A true cultural melting pot, the city of Singapore empresses by the diversity it offers in terms of language, religion, business and gastronomy. In addition, its higher education system is considered one of the best on the continent and is a real springboard for an international career.
efore leaving, you should register on the website of the university or school of your choice. Once you have received your admission, you will be able to fly to Singapore! In order to facilitate access to the territory, you will obtain a first “visitor” visa upon arrival so that you have time to regularize your situation. Then, go to the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) which will issue your visa, the student pass, once you have provided the required documents.
Please note: The application process for a student pass may vary depending on the type of school you will be attending (private or public). Finally, you will have to send your file as soon as possible via the SOLAR system (Student’s Pass Online Application and Registration). You will receive an admission letter from the Institute of Higher Learning.
Higher education in Singapore
The higher education landscape in Singapore is rich. There are two large and renowned national universities: the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University. But there are also five polytechnics as well as Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs), schools specialising in sports, mathematics, science or fine arts, and a few foreign institutions.
We should also note the presence of many private schools, often partners of Anglo-Saxon schools and recognized by the Singaporean State. All the other establishments are certified by the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) and their diplomas are internationally recognized.
Singaporean diplomas are close to the LMD system. The bachelor’s degree (licence) is obtained in 3 or 4 years depending on the course of study. The master’s degree requires at least 3 years of study and the doctorate takes between 2 and 5 years of research. If you wish to go into teaching, you should know that the National Institute of Education is the only institution that trains teachers in 4 years.
In terms of equivalencies, the institutions in Singapore recognize the baccalaureate as well as European higher education diplomas, but minimum requirements are required according to their international reputation. To be admitted, you will also have to pass the TOEFL or IELTS tests. You may also be required to take placement tests relevant to the course you are applying for. Please note that universities are in high demand and the number of places allocated to foreign students is limited!
Managing your budget
In Singapore, studies are very expensive. All educational institutions, including public ones, are fee-paying. Tuition fees average between $9,000 and $15,000 per year for undergraduate courses and between $14,000 and $25,000 per year for postgraduate students.
Fortunately, there are systems of loans, scholarships and financial aid to help you. Generally issued on the basis of excellence, they cover tuition fees, study materials and personal expenses. The government offers assistance to international students at the postgraduate level. In this case, you will have to work in Singapore for at least 3 years after your studies. As for the cost of living, you should know that it is quite high and that the capital remains one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Housing and health care
As far as housing is concerned, Singapore has the distinction of having the highest cost of real estate in the world. The cheapest is the student residences (single or shared) offered by the universities and most schools with rooms.
Another solution is hostels. They have the advantage of bringing together students of all nationalities. Finally, in addition to youth hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation, you can also rent an apartment. In this case, it is advisable to go through the Housing Development Board Flats (HDB), the state housing body that offers slightly cheaper accommodation. If you want to share a flat, typical apartments usually have 3 bedrooms.
In Singapore, the medical offer is of good quality. Nevertheless, the cost of care remains affordable even if it is still more prudent to take out personal medical insurance. If you are not affiliated to a student social security system, you can have access to a student health insurance on site, which is compulsory for undergraduates. In case of an emergency, there are specialized services within your institution, do not hesitate to contact them.