The cost of studying in Singapore, whilst not as affordable as other Asian destinations, is still reasonable compared to universities in the big three destinations (UK, USA and Australia). This is one of the factors that make Singapore an attractive destination for international students seeking a quality education. Singapore uses the dollar, although it is the Singaporean Dollar which has a different rate to it’s American counterpart. Bear this in mind when checking costs.
On average, you can expect to pay around US$10,000 per year for tuition fees, although it depends on the course and institution. Arts courses tend to be less expensive than Science courses.
All students, be it domestic or international, are eligible to apply for tuition grants with the Singaporean Ministry of Education. However, you can only apply for a tuition grant after having been offered a place on a course. Tuition grants cover most of the costs of the tuition fees.
Grants are not repayable, but in return, all international students are required to sign a bond that will commit them to work for a Singapore-registered company for at least 3 years after completing their degree. The period of the employment bond is longer for students of medicine (6 years) and dentistry (5 years).
The standard of living is high, so Singapore is an expensive place to live. The actual cost of living will vary depending on your course of study and your individual lifestyle though. You can use StudyCostCompare to find out the latest costs of studying in Singapore.
International students who wish to study abroad in Singapore will need a visa. However, the application process is is linked to your university application. All students accepted to study at a university in Singapore receive their visa with their letter of approval.
It means that successful applicants don’t need to apply for a visa directly since it’s issued with their in-principle approval (IPA) letter which is provided by the institution. This letter works as a visa and it can be used at entry checkpoints.
There is another document needed for studying in Singapore: a Student Pass. You need to apply for it no earlier than two months before your course begins, yet no later than one month before your course commences. To obtain your Student Pass, you have to sign up with the special Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration System (SOLAR).
A Student Pass allows you to work during your studies. All international students can work during holidays but are limited to 16 hours of work per week in term time. However, it’s important to note not all students are allowed to work during term-time, so you will have to check regulations to see if it applies to you.
There are 4 official languages recognized in Singapore: Chinese, Malay, Tamil and English. In addition to these, there are more than 20 other languages spoken in Singapore. These languages reflect the nation’s multicultural nature. Singapore has a policy of bilingualism, so all domestic students learn in English but are also taught the language of their own ethnicity (mother tongue).
It’s important to know that English is the official language of instruction in Singapore, so all international students who wish to study abroad in Singapore can expect courses taught in English. When it comes to everyday life, more than 75% of population speaks English too, so students who wish to study abroad in Singapore will have no problems in communicating with locals.
One note for all non-native English speakers who wish to study abroad in Singapore: in order to be accepted by a college or university for study in Singapore, you will need to present a proof of language proficiency. It means you have to pass an official language test (for example – TOEFL or IELTS). Singapore has very high standards when it comes to language proficiency and universities have demanding entry standards, meaning it’s not likely they will accept students without good English. For these reasons, it’s important to have excellent language skills if you wish to study abroad in Singapore.