17 Jan Singapore Internships for International Students (Your Questions Answered)
In recent years, more and more students have taken the leap forward and jumped into new territories by taking up internships. In the United States alone, there is an estimate of 300,000 interns out there.
Internships are a great opportunity for students to learn more about their chosen field of study, and of course about themselves. With the pandemic slowing down and travel guidelines becoming more relaxed, more and more students are exploring international internship opportunities! Singapore internships in particular have become increasingly popular among international students.
Why take on a Singapore internship?
While this article tells you more about what to expect from a Singapore internship, the easy answer to this question is that taking an international internship helps you learn more about other cultures.
It’s true that you can gain experience through local internships – the skills you learn and the connections that you make from any internship are sure to be of value! However, taking up a foreign opportunity could also introduce you to the feeling of working with people from other cultural backgrounds. In the future, you won’t always be working with people who come from the same country or ethnicity as you. So why not learn early on, right?
Additionally, international connections could always come in handy. Imagine having a friend or colleague in the same industry… but on a different side of the world! It would be great to connect in the future, talk about your work, and learn about industry practices. You could even potentially find career opportunities after your internship!
If you’re curious about what a Singapore internship could entail for you, no worries: we’ve got all of your questions covered.
The basics of a Singapore internship
Q: What is Singapore famous for?
A: Some of Singapore’s most well-known traits include comprehensive (and sometimes strange) laws, its clean and green cityscape, and for being one of the world’s financial centers. Its airport also has a reputation of its own – the Singapore Changi Airport is one of the best in Asia and around the world, making a name for itself with its hundreds of functions and amenities.
Q: What ethnicities are prevalent in Singapore?
A: Singapore is one of the most densely populated areas in the world! The most common ethnic backgrounds in the country are that of Chinese origin, which makes up about 75% of the nation. This is followed by people of Malay and Indian origin respectively, making for quite the diverse population. The most commonly practiced religions are Buddhism, Christian, and Islam, with a small percentage following Taoism or Hindu.
Q: What language do they speak in Singapore?
A: No worries – English is among the four official languages of Singapore. Since the country is an international business hub, you won’t have to worry about a lot of adjustment language-wise. Mostly everyone speaks English, and this is the predominant language used for just about everything, including business and work. And in case you wanted to know, the three other official languages are Chinese, Malay, and Tamil!
Q: What is Singapore currency?
A: Singaporean money is called the Singaporean Dollar (SGD). It’s one of the most powerful currencies in Asia, and maybe even the world. January 2023 conversion rates show that 1 SGD is worth about 0.76 USD, which is a fairly close margin! Living here can be a little costly compared to other destinations, but there are a lot of ways to make it through without overspending or going out of budget.
What you need to know about your Singapore internship
Q: What industries are popular in Singapore?
A: Singapore is an international business hub – so of course, a lot of industries are growing and thriving in the country. However, the three most popular industries are finance, international trade & business, and marketing communications. No matter the role or department you’re looking for, these three industries are bound to have something for you! The best experts are here to mentor you, too.
Q: What’s the work culture like?
A: So Singapore doesn’t have one of the most developed economies in Asia for nothing: Singaporean workers are productive and team-oriented! Singaporean work culture places high value on team achievements and accomplishing things together, which is a huge contrast to Western ideals of personal and individualistic achievement. However, people are known to overwork at times, especially when they have to meet high quotas. All in all, workers are quite diligent and value great relationships. You can expect to have dinner out with your team, or even go to your boss’ house after a long day at work!
Living in Singapore
Q: Do foreigners do well in Singapore?
A: Singapore is very welcoming to foreigners. A lot of expats already work there, and hundreds of students have already traveled there to intern! Companies compensate well, workers learn a lot of skills, and there’s generally a lot of culture to enjoy. Locals are also nice towards foreigners, unlike other destinations where you might be treated differently if you look different.
Q: Is it safe for women and members of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum?
A: For women, Singapore is considered one of the safest places to travel. Laws and regulations protect women from harassment or other incidents in the country – especially if you’re a tourist! Some of our female students and team members even report feeling safe running at night, going out to eat, and walking around during their stay. Additionally, for members of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, Singapore is now also a safer place: the old British colonial rule that outlawed same-sex relationships was vetoed in 2022, which was a huge triumph for the community. People in the community are more open about homosexuality, which is a great change for them!
Q: People said Singapore has weird laws. What should I know?
A: It’s true – the Singaporean government is very strict about the regulations that they have in place. You aren’t allowed to chew gum in public (you can hardly buy it anywhere, too), nor are you allowed to smoke! There are a few places that allow it, but they’re far and few in between. You’re also not allowed to litter, jaywalk, urinate in public places, vandalize, or use drugs. While those might seem like no-brain rules, Singaporeans very much value discipline. They impose fines for these violations, too, so be mindful!
Q: What is Singaporean food like?
A: Many people who visit Singapore simply rave about the culinary experience! As mentioned before, Singapore is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, and Indian culture – and these are easily some of the most colorful and flavorful foods in the region and the world. You can expect spicy, savory flavors, as well as coconut-based dishes and beef dishes. Vegan and vegetarian options are also widely available, too!
If all these things have gotten you excited about a Singaporean internship, no worries – your feelings are totally valid! Singapore is an exciting place to be, both culturally and work-wise. There’s definitely a lot to learn from a professional standpoint and from the people around you!
Want to do an international internship? Check out these tips on how to get started and prep yourself for the journey!