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  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Singapore

  • Donald Moore

    I moved to Singapore to build up my own business. In fact, it was easier than expected. With InterNations I quickly got in touch with the lively expat community here.

Discover Singapore's Friendly Expat Community!

Apa kabar! Or Ni hao! And welcome to our expat community in Singapore! If you are just beginning your journey and are considering a new life in Singapore or have already made your decision to move to the modern island, InterNations' wide-reaching social network of expats in Singapore is your gateway to sound advice, unbiased help and to becoming part of a welcoming community. If you have specific questions about your new life in Singapore, such as "what is the childcare like close to Holland Village?", "how much will an apartment cost for a family of four in Novena?" or even "where can I get the best 'rojak' in Orchard?", then join InterNations, head to the Singapore Forum and get real answers from real expats. And our dedicated guide articles can provide you with further insights into life in Singapore. From choosing where to live and work to understanding the culture of Singapore, our social network of expats is both informative and friendly; what could be better than making your decisions based on the experience of other people living in Singapore? Gain an invaluable insight into life as an expat in Singapore by getting to know fellow expats. With plenty to see and explore, including a fantastic zoo, beautiful botanic gardens, and the opportunity to take a night safari, Singapore is a fantastic and exciting place to live for both families and single people looking to start a new life.

With InterNations, you never stand alone. Whether you are moving to another country or going on a business trip somewhere — our communities around the world are there to make you feel at home wherever you are. Feel free to also check out our other vibrant InterNations Communities like the ones in Shanghai or Khobar (Eastern Prov.).

Jump right in:

Living in Singapore: Your Questions, Answered

If you’re a new or soon-to-be expat in Singapore, you probably aren’t quite sure yet what it will be like. That’s why we gathered the answers to some key questions you may have about life in Singapore. If you want to ask more specific questions — or even share your own tips — join InterNations! You’ll be part of a community of new and experienced expats who love to help each other out.

1. Is it necessary to speak the local language?
English is one of Singapore's official languages, so you'll be able to communicate effectively in most situations. However, learning some basic phrases in Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil can be helpful for interacting with locals and showing respect to the diverse cultures of Singapore.

2. What is the cost of living in Singapore?
Singapore has a relatively high cost of living, but it varies depending on your lifestyle and location. Some common expenses include:

  • Rent: Varies by area and type of accommodation
  • Utilities: 100–200 SGD (74–148 USD) per month
  • Groceries: 300–600 SGD (222–445 USD) per month
  • Transportation: 100–200 SGD (74–148 USD) per month

3. What are the average rent prices in popular expat locations?
Here are the average rents for single-room flats and three-bedroom flats in some sought-after locations in Singapore:

Central Business District:

  • Single-room flat: 2,500–3,500 SGD (1,850–2,590 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 5,000–8,000 SGD (3,700–5,920 USD) per month

Holland Village:

  • Single-room flat: 1,800–2,800 SGD (1,330–2,070 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 4,000–6,000 SGD (2,960–4,440 USD) per month

Tanjong Pagar:

  • Single-room flat: 2,200–3,200 SGD (1,630–2,370 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 4,500–7,000 SGD (3,330–5,180 USD) per month

4. What is the healthcare system like in Singapore?
Singapore has an excellent healthcare system with both public and private hospitals. Public hospitals provide high-quality, affordable care, while private hospitals offer a more personalized experience at a higher cost. Expats often choose private hospitals, which have international staff and English-speaking doctors.

5. What's the process of obtaining a residence visa?
To obtain a residence visa in Singapore, you generally need an Employment Pass, S Pass, or Dependant's Pass, depending on your reason for moving to Singapore. The specific visa type depends on your occupation, salary, and qualifications.

6. How safe is Singapore for expats?
Singapore is considered one of the safest countries in the world, with a low crime rate and strict law enforcement. Expats should follow local laws and customs, be aware of their surroundings, and stay informed about any security alerts or travel advisories.

