Most often referred to as the hub of Asia, with some of the world’s top universities constantly ranking under top 20, Singapore is a destination in Asia worth considering for your higher education.

A quick intro to Singapore
Culture and people
Cost of living
Singapore Education
    Tuition fees
    Universities in Singapore
    Top 10 Universities in Singapore
    Admission requirements
    Student pass and visa
Application process
Spare time

 

A quick intro to Singapore

Map of Singapore

Popularly known as the ‘Lion City,’ Singapore comprises of one large island surrounded by 63 small, mostly uninhabited islands. One of the only three city-states in the world, over the years Singapore has come to be one of the most prominent countries in Asia, as well as the world. A global hub in Asia, its finance and commerce capabilities have made it a popular destination for investment, due to its ease in business, and third largest financial, oil refining, and trading centres in the world. The country’s port is one of the busiest as well, while the Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines have received several awards over the years. Moreover, Singapore has rated as one of the top in world in the Human Development Index, which concludes its citizens’ good quality of life.

Singapore doesn’t just score high in numbers concerning its economy and finances, but more so on its impressive world-class universities as well, pushing the country further towards and successfully becoming the main hub of Asia for all purposes, alongside Hong Kong.

 

People and culture

Its stringent laws, such as the banning of chewing gums in the country have made it an extremely clean and safe place for residency as well. The majority of Singapore’s residents make use of the public transport available throughout the city, both punctual and extremely convenient, leading to minimal traffic on the roads before and after business hours.

Due to everything the country has to offer, Singapore has a very high population density, averaging 6 million people in its small area- which, in turn, brings about the various downsides of the country. Competitiveness within Singaporeans has more to do with nurture than nature, at times leading to new residents of the country feeling intimidated and finding it difficult to fit in during the first few months. The dense population has also resulted in Singapore being named the world’s most expensive city as well, with living costs double and triple that of other global hubs such as New York City and London.

Within Singapore exists a very multi-cultural society, of Singaporeans as well as expats. The official languages of Singapore hence cater to its diverse population, with them being English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay. In keeping with this, you would experience the specific festivities of every culture in Singapore, as each are celebrated in their own unique ways.

 

Cost of living

As stated above, Singapore is an expensive country to reside in, and rightly so. For everything the country has to offer, whether it be education, transport, entertainment or a global impact, it is very much so worth the high cost of living. Most citizens in the country are the owner of their own residents, whether houses or apartments; the country, simply put, is not for the light-hearted. If you are an individual who thrives socially and when faced with competition, however, Singapore can be your ideal destination. Detailed below are the approximate costs of one’s basic living costs.

Description Cost in SGD (per month) Cost in US$ (per month)
Accommodation 150 - 800 111 - 600
Transportation (one ticket) 1.80 1.34
Food (one meal) 8 - 12 6 - 9
Movie ticket (one ticket) 12 9
Mobile Internet/package 50 37
Beer (1 pint) 8 6
Clothes (1 pair of Levi's jeans) 103.5 77

 

Education in Singapore

Much of primary education in Singapore is government-funded, in order to create a more educated society. The education system in Singapore follows a broad-based curriculum peppered with a bilingual policy wherein English is paired with either Malay, Mandarin or Tamil. Graduates of this country are surely to acquire the relevant skills and abilities needed in competitive environments.  As for higher education, since Singapore is itself a city, state, and country with a relatively small land area, the establishment of several universities is nearly impossible. Conquering this, Singapore has achieved the best it could in the education aspect, with dozens of national and private universities, some specializing in particular fields.

 

Tuition fees

Singaporean universities often rival the tuition fees of other countries such as the US and the UK, although it would be a good idea to note that more than half of the international students residing in Singapore usually obtain funds and scholarships from different sources. You can find the general cost of tuition fees for international students in Singaporean universities below.

Study Level Tuition Fee, Per Year, in SGD Tuition Fee, Per Year, in US$
Foundation / Pre-U Between 9,000 - 12,000 6,700 - 9,000
Diploma Between 8,000 - 11,000 6,000 - 8,200
Bachelor's degree Between 17,000 - 55,000 12,700 - 41,000
Master's degree Between 18,000 - 88,000 13,400 - 65,600

 

Universities in Singapore

Universities in Singapore are generally of the highest calibre- hence their corresponding tuition fee rates. The country provides a very productive and competitive education in the field of management and information technology. International students who visit Singapore, will find some of the world’s leading institutions in Singapore such as the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University.

Furthermore, Singapore has some of the world’s exciting academic collaborations such as the Singapore University of Technology and Design, a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and China’s Zhejiang University and Yale-NUS College, a collaboration with the National University of Singapore and the US’s Yale University. While only two Singaporean universities appear in the QS World Rankings’ top 15, the rest of the universities listed below remain exceptional within the country as well.

 

Top 10 Universities in Singapore

While only two Singaporean universities appear in the QS World Rankings’ top 15, the rest of the universities listed below remain exceptional within the country as well.

Top Ten Universities in Singapore

 

Admission requirements

Oftentimes it can be difficult to gain admission into Singaporean universities, given the competition from students worldwide as well as the limited space. Most universities, apart from your secondary education transcript, may ask you for proof of English language proficiency, which can be obtained through an English language test such as the IELTS or TOEFL examinations.

 

Student pass and visa

Once you are accepted into your university of choice, your student visa will be applied for by the university itself. However, you must apply for a Student Pass to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) through the Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration System (SOLAR), between one to two months before the start of your course. You would access SOLAR using details provided by your university after acceptance, and submit:

  • eForm 16
  • Passport details
  • Your university’s address
  • Your email address
  • A passport sized photo

Following your arrival in Singapore, you would be required to visit the ICA for the collection of your Student Pass, inclusive of a fee of S$60.

 

Application process

In order to guide you through the entire process of research, selection, application and arrival to your chosen university in Singapore, you may follow the guideline below.

Singapore Journey

 

Spare time

The fact that Singapore is a comparatively small country would not affect you in any way whatsoever when it comes to your spare time during student life. Singapore is home to the largest tropical orchid garden in the world, and the country’s most popular tourist sites are the Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, attractions which students should visit during their first month in Singapore to familiarize themselves with the city. The view around Marina Bay Sands at towards sunset and at night is breathtaking.

Shopping malls and food streets are all the rage in Singapore, with a fusion of many Asian and Western foods available at cheap prices all over. Singapore also has the infamous Sentosa and Universal Studios, where students can get the best of both worlds, relaxing on the beach, or thrilling themselves on theme park rides. Events, festivals and concerts with big names are held every month or so--in Singapore, you would never be deprived of entertainment and an entirely fun and adventurous student life.