Cost of Living
in Singapore

Download digibank Now

Note: The education loan information on this page is provided only for the information of the website users, digibank by DBS doesn’t offer this product at the moment.

Key Takeaways

  • The Lion City, Singapore, has become a popular study-abroad destination.
  • As an international student here, you have to consider several everyday expenses.
  • These include school fees, accommodation, transportation, food and healthcare.
  • You can reduce expenses by living on campus.
  • You should also consider other need-based expenses.

Cost of Living in Singapore – A Detailed Guide

Modern infrastructure, clean streets, and warm people – these are the first three things that symbolise Singapore. The Lion City is popularly known as the international city of the future. In recent years, Singapore has emerged as a world leader in the research and innovation space. The city-state was ranked seventh in the INSEAD Global Innovation Index in 2015 and third in IMD’s World Competitiveness Rankings in 2014. It is no wonder that students across the globe are choosing Singapore for higher studies. As an Indian student on the precipice of studying here, you should be armed with all the information surrounding the cost of living in Singapore. Here is a detailed guide.

Download digibank Now

Average monthly cost of living in Singapore

Singapore is a modern city with some of the best public amenities. It boasts of highly sophisticated infrastructure and convenient facilities, making it a dream city to live in. These world-class facilities make Singapore one of the more expensive cities in the world. As such, the monthly cost of living in Singapore tends to be slightly high. Like with most cities, the expenses you incur depend on various factors, such as the type of school you choose to attend, whether you opt to stay on campus or in private lodgings, and the locality in which you choose to live.

Download digibank Now

Necessary Expenses

The cost of living in Singapore can be categorised based on the necessary expenses that you have to incur. These include:

  1. Accommodation

    As with any country, the cost of housing depends on the type of accommodation and the locality in which you choose to stay. If you choose to live on campus, in residence halls, you can expect to pay approximately SGD 400-500 per month. A typical student dormitory can house four to six students. You can also choose to live in a rented off-campus accommodation on your own or on a shared basis with other occupants. The cost of off-campus housing depends on the locality and the amenities provided. In Singapore, average rent of living off-campus can be anywhere from SGD 900 – 2600 per month.

  2. Transport

    Singapore is renowned for its sophisticated and urbane transportation services. Getting around this city is incredibly easy, with a vast bus network, frequent buses, and stops at every corner. Furthermore, the six Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines, covering over 130 local stations, make the commute breezy. As a student, you can avail of concessions and get a monthly MRT pass for SGD 45, whereas monthly bus passes can cost you about SGD 52, making your total monthly transport expenses about SGD 97.

  3. Food

    Your everyday living expenses in Singapore also include the money you have to spend on food. The best way to reduce your food expenses is to opt for meal plans that can cost you around SGD 90 to 120 per month. However, meal plans may vary, and your university may not provide every meal. You can also buy your meals from university canteens or food courts, which can cost you approximately SGD 250 to 350 per month. Of course, the costs will vary if you opt to live off-campus and cook food in your rented facility.

  4. Schools

    Your school fees include your tuition fees, cost of books, cost of apparatus, library fees, and so on. This fee depends on the program and university you choose to attend. Your nationality is also a critical factor that affects your tuition fees and school expenses in Singapore. As such, the cost of living in Singapore for Indian students can vary compared to students of other nationalities. Your school fee expenses depend on whether you opt for the Annual Non-subsidised payment plan or the annual subsidised payment plan for international students. It typically costs approximately SGD 27,000 to 30,000 for a three-year program at a public university for international students.

    Got your admission letter to a university in Singapore? Pay your fees effortlessly with digibank by DBS Remittance Services

  5. Healthcare

    Singapore has a world-class health care system and is renowned for its fantastic and affordable health care system. Expats, including international students, can buy health insurance to pay for unexpected medical expenses. It can cost you anywhere from SGD 920 to 5,015 per annum to purchase health insurance as a foreign national in Singapore. The maximum coverage offered against these premiums is in the range of SDG 900,000 to 2.5 million.

Download the digibank app to do online international remittances safely and securely.

Download digibank Now

Other Costs

Besides the living expenses in Singapore mentioned above, you also have to consider other costs. These may vary based on whether or not you avail of these facilities. Here is a rough schedule of the expenses you are most likely to make on a regular basis:

Expenses Type

Average cost in SGD

Internet usage (8mbps speed)

$45 per month

Cost of Books & Stationery

$150 per annum

Single visit to a public polyclinic

$15 per visit

Meal for 2 at an average restaurant

$54 per meal

Street food or meal for 1 at a fast-food restaurant

$4-$8 per meal

Utility bills for one person in a Studio Apartment (Approx 480 square feet)

$94 per month

Utility bills for 2 people in 900 square feet apartment

$158 per month/ $79 per person

Hourly rate for house help (house cleaning)


Cost of a taxi trip

$13 for five miles

Cold medicines for six days


12 doses of antibiotics


Short visit to a private doctor

$57 per visit

Gym membership

$153 per month

2 tickets to the movies

$26 per trip

Toiletries (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toilet paper etc.)

$21 per month

Are you ready to embark on a new journey of your school life in Singapore? Make sure you have the right bank account to manage your expenses.

With the digibank by DBS app, you can open a new savings account in a few minutes! Download the app to get started.

Download digibank Now

Frequently Asked Questions

I intend to live off-campus while studying in Singapore? What would the cost of living in Singapore be, which areas are more expensive, and which are economical?

If you choose to live off-campus, you can live in Central Singapore if you want to reside in a posh locality. On the other hand, if you are looking for economical accommodation, you may rent an apartment in the Northern or Eastern areas of the city.

Is Singapore a more expensive study abroad destination as compared to the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada or New Zealand?

No, the cost of education and life in general in Singapore is significantly lower than that in the UK or the US. However, it may be on par with studying in countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

I will need a bank account to manage my living expenses in Singapore. Which bank should I consider as an ex-pat in the country?

As an ex-pat in Singapore, you will need a local bank account. You can consider opening a digibank by DBS savings account that gives you a wide range of benefits, including interest of up to 3% on your savings. You can also use the account to remit money to and from India or have your parents transfer money from their digibank by DBS account in India to your Singaporean bank account.