Foreign Students Need to Know About Studying in Singapore

Foreign Students Need to Know About Studying in Singapore

Singapore, the small island country, needs no introduction. It is one of the major contributors to the global economy, home to one of the most popular cities in the world and the favourite destination for tourists, migrants and international students. In this article, I will share with you five interesting things that foreign students need to know about studying in Singapore.

1. Student pass is a must 

Like any other countries in the world, all foreign students are required to apply and obtain a Student Pass to receive an entry and study permission in Singapore. After receiving an acceptance letter by the university in Singapore, prospective students will need to apply for the Student Pass, at least one month before the start of the semester. Here are some additional facts about Student Pass application in Singapore.

  • Application must be submitted via Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR) system
  • A student’s registration must be initiated by the university or college that offers the studying place
  • Students will need to submit supporting information after initiation has been done by the university
  • Processing time will take between five to ten working days, sometimes even longer during peak session
  • A total of $90 of application and issuance fees will be applied

2. Remain aware of the rules in Singapore 

The rules in Singapore are said to be one of the most interesting in the world. Most of them are common sense rules, which are mostly applied to public places. Once these are broken, it can cost you a fortune. Below are some of the rules in Singapore that you need to know:

  • No chewing gum sales allowed
  • No littering. Or you will have to pay a good sum of money.
  • Flushing toilet in public restroom is a must. Forgetting to do so will cost you $500.
  • No smoking in public restaurants, buildings and government offices
  • No eating or drinking in public transportations (e.g. buses, trains)
  • No spitting anywhere

As a result of the rules, Singapore was ranked among the top 10 safest and cleanest countries in the world in 2013. 

3. Singlish language is the spoken language 

Singlish is a combination of two words; Singaporean and English. Singlish integrates some local creole words in its sentences, mostly taken from Chinese and Malay languages. These are spoken in a unique, localized intonation. This is the language that is used in everyday’s conversations among the Singaporeans. Sentences mentioned below are some of the common ones:

  • “Amacam? OK or not?” – “How is it? OK or not?”
  • “Adoi! Too expensive!” – “Oh my! Too expensive!”
  • “Cincailah. I’ll take it.” – “Anything will do. I’ll take it.”

Foreign students who would like to join the universities and be a part of the Singaporean culture should pick up and master Singlish within a short time. Besides, by having a good mastery of the language, students will be able to communicate and connect with the locals easily. This, perhaps, will help to attain special prices while doing some buying and selling in the markets or stores. 

4. Food in Singapore is delicious 

Singaporeans are ready to stand in long queues even for a good cup of tea. They can also travel a far distance for a tasty bowl of noodle. Hence, there shouldn’t be any problem for the foreign students to find the foods of their choice. There are lots of hawker stalls or restaurants that offer a variety of local foods, often sold at a cheap price. Here are the lists of local foods that are famous in Singapore:

  • Chicken rice
  • Char kway teow
  • Chilli crab
  • Rojak
  • Satay
  • Yong tau foo

The diverse food types are made available in Singapore by the coexistence of multiple cultures — Malays, Indians and Chinese — in this island country. 

5. Expect high cost of living in Singapore 

The food may be cheap in Singapore, but the overall cost of living is not. With the increase of demand, the ever-increasing property prices and the improvement of the services offered, the cost of living is rising at a steady rate each year. Foreign students who will be studying in Singapore should come with ample pocket money to support their living expenses. These expenses include:

  • University tuition fees
  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Utilities
  • Telecommunications
  • Books and Stationeries
  • Medical Insurance
  • Clothing

To cope with such demanding lifestyle, foreign students may opt to find a part-time job and gain extra money, provided that they have earned the valid working permit. With its vibrant city lifestyles, kind and well disciplined people, great choices of food and most importantly, top-notch education facilities, studying in Singapore can be one of your amazing experiences!


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