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International schools in Singapore: Where to live for expat families

(Source: www.99.co)

If you’re an expat who’s relocating to Singapore together with your family, you’re probably looking to stay in a neighbourhood or district that gives you an easy commute to your workplace and chosen international school for your children. In this article, we introduce five housing estates in Singapore which have a plethora of international schools. Like many expats who already do, you might just call one of these neighbourhoods home in the near future!

#1: Bukit Timah

Distance to city: Approx 10 km (6.2 miles)
Neighbourhood pros:
 Quiet and leafy; prestigious district; many expats in the area
Neighbourhood cons: Expensive housing; Lack of cheap food options and big-town amenities; Some locations can be inaccessible by public transport

international schools in singapore bukit timah

Commonly referred to as District 10 in property terms, Bukit Timah is one of the most upscale residential districts in Singapore, and the area is dotted with private housing options (both landed properties and condominiums). MRT stations on the Downtown Line also serve the neighbourhood, and it takes just 20 minutes to get to the CBD via car or train.

Amenities include Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, The Grandstand, Sixth Avenue and Cluny Court — think cosy lifestyle clusters instead of huge shopping malls. Not too far away, the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve offers some of the best walks and trails for nature lovers on the island. There’s no shortage of international schools here, such as the following: 

  • German European School Singapore

  • Invictus International School

  • International School Singapore

  • Avondale Grammar School Singapore

  • Hwa Chong International School

  • Singapore Korean International School

  • Melbourne Specialist International School

Condos in Bukit Timah include:

**[Browse all condo units for rent in Bukit Timah.]

#2: Clementi

Distance to city: Approx 12.5 km (7.8 miles)
Neighbourhood pros:
Accessible not just to schools, but also to the National University of Singapore, as well as the Jurong and Buona Vista business hubs
Neighbourhood cons: Housing prices are on the rise in this area; the increasing number of high-rise buildings can feel stifling

million dollar hdb clementi

Located in the West of Singapore, Clementi is a down-to-earth middle-class neighbourhood that has a good mix of private and HDB public housing. The area has plenty of schools — both international and highly reputable local schools. Such is Clementi’s rising appeal, we even wrote an article about it recently. It has all the amenities a mature estate has, such as a shopping mall and MRT station.

Driving to the CBD takes roughly 20 minutes. International schools in or around Clementi include the following: 

  • Canadian International School Singapore

  • Dover Court International School

  • Nexus International School Singapore

  • International Community School Singapore

  • Singapore Japanese School

  • Tanglin Trust School

  • United World College of Southeast Asia

  • Waseda Shibuya Senior High School

Condos in Clementi include:

**[Browse all condo units for rent in Clementi.]

#3: Yishun

Distance to city: Approx 22 km (13.7 miles)
Neighbourhood pros:
Affordable; close to nature
Neighbourhood cons: Far from CBD

international schools in singapore yishun

Yishun is a “heartland” town that’s mostly populated by HDB flats, although a few newer condominium developments have taken place in recent years. The town is served by Yishun and Khatib MRT stations, and it takes 30 minutes to get to the CBD if you’re driving.

Amenities include the newly-refurbished megamall Northpoint City, the new Junction Nine Shopping Mall and the popular Chong Pang Food Centre. Nature lovers flock to the picturesque Lower and Upper Seletar Reservoirs.

For international schools, GEMS World Academy Singapore and 5 Steps Academy are located in Yishun. International schools in neighbouring towns include the Sir Manasseh Meyer International School in Sembawang and the Singapore American School in Woodlands.

**[Browse all condo units for rent in Yishun.]

#4: Serangoon

Distance to city: Approx 11 km (6.8 miles)
Neighbourhood pros:
Relatively close to the city; some quiet precincts such as Serangoon Garden, Kovan and Lorong Chuan; strong expat presence
Neighbourhood cons: Rising housing prices in the area; the town centre can get crowded, as with the MRT trains during peak hours

international schools serangoon

Serangoon is a residential town located in the North-East of Singapore, with a wide variety of amenities that include a shopping mall (NEX), and a quaint lifestyle and F&B cluster in the form of Serangoon Gardens. It’s well connected to the CBD and other parts of Singapore via the North-East Line and the Circle Line (Serangoon MRT is the interchange station for the two lines). For those who drive, the CBD is just 15 minutes away by car via the Central Expressway.

International schools in the area include the following:

  • French School of Singapore

  • DPS International School

  • Australian International School Singapore

  • Stamford American International School

  • Early Learning Village (the world’s largest preschool)

Condos in Serangoon include:

**[Browse all condo units for rent in Serangoon.]

#5: Mountbatten

Distance to city: Approx 8.5 km (5.3 miles)
Neighbourhood pros:
Close to the city; close to heritage districts of Katong and Joo Chiat; ample sports and recreation facilities; not crowded and good sense of space because of high concentration of landed properties and building height restrictions; some condos offer sea views; the airport is just 15 minutes away by taxi
Neighbourhood cons: Some areas far from MRT stations; traffic jams and packed buses leading to and out the city during rush hours


Mountbatten is one of the five subzones under the larger Marine Parade district, and has a laid-back, family-friendly vibe that’s characteristic of its proximity to the sea. The area consists of a good mix of HDB flats and private bungalows, and is a sports and fitness lover’s paradise as the Singapore Sports Hub and East Coast Park is in the vicinity. The neighborhood is served by two MRT stations, Mountbatten and Dakota. Old Airport Road Food Centre, which is well-known as a haven for local Singaporean cuisine, is a favourite haunt for Mountbatten residents.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to get to the CBD by car and just slightly longer by public transport. International schools in the vicinity include campuses for the Global Indian International School and Canadian International School Singapore. The area is also notable for having reputable local schools that have an emphasis on Chinese language and culture, such as Tao Nan School (Primary) and Dunman High School.

Condos in and around Mountbatten include:

**[Browse all condo units for rent in Mountbatten.]


If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends East Region of Singapore: the best neighbourhoods for you and The coolest neighbourhoods in Singapore to rent [2018 update]

Looking for a property to buy or rent? Find the home of your dreams today on Singapore’s largest property portal 99.co!

More Info: www.99.co

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