-related activities).

For more details please visit the CPE website: or contact the CPE Student Services at 6592 2108

Opening a bank account in Singapore

Below are some of the major banks (not limited to) in Singapore for your consideration in opening a bank account. Please kindly bring along with you the documents stated for the specific bank:

Banks Documents to bringLinks


  • Passport
  • Student's Pass
  • Letter from school
    • Restricted to official letters from educational institutions or schools under the purview of Council from Private Education or Ministry of Education
    • James Cook University Singapore students can only obtain this letter by submitting a request form to Student Services

DBS Multiplier Account

eMySavings Account


  • Passport
  • Student Pass
  • Letter from school
    • Restricted to official letters from educational institutions or schools under the purview of Council from Private Education or Ministry of Education
    • James Cook University Singapore students can only obtain this letter by submitting a request form to Student Services

Monthly Savings Account

Please kindly take note that:

  • All bank account application is subject to approval.
  • Kindly remember to ask for ATM card so that you could withdraw cash conveniently at the ATM machines.
  • Some banks may charge a small fee of $2 if the account balance is below a specific stipulated amount (usually $500).
  • The Singapore campus of James Cook University is not related to any of the banks above. You are responsible for your dealings with the bank(s). The Singapore campus of James Cook University is under no obligation to be involved in any dispute between you and the bank.