Over the past several decades, Singapore has become a model for countries and cities all over the world as a place of diversity, equal opportunity, and ease of doing business. The world’s only island city-state is considered to be a leading global city in finance, commerce, and culture, and has one of the highest human development rankings of any country in the world as well. What better way to begin you international career on the right foot than to intern abroad in Singapore?
Internships in Singapore
Singapore is known both for its booming private sector and its efficient, transparent public sector, making it a great place to intern abroad for international aspirants of all different professional interests. Internships in Singapore in fields such as business, marketing, and finance, for example, can be equally as rewarding as those in education, social work, and international relations.
Of course, you are not limited to any of these areas. Singapore is the third largest trade and financial center in the world, which serves as a magnet for professional opportunities of all different types. Everything ranging from theater to architecture to fashion is on the table; explore a wide diversity of placements to get an idea for all the different fields in which you can find an internship abroad in Singapore.
Singapore has a huge international population, and is a multilingual city with English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil serving as the dominant languages of business. many internships abroad in Singapore will be offered in English, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up a second language while you are working there! 75% of Singapore’s population is Chinese, making this a great chance to improve your knowledge of Mandarin, the world’s most spoken language.
Life in Singapore
Out of Singapore’s population of 5.5 million people, some 2 million are foreign workers. This gives you a sense both of the diverse character of Singapore, and of its importance in the international workplace. As an intern abroad in Singapore, while there will certainly be a degree of culture shock to overcome upon first arrival, you will soon fit right in with a robust expat community in one of the world’s greatest global cities.
Singapore’s tremendous diversity is further reflected in its multicultural landscape, which is the cause of many different religious and secular festivals and celebrations throughout the year, and also in its cuisine, which is a delicious blend of Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian, and Western culinary influences. Walking through the streets of Singapore you will come across people from all different nationalities and hear languages spoken from all over the world on a daily basis; it is truly a one-of-a-kind place.
Another reason Singapore is so highly regarded in the international community is for its social investment and the quality of its public infrastructure. High-quality education is available to all, transportation around the city is easy (the number of cars on the road are restricted by law), and the city as a whole is very clean and well-kept. Not a bad place to establish a network in the global community!
Salaries & Costs
As you might expect, Singapore is a fairly expensive city to intern abroad in. While costs of living are cheaper than in other major global cities such as New York, London, or Paris, Singapore nonetheless stands out as one of the most expensive cities in all of Asia. The local currency is the Singapore dollar, which exchanges at roughly 1.35 SGD to $1 USD.
Whether or not you will be paid for your internship abroad in Singapore typically depends on the profitability of the industry you are working in (for example you are obviously more likely to receive a salary for interning in finance than interning in theater). Even if you are not paid directly for your work, you will often be compensated in other ways such as a stipend for housing, meals, and transportation.
Accommodation & Visas
Because the entire country consists of one city, Singapore is very densely populated, and so affordable housing can be hard to come by. You’ll likely want to live with roommates while on an intern’s salary to help save money. For some internships abroad in Singapore your employer will help you secure housing, and others will expect you to find your own accommodations beforehand.
As a major global city, Singapore has a fairly relaxed visa policy; many interns from the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia, for example, will be allowed to enter the country visa free. If you are planning for living in Singapore for an extended period of time, or are getting paid for your internship, then you will still likely need to apply for a temporary work visa with the endorsement of your employer. For more information, check out our Singapore Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Center Stage. Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic economic areas in the world right now, and Singapore is the region’s leading global city. Not a bad place to establish a professional network.
Multicultural. Singapore is a global city not only in that it carries vast influence in international markets, but in the tremendous internal diversity of the city itself. You’ll meet people from all over Asia, and indeed the world, while you intern abroad in Singapore.
Travel Opportunity. Because Singapore is the most expensive city in the region and is centrally located, this makes travel elsewhere in Southeast Asia accessible and affordable. Go have an adventure!
Landing an internship abroad in Singapore is the opportunity to go far away from home, to one of the world’s leading global cities, and gain invaluable work experience while immersing yourself in an entirely new cultural environment. Are you ready to make the leap?