Singapore has the second greatest population density int he world. The country is home to almost 5.7 million residents, 61% (3.4 Millions) of who are Singaporean citizens. There are four official languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Chines, and Tamil; with English being the lingua fanca.

Why study in Singapore?

Hub for Academic Excellence
Singapore welcomes around 65,000 overseas students every year to their education systems. In May 2020, the CEO World Magazine published a study   revealing Singapore was the 15th best country in the world in terms of education quality and standards. Although being a small country, Singapore has been widely recognized as excelling when it comes to research and innovation.   

Two of its universities even ranked in the top 15 of the world’s best universities QS World University Ranking System. Note that the prestigious National University of Singapore ranked sixth in the world for Civil Engineering and seventh in both Engineering and Technology disciplines. Moreover, another excellent Singaporean university, The Nanyang Technological University, has developed a strong partnership with the highly reputable Imperial College London strengthening its position as a world-class education institution. 
An excellent education system, combined with worldwide recognition for high-quality teaching methodologies and universal training, explains why Singapore is a popular study destination for so many students looking to develop critical skills and find attractive prospects.  

Future Prospects
A number of other Singaporean universities have partnered with prestigious institutions all around the world to provide their students with top-notch teaching, highly sought after skills, and global reputation. 
Therefore, it’s no surprise the city was also ranked 12th best city in the world for employer reputation in 2020. Not only does studying in a Singaporean University significantly increase your employability, but it can also enhance your salary prospects. 

Other Factors

  • International Business Hub:
Strategically located at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western trades, Singapore has enjoyed steady and strong economic growth over the last fifty years driven by a rapid international market expansion. 
  • Multicultural:   
Singapore is a multicultural society influenced by world cultures and offers overseas students an expat-friendly lifestyle. Indeed, roughly 25% of the population is foreign-born, making it an appealing country for international students looking to experience new cultures.
  • Speak English:
Singapore has a   bilingual education policy   meaning all schools and universities have programs taught in English. It is, therefore, easy to communicate. Studying in English can also help students improve their English skills and enhance their resume.

  • Tuition Grant
Not only is the cost of studying and living in Singapore lower than in some other English-Speaking countries, but the government also provides grants and scholarships to international students under specific conditions. 

Education Systems in Singapore

  • Preschool (Kindergarten):  
Preschool welcomes babies and children up to age 6. Preschool is not compulsory, but children attend preschool in order to prepare for primary school.

  • Primary School: 
In Singapore, compulsory education starts at age 6 or 7. Primary school typically runs from 6 or 7 to 11 or 12, and the curriculum is focused on developing foundational knowledge and skills in various essential disciplines, including English and mathematics.

  • Secondary School:
Secondary school welcomes students aged between 11 or 12 to 16 or 17. Essential subjects include English, mathematics, geography, or literature. Secondary schools focus on preparing students for junior colleges or vocational training (polytechnic). At the end of secondary school, most students will have to sit the O-level exam.

  • Post-secondary:
Pre-university institutions include junior colleges, polytechnics, and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE). O-level scores will be reviewed by these education institutions to select students. 

  • Junior Colleges and Centralised Institutes: 
This curriculum usually takes two years in a junior college or three years in a centralised institute and welcomes students who have met the entry requirements, including O-level qualifications. 
  • Polytechnics:
This three-year curriculum typically suits students who wish to pursue practical training or want to access tertiary education but don’t have the O-level qualifications to enter a junior college. 
  • Institute of Technical Education (ITE):
The Institute of Technical Education offers one to two year technical or vocational courses to students who wish to learn a specific trade or pursue tertiary education.
  • University:
To be able to gain access to the university level, students who have completed pre-university education must pass the GCE A Level . Singaporean universities offer a wide range of bachelor’s degrees along with master’s degrees and doctorate degrees. 
Bachelor’s degree:   This curriculum usually runs for three to four years.  To enter the Bachelor’s level of studies, international students must provide English test scores, a certificate of secondary school, and have completed a total of 12 years of school. Every institution has different entry requirements so make sure you confirm with them before applying. 

