Living &Studying in Singapore

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Summary

  • Singapore has a high standard of education with some of the best universities worldwide
  • Students are permitted to work 16 hours per week and full-time during holidays
  • Singapore is an expensive city to live but the cost of studying in Singapore is still lower compared to USA, UK or Australia
  • Students may apply for a visa using an online system upon acceptance by an institution

Singapore is a modern and vibrant city state, recognised as a ‘global schoolhouse’ for its strong emphasis on education. Singapore prides itself in maintaining high standards of organisation and order. It has efficient administration, clean streets and has excellent transport within the city. Singapore has a high standard of living, making it an expensive to live. However, the cost of studying in Singapore is still lower compared to USA, UK or Australia. This is one of the factors that make Singapore an attractive destination for international students seeking a quality education.

Universities in Singapore

Universities of Sydney

Singapore is one of the leaders in higher education both in Asia and worldwide. It boasts six national universities, with its two largest universities having more than 30,000 students each. Singapore’s most prestigious university is the National University of Singapore (NUS) which ranked 12th in the QS World University Rankings for 2016/17 and is one of the highest-ranking universities in Asia. Its other highly ranked institution, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is ranked 13th. In addition to these universities, Singapore also has a wide range of private institutions, along with foreign universities with campuses in Singapore, such as the Chicago Business School and Technische Universität München.

All students, be it local or international, are eligible to apply for tuition grants that cover most of the costs of the tuition fees with the Ministry of Education. However, you can only apply for a tuition grant after having been offered a place on a course. Grants require international students to work for a Singapore-registered company for at least 3 years.

Environment

Environment

Singapore wears its multi-cultural identity on its sleeve from historical precincts to charming suburbs, each with its own distinct character such as Little India, Chinatown, Kampong Glam, etc. If you are looking for quaint cafes and idyllic art galleries, head down to Holland Village or Dempsey Hill. Get away from the cities to local beaches in Sentosa or smell the flowers (literally) in Botanical Garden. If you want to be decked in the latest fashion or simply surrounded by modern luxury, head nowhere else but to Orchard Road or Marina Bay – where you can see the bulk of tourists convinced of Singapore’s unique draw. Visiting all of the different districts in Singapore is only a hop away. The city state prides itself not only as a clean and green city with the ease of public transportation.

‘’ Singapore is one of the leaders in higher education both in Asia and worldwide’’

Working as International Students

Working as International Students

Being one of the most expensive cities in the world, many overseas students such as yourself may be keen to find part-time jobs. Aside from earning allowance, you can also make connections and even get a job offer after your graduation. However, it is important to visit the website of Ministry of Manpower to find out if your selected institution’s students are afforded work privileges. If you are eligible to seek for work while studying, you are permitted to work 16 hours per week. Work permits are not required for those who want to work during holidays. Retail, hospitality and service are some of the most common sectors for part-timers.

Social Life

Social Life

The multicultural identity of Singapore means that there is plenty of annual cultural events for you to see, enjoy and even take part in. You can quickly fill up your calendar with gourmet events, sporting seasons, parades, music and arts festivals. Most of these events have special prices for students and even aimed at young adults such as yourself. Exploring Singapore’s historic landmarks and modern architecture is also an event in itself. You can also visit its neighbouring countries by a short ferry or car ride. As a regional centre, you will not find yourself alienated as a newcomer as the city is a boon for international crowd. If language is a barrier, you will be able to get by with the multi-lingual signs, or better, learn its local creole, Singlish!

Food

Food

Singapore is a street food haven that cater to anyone who can spend SGD 2 to SGD 200 per serving. Its multi-ethnic culture has served up a variety of cuisines and fusion food. For a student such as yourself, you will be able to get economical options from the local hawker centres. Hawker centres are usually self-service food courts where you can enjoy local food such as laksa, chicken rice and prawn noodles. In fact, eating is one of the most cherished pastimes among Singaporeans who are not afraid to queue up early and patiently at popular food stalls. If you prefer to cook your own food, you should be able to find fresh produce and special ingredients at the local wet markets or supermarkets.

Student Visa

Student Visa

Applying for Student Pass (read: visa is slated as pass in Singapore) need not be a hassle as long as you have all your documents and medical records ready. You must submit new applications for Student Pass at least one month before your course starts and not more than two months. All international students except Immigration Exemption Order holders have to apply for the Student Pass. Students who do not require a visa to enter Singapore may apply for a Student’s Pass once already in the country but otherwise all other processes are similar.

Upon acceptance from your selected institution, you may apply for a visa using the Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR+) online system. Your school will have already registered you into the system. If your visa application is successful, you will be issued a new SOLAR+ application number that you can use to apply for a Student Pass from your home country. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) takes a SGD 30 non-refundable fee for every application submitted to them. This fee is payable by credit card or internet banking. There is a SGD 60 issuance fee for A Student’s Pass, and students requiring a visa to enter Singapore will need to pay a further SGD 30 visa fee. In both instances, fees are payable to the ICA when students go in person to collect their student pass.