Singapore has attracted a lot of international students to continue their higher education in this country. Students and working professionals decided to get their degree in Singapore since this country is one of the best destinations offering advanced education systems. It has a lot of good learning institutions providing a variety to choose courses that suit your interests and needs.
The tuition fee is considerably lower than the education in advanced countries, such as US, UK, Germany or Australia. All aspects of life in this Asian country are also well-organized. In addition to high quality education, complete facilities, modern campuses and low tuition fees, many universities and polytechnics offer a variety of disciplines.
Here is a guide for Indian students who wish to study in Singapore:
Singapore has four national universities. Then there are polytechnics which offer tertiary education. The top universities in Singapore are Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Singapore Management University (SMU).
Weather: Singapore’s weather is warm and humid, ranging from an average of 31°C during the day and 24°C at night. It rains throughout the year with heavier rain during the monsoon season, which lasts from November to January.
At first, the student needs to decide whether he/she wants to live in university managed accommodation, or with a private landlord. Choosing a university managed accommodation can also give you a catered or self-catered option.
If he or she has an idea about what you prefer, the accommodation office at the university will be able to guide with what accommodation they can provide. Wherever you choose to live, you should make sure that you know your contractual rights and responsibilities. In most cases, you will be asked to enter into a tenancy agreement, which you should read thoroughly before you sign.
These vary between study programmes and levels. For each course, Indian students will need to meet a minimum English language requirement. Along with that, a minimum academic record of 70% and above in Class XII will be required if looking at getting admission to a government university. For private institutes and polytechnics, students who have secured below 60% can also get admission.
Students should be at least 18 years of age.
- Attested copies of mark sheets of Standard X, XII, and the Bachelor’s degree (if applicable)
- At least, two Academic reference letters from professors who have taught you most recently.
- If you have work experience then two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who knows you well and can comment on your professional abilities
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Updated resume
- Score reports of GMAT / IELTS / TOEFL
- Proof of funds
- Portfolio (in the case of students applying for art and design courses and architecture programmes)
- Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities)
Application fee: All colleges require that you pay an application fee while applying. The fee amount will differ depending upon the college and course being applied to, so check with individual colleges about their application fee.
Singapore government universities generally have two intakes i.e. August and February, with the private institutes offering multiple intakes in January, February, July, August, September, and October. The intake season for polytechnics is usually April and September.
You should start your admission process around six months before the application deadline.
Once you receive an acceptance letter from the institution you plan to study in, you can apply for VISA. This is so you are eligible to stay in Singapore during your study. It is important to note that the acceptance letter is valid for 2 weeks only. Therefore, the visa application is made as soon as you receive the letter. Visa is applied at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore. Students can apply online through SOLAR (Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration) system. Applying for a visa will require cost. The processing fee is USD 30. There is also an additional issuance fee, USD 60. Having English proficiency is a must. You need to have a TOEFL or IELTS certificate to demonstrate your English language skill.
Following documents will be required for application purposes:
- Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your period of stay in Singapore.
- Completed Student Visa Application Forms – ICA form 16 & Form V36
- Application fee payment receipt, as you are required to pay S$30, which translates roughly to Rs 2,190. An issuance fee of S$60 (Rs 4,380) has to be paid once the Student’s Pass is approved and issued.
- Offer of place – You need to have an offer of place from a Singapore institute/university. The forms are usually issued after the tuition fees have been received.
- Two passport sized photographs (if applicable)
Additional documentation may be required. During the personal interview, additional documents may be requested by the interviewer. These may be documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status –
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
- Test scores that your college required, such as the TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT
- How you will pay for all educational, living and travel costs
Students are allowed to find part-time jobs to earn extra income during their stay in Singapore. There are many companies that offer work opportunity that can help the students financially. However, there are several requirements regulated the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Students are required to have a work permit in order to find a part-time job. There is a list of institutions approved by the Singapore Government that allow part time work permit.
You can work part-time for up to 16 hours per week. Work permits are not required for those who want to work during holidays, as they can work full-time without any visa restrictions
Types of work permit:
- Training Work Permit
- Training Employment Pass
- Work Holiday Programme (WHP)
- Book airline tickets
- Arrange accommodation in Singapore
- Arrange transportation to/from the airport to home in Singapore
- Arrange your banking – consider buying traveler’s cheques
- Baggage and customs limitations are to be checked
- Clear all paperwork with your home educational institution
It is always good to order your documents and make copies to keep at home and in your baggage. Here is a short list that might help you.
- Airline tickets
- Travel insurance certificate
- Letter of Acceptance by the educational institution
- A bank statement showing proof of funds
- Key addresses and phone numbers
- Prescriptions for any medication you are carrying
- Traveler’s cheques—if applicable
- Medical and immunization records
- Academic history and university transcripts, if required.
Post study Options:
In Singapore, if the student receives and accepts a job offer before completion of their studies then the employer needs to apply on student’s behalf for the employment pass. If the student does not secure a job before the completion of the course, he/she can apply for an ‘approval in principle work visa’ which grant student to stay for a limited time while looking for a job simultaneously.
An employment pass is valid for only a few years (between three to five years), the visa is linked with the job that you are doing, so long as you are gainfully employed by the employer the work visa is in effect.
About the author:
International Student Counsellor
Anjana is a B-Tech graduate from Cochin University of science and technology with an experience as International student counselor for two years, she has guided many students to achieve their dream to study abroad! She has her knowledge in Canada, UK, NZ, Australia and Ireland education. She has attended various trainings and webinars organized by different universities in order to keep herself updated and be able to provide students with the genuine and satisfactory guidance. She love taking new challenges and improving herself in all areas.