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Travel Guide > Asia > Singapore

Singapore Work & Study

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Working in Singapore

Typically, most companies work on a 5-day week, complying with the legal standard of 44 hours. Benefits from working full-time include having 7 – 14 days of paid annual leave, which might increase in tandem with years of stay and experience. 2 to 3 weeks of paid sick and hospitalization leave are common, together with an optional a year-end bonus; the equivalent of one-month’s salary.

Salaries are considered competitive, with an administrative manager earning a basic wage of around S$4,500, accountant; S$4,000 and electrical engineer; S$3,500. However, take note that these are just examples and that one’s salary would vary from another.

The Ministry of Manpower will be a good information source for foreigners who wish to work in Singapore.


Singapore has a regulatory system, which requires certain passes for different kinds of employments.

Work Permit: Lowly skilled labourers who earn not more than S$1,800 monthly

Employment Pass: Minimum monthly salary of S$2,500, with recognised academic qualifications

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP): New scheme with greater flexibility; allows employee to retain pass for up to 6 months even if he/she is not working in the company anymore, minimum monthly overseas salary of S$7,000

S-Pass: Minimum monthly salary of S$1,800, for middle-skilled foreigners with a degree, diploma or technical certificate.

Applying for Permanent Residence (PR) status

Rules in attaining for PR in Singapore have relaxed considerably, to attract the investment of foreign capital.

There are a few eligibility criteria to meet, including:

-          Spouse of a Singapore citizen, with unmarried children below 21 years old

-          Elderly parents of a Singapore citizen

-          Holders of the P, S, or Q work pass

-          Interested investors or entrepreneurs

-          Interested foreigners who are overseas, wanting to apply for In-principle PR

Submit the application for PR via Immigrations & Checkpoint Authority (ICA).

Starting a Business

The Doing Business 2010 Report ranks Singapore at the world’s easiest place to do a business. Indeed, starting a business in Singapore is an option favoured by many, because of Singapore’s environment that is highly conducive, with stable markets and reliable governments.  

Interested parties must apply for an EntrePass Employment Pass tailored for foreign entrepreneurs with companies registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Singapore does not tolerate illegal businesses and the type of business should be entrepreneurial; coffee shops, food courts, nightclubs, karaoke lounges, massage parlours etc are not considered.

Studying in Singapore

Singapore is home to many reputable and excellent universities, receiving recognition of a modern city possessing high and stringent standards in education. It is of no surprise that many parents send their children here for study, and the intake of foreign students has increased significantly.

Admission Procedure

Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS)

International students who wish to study in a conventional public school should have sufficient grasp of the English language, as it is the language of instruction in Singapore. A student has to undergo Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS) as part of the admission procedure.

Student’s Pass

A foreigner would need to apply for a student’s pass upon acceptance by an education institute for the pursuing of full-time studies in Singapore, unless he or she has a Dependant’s Pass or an Immigration Exemption Order.

Polytechnics in Singapore

There are five mainstream polytechnics in Singapore, namely Singapore Polytechnic; Singapore’s oldest polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic; located in the East, Ngee Ann Polytechnic; with well-known communication diplomas, Nanyang Polytechnic; popular among students and Republic Polytechnic; the youngest polytechnic in Singapore.

Universities in Singapore

There has been an increasing rate of international students studying in universities at Singapore. It is no wonder, as the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been constantly at the top of world rankings, together with Nanyang Technological University, another excellent university.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is the newest kid on the block, while Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) is a highly preferred private school.

CaseTrust for Education scheme

The CaseTrust for education scheme is unique and tailor-made for international students, who may worry about the credibility of a private and non-government school. Private Education Organisations (PEO) are required to attain the CaseTrust for Education before being allowed to accept international students.  A certified PEO offers protected tuition fees and clear fee policies. This enhances the confidence of applicants. Please take note that it is not compulsory for government-aided private institutions in Singapore to apply for CaseTrust for education.

