Internship in Asia

Life in Singapore

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Singaporean life

Singapore, or as it is officially called, the Republic of Singapore is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. The country consists of one main island with 62 other islets. It is known as one of the most expensive cities in Asia, but don’t worry - that won’t stop you from having a great time in this city!

Old city center Singapore

History

Colonial Singapore was found in 1819, and it was used as a trading post for the British East India Company. After the company collapsed in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj. Singapore was not affected by the First World War , because that didn’t reach Southeast Asia. The only event that took place during the war was a mutiny by the Muslim sepoys, who heard they would be sent off to a Muslim state to fight. These rumors caused the Muslim sepoys to start killing their officers and several British civilians before they were stopped by non-Muslim troops. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan before gaining independence from the UK in 1963 to form together with Malaysia. That only lasted for 2 years (until 1965), because the government of both nations had large ideological conflicts. When they became independent in 1965, it wasn’t long before riots broke out again because of the conflicts Singapore had with Malaysia.

When Lee Kuan Yew became the Prime Minister, it went a lot better with Singapore, because he had a really good business mind. He started supporting businesses and entrepreneurs and focusing on the policies for the upcoming years. After some struggles in the first years and lacking some resources the nation developed as an Asian powerhouse bases on their external trade and workforce.

Working in SingaporeWorking in Singapore

If working abroad is something you are interested in, you should definitely consider Singapore as your next destination. The country is looking for foreign workers in many different sectors, including education, aerospace, insurance and the construction industry. Hiring foreigners is a new, popular trend in Singapore’s job market at the moment, with foreigners currently filling six in ten jobs in the country. Today, around 900,000 foreigners work in Singapore in positions from construction to white collar and service work. Foreigners account for almost one third of the total population employed in the country, helping the economy to grow even more then already expected. Owing to low personal taxations, open recruitment policies and a English speaking environment, Singapore is a really attractive destination for foreigners looking to work abroad.  

 

 

What to expect

Climate

Singapore has a typical tropical climate, because it is located close to the equator. The average temperature is between 25 degrees Celsius and 31 degrees Celsius. Singapore doesn’t have an actual rainy or dry season, but it is affected by two different monsoons.

  • Thunderstorms occur on 40% of all days in the year
  • The lowest temperature ever in Singapore is 19 degrees Celsius
  • Humidity level is usually in between 70% and 90%
  • Northeast monsoon, from December until March is seen as rainy season
  • Southwest monsoon, from May until September is seen as dry season

Transport

There are multiple ways to get around Singapore, and it is getting easier and easier every day. There are many modes of public transport available. Buses, taxies, and the metro are most commonly used by people in Singapore. Buses are by far the most common form of public transportation in Singapore, followed by the MRT and taxis respectively. Public buses serve almost every part of the city, making it the most extensive form of public transportation, while the MRT provides speed and efficiency, especially during peak hours.

Buses

Public bus services in Singapore are run by two different operators; SBS Transit (the red and white busses) and SMRT (the yellow busses). They both have their own network they operate in, and they drive their own routes. The busses run daily from 5.30 am until midnight, and there are some night shuttles (these cost a little extra). Also, there is a Bus Plus service, that includes more comfort and a shorter travel time for passengers.

Transport in Singapore

MRT and LRT

In 1982 the first MRT line was built, costing roughly 5 billion Singaporean Dollars. Since then it has been expanding and ready to serve more and more commuters every day. Though the system is quite old, the inhabitants can’t live without it , as it helps them get around the city and avoid traffic.

The LRT (Light Rapid Transit) has been added most recently. It only goes to certain parts of the city, but that will be expanding more in the future. Most people switch from the MRT to the LRT to get to some parts where they otherwise wouldn’t be able to come.

Ez-link

The ez-link card is a fairly new innovation that was added to both the bus and rail network in Singapore. The ez-link is a thin, compact smartcard that is comparable in size with a credit card. It’s really simple to use; you hold the card against a card reader which will scan it and take the fee for your transit. You can top the card up with cash or with your bank card at one of the electric stations.

The benefits of both those trains is that you go past all the traffic standing in the city center. It’s cheaper than taking a taxi everywhere, and you will probably see more of the city.

Taxis

There are eight companies that have taxi services in Singapore: Comfort Transportation, CityCab, Yellow Top Taxi, SMRT Taxis, Trans-Cab Services, SMART Automobile, Premier Taxis and Prime Taxi. The taxis give you a greater speed, comfort and of course privacy. The benefit of a taxi is that you can tell them where you want to go, and you don’t have a fixed route. Most taxi drivers are experienced and know which routes to avoid during rush hours.

Cuisine

The Singaporean cuisine is a mixture of everything with influences from all over the world including China, India and Malaysia. There are restaurants and food courts all over the city and street vendors that give you the great foods Singapore has to offer.

Wanton Mee

This Singapore wanton noodle dish was probably influenced by Hong Kong cuisine, but has become a part of the Singaporean culture over the years. It is filled with delicious dry pork, and a light sweet sauce. The cook will probably ask you if you want it spicy or not spicy, but that depends completely on your own taste!

Cuisine in Singapore Orh Lua (Oyster Omelette)

Popular in Singaporean cuisine, this dish is loved by everyone, from foreigners to locals. It is a mixture of potato’s and eggs which are covered in a delicious sauce. Stalls who sell Carrot Cake usually also sell Orh Lua because they have one important ingredient in common; eggs.

Carrot Cake

Don’t let the name trick you into thinking this is a Western dessert; made with eggs, radish and white radish flour cake, this is a popular snack in Singapore. The final ingredient added to the dish looks like a white carrot, giving the dish its name. There are different ways of making and eating this dish but the chopped up version is the most common Singapore.

 

Sightseeing

Gardens By The Bay

This is one of the most iconic things when you think about Singapore, and one of the first images to come up when you google what to do in this city. It is a beautiful park in the city, and maybe this is the new example of how the next city park will look.

Sightseeing in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands

Maybe one of the most iconic buildings in the city and definitely the most eye catching one, it looks there is a ship on top of three separate towers. This building has a lot of things to offer from fine dining establishments to a modern museum, and it is definitely a must visit when you are here.

Universal Studios Singapore

This is one of the most iconic theme parks in the whole of Asia, so you’re guaranteed to have fun! Here you’ll find something for everyone, from the scaredy-cats to the adrenaline junkie. When it is not that busy in the park you can go through all the rides in about an hour or two, making for a great activity for a day off from your internship!  

If you have the opportunity to go to this amazing city, definitely do it! You will be able to experience a real Asian country with a lot of western mixtures. There are plenty of professional opportunities, and foreigners are a big deal in the city! From food to sightseeing, you’ll never have a dull moment in the city, and it’s sure to leave you wanting more. 

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