International Student Guide

 

LASALLE College of the Arts offers a comprehensive range of student support services so as to provide an empowering and dynamic environment conducive to the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of high-level skills, creativity and critical reflection for our students.

The student support services provided by the College range from:

  • Programmes to induct new students to LASALLE’s culture, environment, systems, services and resources available;
  • Programmes to support new international students in familiarising and adjusting to the Singapore culture, language and environment;
  • Academic assistance offering additional academic support for students in the college which includes drop-in sessions, workshops, tutorials, and learning disability support;
  • Programmes to induct students to appropriate use of library resources;
  • Student life activities to support a holistic and enriching student experience and to create opportunities for personal and professional developments outside of the academic curriculum;
  • Student welfare such as provision of student insurance, assistance on student accommodation and financial assistance;
  • Pastoral care and support through the provision of counselling services by college counsellors and workshops on topics such as stress management;
  • Career guidance in the forms of career talks and workshops, resume writing and interview skills.

Information on the various student support services are communicated to LASALLE students via multiple channels including the Learning Portal, College website and during freshmen orientation. 

Weather
Singapore’s weather is generally warm and humid, ranging from an average of 31°C (88°F) during the day and 24°C (75°F) at night. It rains throughout the year with more consistent rain during the monsoon season from November to January.

Dress code
Generally Singaporeans dress casually. Loose and light clothing is recommended for comfort.

 

It is possible to live frugally yet comfortably in Singapore, just as you can easily indulge in a luxurious lifestyle, and enjoy the delights of metropolitan living.

As an international student, you know the importance of budgeting wisely to live at a standard you are comfortable with.

Please note that the following are only a guide to what you can expect to spend every month. Actual expenses vary with each student, according to lifestyle and individual preferences.

Shoestring: Set aside approximately S$700 to S$900 per person per month

  • You share a room in a small HDB flat in the heartlands or suburbs; and eat simple meals at home or at hawker centres.
  • You walk or cycle to and from the Institution, occasionally taking public transport, but rarely taxis.
  • You make few overseas calls; your mobile phone subscription plan is the cheapest available.
  • During your free time, you enjoy low-cost or free activities like hiking in the park or swimming at a public pool.

Moderate: Set aside approximately S$1200 to S$1600 per person per month

  • You have your own room, but share a HDB or private apartment in the suburbs with one to three housemates.
  • You eat at hawker centres and food courts, and go to mid-range cafes and restaurants now and then.
  • Only occasionally do you use the air-conditioner and take taxis.
  • You subscribe to value-for-money plans for Internet and mobile phone access.
  • During your free time, you may catch a movie or go window shopping.
  • Once in a while, you may visit a club or take a day trip to a neighbouring country.

Comfortable: Set aside approximately S$2000 to S$3000 per person per month

  • You share a private apartment in the city with one or two housemates; the apartment’s amenities may include a gymnasium, tennis court and swimming pool.
  • You eat at mid-range cafes and restaurants, and shop at specialty supermarkets.
  • You use the air-conditioner almost every night and make regular overseas calls.
  • You often take taxis.
  • During your free time, you may frequent clubs and pubs, go for costly pastimes like scuba diving and wakeboarding, and occasionally travel to neighbouring countries.

Banks in Singapore offer savings and cheque services, as well as other financial services such as bank drafts, fund transfers, and currency exchanges. Traveller’s cheques can also be cashed at banks, where you will need to present your passport for identification.

Before deciding on a bank and type of account, you should compare interest rates, bank fees, and accessibility features. Typically, students open an account that gives them an automated teller machine (ATM) card. This makes cash accessible round-the-clock via ATMs. Most ATM cards also act as debit cards on the local Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), which can be accessed at supermarkets and many retail outlets.

Banks In Singapore

Name of bank Website
DBS / POSBank www.dbs.com
Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) www.ocbc.com.sg
United Overseas Bank (UOB) www.uobgroup.com.sg
HSBC www.hsbc.com.sg
Standard Chartered Bank www.sc.com/sg
Citibank www.citibank.com.sg
Maybank www.maybank2u.com.sg

Opening An Account

To open a bank account, you have to visit the bank in person. You will also need the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Student Pass
  • Initial deposit (amount varies according to bank)

Study Loans & Financial Aid

If you require financial assistance during your studies in Singapore, please secure a loan in your home country. Currently, banks in Singapore do not offer loans to international students.

Medical facilities in Singapore are of a high standard and are readily available. A visit to a general practitioner (GP) cost around S$30. Singapore’s public hospitals will accept self-referred patients.