Accommodation for Students

Accommodation for foreign students involves careful planning and consideration. To aid the transition, most education institutes have an International Student Office to cater to the needs of such students.

Types of Accommodation


Hostels are available on some campuses and offer great convenience, with the provision of basic amenities like television rooms, computer rooms and kitchenettes. It is a popular choice, costing S$155 - $800 a month, depending on the number of students sharing the room.

Boarding Schools

This option is for students aged between 13 to 19 years old. A boarding school would typically provide meals, laundry services and security. An interview with both the student and parents would be included as part of the selection process.

Private Hostels

There are also private hostels run by independent agencies.

Home Stays

Some households offer accommodation to international students in their own home, which offers a homely environment, with guidance support. However, some might find a home stay expensive, as it ranges from S$1,000 to $1,600 a month.

 Public and Private Apartments and Houses

Some students may wish to source directly for public and private apartments or houses as a long-term option. Expect to pay at least 1 month of security deposit and another month of advance rent. The International Student’s Office can help with searching for the right accommodation, or one can also look at the local papers’ advertisements on their own.


Hotels are a short-term option, suitable for students on short courses or exchange programs. Mid-range hotels are from S$60 - $200, while better ones are from S$200 - $400, per night.

Work & Study Institutions in Singapore

University/College Singapore Management University (SMU)
Another addition to Singapore’s universities is Singapore Management University (SMU), which occupies a strategic location between Bras Basah and City Hall, a cultural and historic site near to the National Museum of Singapore, CHIJMES and Raffles Hotel. I... more
 2 Fans, in Colonial District
University/College Singapore Institute Of Management (SIM)
Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) at Clementi is the largest provider of private tertiary education and professional training. It has been founded since 1964, and today, it is still an advocate of lifelong learning for everyone who seeks to improve, from y... more
 2 Fans, in West
University/College National University Of Singapore (NUS)
National University of Singapore (NUS) is a highly regarded university among students and employers in Singapore, having had been consistently ranked among the world’s top universities. It is currently the 30th top university in the world, and the 4th in A... more
 2 Fans, in West
University/College Temasek Polytechnic (TP)
Temasek Polytechnic (TP) began offering higher education in 1990, and only moved in to its Tampines campus in 1995, due to the great increase in enrolment. It currently offers 52 diplomas to 15,000 students. Situated right next to Bedok Reservoir, the campus is ... more
 1 Fans, in East
University/College Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) has a vision to “be a premier polytechnic of global distinction”. NYP was first established in 1992, and has 15,000 full-time students. Their International Students’ Club will be a delight to all foreign students, with... more
in North
University/College Republic Polytechnic (RP)
Republic Polytechnic (RP) is the newest polytechnic on the block, with a cohort of 12,000 students. It started in 2003, with 800 students at the previous Tanglin campus. Currently, it operates from a new campus at Woodlands, which the school officially moved int... more
in North
University/College Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a university at the forefront, branding itself as research-intensive, and offering courses in science, engineering, business, humanities and the arts. While maintaining a reputation of being one of the 100 universities i... more
in West
University/College Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) is a popular choice for students in Singapore. Their new initiative allows diploma graduates to further their studies with an overseas degree at NP itself, great for those who are accustomed to sunny Singapore. The school promotes thems... more
in West
University/College Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
Singapore Polytechnic is the country’s oldest polytechnic, established since 1954. The school first started out at the financial district but has since relocated to Dover, in the Western end of Singapore. Situated right next to Dover MRT station, its prime... more
in West
Volunteer Organization St. John Ambulance Headquarters
St. John Ambulance Headquarters is a small three storey building on Beach Road, built in 1960 and opened by the first President of Singapore, Yusof Ishak. It is home to the voluntary organization, St. John Ambulance, and offers First Aid and Home nursing courses... more
in Kampong Glam
These are just 10 of 12 Work & Study Institutions in Singapore. Show more.

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