Why Singapore is the Ultimate Exchange Destination?
As I begin my 4th week living in Singapore, I thought it was time to get writing. Singapore as an exchange destination is probably not the first idea that comes to mind but you’d be surprised how incredible it can be. Here are six of the many reasons why.
1. It’s so cheap, quick and easy to travel through South East Asia
Ask any exchange student what their plans are for the weekend and they’ll either tell you about their travel plans for this week or next. Flights out of Singapore are so cheap, it’s hard not to impulse buy tickets. You can get to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Bali for $50 and going further doesn’t cost much more.
I just came back from my first weekend trip to Langkawi on Sunday and I’m about to head off to Siem Reap for next weekend. It’s also so easy to travel because the friends you make here will want to go with you. Most of the trips we are planning are at least in groups of 6.
After Cambodia, we’ll go back to planning more trips again. Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam will be the destinations I’ll try and tick off next.
2. It’s cheap to get here and it’s not too far away from home
Being a hub for cheap flights, it’s also cheap and easy to get home. Many low cost airlines fly between Singapore and Australia so you’re able to get here on a budget.
I managed to fly from Australia to Singapore for under a quarter of the cost of a ticket to Europe. I could also easily add on extra kilos to my suitcase and at a reasonable price. It definitely helps if you can take more with you as it’s less things you need to buy abroad.
3. The Food
Definitely deserves it’s own category. Not only is it incredible but it’s also incredibly cheap. You can get lunch for $3 if you want something substantial and can lower your budget down to $1.50 if need be.
The only downside is that you’ll never want to pay $10 for lunch when you get back home.
4. You’re in South East Asia but it definitely doesn’t feel like it
Singapore definitely doesn’t have the same feel as the rest of South East Asia. It feels very safe and it’s also very clean and orderly. The train is always efficient and on time and it’s really easy to navigate.
There’s definitely still that Asian influence though. Little India and Chinatown are definitely destinations you need to tick off whilst living here. They’re always great places for festivals or a food trail.
5. And if Singapore gets too expensive or you want to see even more of South East Asia, Malaysia is just over the border
Whilst flying to KL makes for a good weekend trip, there’s definitely more of Malaysia that’s much closer to home. You can catch the public train and bus to Johor Bahru, the second biggest city in Malaysia, and it’s just over the border. It’s possible to check it out in only a couple of hours (as I did last night) and it’s even cheaper than Singapore so it’s great for some shopping.
I’d highly recommend checking out the night markets. You can pick up clothes, snacks and random items for about a third of the price of Singapore and the food is even cheaper there too.
6. Not only can you become a local but you get to be a tourist as well
Being an exchange student means that you’ll obviously get the opportunity to check out the sites. And you’ll probably go multiple times if you convince your friends and family to come visit. Make sure you check out the botanic gardens, Marina Bay Sands and Orchard Road just to name a few. You take a day to check out Universal Studios or cycle around Palau Ubin.
Oh, and yes, you should probably study at some point too. Which is probably what I should get back to doing.
Till next time,