Singapore, considered as an “Asian Tiger” economy, does not only offer an array of competitive employment opportunities to both locals and even foreign workers, but it is also fast becoming a well-known hub for higher education with the influx of foreign students coming from around the world. A foreign student who wishes to study in one of the 34 universities in this small yet progressive state must, however, be willing to spend a lot of money as Singapore is also known as one of the 10 countries in Asia with a high cost and standard of living. Statistics reveal that the living costs for international students range from a modest S$2, 000 to as high as S$4,700 per year.


One of the immediate concerns for any incoming foreign student is a place to live in, and one actually has a variety of choices from a quite decent Housing Development Board (HDB) flat, a room for rent to university residence halls which students may apply for. On average, an international student spends S$750 to S$2,000 a month based on the type of accommodation he or she chooses.


Choose your home based on your budget

Depending on how much one can spend for his or her living expenses, any student may opt to stay in in-campus dormitories or residence halls, share a flat or room with friends, or live independently.


While campus residences are operational for enrolled students to live in, these are usually reserved for full-time post-graduate students and are also usually given on either a yearly or semester basis.


Students who have secured a Student Pass are legally allowed to rent HDB properties, the common options for any foreign student or worker in Singapore which are rented at a cost of at least S$1,000 to S$2,000 each depending on the floor area, number of bedrooms, and location. This is by far one of the cheapest accommodations for foreigners as it is also the choice of an estimated 80% of Singapore locals.


As most universities in-campus accommodations are generally hard to secure, some of them offer their off-campus student hostels with the following estimated costs for every academic year: S$1,800 per semester in rent, as well as a S$300 utilities deposit and a S$100 check-in fee. Most of these student hostels offer meal plans at around S$200-S$300.


For those who wish to enjoy a more private and posh property, apartments and studio flats (condominiums) are more expensive as they residents may enjoy other perks such as swimming pools, gym, tennis courts and are located in larger residential complexes.