Singapore as a Study Destination

Global Ed

Singapore, a city of vast gardens and glittering skylines, is not about glitz and glamour alone. With a population of approximately five million people, top-notch public health, and steady economic growth, Singapore has always been at the forefront, when it comes to providing its citizens with great employment opportunities. No wonder, it features amongst the top education hubs for international students, with close to 70,000 of them having made this country their home.

Further, to sustain growth and its reputation as a quality education hub, Singapore has attracted several leading international institutes, whether through research collaboration, joint degree or exchange programs. The student life in Singapore is lively and the political environment stable, making it a win-win for international students.

Its strategic location is yet another advantage. Singapore is only within a six-hour radius from any southeast Asian country. It is the second-most globally connected country, and its Changi airport has been ranked the world’s best airport, year on year. Statistics suggest that the airport serves more than 100 airlines flying to about 100 countries and territories globally. Moreover, more than 62 million passengers pass through the airport every year.

Here’s what we’ll cover today – to help you make the choice of studying in Singapore much easier.

Why study in Singapore?

Why study in Singapore? This country is renowned for its world-class universities, so it’s hardly surprising that they are ranked among the best globally. The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University stand at 25th and 45th positions respectively on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. NUS was also in the second position in THE 2019 Asia University Rankings. Both the universities also find a pride of place in the QS World University rankings.

The country is also home to prestigious foreign institutions such as INSEAD that are known for their high quality of management and other Master’s programmes. Meet the best Universities at Singapore.

University QS Rankings 2021 Times Higher Education (2020) Best Courses
National University of Singapore 11 24 Engineering, Environmental Sciences
Nanyang Technological University 13 48 Material Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Communication and Media
Singapore Management University 511-520 Master of Human Capital Leadership,Master of Science in Applied Finance
Singapore Institute of Management 301-350 BE/BTech, BBA
James Cook University, Singapore 462 Travel and Hospitality, Computer and IT

Student life in Singapore

Singapore is a multicultural country that is home to people from different ethnicities. As per official statistics, 8% of its population is Indian, 77% is Chinese, and 14% Malay. English is the most commonly spoken language, apart from Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

Interestingly, QS’s Best Student Cities Rankings have always featured Singapore among the top educational destinations in the world for international students. Whether it is affordable education, a high-quality lifestyle, low crime rates or top-notch employment opportunities, Singapore ticks all the right boxes.

When you’re not studying, you can dive deep into the plethora of entertainment options that are on offer. Whether you are looking for a dash of adventure or mouth-watering food, a boat ride or pulsating nightlife, Singapore will not disappoint you.

Some fun things to do in Singapore

The Lion City is home to some of the world’s best gardens, shopping centres, and art galleries, so it just isn’t possible to get bored! Add to it, the impressive architecture and clean, cobbled streets that make Singapore a treat for the eyes. A perfect blend of the old and new, this charming city has a lot to offer that you wouldn’t like to miss out on:

Marina Bay Waterfront

This 3.5-kilometre Marina Bay Waterfront is Singapore’s prime attraction, and gives you a full view of the city’s gorgeous skyline. It is a patchwork of some of the city’s best architectural marvels that blend perfectly with the beauty of nature. It is a sight to behold especially in the evenings, when the lights make it even more magical!

Orchard Road

If fashion is on your mind, then your search ends at Orchard Road. Located in the heart of Singapore, this street has a dizzying variety of luxury shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. The street gets its name due to its history as a farming area filled with fruit orchards. Today, it is nothing but the hottest fashion stop in the city!

Gardens by the Bay

If you’re someone who loves to explore green spaces, then Singapore has plenty of them. The most prominent is Gardens by the Bay that occupies over 100 hectares of area in central Singapore. The tourist attraction has a interesting story behind it – it was born from an international design competition to create an urban garden in the city centre. The sprawling park is segregated into three sections: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden.

Clarke Quay

Singapore’s nightlife is no secret, and there are so many fun places to party in the city. Clarke Quay is one of the premier nightlife spots that has a waterfront, and the most amazing bars and restaurants.

Check out the entire list of tourist attractions here.

Working as a student

As an international student, you can work both part-time or full-time in Singapore, and again, you can take up a job on-campus or off-campus, as long as you comply with Singapore immigration laws.

Those international students who are pursuing their full-time undergraduate education from a registered university in Singapore are permitted to work part-time, but not more than 16 hours a week. They can only work during their term, and not holidays. You do not need a separate pass to work part-time, but certainly require permission from the university. The average salaries for international students for part-time work are in the range of five Singapore dollars per hour.

International students can also work full-time during vacations, for as long as they want to. For this, a separate work pass will be needed.

Lastly, some programs offered at universities in Singapore include an ‘Industrial Attachment’ or internship that has to be done under all circumstances. This is to help students gain practical experience on their course. On average, these courses last anywhere between five and six months.

Will I find employment after I graduate?

Finding employment after graduation is dependent on whether you have accepted the Singapore government’s ‘Tuition Grant Scheme’ or not. If you are a part of it, you will have to work for a Singapore-based company for at least three years, after graduation. Those who did not take the tuition grant are free to work anywhere in the world.

Even though the country is geographically small, it offers incredible employment opportunities in various sectors, including manufacturing, construction, tourism and retail, healthcare, finance, communications, and digital media.

It is important to note that most universities in Singapore have a separate ‘Career Services’ department to help students who are seeking part-time or full-time employment.

Once you graduate from any university in Singapore, you can apply for a ‘Long Term Visit Pass’, which will help to extend your stay for a maximum period of one year, even if you do not have a job.

After you find a job, it’s important to obtain a ‘Work Pass’ to work in Singapore. The application for the pass will be made by your prospective employer.

There are various kinds of work passes:

Employment pass: This work pass is applicable, if an international student has a job offer from a Singapore-based company, after completing their graduate degree. To be eligible for this pass, the job must offer a minimum fixed salary of 3,300 Singapore dollars a month, alongside an executive-level or managerial designation.

S – Pass: This type of work pass is meant for mid-level skilled international students, such as technicians. Those who have an offer from a Singapore-based company can apply for this pass, if they have a minimum fixed salary of 2,200 Singapore dollars a month. Other eligibility criteria will include educational qualifications and relevant work experience.

Work permit: This is suitable for those foreigners who wish to work in Singapore, and belong to an approved source country. For instance, Indian students are categorised under the ‘non traditional sources’ category, and are eligible for this work permit.

Now that you have all the information with you, it’s a good idea to consider Singapore for higher education. It seems to have everything you would want in a global ed destination.

Check also other best places to study abroad.

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