Spotlight on Studying in Singapore

Country guide

Despite its size, Singapore has an excellent range of public and private universities that pride themselves on offering a very high standard of teaching and learning.

Multicultural Singapore has 34 universities, of which 6 are national. This includes two consistently ranked in the world Top 15 by QS: National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. There is a wide selection of Private Educational Institutes (PEI): offshore universities with a local campus – many of which offer external degree programmes conferred by their partner institutions in the USA, Europe, Oceania and the rest of Asia.

10 Key Facts

  1. Singapore offers a modern, vibrant and fast-paced environment suited for students looking for a ‘city experience.’ Students report that the courses are demanding and the atmosphere can be highly competitive.
  2. The academic system has similarities to those found in the USA, the UK and Australia. There is often a common curriculum in place, but much less than at US institutions. Students generally have indicated a major, but can also explore by taking a few classes outside of their subject area.
  3. This island-city-country is one of the world’s safest cities to live in. There is a very low crime rate and the city is extremely clean.
  4. There is a great public transport and the MRT – the sky train – makes it easy to get around.
  5. The common working language is English. You can live very easily in Singapore if you just speak English.
  6. Singaporean universities are renowned for having strong industry links so students can gain practical experience through internships at top global corporate companies.
  7. The cost of studying in Singapore can be one of the major drawbacks. Tuition starts around SGD 14,000 but can rise to 50,000 per year depending on where and what you study. Public institutions are cheaper.
  8. Living costs can also be pricey, especially accommodation. Budget between SGD 800 to 2,000++ depending on your lifestyle
  9. However, there are many scholarships available for international students – some through the Singapore Ministry of Education and others from individual institutions.
  10. Full time international students can work up to 16 hours per week in term time and full time during vacations. However, you must ask your university for permission to work alongside your studies.
  11. Overseas students require a student visa – a ‘Study Pass’. This must be applied for at least one month prior to the course start date, and not more than two months before. After graduation, students can apply for Permanent Residency.

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