Living off a $2000 scholarship

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
rxzlmn
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 08 May 2011 6:30 pm

Living off a $2000 scholarship

Post by rxzlmn » Sun, 08 May 2011 6:58 pm

Hi,

I'm a biochemistry student (soon graduate) from Germany, and I'm planning to do my PhD in Singapore, at A*Star/Biopolis. They offer a scholarship (called SINGA) for international students which is $2000 (later to be increased to $2500) per month, with no benefits or financial assistance regarding housing.
I have lived in Singapore before for 6 months (in 2010), so I have a somewhat of an idea what to expect in terms of expenses for food/drinks/transportation etc. - but not for housing. I lived in a student hostel back then which was almost $1000 a month for a shady small room.
I realize rent will be my biggest financial burden, but I don't know with what to calculate. It's ok for me to go some distance by public transport to Biopolis (Holland V), and I don't need much space or comfort. Is it possible to rent some small private appartment with that budget?
PhD studies are going to take ~4 years, I don't feel like living in a room in a shared appartment without a private bathroom for such a long time, considering I got a gf and want some privacy.
So any idea of how/what to expect and look for in terms of housing? And will 2000 dollars be enough for a living? To be honest it seems quite little to me. They make a scheme on their website of how this should be enough and put 300-600 for rent.

User avatar
BillyB
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 11:01 pm
Location: My laptop

Post by BillyB » Sun, 08 May 2011 9:11 pm

If you hunt around enough you should be able to find a room in a shared condo for $500. Live off mee noodles, bread and water, and you'll be fine!!

But seriously, can you find a part time job on the visa you'll be getting to give yourself a little extra cash each month?

It's doable if you can control your budget, but can you stick it for 4 years? Also, if you have a GF will she be bringing income in too?

I'll play devils advocate here - is the trade-off and costs of your PhD, when compared against what you could earn by going into employment now, going to pay dividends in the long-term?

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1764
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Sun, 08 May 2011 10:53 pm

No apartment or private space of whatever size at your budget!
You'll have to rent a room and share the rest.
Rooms with bath (called Master Bedroom) are available and cost just a bit more than without. You'll easily find one below S$1000/month.
I started Singapore on the predecessor of your scholarship in 1996. It was S$1200 and 1400 then, and I managed (but tightly).

rxzlmn
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 08 May 2011 6:30 pm

Post by rxzlmn » Mon, 09 May 2011 3:54 am

thanks for your answers.
BillyB wrote: But seriously, can you find a part time job on the visa you'll be getting to give yourself a little extra cash each month?
unfortunately, their terms of contract don't allow that.
BillyB wrote: It's doable if you can control your budget, but can you stick it for 4 years? Also, if you have a GF will she be bringing income in too?
my gf has her own income, but thing is, I don't wanna plan on relying on her. I should be able to afford an at least ok place to live on my own with a university degree.
BillyB wrote: I'll play devils advocate here - is the trade-off and costs of your PhD, when compared against what you could earn by going into employment now, going to pay dividends in the long-term?
PhD is a must in my field. without it you're a better technical assistant with no chance of a real career at all.
beppi wrote: Rooms with bath (called Master Bedroom) are available and cost just a bit more than without. You'll easily find one below S$1000/month.
If I look around for a while, how much do you think I'd have to spend for a master bedroom? And which areas/districts would I probably have to look at (with holland village/buona vista still somewhat accessible)?

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3524
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 6:31 am
Answers: 2
Location: TIMBUKTU

Post by Mad Scientist » Mon, 09 May 2011 4:02 am

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

Girl_Next_Door
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 12:35 pm

Post by Girl_Next_Door » Mon, 09 May 2011 8:13 am

My language teacher works in A Star too and is doing his PHD. You may not be able to get a legitimate part time job, but you might want to consider working free lance, as a language teacher to earn some extra pocket money.

