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For International Students: Tips on Studying in Singapore

Study Abroad Tips | March 30, 2023

Singapore is an attractive destination for international students looking to pursue higher education. With its high-quality education system, multicultural society, and strong economy, 

The country offers ample opportunities for students to grow and succeed in both their academic and professional pursuits. However, before deciding to study in Singapore, there are several important factors that international students should consider.

In this article, let’s explore those factors and tips that can help if you wish to study in Singapore.

Essential Things to Consider

Academic Requirements

The first step for international students interested in studying in Singapore is to research the academic requirements for their chosen program. Different universities may have different admission requirements, such as minimum GPA, standardised test scores, and language proficiency.

Therefore, it is essential to carefully review the admission criteria for each university and program to ensure that the student meets the requirements.

Financial Considerations

International students should also consider the cost of studying in Singapore. Tuition fees for international students can be significantly higher than those for local students, and living expenses in Singapore can also be quite high. 

Students should factor in the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses when planning their budget. Scholarships and financial aid may be available to international students, so researching and applying for these opportunities can help alleviate the financial burden.

Visa Requirements

International students will need a student visa to study in Singapore. The visa application process can be lengthy and may require additional documentation such as proof of financial support, medical examinations, and criminal background checks.

It is important to start the visa application process early to ensure enough time to complete all the necessary steps before the start of the academic year.

Language Proficiency

English is the primary language of instruction in Singapore, but international students may still need to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Most universities require international students to take an English language proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Some universities may also offer English language courses for students who need additional support.

Culture Shock

International students may experience culture shock when studying in Singapore. Singapore is a multicultural society with a diverse population, but it may still be different from the student’s home country.

Students should be prepared to adapt to new customs, food, and social norms. Universities may offer orientation programs and support services to help international students adjust to their new environment.

Academic Culture

The academic culture in Singapore may also be different from what international students are used to. Singaporean universities tend to have a more structured and disciplined approach to education, focusing on academic excellence and achievement. Students should be prepared to work hard and manage their time effectively to meet rigorous academic demands.

Career Opportunities

One of the benefits of studying in Singapore is the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and build professional networks. Singapore has a strong economy with a growing job market in various industries, including finance, technology, and healthcare.

International students can find internships or part-time jobs while studying, which can help them develop their skills and gain practical experience.

Tips on Studying Abroad in Singapore

1. Research the Education System

Before studying abroad in Singapore, it is important to research the education system and the specific university or institution that you will be attending. This includes understanding the academic requirements, grading system, and teaching methods. By better understanding Singapore’s education system, you can better prepare for your studies and excel academically.

2. Be Prepared for the Weather

Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather throughout the year. International students should be prepared to dress appropriately and stay hydrated while attending classes, exploring the city, or participating in outdoor activities.

3. Make Use of Campus Resources

Most universities in Singapore offer a variety of resources and services to support international students, such as academic advisors, career services, and counselling services. Take advantage of these resources to help you succeed academically and personally.

4. Immerse Yourself in the Culture

Singapore is a multicultural society with a rich history and diverse population. Make an effort to immerse yourself in the local culture by trying new foods, learning about local customs and traditions, and attending cultural events and festivals.

5. Learn the Language

While English is the primary language of instruction in Singapore, other languages are spoken in the country, such as Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. Learning the local language can help you better communicate with locals and immerse yourself in the culture.

6. Stay Connected with Family and Friends

Studying abroad can be a lonely experience, especially if you are far away from family and friends. Stay connected with your loved ones through regular communication, such as phone calls or video chats. You can also join student organisations or clubs to meet new people and make friends.

7. Take Advantage of Travel Opportunities

Singapore is located in Southeast Asia, making it an excellent location for international students to explore other countries. Take advantage of the travel opportunities to explore other cultures, learn new languages, and gain a broader understanding of the world.

8. Be Prepared for Homesickness

Homesickness is a common experience for international students studying abroad. To cope with homesickness, stay connected with your loved ones, participate in social activities, and take care of your physical and emotional health.

9. Manage Your Finances

Singapore can be an expensive city to live in, especially for international students. To manage your finances, create a budget and stick to it, look for part-time job opportunities, and take advantage of student discounts and promotions.

10. Stay Safe

Singapore is generally a safe country, but taking precautions to ensure your safety is still important. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and familiarise yourself with local emergency services.

The Bottom Line

Studying in Singapore can be a rewarding experience for international students. With proper planning and preparation, international students can succeed academically and professionally in Singapore while enjoying the country’s rich cultural experiences.

These tips can help prepare you for your study abroad experience and make the most of your time in Singapore. Remember to stay open-minded, be flexible, and embrace new experiences to maximise your study abroad experience.

If you want to study abroad, BlueSky Education can help you. We provide short-term, skills-based programmes for students in the UK, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Explore our courses today and be future-ready. Contact us to learn more and get started!