Master’s degree:   Master’s programs usually take up to two years to complete. Most universities will require a bachelor’s diploma, letters of recommendation, exam scores (GRE/GMAT), and review the candidate’s work experience.

Doctoral studies:   Doctoral studies are divided between research and coursework. Each university will usually list specific entry requirements on their website.

Students life in Singapore

Singaporeans benefit from an incredibly high standard of living. Indeed, not only is the country appealing to overseas students based on its exceptional education system, but it’s also a thriving nation that enjoys a low crime rate.   Being at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western cultures, the state-city perfectly blends European and Asian culture and offers overseas students a unique cultural diversity reflected everywhere, from the food scene to the art scene. 
Singapore’s strategic position at the heart of Asia means international students can easily travel around Asia for a weekend or during the holidays. Living in Singapore is a unique opportunity to experience neighbouring exotic countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia...etc
Key Things to Know
  • Chewing gum is banned in Singapore, and carrying it can lead to a hefty fine
  • Littering is also heavily fined
  • Smoking in a public area is forbidden
  • Singapore is a skyscraper art show with impressive and unique creations such as the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel
  • The Food scene is extremely colourful with dishes and street food from all around the world
  • There are four official languages in Singapore; English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil.
  • Singaporeans are a hard-working and dedicated population. They’re also very competitive (called    Kiasu or fear of losing)
  • Singaporeans like law and order and are very respectful. They also have a great sense of humor
  • The population is very friendly. Singapore was even rank the most welcoming city in the world in 2017
  • Primary rainforest can be found in the city-state
  • Halls of Residence and Hostels

Some universities provide on-campus accommodation called halls of residence and hostels. For instance, the university offer hostel rooms for S$132 per week.
Rooms can be single or shared, and prices range between S$121 S$165.
  • Private Shared Flats
Private shared flats are a popular option among the student community as it’s less expensive than private apartments but still provides flexibility in terms of location, size, and facilities.  
  • Living in a Flat 
Living in a private flat offers flexibility but is also the most expensive option. Prices usually start at around S$700.
Transport Singapore is a heavily connected city relying on cutting edge technology. All parts of the island are easily accessible by the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system and bus services. Most people use the EZ-Link card to travel around.  Social Life
Living on-campus is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and can be an excellent way to meet new friends. Indeed, student hostels and residences are a very popular option among students who wish to connect with others and discover new cultures. Moreover , hall activities are designed to help students socialise as they offer a wide range of activities, including sports, drama classes, and BBQs. The city brims with food courts, street food corners, malls, and clubs, and you’ll quickly discover Singaporeans’ love for Karaoke.
A modern and bustling city combined with a multicultural and open society make this thriving island the ideal place for overseas students eager to shape their academic future while developing a valuable network.  

Singapore student visa

The Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority(ICA) requires any Student’s Pass applicant to pay a processing fee of S$30 upon application and irrespective of the application’s outcome. If successful, you’ll be asked to pay an additional S$60 when you collect your Student’s Pass at ICA.

Although not a requirement to obtain the Student Pass, many education providers require overseas students to have healthcare insurance in order to cover the fees in the event of a medical emergency. You should confirm with your institution of interest whether they require health cover. 

Work opportunities

One of the key things overseas students enjoy about Singapore is that if you are holding a Student’s Pass, you are allowed to work if you have enrolled in an approved educational institution. 

Under the same conditions, you’re also allowed to work 16 hours a week in a field related to your study, or that will help you gain essential skills in your field of study during school terms. To find a suitable student job, you can contact the Careers team of your university, network with older students, or go on employment websites. Some of the most popular student jobs include waiter/waitress, kitchen staff, and on-campus jobs. 

Work Opportunities
If you wish to work in Singapore after graduating, you can apply for an S Pass, which allows you to work in entry to medium-level jobs for up to two years. Note that some conditions apply, and you must meet specific requirements, such as earning at least S$2,400 per month. 

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