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Study in Singapore – 14 FAQs you should know!

There are a number of questions that we have received from Indian students about studying in Singapore. So here are all the questions assembled that have been answered by our advisors.

Doodle Nandi
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Study in Singapore - 14 FAQs you should know

14 FAQs on studying in Singapore that you should know - answered by our student advisors.

1. How to apply at universities in Singapore?

Most universities in Singapore have an online presence so you can apply online at the universities’ websites. But oftentimes, you will find that government universities in Singapore accept online applications whereas private universities accept offline applications from international students.

2. What’s the application process at universities in Singapore (exam/interview-based or merit-based)?

The first step of the application process is to shortlist a university in Singapore where you would like to study.

Next, you can start applying at the shortlisted university before you hit the deadline, along with necessary documents, via either offline or online medium.

In most cases, your application will be assessed based on your merit but some universities may ask for SAT/GRE/IELTS/TOEFL/GMAT scores depending on the programme of your choice.

Exception: Universities like the SP Jain may ask for entrance exams scores - either SAT or SP JAT, along with your academic records. Besides submitting the test scores, students are required to submit IELTS tests scores due to the transfer programme curriculum of SP Jain.

Learn how to study in Singapore after 12th?

3. What’s the exact cost of studying in Singapore?

The exact cost of studying and living in Singapore might vary, depending on students’ living standards. The average tuition fee is SGD 10,000–35,000 per year, for both bachelors and masters students. And the living expenses could be nearly SGD 10,000–12,000 per year, for international students.

An MBA programme at a private university in Singapore will cost nearly SGD 22,000–35,000 whereas the same programme at a government or any satellite campus (foreign leading university) will cost nearly SGD 65,000–75,000.

*Note: If a student finds it difficult to meet the study cost in Singapore, he/she can sign a government agreement, which will subsidise the tuition fees by approx. SGD 15,000. As per the bond, the student is required to serve the Government of Singapore after completing his/her degree.

But the subsidised tuition fee norm is applicable only for the publicly funded universities, and not for the private ones. Also, irrespective of any universities, scholarships are available for Indian students, with a max. SGD 10,000 to cover their tuition and living expenses (an average of SGD3000–4000).

The exact cost of studying in Singapore

4. What’s the course duration at universities in Singapore?

For bachelors programmes – from 3 to 4 years. Many private and foreign leading universities also offer fast-track degree programmes that last nearly 2 or 2.5 years. But ideally 3 or 4 years of degree programmes is recommended for any student because they are more suited for industries.

For masters programmes – from 1/1.5 to 2 years. Satellite campuses in Singapore (Curtin University and James Cook University) also offer 1 or 2 year masters programmes.

5. What’s the volume of Indian students pouring in to Singapore?

A mix of both UG and PG students from India apply to study in Singapore. Students looking for bachelors degree apply more to public universities like the NUS and NTU whereas masters students are more open to private universities like the MDIS, James Cook or Curtin University.

Universities like the NUS and NTU are favourites amongst the engineering students too for their bachelors degrees, owing to the strong research exposure and recognised degrees that are on offer.

Some popular courses amongst the students applying for their bachelors and masters in Singapore include Information Technology, Business, Hospitality & Tourism, Art & Design and Engineering.

6. What are the eligibility criteria to study in Singapore?

The general eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • For UG/bachelors programmes – 10th and 12th mark sheets, an IELTS band of 6.5–7 and a TOEFL score of 90–100. Students applying for bachelors programmes at private universities must have a minimum score of 65% or above in their 12th grade. (*Please note IELTS is not mandatory especially if you are applying at private universities.)

On the other hand, students applying for bachelors programmes at public universities must have 90% or above in both 10th and 12th grade. Universities like the NUS need SAT scores only from state-board students whereas SAT is optional when you apply at NTU. Documents like LOR and SOP are must for every student applying for bachelors degree in Singapore.

  • For PG/masters programmes – 10th, 12th and bachelors mark sheets (if masters mark sheets are available) an SOP, 2LORs and a CV.  IELTs and TOEFL scores might be needed (*IELTS is not required if you are applying at private universities). For a few courses in Singapore, GRE/GMAT/SAT might be required. Moreover, students applying for masters in Singapore must hold a recognised bachelors degree with minimum 55% or above.

