Work and Travel in Singapore
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN SINGAPORE FOR TRAVELLERS
Singapore is a former British colony in the Far East famous for its financial markets. The problem with that is if you want to travel in Singapore it’s going to eat into your travel budget fast.
If you want to volunteer somewhere different, then work and travel in Singapore is for you. Most travel guides to Singapore won’t even consider the idea of volunteering there.
But we have lots of volunteer opportunities in Singapore for travellers who want to do something different.
1. Help Alleviate Poverty in Singapore
Despite its wealthy look, there are a huge number of incredibly poor people in Singapore. Join poverty alleviation schemes in the country and connect with real people outside of the ivory towers of the country’s iconic cityscape.
Whatever skills you have, there will be a place for you. It could be tending to the sick or simply supporting children with their school work.
It’s a great way to make a difference as you work and travel in Singapore.
2. Fight Against Narcotics in Singapore
Everyone knows how strict Singapore can be when it comes to drugs. This is because the government is determined not to allow the country to become a narcotics hub in the Far East.
Help in the fight against narcotics as you backpack in Singapore. Join drug awareness programs and help raise the issue in low income communities around the country.
You’ll make real connections with local people and make a difference all at the same time!
3. Feed the Hungry in Singapore
Another problem with Singapore is how expensive food is as nearly everything has to be imported. This means poorer people aren’t able to meet their nutritional needs.
Work in Singapore as part of the volunteer-run soup kitchens. Hand out nutritious food to the underprivileged of all ages and give what many of us take for granted.
It’s one of the kindest things you can do. To get involved all you need is a willingness to engage and a smile on your face.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR SINGAPORE
Singapore used to be incredibly strict regarding who could enter the country. Once upon a time you would be prohibited from visiting Singapore if your hair was too long. Today all that has changed and it’s opened itself up to the rest of the world. 80% of the world’s countries are able to enter without a formal visa.
However, there are differences in how long you are allowed to stay.
All European Union (EU) citizens are able to stay for 90 days without a visa. This also includes the UK post-Brexit, unless something drastic changes. This also applies to Australian citizens and citizens of South Korea, as well as citizens from the United States.
For Kiwis, Japanese citizens, Canadians, and South Africans, they can only stay in Singapore for a maximum of 30 days.
Russian citizens have a different system in place as they don’t have to get a formal visa, but they do have to apply for an eVisa online through the Singaporean government’s portal.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN SINGAPORE
Before we go into this section, we should mention that because Singapore lies near the equator it doesn’t have distinct seasons, like in most other countries. Singapore is largely humid the whole year round with regular rainfall. We will, however, try to give you an idea of the calendar in Singapore so you can tailor your trip accordingly.
During the spring season you will find that many parents want to find private tutors for their children as this is roughly at the beginning of the school year.
Any qualifications you possess will come in handy here as you generally need to have registered qualifications to work, even on a private basis.
For younger children, parents from middle class and wealthy families like to employ native English speakers to give their children a head start with their speaking skills.
Singapore is one of those destinations that receive visitors throughout the year. But in summer the numbers increase for two reasons. Singapore is a major regional and international hub, so expect a lot of backpackers in the area in the summer.
It’s also when the majority of Westerners have longer holidays, so they decide to travel in Singapore.
Many travellers spend time volunteering in hostels in Singapore or seeking out guesthouses away from the hustle and bustle of the main city.
Hostel work isn’t always easy to find here, due to a relatively small number of available hostels. However, if you apply in advance you have a good chance of finding work in Singapore.
Autumn sees a reduction in tourists. This means that many traditional volunteering jobs simply aren’t available during this season. We recommend that you refer back to some of the volunteering opportunities in Singapore at the top of this page. These are available throughout the whole year.
The winter time brings up a whole new selection of volunteering opportunities in Singapore. This is the season where the children are out of school with little to do.
School holiday camps are becoming increasingly popular in Singapore. You can find positions teaching sports or providing extra education, such as English teaching.
As long as you love working with children of all ages, you’ll have an abundance of positions to choose from throughout the winter season.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN SINGAPORE
Understand that Singapore is extremely cosmopolitan and has a history of colonialism. This means that it’s welcoming to foreigners and you’ll experience no problems with things like racism.
But you must also bear in mind that Singapore is an extremely strict country, where even chewing gum is illegal. Make sure you tread carefully as offenses that may seem trivial can get you into serious trouble with the authorities.
That includes working privately without the relevant documentation. We recommend you read up on the most common misdemeanours. They may seem silly to Westerners, but they’re taken with the utmost seriousness in this country.
Do you have what it takes to work and travel in Singapore?
- Edited on May 23 2018 by Roman