Study in Singapore

1. Why Study in Singapore?

Singapore envisages to becoming a “Global Schoolhouse” offering a diverse and distinctive mix of educational services in a safe, cosmopolitan and comfortable environment. Singapore is the premier education hub in Asia. Driven by excellence, Singapore education offers a broad base curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and training that serves as a springboard to a brighter future. The island's strong reputation for quality education has drawn the world's top institutions to set up campuses in Singapore. Unique is the word that best captures Singapore, a dynamic city rich in contrast and colour where you'll find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. A bridge between the East and the West for centuries, Singapore is located in the heart of fascinating Southeast Asia, continues to embrace tradition and modernity today.
(i)Singapore Hub of Education Excellence
Singapore is a premier education hub which offers students an international perspective and diversity of options. In an environment that is inspiring and conducive to education, Singapore provides high quality of teaching and research. From an internationally recognized public school system, to world class universities, Singapore ensures a comprehensive education environment. More than 16 leading foreign universities have also set up centers of excellence in education and research in Singapore. Quality private education organizations add further diversity to the nation's education landscape.
(ii)Affordable Quality Education in Singapore
Tuition fees are affordable and the cost of living in Singapore is still significantly lower than of many developed countries. With Singapore's tradition of meritocracy talented students who need financial assistance can find the help they need in form of scholarships, bursaries and study loans.
(iii)Infrastructure and Accessibility in Singapore
Singapore is well connected via sea, air and telecommunications to all parts of the world. It is fairly close to India encouraging students to visit home during every academic break.
(iv)Singapore Global Business Hub
Singapore is consistently acknowledged to be a global business hub with its developed infrastructure, political stability and open business policy. More than 7000 Multinational Corporations (MNC) alongside 1,00,000 small and medium enterprises (SME) have set up their base in Singapore, with many choosing Singapore as their regional hub and launch pad to dynamic markets of Asia. Singapore offers limitless career and networking possibilities to global citizens keen to apply their talents to the opportunities that can be found there.
(v)Singapore have Vibrant and Cosmopolitan Lifestyle
Singapore may seem like a small dot on the world map, but the island state bustles all over with attractions and activities. The nation's rich multicultural heritage is highlighted through the various ethnic groups (Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians) living together harmoniously. Singapore's high standard of living is also something that students can be assured of. In a survey reported in The Economist in March 2002, Singapore's quality of life surpassed that of London or New York.
(vi)Quality Higher Education in Singapore
Singapore Education is a multi-government agency initiative launched by the Singapore Government in 2003 to establish and promote Singapore as a premier education hub and help international students make an informed decision on studying in Singapore. This initiative is led by the Singapore Economic Development Board and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Education

2. Cost of studying & living in Singapore

Living Conditions in Singapore are amongst the best in Asia with State-Of-The-Art facilities for Education, Shopping, Sports and Recreation.
Singapore has one of the highest living standards in the South East Asia. Daily necessities and luxuries are readily available. Below are estimates of how much is required during your stay in Singapore. They do not include tuition fees and travel expenses from your home country to Singapore.
An international student in Singapore spends, on average, about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This amount will, of course, vary depending on your lifestyle and course of study.

This table gives a rough estimate of basic monthly expenditure for an international student in Singapore:

Item Cost per month (S$) Comments
Accommodation $200 - $700 Rental varies with geographical area, type of accommodation, demand, facilities provided & the number of people sharing, etc
Utilities (including water and electricity) $40 - $100 Not applicable for hostel stay
Food $300 - $450 Based on $10-$15 per day for 3 meals at a food court.
Transportation $50 Depends on the distance and mode of transport. Tip: Full-time students can enjoy concessionary travel on the MRT and public buses
Telecommunications $50 Varies with usage and promotional packages subscribed for telephone services, mobile services and internet access services.
Books & Stationery From $100/term Booklink at the SMU concourse stocks almost all the required textbooks. Of course, second-hand textbooks are cheaper, and are quite readily available too!
Personal Expenses $100 - $300 Varies with the individual. Could include expenses on clothes, toiletries, entertainment, haircut, miscellaneous.
Medical Insurance (click here for more info)   As a SMU student, you are automatically entitled to SMU Medical Insurance Coverage scheme that covers your basic medical treatment and consultation.


3. Visa Regulations

What to do before applying for Singapore student visa?
Before submitting an application for Student Pass through SOLAR, the institute where you have been offered admission must register you through the registration system. Once the institute has registered you with SOLAR, you have to submit eForm 16. You must have the following details before logging into your SOLAR account:

  • A registration notification from SOLAR with your login username and password provided by IHL
  • Travel documents and passport details, including passport number and its validity
  • Your personal email address
  • One recent passport-sized color photograph

Once you submit the eForm 16, you then have to take a printout copy of the form to submit to Student Pass unit - Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). It is one of the important formalities to be completed for issuance of the Singapore Student Pass.

You must assure the immigration department that you will remain in Singapore with a valid Student Pass at all times.

Documents required for Singapore student visa:
Below are the documents you have to submit for completion of formalities:

  • Your valid passport. You have to submit a copy of particular pages of passport
  • You must carry the departure/arrival card granted on entry into Singapore. If you have been residing in Singapore on other long term passes, you have to bring along that pass as well;
  • One recent color passport-sized photograph (taken on white background);
  • The printout of eForm 16 submitted through SOLAR (duly signed by the applicant);
  • If your documents are in native language, you must get an official English translation of the documents.
  • A copy of the in-principle approval letter; and
  • A medical report in the prescribed format (available on ICA’s website).
  • When you submit the application, make sure the laboratory reports are not more than three months from the issue date. In case you fail to fulfill the medical requirement, you will not be granted the Student Pass.

Singapore student visa- Processing time
Generally, the Singapore student visa takes about four weeks to process. However, some applications may take longer if the immigration department requires some additional documents or information from you. In such situations, you will be notified through the SOLAR system.

Cancellation of Singapore student visa
Being an international student, you must surrender your Singapore Student Pass for cancellation within one week from the date of completion of your programme.

Work opportunities for IHL Students
Under the Employment of Foreign Workers Act (Cap 91A, S4) Work Permit (Exemption) (Consolidation) Notification, international students do not have to apply for work permit if they want to work in Singapore during their vacations. Also, foreign students who do not work for more than 16 hours per week during their studies are exempted to apply for work permit. However, it is recommended to check work opportunities granted by your institution.

4. Feature institutions in Singapore

  • National University Singapore (NUS)
  • Singapore Management University (SMU)

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