An island nation, Singapore is modern and vibrant. It has a rich and multicultural heritage, and offers a cosmopolitan and fast-paced lifestyle. Partner this with the number of world class universities, Singapore is the perfect destination for international students looking for a unique and contemporary higher education experience.
Singapore takes great pride in maintaining extremely high standards of teaching and learning. Singaporean universities also have a strong research focus. Many universities in Singapore have strong links with industry, meaning that you will be able gain practical experience alongside your degree. This not only makes your time studying more interesting, it can also mean that you will find employment more easily.
The country has a well developed educational system, providing numerous opportunities for international students. Education is a priority in Singapore and the nation is recognised as a ‘global schoolhouse’. A strong emphasis on education started when the British-based education system was introduced by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (founder of the Singapore Institution, now known as the Raffles Institution) in 1823. Today Singapore is one of the leaders in higher education both in Asia and Worldwide.
Two of Singapore’s universities are in the 2023 QS World University Rankings top 500. The highest ranked is the National University of Singapore (NUS), which is placed at 11th. The next highest ranked is the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), which is placed at 19th.
An island country and sovereign city-state, Singapore is home to over 5.6 million people. Singapore consists of one main island and 62 other smaller islets. The country is famous for its transformation from a third world country to a first world country, a development which can be contributed to its leader and founder, Lee Kuan Yew. Due to its rapid development, Singapore is a global hub for education, entertainment, finance and healthcare, among many other areas. It is recognised as the world’s safest country, despite it being known as crowded. The city offers up excellent opportunities, both professionally and socially.
The Singaporean population benefit from the streamlined public transport, with punctual trains and wide roads. The country is heavily influenced by many cultures, including British, Chinese, Malaysian and Indian.
Singapore uses the Singapore Dollar (SGD) as its currency.
Your tuition fees will depend on where you choose to study, and at what level. On average, you should expect to pay between SGD 14,000 and SGD 50,000 per year. For international students, there are many scholarships available. Some of these are offered by the Singapore Ministry of Education, as well as others offered by individual institutions. Public institutions will usually charge lower tuition fees than private institutions.
International students also need to consider their living costs. On average, you should budget for around SGD 10,000 per year. You will be able to work up to 16 hours per week during term-time, and full time during the holidays. If you wish to get a job, you will first need to get approval from your institution.
International students wishing to study in Singapore will need to obtain a student visa. When you get your letter of approval, you will also be issued a visa by your institution. Within two weeks of your acceptance, you will need to apply to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for a Student Pass. This also needs to be no earlier than two months and no later than one month before the start to your course. This process will be done through the Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration System (SOLAR). You will be given registration details by your institution, which you will use to fill in and submit the required forms. You will then need to complete the process once you have arrived in the country. To do this, you will need to make an appointment with the ICA and take with you the disembarkation/embarkation card that you were granted on entry to Singapore.
The official languages of Singapore are English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. As well as these, there are many other languages you can expect to hear being spoken across the country.
It is extremely common for institutions to offer courses in English. If you choose to study in a non-native language, you will likely have to provide evidence of your language proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, you may be able to take a language course to help you improve.
Even if you are able to study in English, living in Singapore is a great chance to learn more than one new language. Communicating with locals and other students is the perfect way to practice. Having another language is a skill that will look fantastic on your CV/resume.
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