By findmycollege     13/04/2023

A Study Guide to Singapore for International Students 2023

Safety in Singapore:  Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for being safe and relatively crime-free. The country's crime rate is low, and it has a reputation for being one of the most well-run and stable in Southeast Asia. This stability has enabled Singapore to grow its economy, which is now among the wealthiest in the world. Major crimes like murder and rape, are dealt with severely and swiftly. The government has also made it known that extremism originating from religion or race has no place in Singapore, and it will not hesitate to take action against any extremists or terrorist groups or individuals.

Weather: Singapore is a tropical country with a monsoon climate. The temperature is warm and humid, ranging from an average of 31°C during the day and 24°C at night. This can be attributed to the fact that Singapore is situated near the equator, which makes it one of the hottest countries in Asia. It rains throughout the year with heavier rain during the monsoon season, which lasts from November to January.

Lifestyle tips
Singapore is a multi-cultural society where Malay, Chinese and Indian traditions coexist along with the western cosmopolitan outlook. According to the Asian cultural norms, older people are treated with respect. However, nowadays wealth and status are considered more important than age distinctions. A social superior or an authority is treated with formality and respect. Singaporeans claim they are an egalitarian society like the western countries, yet they have strong hierarchical relationships like those between parents and children, teachers and students, and employers and employees.

Firstly, you need to decide whether you want 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. A catered accommodation offers the benefits of your meals being cooked for you and a degree of certainty with meal costs.
If you have an idea about what you prefer, the accommodation office at your university will be able to tell you what accommodation they have available – so that’s the place to start. If you are thinking of renting from a private landlord or if your chosen university can’t offer you anything in its own residential facility, the accommodation office should be able to provide you with a list of private properties and landlords in the area.
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.

Most of the colleges in Singapore accept online applications. You will have to visit each college's website to apply. In most cases, you will have to make an account on the college website to provide your basic information, submit the scanned version of your documents, and pay application fees. You will be informed about the application process and stages through this account. Please refer to the website of the colleges of your choice to know the process of applying.
Application fee: All colleges require that you pay an application fee while applying. The fee amount will differ depending on the college and course being applied to, so check with individual colleges about their application fee.

Steps: The common steps to applying for admission are:

•    Search for colleges and courses
•    Contact schools and visit websites for information
•    Narrow down your list of schools
•    Take the entrance exams like GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS
•    Write SOPs and ask for LORs
•    Apply to colleges which fit your interests
•    Appear for video interviews of the colleges that shortlisted you
•    If accepted, apply for the student visa

SOP: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college and admission officers. It is always written in the first person and describes the reason for applying to a particular college. It needs to highlight why you are a perfect fit for the college and why the college should accept you. The style of writing could differ from formal to casual, but it is important to remember that it should reflect your personality as well.

Essay: Essays are also required to be submitted by a prospective student. Essays are an important part of the university admissions process. Students may be required to write one or two essays, along with a few optional essays too. Common topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school.

LOR: A letter of recommendation (LOR) is a reference letter written by a third party describing the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the prospective student to recommend him to the college in terms of that individual’s ability to perform a particular task or function. The third party could be a professor, direct manager etc.

Intake seasons

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. Typically, applications for admissions open in October. You should be done with your language and aptitude tests by three months before the deadline if mentioned otherwise. The last three months should be dedicated to filling out the application form properly.

Item                                                                     Cost Per Month (Singapore Dollars)
Accommodation rent                                                     $200 - $1,500
Utilities                                                                              $40 - $100
Three meals a day                                                            $300 - $450
Public Transport                                                                $20 - $100
Mobile phone bills                                                            $30- $80
Books & Stationery                                                           $100 - $250
Personal expenses                                                            $100 - $300

Visa for spouse
The spouse and children of full-time graduate research students can get sponsorship from the university for a Social Visit Pass to stay in Singapore. The graduate students should get their spouse and children to apply for an entry visa at Singapore's embassy.  When the spouse and children arrive in Singapore, they will be given a 4-week Social Visit Pass at the airport.
Stay on Student’s Pass: Upon completion of their degree program, international students may submit an application for a one-year Visit Pass to ICA, if they wish to seek employment in Singapore. This can be done electronically via e-VP.

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