*Institutes where IELTS is not required, a separate letter of instruction can be submitted instead by students applying at those institutes.

  • For MBA programmes – Universities like the NUS/NTU/SMU/ SP Jain and INSEAD ask for 2–3 years of work experience from candidates seeking admission into their MBA programmes. Private universities like the MDIS/PSB/JCU do accept candidates without any work experience into their MBA programmes. IELTS/TOEFL scores could be exempted depending on the candidature.

7. What are the intake periods of universities in Singapore?

Government universities like NUS, NTU and SMU offer two intake periods for postgraduate students, i.e., in August and January. But for undergraduate students, they have a single-intake period, i.e., in August.

Private institutions like SIM, PSB, MDIS and Dimensions and other foreign leading university campuses have intakes every quarter.

There are chances that some institutions in Singapore might have intakes every month for programmes like Hospitality & Tourism.

8. What are the most popular courses amongst Indian students in Singapore, based on the job market?

Information Technology, Hospitality & Tourism, Banking & Finance, Supply Chain & Logistics, Art & Design, Construction and Electronics & Telecommunications are popular sectors amongst the Indian students. Also, business-related programmes are quite favourite amongst the Indian students.

Bachelors students prefer more business, economics and engineering related courses whereas masters students explore more out of the box options.

9. What are the post-study work options for Indian students studying in Singapore?

Students studying at private universities in Singapore, who want to stay back and work after completing their degrees usually receive a visa extension of 1–3 months (depends on each institution). Once they get employed, an S pass is issued to them by the ICA.

On the other hand, government institutions, polytechnics and some foreign leading campuses of overseas universities usually issue Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP) which is valid for 1 year, to students who want to stay back post their studies to search for jobs in Singapore.

10. What are the part-time work options for Indian students studying in Singapore?

Part-time work options are not available for students studying at private universities.

But with government universities and polytechnics, 16 hrs per week of part-time work options are available for international students. However, students willing to work part time while studying in Singapore must enquire with their universities for approval.

11. How to apply for a Singapore student visa?

To apply for a Singapore student visa, you need an acceptance/offer letter from a recognised university and a student’s pass (S pass) from your home country to be eligible to stay in Singapore while Studying.

The university where you are planning to study must register you at SOLAR, i.e., Student’s Pass Online Application & Registration online portal. Once you are registered, you will receive a SOLAR+ application number with which you can apply for an S pass. An S pass is valid for the course duration and is offered by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). It is also possible that the university where you want to study might themselves apply for an S pass on your behalf and issue an in-principal approval letter once the S pass is granted by ICA.

Institutions that are not listed under SOLAR+ will intimidate the students about the immigration requirements once the students receive offer letters from them.

12. What academic scholarships are available for Indian students to study in Singapore?

Start applying for scholarships a year before to avoid missing the deadlines. Scholarships are available for Indian students with both government and private universities.

Usually, at government universities, students receive either partial funding from Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore or full/partial funding directly from the universities based on their academic records. And private universities award scholarships to students solely based on academic records.

  • Please read point 3, to know about the subsidised tuition fee norms, for students applying at government universities and polytechnics in Singapore.

13. Do the universities in Singapore accept year gaps?

Yes, some universities in Singapore do accept year gaps. But a student’s year gap with relevant work experience is always given a greater priority than a year gap without any work experience.

14. What are the advantages of studying at satellite campuses (e.g., James Cook University, Australia) of various universities located in Singapore?

Affordable fees, identical degrees, equal opportunities and same level of exposure and networking are some of the benefits of studying at satellite campuses in Singapore. Also, students can opt for an exchange semester to the parent campus of the satellite university. They can opt for a complete transfer as well during the course if they want/ need to move out of Singapore.  

Here you go, with all your key takeaways! Do let us know if any questions went unanswered. we'll try to answer them. Or you can have a word with our counselling team directly who would be glad to answer all your queries. 

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