Welcome to Singapore!
Your internship experience is one of the most important pieces of the foundation you are laying down for a successful career.
Since the professional world can be very different from university life, it's important that you have an understanding of some of the differences.
If you're looking to experience Singapore from the tourist's perspective, check out The Most Useful Singapore Travel Guide for 2017.
In case of any emergencies, here are important phone numbers to have on hand.
It is also good to have your local embassy's phone number saved in case of emergencies.
Singapore's country code is +65 and should be added for inbound calls for anyone looking to contact you. For outbound calls, don't forget to add the country code in front of the numbers going outside Singapore.
The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar, or also called the 'Sing Dollar'.
There are a variety of coins and banknotes available in Singapore's currency, though some are more common than others.
The coins are typically used for Singaporean cents, ranging from 1 cent and up to 1 SGD
Values are as follows: ¢1, ¢5, ¢10, ¢20, ¢50, $1. Banknotes come in a large variety of sizes, like so: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $1000, $10000
The current smallest and largest valued currency in Singapore the 1 cent coin and 10,000 dollar note are no longer being produced. They are still currently forms of legal tender in circulation, but extremely rare.
Thanks to an agreement made in 1967 that remains to this day, Brunei Dollars are considered customary tender and can be exchanged at a 1:1 rate without charge.
Though you can easily exchange money at the airport, hotel or bank, the best deals for exchange are found at money changing hubs in the city.
They are The Arcade in Raffles Place, Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, Mustafa Centre in Little India, People's Park Complex in Chinatown, and Parkway Parade in Marine Parade.
They are close to many tourist attractions and you can bargain to get better exchange rates.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found all over Singapore, especially at banks, train stations, and shopping centers. Most machines allow Visa and Mastercard withdrawals.
If the machine has a Plus or Cirrus sign, you can withdraw money directly from your account. Keep in mind that withdrawals will likely incur a fee.
If you plan on using your credit card frequently, it is a good idea to sure to inform your bank of your travel plans beforehand to prevent the chance of your account being frozen.
Worried about money? Find out How to Get Funding For Your Internship.
Singaporean SIM cards are compatible with GSM phones. as long as they are not locked.
Telecommunication firms in Singapore are very competitive, so they offer relatively similar packages.
You can choose between SingTel, Mobile One (M1) or StarHub.
We recommend SingTel, as it seems to have the best connection in or out of Singapore. However, you should choose whichever company offers you the best deal.
SIM card purchases will require a passport, so make sure to have yours with you.
You can buy a SIM card or top up card at convenience stores, supermarkets, customer service outlets of telecom companies, post offices, and airport.
Pre-paid cards come with stored value that is valid for a short period of time, usually 2 to 6 months.
Getting a post-paid SIM card is more difficult and will require proof of address and employment.
Singlish is an English based creole language that includes a mix of Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil, Bengali and Punjabi.
Singaporeans use Singlish in less formal settings for efficiency.
It's recommended you pick up some Singlish during your stay here. It will help you get closer to the locals and they will appreciate your effort!
Here is some common Singlish vocabulary and phrases for you:
|Act blur||Feign ignorance|
|Ah then?||Of course, duh|
|Alamak||Oh my God|
|Bo jio||Never invite|
|Come I clap for you||Sarcastic praise|
|Pang seh||Someone who doesn't show up|
For more phrases, consult a Singlish dictionary or friendly co-worker.
Aside from being home to Singapore's mascot, the Merlion, Marina Bay hosts a variety of attractions.
Gardens by the Bay: A total of three different gardens, all built on 101 hectares of reclaimed land adjacent to Marina Reservoir. Outdoor gardens are free.
Marina Barrage: Doubling not only as a water reservoir and recreational area, Marina Barrage is also home to Sustainable Singapore gallery.
Marina Bay Sands: The Iconic architecture of this building holds more than a hotel, it is also host to many events. Not to mention, at night you can enjoy the free Three Lights Show.
Singapore Flyer: One of the world's largest Giant Observation Wheel, Singapore Flyer offers breath-taking views thanks to its height of 165 meters.
Esplanade Theatre: With over 3,000 performances, workshops and activities annually, you can either watch music, dance and theatre productions or partake in the programmes available.
More than 150 years old, this well-maintained and lush garden has more than just a wonderful plant collection.
National Orchid Garden one of the many features, with over 1,000 species on display.
The Gardens are also a place of research and study of things botanical.
A bustling mix of traditional shops with modern stores, you can explore the Chinese part of Singapore's heritage.
If you're looking to see some Buddhist temples, this is definitely the place to be!
You can also explore the street markets and museums, including Red Dot Design Museum and Singapore Coins and Notes Museum.
From vibrant colors to culture, Little India has delicious food and a 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre.
It is also home to Sim Lim Square, the go-to place for IT and mobile products.
If the shopping malls aren't your style, Sungei Road Thieves' Market also features flea markets that are always bustling with activity.
Soak in the ambiance of the Middle East, as well as enjoy the halal food and handicrafts sold by the locals.
Traditional goods from crafts, carpets, and clothes are also sold here.
Sultan Mosque is also a magnificent sight to see, whether it is illuminated by the sun or the lights they turn on at night.
Though entry into Sentosa is not free, you can enjoy the sights and beach sunsets once you are on the island.
