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Living in Singapore

A Uniquely Singapore Experience

singapore-tourism-board1The hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to a Year 2014 Edition Tourism Highlights by UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation)*

1 in every 11 jobs belongs to the Tourism, Hospitality and F&B sector. International Tourists reached 1087 million in Year 2013, contributing to 9% GDP and 6% in World’s export or US$1.4 Trillion.
In Singapore, according to a Year 2014 Annual International Visitors Arrival report and Hotel Statistic report released by the Singapore

Tourism Board, more than 15 million people visited Singapore, contributing to S$3132.2 Million Total Hotel Room Revenue.*

Hospitality is not just about hotels. It also includes fine dining establishments, luxury resorts and spas, country and golf clubs, high-end casinos, cruise lines, theme parks and attractions, events and convention management, airlines and travel operators. If you have passion in the hospitality industry, the career options and environments in this wide-ranging industry are exciting and endless. With thousands of hotel rooms and restaurants, year-round conventions and trade shows, and some of the finest entertainment venues and world-class recreation facilities, Singapore – the hub of the new dynamic Asia – is well-placed to be the gateway to realizing your dream of a fulfilling career in the global hospitality industry.

*Year2014 Annual International Visitors Arrival Report:

General Information

Singapore is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It is highly diverse and well-known around the world to be a multi-racial and multi-cultural society. The four main groups are Chinese, Malays, Hindus and Eurasians. Other races and nationalities make up the small minority. This diversity is reflected in our country’s four languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. However, English is the official business language of Singapore.

The official currency of Singapore is known as Singapore Dollars (SGD).


Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons. The consistent temperature, high humidity and abundance of rainfall means that it is summer all year round. Temperatures typically range from 25 – 35 °C (72 – 95 °F). April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. Pack light clothing to sustain the heat but also bring jackets for air-conditioning indoors.

Transportation and Getting around Singapore

Most Singaporean residents travel around Singapore by foot, bicycle, taxi or public transport systems e.g. train or bus. The train system in Singapore is called the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) and LRT (Light Rail Transit), the bus system is known as SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. An EZ-Link card is a transport card that allows you to pay for all your bus and trains journeys across Singapore. You can purchase one from any ticketing office in the MRT stations around Singapore and top-up the credit as you go. You may even use this card to pay in certain places!

EZ Link cards used for public transportation in Singapore

EZ Link cards used for public transportation in Singapore

Picture of the Train system in Singapore

Picture of Public Buses

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Taxis are a popular form of public transport as the fares are relatively affordable compared to other developed countries. In Singapore, you have several taxi companies such as Comfort, CityCab, SilverCab, TransCab etc. However, Uber and Grab apps are now available for you to order a car directly to your location.

Pictures of the various taxis in Singapore

Why it is great to be a student in Singapore

Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, Singapore has one of the largest economic growth; you have plenty to experience in this vibrant and urbanized city. In addition, it is considered one of the safest places in the world which is reflected in its low crime rate; a perfect environment for international students to study in.
Tourist Attractions:
Have a wander around the Marina Bay Sands area and be stunned by the beautiful architecture. As Singapore is known as the Garden City, it is no surprise we are home to the world’s largest indoor greenhouse and sustainable ‘supertrees’ at Garden By The Bay. If you are looking for more adventure, Sentosa Island is a small island off Singapore where there is no age limit to having fun. You can spend a day at the infamous Universal Studios theme park or just sunbathe and relax at one of our 3 beaches. This cosmopolitan city has plenty of enormous shopping malls for you to browse through but don’t forget to visit the heritage areas of Singapore such as Little India and Chinatown. We guarantee that you will not be bored of sight-seeing the wide variety of tourist attractions in Singapore. What’s more? Singapore is only a couple of hours away by plane from other countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – you can easily plan a holiday during your term breaks!

Night Life:
Singapore is a bustling and diverse city with plenty of options for students when the night begins. For a more chilled evening, try some of the bars and pubs around Boat Quay, Ang Siang Hill and Club Street. However, if you would like to dance the night away, there are also several renowned clubs in Clarke Quay. For something different, check out the beach parties down on Sentosa Island. For those non-drinkers, don’t you worry; Singapore is also renowned for rooftop bars where you get a stunning view of the city. Purchase a non-alcoholic drink and have a bite to eat as you indulge in everlasting skyline.

Singapore is a food-lover paradise and the hardest thing to do would be deciding which cuisine and dishes to try first. You can get delicious local meals at the food court and neighbourhood coffee shops for less than $5!
Alternatively, there are also a number of chain restaurants, quirky cafes and fine dining options across town.

Annual Expenses and Financial Tips

We estimate that you would require S$10,000 to S$12,500 per annum to cover your living expenses in each year of study. You may use the following budget as a guide for a single student living in shared accommodation. Please note that the expenses quoted are subject to inflation and may vary depending on market conditions. The amount spent also depends on your personal requirements, budget and location.

Item Estimate Monthly Expenses (S$)
Rent (includes utility charges) 300 – 600
Food 200 – 300
Books, stationery, photocopying 50 – 100
Public transport 60 – 100
Personal expenses Varies with individuals

The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). A 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is imposed on all purchases. Tipping is not commonly practiced in Singapore as most restaurants and hotels have a 10% service charge on bills. Opening a bank account in Singapore is not necessary but will be beneficial to avoid international charges for day-to-day expenses. There are several banking institutions here which are fairly easy to open an account with. Although, it is worth checking the differences in requirements for each bank to find the one that best suits you.
-Standard Chartered
To save costs on making international phone calls, buy a pre-paid SIM card for temporary use while living in Singapore. A simple way of doing this is to purchase them from convenience stores such as 7-Eleven. All you have to do is bring your passport for identification purposes. Alternatively, if you want a long-term post-paid contract plan, you may approach the different mobile provider stores around Singapore.

Airport Transfer

SDH Institute (SDH) will assist in the transfer services to all our international students. Students who wish to use this service should inform us of their flight details or contact SDH approved agents for pre-departure information. Airport transfer fee should be payable directly to the approved agent.

Students Accommodation

This is an important aspect of every international student, we want to make sure you feel at home. We do not operate student housing but you can find accommodation by contacting the Student’s Association or our education consultants.
There are a wide variety of accommodation types in Singapore to suit different budgets and needs:
• Hostel Accommodation – Private Hostels are run by private agencies. Such accommodation can range from single room to quad sharing. Most services are provided for.
• Full Board – This consists of a furnished room and use of facilities in a private home. Meals like breakfast and dinner would be provided.
• Public and Private Apartments/Houses – Students may want to consider renting a room, apartment or house directly from the owners. The rent will depend on the size, location and general condition of the property. Students are expected to pay at least one-month advance rent and one-month security deposit.

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