Vaccinations are required only if you come from a yellow-fever area. Singapore is not in the malaria zone. One of the main health concerns pertains to the tropical climate. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water throughout the day.

As a student in LASALLE, you are are required to be familiar with Singapore laws e.g. drug trafficking, working illegally, over staying on expiry of passes etc. Visit the websites below for information and updates.

Private Accommodation

Should you prefer private housing, you will find a wide choice of accommodation in Singapore. Based on your needs and budget, you can easily rent an apartment or room, be it in a private development or public housing estate.

The Division of Student Administration can help you get started on your house-hunt, advise you on locations to seek, and put you in touch with fellow students seeking housemates.

Before You Start

First, be honest about what you can afford. The rental market in Singapore has been rising over the past year. Good places offering good value are easily snapped up within days, even hours. Do your sums carefully, and work out what you can comfortably afford to pay for rent every month before you start looking.

To narrow your search, think about the location.

A fancy apartment in the city may be hard to resist, but you will need a budget to match. More affordable housing can be found away from the city centre. These areas are well served by Singapore’s extensive and affordable public bus and train system, and are well-worth considering.

How will you get to campus every day?

For your convenience, this is another factor to consider. Explore the bus and MRT routes from your prospective home. Check out the frequency and waiting times as well.

The following neighbourhoods are within walking distance to the campus:

Selegie, Bugis, Bras Basah, Dhoby Ghaut, Little India (Serangoon Road), Jalan Besar

The following neighbourhoods are a five to fifteen-minute commute to campus:

Orchard Road, Newton, Bukit Timah, Farrer Park, Boon Keng, Potong Pasir, Lavender

The following neighbourhoods are within a half hour’s commute to campus and may present much cheaper options:

Kallang, Aljunied, Geylang, MacPherson, Katong, Marine Parade, Chinatown, Tiong Bahru, Queenstown, Holland Village, Balestier, St Michael’s, Toa Payoh

What’s Out There?

There is plenty to choose from. Use this table to make sense of your options.

Prices are indicative of average rentals in May 2014

Accommodation Type Average Monthly Rental
Book a bed in student hostels From S$420 for a quad sharing room to S$550 for a double or triple-sharing room. Some hostels may have single rooms at a premium.
Rent a HDB flat (alone or with flatmates) From S$1,700 for a “3- or 4-room HDB flat” (i.e. 1-2 bedrooms) in the city and from S$1,500 for flats on the outskirts of the city.
Rent a room in a HDB flat From S$450 if you live with the owner/family. From S$550 if you live with other singles. HDB room rentals in the city start from S$700.
Rent a private apartment (alone or with flatmates) From S$1,800 – S$2,500 for a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment; facilities may include a swimming pool and tennis courts. Apartment rentals in the city start from S$2,000.

Hunt It Down

Accommodation resources are readily available. Knowing where to look, you will be able to jumpstart your search, and get results faster.

Surf & Search

Cast your net wider by checking out rental listings and classifieds on these Singapore-based web sites:

Singapore Expats (Real Estate Guide)

Yahoo! Singapore Classifieds

Easy Roommate

Adpost

Bulletin Alert

International students, as well as local students and property owners, may email “Room For Rent” and “Housemate/Roommate Wanted” advertisements to the Division of Student Administration. If you wish to look for a Housemate/Roommate before you arrive in Singapore, e-mail your notice to us. Be sure to include an e-mail address so that interested parties can contact you.

Lists To Live By

At the start of each academic year, the Division of Student Administration prepares a listing of properties near the campus that are available for rent. An alternate accommodation list [.pdf 178KB] has been compiled for your easy reference.

Ad Watch

The Straits Times is Singapore’s major daily newspaper. Its Classifieds Section lists rooms, apartments and HDB flats for rent (see Class 450-500). The Division of Student Administration can advise you on suitable locations and neighbourhoods.

Hired Help

There are many real-estate agents in Singapore who will show you properties available for rent. Typically, agents charge one month’s rent as fee for their services. You may source online for a list of agents in Singapore.

USEFUL NUMBERS

LASALLE Numbers
Reception +65 6496 5000
Division of Student Administration (Student Services) +65 6496 5200
Division of Finance (Fee Collection) +65 6496 5270
Division of Admissions +65 6496 5222
Division of Information and Communications Technology +65 6496 5399
Emergency Numbers
Ambulance and Fire Brigade 995
Non-Emergency Ambulance 1777
Police 999
Police Hotline 1800 255 0000
General Numbers
Local Directory Assistance 100
Immigration Enquiry Service +65 6391 6100
Flight Information 1800 542 4422

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