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Tips For A Young Professional In Singapore

  • By Daniele Cosentino
  • on 10 Oct 2018
  • Categories : Culture, Destinations, Life Experiences, Tips Advices

Over time, and particularly in the last 15 or 20 years, Singapore has become recognized as an international hub of business and innovation.

As such, it's a place more and more young people pass through, for education, for internships, and for other early opportunities in professional life.

It's an incredible place for any ambitious young person to experience, and in many cases, the aforementioned opportunities can provide a leg up in an early career.

Singapore is also a very exciting place aside from business, particularly for young people traveling abroad.

While it's far from an exact portrait of what life there is like, the film Crazy Rich Asians recently exposed the whole world to some of the joys, excesses, and attitudes of the area.

And even if you're thinking of a more realistic version of that world, there's still a lot to navigate!

So I wrote up some general tips for young professionals or even students spending time or pursuing an internship in Singapore.

Embrace Public Transportation

One of the fastest ways to rack up unnecessary costs on a prolonged stay in a foreign place is to pick the wrong form of transportation.

That is to say, if you get used to taking taxis or you rent a car, you'll probably end up spending more than you need to.

As it happens, Singapore has been called a city-state connected by a near perfect transportation system.

While it has its issues like any other major urban area (the occasional stalled train, etc.), the mass transit in this entire area has a fairly glowing reputation.

The Mass Rapid Transit line (MRT) has an easy map that covers most of the noteworthy areas in town and is generally a cheap and easy way to get around.

Know The Tipping Etiquette

You can read up on more specifics about tipping in Singapore (or most anywhere else you may go in the world), but long story short, tipping isn't expected in Singapore.

That means this is another place in which you can easily spend too much if you're not aware of the local situation.

Now, tipping can be appreciated if you feel you've received particularly good service, but you won't be seen as rude or cheap if you don't provide a tip for just any old purchase.

Eat Locally

Strictly speaking, you don't have a choice but to eat locally if you're on a prolonged stay in Singapore.

What I mean here though is to eat how the locals eat, which is to say you don't need to seek out international chains or sit-down restaurants all the time.

As it so happens, Singapore has absolutely legendary public markets and street food, to the point that it's even famous for having the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world (you can have it for about $1.50 at a food stand).

If you're on a budget such as students studying or young professionals doing an internship in Singapore, street food is an ideal dining option.

You don't necessarily have to go exploring outdoor food stands and gourmet local food courts every night, but the point is that the local fare tends to be delicious an affordable, so it's really a win-win.

Avoid Marina Bay Sands


Marina Bay Sands is the main landmark in Singapore these days, and to be clear you should absolutely give it a look.

It may even be worth spending a night so that you can access the legendary rooftop bar and infinity pool.

As far as entertainment goes, and specifically the casino, it's largely a tourist trap that you don't need to be getting too comfortable with for a longer stay.

Mobile-centric innovation is dominating the casino market in Southeast Asia and Oceania anyway, so if you're really interested in the occasional casino game, you can play it on your phone in all likelihood.

It'll save you the inevitable extra expenses that come from visiting the resort. Basically, the occasional visit is understandable, but don't get too used to it!

Make The Gardens Your Own

This is just a nice tip to consider if you need somewhere to relax and unwind from studying or your internship in Singapore.

More than any urban attraction, nearby beach, or anything else, Singapore's gardens are incredible places to hang out.

The main one, so to speak, is the semi-artificial elevated garden in the shadow of Marina Bay Sands, and it's like something out of this world.

However, there are other public gardens in the area as well, all of which can be beautiful, relaxing, and perfect for recharging in the evenings or on weekends.

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