There are also a variety of attractions available that will make your journey here worthwhile.
S. E. A. Aquarium: Home to more than 100,000 marine animals big and small, you can discover their different habitats as you journey through the exhibits.
Universal Studios: Theme park that features rides, shows, and attractions based on your favorite films and television series.
The trains are a reliable form of transportation in and around Singapore. Ticket prices are affordable and can be obtained at a kiosk or a machine.
We recommend buying an Ez-Link Card to save you the trouble of buying a ticket every trip, plus it can be used elsewhere too.
Below you can find the system map of Singapore's MRT and LRT trains.
Taxis can be cheap or expensive, depending on surcharge and additional fees that may increase your fare.
Factors that affect surcharge include peak hours, past midnight and city areas.
An easy method of getting a taxi is via a taxi stand, especially around hotels and malls.
Alternatively, you can try to hail a cab or call one to pick you up. City Cab, Comfort Taxi and SMRT all accept bookings.
Taxi services like Grab and UBER are available in Singapore and have mobile applications you can download on your smartphone.
For food that is affordable and doesn't compromise on taste, hawker stalls are the best choice. Most dishes will cost only 3 to 10 Singaporean dollars.
Lau Pa Sat is a well-known hawker center in the financial district that offers everything from Singaporean classics to Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and some Western dishes as well.
Other notable hawker locations are Maxwell Hawker Centre and Food Street in Chinatown and Tekka Centre in Little India.
Old Airport Road Food Centre looks a little less fancy and located in a less popular area, but is considered by many locals to be the best in terms of taste and price.
Malls will also often have food courts which offer meals at affordable prices, though it may range depending on location.
Of course, Singapore also has a wide array of more traditional types of restaurants and cafes available as well.
Recommendations can be found in abundance online if you're stuck on what to eat.
Most foreigners living in Singapore use private healthcare facilities, but it can be very expensive.
You can use public healthcare facilities, but you are not entitled to government healthcare subsidies.
Hence, it is useful to have a fully covered insurance policy that will cover you abroad as well.
This is possibly already included in your travel insurance. With serious medical issues, contact the embassy and your insurance company.
For common and non-serious ailments like colds there are three options available for you:
*Not recommended for the most part, but will be a necessary requirement if you are coming from a country where yellow fever is endemic. Proof of immunization may be needed to enter the country.
A Singlish word with Hokkien origins, it means fear of losing out.
It is a world that encapsulates Singaporeans with life and work, ingrained since birth. Singaporeans are competitive and fear failure.
While this has many positive traits, such as punctuality, efficiency, and ambition, it can also make someone more selfish, overly-competitive and cautious.
Being kiasu has driven Singapore to economic success, but also a cause of stress in their society.
Titles should always be used before the name, such as Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr.
For the most part, it is family names or surnames are preferred when addressing individuals, especially if they are Chinese.
Handshaking is the most common form of greeting in Singapore, but there are also many intricacies surrounding it.
Avoid using only your left hand when greeting someone. Men will always shake hands with other men, but not always the case with the opposite sex.
Formalities can be dropped amongst friends or with permission.
When in doubt, allow the other person to introduce themselves and do as they do.
Business structures are more hierarchical in Singapore.
Decisions are made at the top by senior management and trickle down.
As Singapore is driven by many Confucian values, age is respected and people in higher management are rarely young.
Managers expect respect from their juniors and subordinates. In return, seniors are expected to take care of their people and guide them.
Relationships in Singapore become difficult when people lose 'face', due to embarrassment.
Disagreements should be handled with care and in private.
It is important to be open, but also to choose with care when and where you have a debate.
Undermining your superior's authority in front of an audience will cause a strain in your relationship.
Face can also apply to groups of people, not just individuals. For this reason, Singaporeans don't enjoy having their government criticized by who they consider 'outsiders'.
Singapore's heavily represented by a lion and the origin of the name comes from 'Singapura' which means Lion City in Sanskrit.
Which raises the question of why a country that possesses no lions would be so strongly associated with them.
The answer to that takes us back to 1299, when a prince from the Srivijayan Empire by the name of Sang Nila Utama decided to take a break from his sea voyage at an island.
While hunting, he saw what he thought was a lion and thus named the island after his discovery.
Though it seems more likely that the prince saw a Tiger, the Lion motif has stuck with Singapore and is here to stay.
There are only three city-states left in the world. Singapore is one of them, along with Monaco and the Vatican City.
City-states do not have capital cities since they are simultaneously a country and state.
Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed in the world, according to research done by the British Council.
On average, they will walk 18 meters in only 10.55 seconds. So, in one hour a Singaporean will cover approximately 6.15 kilometers an hour.
Despite being a small island nation, Singapore possesses a surprising amount of biodiversity thanks to the well-maintained wildlife and nature preserves.
More than half of Singapore is covered in green! Bukit Timah Nature Reserve alone contains more than 840 flowering plants and 240 species of vertebrates, excluding butterflies and insects.
As Singaporeans are Commonwealth citizens, they have the right to vote in national elections under the British law.
They can stand for elections in the British House of Commons and campaign to be an MP of a British constituency as well.
However, you do have to be a resident in the UK.
Asia Internship Program hopes you got the most out of your time in Singapore during your internship.
By applying these tips and recommendations, we're positive that it will make your lifestyle in the Lion City to be smooth sailing.
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