User avatar
vbelle
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 257
Joined: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 4:45 pm
Location: singapore

Post by vbelle » Mon, 09 May 2011 1:58 pm

1000 would be enough to get a master bedroom. Its half your income though...
your scholarship amount doesnt allow you to rent your own place...
if your gf is coming to SG as well, you can share the rent and it will be ok...
depends on your lifestyle...but you should have enough money to survive...perhaps no savings

User avatar
BillyB
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 11:01 pm
Location: My laptop

Post by BillyB » Mon, 09 May 2011 2:46 pm

rxzlmn wrote:thanks for your answers.
BillyB wrote: But seriously, can you find a part time job on the visa you'll be getting to give yourself a little extra cash each month?
unfortunately, their terms of contract don't allow that.
BillyB wrote: It's doable if you can control your budget, but can you stick it for 4 years? Also, if you have a GF will she be bringing income in too?
my gf has her own income, but thing is, I don't wanna plan on relying on her. I should be able to afford an at least ok place to live on my own with a university degree.
BillyB wrote: I'll play devils advocate here - is the trade-off and costs of your PhD, when compared against what you could earn by going into employment now, going to pay dividends in the long-term?
PhD is a must in my field. without it you're a better technical assistant with no chance of a real career at all.
beppi wrote: Rooms with bath (called Master Bedroom) are available and cost just a bit more than without. You'll easily find one below S$1000/month.
If I look around for a while, how much do you think I'd have to spend for a master bedroom? And which areas/districts would I probably have to look at (with holland village/buona vista still somewhat accessible)?
OK, I get what you are saying with the part-time work and PhD.

Sharing with your GF would be the easiest thing to do to split the costs but if thats not feasible and you need your own place then try searching ..com.sg. You should find something on there in the $500-750 range.

The whole thing is doable on your budget and if you have your heart set on doing it, and it will give you good career advancement - go for it. I applaud you for being disciplined and forward thinking enough to see the longer-term benefits. And wish you all the best!

harisadu
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon, 07 Mar 2011 11:48 am

Re: Living off a $2000 scholarship

Post by harisadu » Wed, 11 May 2011 1:04 pm

Hi rxzlmn

Sent PM to you

Please check

rxzlmn wrote:Hi,

I'm a biochemistry student (soon graduate) from Germany, and I'm planning to do my PhD in Singapore, at A*Star/Biopolis. They offer a scholarship (called SINGA) for international students which is $2000 (later to be increased to $2500) per month, with no benefits or financial assistance regarding housing.
I have lived in Singapore before for 6 months (in 2010), so I have a somewhat of an idea what to expect in terms of expenses for food/drinks/transportation etc. - but not for housing. I lived in a student hostel back then which was almost $1000 a month for a shady small room.
I realize rent will be my biggest financial burden, but I don't know with what to calculate. It's ok for me to go some distance by public transport to Biopolis (Holland V), and I don't need much space or comfort. Is it possible to rent some small private appartment with that budget?
PhD studies are going to take ~4 years, I don't feel like living in a room in a shared appartment without a private bathroom for such a long time, considering I got a gf and want some privacy.
So any idea of how/what to expect and look for in terms of housing? And will 2000 dollars be enough for a living? To be honest it seems quite little to me. They make a scheme on their website of how this should be enough and put 300-600 for rent.

hae
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 06 Mar 2011 8:32 pm

Post by hae » Sat, 14 May 2011 11:01 am

beppi wrote:No apartment or private space of whatever size at your budget!
You'll have to rent a room and share the rest.
Rooms with bath (called Master Bedroom) are available and cost just a bit more than without. You'll easily find one below S$1000/month.
I started Singapore on the predecessor of your scholarship in 1996. It was S$1200 and 1400 then, and I managed (but tightly).
Hi beppi, was wondering if you might know where graduate students in singapore usually stay - do most tend to stay in university-owned accommodation, or find a place to rent elsewhere? Thanks in advance.

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1764
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 11:15 am
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Post by beppi » Sat, 14 May 2011 9:08 pm

It's quite a while since I worked in academia - 14 years to be precise, but I don't expect things to have changed that much. In my time, a lucky few lived at hostels on campus (never enough places available, as undergrads have priority) and the rest in sublet rooms or shared flats, often several of them per room to save money.
Even then, Singapore can pick the best brains of Asia, because the situation (and pay) at applicant's home universities is worse.
(Basically all researchers here are foreign - I have seen exactly one Singaporean grad student in my time, and he was scholar of Singapore's well-funded Defense Science Organisation DSO.)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests