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Ascend Education Centre

#05-14A, The Adelphi,
1 Coleman Street,
Singapore 179803

MRT Station:
City Hall

Tel: (65) 6338 1378

Email us at :

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Saturdays: 9.00am – 4:00pm
(Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)


About Singapore

Introduction to Living in SingaporeThe Esplanade in Singapore

What to Wear

Singapore has a warm and humid climate throughout the year with a daily average temperature range of 24 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. Light and summer clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton is best for everyday wear. Casual dress is acceptable for most situations but some hotels may require a more formal dress code.


Singapore's population of almost four million comprises 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% Eurasians and people of other descent. Though inter-marriages have taken place over the years, each racial group within Singapore has retained its own cultural identity while developing as an integral part of Singapore community.


There are four official languages in Singapore: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English. English is the language of business and administration, and is widely spoken and understood. Most Singaporeans are bilingual, and speak their mother tongue as well as English.


With its ethnic mix also comes its diverse set of religions. The main religions are Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism

Cost of Living

The Singapore FlyerThe standard of living in Singapore is amongst the highest in Asia. Compared to countries in western continents, the cost of living here is relatively low, and basic items like food and clothing are very reasonably priced.

When planning your budget, you will need to cater for these items:

  • Accommodation
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transport
  • Clothing
  • Telecommunications
  • Books & Stationery
  • Medical/Hospitalisation Insurance
  • Personal Expenses

    An international student in Singapore spends on average about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This amount of course, varies depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study. These estimated cost ranges in the Table below gives a rough guide of the basic expenditure an international student may incur per month.


    Cost per month


    $400 - $1,500
    (rental varies with geographical area, type of accommodation, demand, facilities provided and the number of people sharing)


    $80 - $100
    (not applicable for boarding schools)


    $300 - $450 (Based on $10-$15 a day for 3 meals)
    Note: Boarding schools usually provide 2 meals a day and Halls of Residence provide meals at extra charge.

    Public Transport

    $20 - $150


    From $30 (varies with usage and promotional packages subscribed)



    Books & Stationery

    $30 - $100
    (varies with course of studies)

    Medical Hospitalisation Insurance

    $5 - $300 (depending on insurance policy)

    Personal expenses

    $100 - $300
    (varies with individuals)
    (clothes, toiletries, entertainment, haircut, miscellaneous)


    Please note that the average estimates were derived based on prices as at Nov 2007 and they serve as a reference only.

Singapore Merlion Singapore Under Water World World First Night Safari

To know more about Singapore places of interest visit :

Online Database of Private Accommodation

Ascend Education Centre has provided a link from our website to the Strait Times Property Section for our
Students so they can access the latest updated database of accommodation available in Singapore:

Strait Times Accomodation Database


While in Singapore, it is advised to open a savings or checking account. The minimum initial deposit is usually S$100 if you are below 21 years of age. Your passport or letter of admission to your educational institution may be required as well. Upon opening your account, you will receive an ATM card for your convenience of withdrawing cash from any ATM machines operated by the individual bank. The ATM card also entitles you to make payments via NETS (a cashless system similar to a value-stored card).

Most banking hours are usually Mondays to Fridays 9:30am-3pm and Saturdays
9:30am-11/1pm. However, each individual bank offers different opening times. It is best to check for their specific hours.

The local currency is in Singapore dollars and cents. Apart from banks or hotels, you may change your currency at outlets that displays the sign “Licensed Money Changer”.  Other than the Singapore dollar, the US and Australian dollar, Yen and British pounds are also widely accepted at various major shopping centers and restaurants.


Public Pay Phones

Public payphones are located at most public places including: shopping malls, food centres, and other establishments.  Users can pay either by cash, credit card, or stored-value phone-cards depending on the telephone system.  Charges for local calls are 10cents per three-minute blocks.  Besides local calls, public payphones using stored-value phone-cards are also able to connect international calls.

ICC International Calling Cards

International Calling Cards are post-paid phone-card that enable you to make international calls with any phone.  Charges of the call are deducted from the value of the card according to individual calls.  International Calling Cards can be purchased at all post offices, convenient stores and other retail outlets.

Mobile Services

There are two types of services where users can sign up for mobile lines.  Users may wish to either acquire a number through the purchase of a prepaid mobile card or by signing up for a fixed mobile line.  Both services are available at all service operators while prepaid cards are available at all post-offices, convenient stores and other retail outlets.

Internet Services

Internet services are also available at each service operator.  Users may wish to sign up with their preferred operator.  On the other hand, Singapore has launched its island-wide wireless service.  Over more than 500 locations are wireless enabled.


Bugis Junction - near Bugis MRT Station  

Lots of little shops selling everything from electronic items to clothes, knick-knacks and accessories can be found in this modern complex. Parco Bugis Junction, Singapore's first glass-covered air-conditioned shopping street boasts a delightful mix of clusters of shophouses, modern retail outlets, a sprawling departmental store, and even a cineplex.

Bugis Street

Today, Bugis Street has revamped itself by providing sheltered walkways and air-conditioned shopping zones. Now housing over 600 stalls, it offers an eclectic mix of trendy and functional street wear, cafes, hawker food and services. Possibly one of the best known areas in Singapore, Bugis Street retains its distinctive street shopping feel.

