4 Notes for Studying in Singapore

by Anne B. Robinson

Singapore is a country that attaches great importance to education, and its Ministry of Education is the second largest financial expenditure department after the Ministry of Defense. Singapore pursues elite education, and the education system is similar to the British system. There are five polytechnics and six public universities in Singapore, among which the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are well-known institutions in Asia. Due to the adoption of the British education system, many students who graduated from Singapore also choose to study in the UK or Australia. The school can also directly assist students in applying for British institutions through the UCAS system.

Singapore attracts many international students from China and Malaysia to study annually, making the country a regional education hub in Asia. No matter which country they come from, international students need to have a general understanding of this country before going to Singapore, so as to avoid inadvertently violating the laws and regulations of Singapore, which will prevent them from graduating smoothly. Here are 4 dos and don’ts for studying abroad in Singapore.

1. Understand relevant laws and common sense

Singapore’s laws are world-renowned for their strictness, most notably caning. This kind of strictness has certain disadvantages, but overall the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. While Singapore’s strict legislation provides a solid foundation for social security and stability, it also sets many boundaries for society as a whole. If international students want to integrate into it as soon as possible, they should understand the relevant laws and regulations in advance, so as not to bring unnecessary trouble to themselves.

For example, full-time students in Singapore are not allowed to work more than 16 hours a week, and people are not allowed to smoke in indoor public places (such as cinemas, museums, libraries, shopping malls, government, etc.), even in bars, KTVs and entertainment places, people also need to go to a designated smoking room. If you break the rules, you have to pay heavy fines. Additionally, drug trafficking and drug use are felonies.

2. Choose a program approved by the Singapore Ministry of Education

Only courses approved by the Singapore Ministry of Education can be recognized, so before choosing a course, especially before choosing a private school in Singapore to undertake a foreign university’s bachelor’s and master’s courses, international students must ask the school to provide an approval from the Singapore Ministry of Education.

To get the courses in Singapore, you can use Course Finder to do a course search.

3. Attendance

For international students, the Immigration Department of Singapore attaches great importance to their rate. If the attendance rate of international students is very low, they may be deported and can easily be refused a visa. Therefore, students must attend classes on time and maintain an attendance rate of more than 90%. The Immigration Department of Singapore reserves the right to reject visa applications from students whose attendance rate is below 90%.

International students must fill in a form at the International Student Services Department if they want to leave Singapore, whether it is during vacation or school. If they want to ask for sick leave, international students need to apply to the school and provide a sick leave certificate issued by a regular doctor.

4. Student Permit

A student permit is an identity card for foreign students to stay legally in Singapore. The following documents are required to apply for a student permit: passport, entry visa card, student permit approval letter, school certification letter and SGD 40. Approval of a student permit usually only takes two hours and can be taken out the next day at the latest. The student permit needs to be renewed at the immigration department every three months, and still needs to pay SGD 40 each time.

With a student permit, international students do not have to carry their passports often in their daily lives, and show their student permits when necessary. With the permit, international students can go to the National Library to apply for a library card and use the rich information there for free. With a student permit, international students can also open their own bank accounts at the bank, apply for their own ATM cards, and do not need to bring a lot of cash to the streets in the future.

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