7. Can I drive in Singapore with my foreign driver's license?
You can drive in Singapore with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to 12 months. After that, you'll need to obtain a Singaporean driver's license. To do so, you'll have to pass a Basic Theory Test, even if you have a valid license from your home country.

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Join Our Exciting Events in Singapore

Attend our monthly events and activities for Singapore expatriates to get to know like-minded expatriates in real life.

Jul 26, 2024, 12:30 PM
82 attendees
Join us at Highlander Bar located at Millenia Walk, the Downtown Area. A casual whisky bar with live band performances and DJ the music never stops at Highlander. Get your friends and colleague to joi
Aug 2, 2024, 12:00 AM
2 attendees
Let me welcome each of you to the Singapore Community. Come and meet other expats, and let us know each other. If you have any questions about InterNations, this is an opportunity to clear it and to u
Celebrate Singapore’s National Day in Style - Wear White and Red @ The Exchange. Let your outfit reflect your pride and appreciation for Singapore this National Day. Come dressed to impress, and let’
Aug 8, 2024, 12:00 PM
6 attendees
Time has no limits when it comes to celebration. You are warmly invited to join us for a special evening. Let's raise a toast, salut and enjoy an evening packed with enjoyment, laughter, wonderful com

Want to see all the upcoming events in Singapore?

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Additional Information on Expat Life in Singapore

Singapore is technically an island-city state, famed for its global financial center, warm weather and multi-cultural population. This new and modern city mixes both Chinese and Malaysian culture with contemporary architecture and rules of a very cutting-edge society. Enjoy a high-quality of life in Singapore with high-end supermarkets, restaurants and all of the luxuries of home, including an IMAX cinema and a number of shopping malls. The fifth highest ranking country for secure expat jobs — according to the Expat Insider 2015 survey — Singapore has a number of career options to offer foreign residents. What's more, if you plan to move your family to Singapore, you will find some of the best childcare in the world, as well as a high quality of education for your kids — ranked the third best in the world. While accommodation can be a little on the expensive side in Singapore, property is all relative, and if you are earning a good wage, you will be able to afford to live well in Singapore. Singapore has a large community of expats, despite the city regularly being ranked among the most expensive cities in the world, as job prospects are high, and healthcare and education are of the highest standards. Most residents of Singapore feel very safe living there and feel financially stable, living in a healthy economy. Unemployment is extremely low and its economy continues to grow. Industries in Singapore focus around electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil-drilling equipment and rubber processing and products. Most of the jobs in Singapore are in the services industry, though. Whether you want to live in the accessible area of Orchard, the prestigious region of Tanglin or the bohemian Holland Village, there is something for every expat in Singapore.

InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. Meet fellow global minds in your city of residence or get to know local expatriates before you're moving or traveling abroad and never feel like a stranger. InterNations makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your expat friends, both online and offline, so you can grow your network of friends and contacts from all over the world. Whether they live in Hong Kong or Dubai, InterNations allows you to be close to them even if they are miles away.

InterNations: The Easiest Way to Grow Your Expat Network in Singapore

InterNations membership is by approval only to keep the network secure and facilitate an understanding of the principles that are integral to the InterNations community, in particular trust, respect, and friendliness. With this in mind, you are perfectly safe to get involved in real life with InterNations members through various groups and events that are taking place in Singapore. Head to our Singapore Groups overview to discover exciting groups and the events they organize. You may already love movies and want to join the InterNations Singapore Movie Club. Or you may want to try something new as part of your new life, so you could join some of the many fantastic sporting groups in the Singapore Community. Open up your experience and meet like-minded people in Singapore through InterNations, with help and advice always on offer. InterNations allows you to become a part of the Singapore lifestyle, make new friends, aside from your colleagues, and even learn a thing or two!

Further Reading: 6 Reasons Why Singapore Is So Popular for Expats

  • Donald Moore

    I moved to Singapore to build up my own business. In fact, it was easier than expected. With InterNations I quickly got in touch with the lively expat community here.

  • Barbara Sciera

    Settling as an expat woman in a different culture is always hard. But with InterNations I got to know many other expat spouses that helped me.

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