OG Albert

When you are in the exciting Bugis district, drop into OG Albert. It’s a leisurely 3-minute walk from the Bugis MRT station and an easy 8-minute walk from the Little India station. OG is a household name in Singapore. OG is our one-stop family store, for the young and forever young. OG has grown so hip. Whether you are looking for fashion, jewellery, cosmetics, watches, toys, good food, something for the home or anything else, you’re bound to get excellent value at OG.

Bras Basah Complex

The HDB built the Bras Basah Complex in 1980 with its address in Bain Street. It includes a 5 storey shopping centre, 240 units of 4-room flats in Blocks 231, 232 and 233. The shopping centre has mostly bookshops and stationery shops, and includes the bigger and more established Chinese book companies including the Popular book company, Shanghai book store, Union Book store, Youth Book store, International Book store, Sheng Yew Book store. Book-lovers frequent this centre and Bras Basah Complex which is just a five minute walk from the school.

Arts, Theatre & Cinema 

Arts is all around you…a musical at the Esplanade, a performance at The Arts House, a ballet performance at Fort Canning, a film at The National Museum Gallery Theatre or an exhibition in the museums!

1. Singapore Dance Theatre

Be dazzled by brilliant performances throughout the year, including such highlights as Ballet Under the Stars.  For more information, go to:

2. Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Catch weekly performances, ranging from classical to contemporary, at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s newest arts complex. For more information, go to

3. Singapore Chinese Orchestra

Catch the Singapore Chinese Orchestra playing classical Chinese music with refreshing modern tunes.  For more information, log on to

4. Concert in the Park

The National Arts Council organizes a series of concerts, usually performed by local arts companies, in various parks of Singapore like Botanic Gardens, West Coast Park, and Bishan Park.  Prepare your picnic baskets and swing by the parks for a wonderful arts experience.  For more information, log on to

5. Cinema

Here’s a listing of where you can make online cinema ticket bookings and check out what others say about the movie!

Cinema Directory (Booking Online):


Public Transport

Singapore has one of the most extensive and efficient public systems in the world. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) operates a network of trains serving 51 stations. Trains operate from 5.30am -12.30am daily, every three to eight minutes. A ride on the MRT from Singapore Changi Airport to the city takes less than half an hour. A copy of A Quick Guide to MRT Travel can be obtained from the Station Control Rooms at all MRT stations. Public buses run daily from 5.30am - midnight.  Extended night services cost slightly more. 

Rides on the MRT cost from 80 cents to S$1.80.  For travel on the MRT, you need to purchase a one-trip farecard.  Public buses accept cash. 

The recommended mode of payment for both the MRT and public buses is using the EZ-link card which is a stored-value card giving discounted fare for multiple rides.  The EZ-link card may be purchased and topped up at most MRT stations and bus interchanges.  Each adult card is sold with a minimum value of S$10 plus a deposit of S$5. 

Using ez-link card on MRT or LRT
You can use the ez-link card on the MRT or LRT by following these steps:

  • Tap your ez-link card on the card reader mounted on the entry faregate.
  • Wait for the green light to come on before passing through the faregate.
  • When you get to your destination, tap your ez-link card on the card reader
    on the exit faregate. The correct fare will be automatically deducted from
    your card.

Things to note - MRT or LRT:

when the red light comes on or when there is no light:

  • Check that your ez-link card has sufficient stored value.
  • Tap your ez-link card again.
  • If you still see the red light or if there is still no light, your ez-link card may be faulty. Take your ez-link card to the MRT Passenger Service Centre or the TransitLink Ticket Office for assistance.

Using ez-link card on Buses (New Trip)
You can use the ez-link card on buses by following these steps:

  • Tap your ez-link card on the entry card reader when boarding the bus.
  • Proceed when you see the green light and hear a beep (or two beeps if you are a concession ez-link card holder).
  • When alighting, tap your ez-link card on the exit card reader. The bus fare for your trip and the remaining stored value on your card will be displayed on the card reader.

It is important to tap the card on the exit reader when alighting. Otherwise, the system will assume your journey ends at the terminal station and will deduct the fare for that journey accordingly.

The Transitlink Guide gives detailed information on both the MRT and bus services and is available at $1.50 from most MRT stations, bus interchanges and major bookstores.

Taxis travel around the island 24 hours a day. You may queue for a Taxi at any designated Taxi stand, make a booking through a Taxi company's hotline or flag one down.  Taxis carry a maximum of four passengers and seat belts are compulsory by law for all passengers. 

All taxis are metered, mostly with the standard fares of:

S$2.80 for the first 1km 

Peak Hour Surcharges of 35% (Mondays to Saturdays, 7.30am - 9.30am and 5pm - 8pm), after midnight (12am - 6 am daily)

City area surcharges of $3 for cabs hired within the Central Business District (CBD) area (Monday to Saturdays, 5pm -12 midnight)

Late Night Surcharge of 50% of metered fare (midnight to 5.59am)

Taxis departing from the Singapore Changi Airport, Seletar Airport or Singapore Expo, on the eve and on public holidays, as well as for trips passing through an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry incur extra charges.

Credit card payments incur a 10% surcharge on the fare.

List of Cab Companies and their phone numbers



Ascend Education Centre
#05-14A, The Adelphi,
1 Coleman Street, Singapore 179803
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Pathway to Ascend Education Center »» Alight at City Hall MRT »» Take Exit B »» Take Left »» Walk for 2 Min till Red Light »» Cross Red Light