An insider guide to making the most of a semester aboad in Singapore
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Singapore Exchange Student Guide

Make the most of your semester abroad!

Note: This document is just a rough outline for the content and this repo is a work in progress


Why go on exchange?

  • international perspective
  • networking (make friends around the world)
  • FUN!

###Why Singapore

  • SE asia at your doorstep Singapore is a travel hub
  • Best of both the east and west
  • Sit down toilets
  • clean water
  • amazing food
  • Match's University schedule

Preparing for Singapore


Ensure 6 months after you leave Singapore to ensure no visa problems


More in the money section

Bring, CLEAN CRISP US dollars

Purchase Avalibility

Most things are avaliable to purchase but are generally more expensive: Pharmaceuticals personal electronics clothing (large sizes)

What to bring

  • clothing
  • electronics
  • other things to bring


Singapore is very hot and humid!

  • many shorts, t-shirts
  • sandels and flip flops

Inside, air conditioning can be cold

  • 1 sweather
  • 1 overcoat
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 track pants

Clubbing: Very formal, people club in suits bring nice pants, shirts and shoes

It rains constantly:

  • rain coat
  • pocket sized umbrella
  • foot wear which does not slip

Traveling: Northern China & North Vietnam can be cold


Malarone Traveler's Diarerria Medication

What not to bring:

Duty Free!

  • Booze is expensive in Singapore (especially with tax)
  • Pick up things from Duty Free!


Canadian's have a 30 day visa for Singapore. After attaining the 30 day visa on arrival, it can be converted into the required visa:

Official Government Student Guide
Training Work Permit (Intern/Co-op)
All Work Passes Unofficial Immigration Guide

Your school/company/institution should provide more information for your specific case

Ariving in Singapore


  • priceline Generally cheapest flights

  • layover trick 1/ fly to a "flight hub" 2/ have a 24 hour layover 3/ fly to destination

Basics of Singapore

  • 12-13 hour time difference
  • Metric -> stationary difference


  • British, 240V
  • Bring transformer
  • Bring adapters

Phone/ Internet

  • Cheap
  • Bring triband phone
  • Top up cards

Temperature, climate, weather

Two gurantees:

  • Heat
  • Rain


Four official languages:

  • English
  • Malay
  • Mandarin
  • Tamil


Purchase a transit card:

  • MRT <- Very fast subway
  • Bus <- Pretty convenient, goes everywhere

Mobile Phone App:

  • Uber, cheap & awesome! Use affilaite: to get $20

  • Grab Taxi:

  • taxis <- Good, but expensive at night

  • Pay a $3 booking fee

Health and safety

Health Care

In Singapore

  • World class, best in the world
  • Private and expensive
  • Many hospitals in Singapore


  • Sketchy
  • Terrible
  • Dangerous

Health Insurance


Might be offered by your home school Might be offered by your exchange school Might be covered by parents Might be covered by credit card Option to purchase insurance

Health Risks and Vaccinations

In Singapore

Dengue & Chikyungaya

Avoid getting bitten by mostiqutoes

Fungal Infections

Athlete’s foot, ringworm, white spots and other fungal infections are more common in the humidity. Luckily, creams and powders to treat these are readily available at pharmacies.



Outside Singapore


In Singapore

  • very very safe
  • can walk late at night (even females)
  • very low crime rate
  • generally things do not get stolen
  • still take precautions
  • Does not yield on small roads
  • Taxis never yield
  • Dangerous biking

Outside Singapore

  • can be dangerous
  • many tourist traps
  • many, many scams

Money Matters

General notes

  • Handle money with respect
  • Negotiate (not generally), but for electronics, tailoring etc.

Exchange Rate

Almost the same as Canadian 1 CAD : 1.05 SGD

Bring over $100-$200 SGD for first couple of days Canadian banks offer decent rates

Exchange Options:

  • Withdraw via debit and pay exchange rate from bank (+ ATM fees)
  • Bring over Canadian/USD and exchange at Mustafa Center (Little India)


  • Once you have your student ID card open free bank account
  • Personally I suggest DBS (most ATM's around)


  • Housing is EXPENSIVE ($800-$1500/month)
  • craiglist, local sites for cash
  • Residence is pretty inexpensive ($300-$600)
  • Watch out about mould and living things

Food & Drink

Amazing international cuisine!

Singapore is the food hub of Asia

Hawker centre and restaurants

Hawker centers

  • Food courts with tons of cheap options
  • Full meals from $3-$5
  • Drinks come in bags


  • Expensive
  • Hit or miss
  • Do your research

Bars, Drinking and Partying

  • Clarke Quay, downtown on river with bars, restaurants and popular clubs
  • Drink at the Clarke Quay Bridge
  • Party at 1 Altitude, on top of the Marina Bay Sands


Counrty of Rules

Fines for:

  • Jaywalking
  • Smoking indoors
  • Littering
  • Not flushing public toilets
  • Chewing gum
  • Eating/Drinking on MRT
  • Drugs
  • Vandilism


Sightseeing in Singapore

  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Garderns by the bay
  • Little India
  • China Town
  • Botanic gardens
  • Singapore Zoo
  • Night Safari
  • Heartlands
  • East Coast Park
  • Sentosa
  • Bukit Timah
  • MacRitchie Reservoir
  • Sungei Buloh
  • Pulao Ubin
  • Arab Street
  • Colonial District
  • Jurong Bird Park


Many! Chinese, Indian, Western, and many more!


Hub of SE Asia

  • Myanmar
  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Phillipines
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • China
  • Brunei

Visas: Note on E-Visas: Most countries offer an electronic visa process.

Embasys everywhere

Important note: The US dollar is the standard for payement. Bring CLEAN, CRISP and NEW bills since in certain countries (such as myanmar) they on accept PERFECT bills.

Bus/ Train / Boat

Can bus/train from Singapore so Malaysia Great for last minute trips

Go by boat to Indonesia


TigerAir JetStar Air Asia Scoot

Sign up for deals Book 2.5 weeks early Book Tuesday - Thursday

Places to stay

Airbnb Use affilaite: aandrade183 for $34 SGD


Just hop on a motor bike

##NUS / NTU / SMU location Orientation and Initial Steps Language of Instruction Curriculum Structure Style of Instruction Courses Taken Registering for Courses Unique Courses Examinations

##FAQ's Drugs Alchol

##Links to resources Alumni Facebook Group
Alumni LinkedIn Group
Canadian Association
Canadian Alumni Group
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian High Commision
uWaterloo's Alumni Page

##About the authors Andrew Ali

Alumni association