Singapore, also known to be the garden city is an exciting city at the heart of Asia. It is the world's fourth leading financial Centre and it plays a major role in international trade and finance. Singapore has world-class infrastructure and has its place among the world's premier global cities. Living conditions in Singapore are amongst the best in Asia.
Geography of Singapore
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore is an island country lying almost 137 kilometres north of the equator. The country covers an area of 704 sq. km. It is located in Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia. Its location is at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. Singapore has more than 50% of its area covered by greenery and with over 50 major parks and 4 nature reserves. Its climate is warm and humid year round, with the temperature almost never dropping below 20°C.
Language of Singapore
Singapore's official languages are English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. In addition to these, there are more than 20 other languages spoken in Singapore. English is widely spoken.
Currency of Singapore
Singapore's currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD), which is divided into 100 cents. The US and Australian Dollars, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in the larger shopping centres. Credit cards can also be used. ATMs are widely distributed and banks advance cash against the major credit cards.
Transportation in Singapore
Getting around Singapore is easy. The public transportation system is extremely easy to use.
The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) are trains of Singapore's transit system. They are a cheap and very reliable mode of transportation.
Buses connect various corners of Singapore but are slower and harder to use.
Taxis use meters and are reasonably priced and honest. If you are in a group of 3 or 4, it's sometimes cheaper and faster to take a taxi than the MRT.
Car rental is not a popular option in Singapore. Roads in Singapore are in excellent condition and driving habits are generally good.
Admission Process in Singapore
How to apply for student visa to Singapore
Indian students who wish to study abroad in Singapore will need a visa. The first step to get the visa is to find your institution and get registered with it. Identify your area of interest and the institution that can provide you with the best. A foreigner is required to apply for a Student's Pass if he/she has been accepted by an educational institution to pursue full-time studies in Singapore. Students can apply for a visa using the Student's Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR+) online system after their host institution has registered them with it. If your visa application is successful, you will be issued a new SOLAR+ application number that can be used to apply for a Student Pass from your home country. You'll also need to pay an additional visa fee when you collect your Student's pass from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in Singapore. Once you complete the forms in the online application system; your host institution will lodge your application to the ICA for you. If your application is successful, you'll need to complete the formality of going to an ICA office and collecting your Student Pass yourself. Depending on the type of educational institution that a foreigner is intending to study at, the requirements and procedures for applying for a Student's Pass will differ.
Types of educational institutions in Singapore are Edu Trusted private education organization (PEO) registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE), Institute of Higher Learning (IHL), Government/ Government-aided/ Independent. All the foreigners except the holder of Dependant's Pass/Immigration Exemption Order holder who wishes to study in these institutions must apply for a student pass. For the application of a Student's Pass, an applicant must be accepted into an approved full-time course.
SOLAR+ (Student's Pass Online Application and Registration+)
This facility allows authorized schools and registered students to apply for a Student's Pass for the foreign student electronically via the SOLAR+ system. Applications are to be submitted through the institutions via the Student's Pass Online Application & Registration+ (SOLAR+) system at least one month before the commencement of course.
An authorized School will use this system to apply for a Student's Pass for an Indian student who intends to pursue full-time studies in the school.
Indian students who wish to pursue full-time studies in these institutions can use this system to submit eForm 16 and other relevant information required for the application.
A local sponsor can use this to submit eForm 39S and eForm 39Q and to sponsor a foreign student's application for a Student's Pass.
The processing time is 5 full working days provided all required documents are submitted. For Indians who require a visa to enter Singapore, the processing time is 10 full working days. However, some cases may take a longer time to process. A processing fee is required for every application submitted to ICA. An issuance fee will also be collected for every student's pass issued and a further multiple-entry visa fee for visa required nationals will also be collected. The fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application or if the application is withdrawn after submission. For submission via SOLAR+, payment can be made by credit/debit card or internet banking.
Student Visa Application Process
Travelling to Singapore
Each time you visit Singapore, you will need to fill an immigration card. Keep it carefully after immigration clearance, for you have to return it when you exit. Most nationalities can enter Singapore without a visa. Entry permit duration depends on nationality and entry point. The mode of travel can be selected depending on your country and convenience.
Singapore is one of Southeast Asia's largest aviation hub and hence the easiest way to enter Singapore is by air. Being an important gateway to Southeast Asia, mostly all major international airlines fly into Singapore.
Singapore is connected to Malaysia, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur by rail, with a route to Bangkok. There are three trains per day, including a sleeper.
Being an island country, Singapore offers regular ferry services to Tanjung Belungkor in Malaysia and Riau Islands in Indonesia. Star cruises offer a lifetime experience and are a great way to reach Singapore.
Visa of Singapore
Indian students who wish to study in Singapore need a visa to enter the country. Application for the student visa is a simple process. The application process is linked with your university application. Visa applications may be submitted online using ICA's Submission of Application for Visa Electronically (SAVE). Institutes in Singapore will file the Singapore student pass for Indian application behalf of students to Singapore immigration and checkpoint authority (ICA). Singapore student pass application Fee varies from institute to institute.
Why study in Singapore
Singapore is a modern, vibrant nation with an excellent education system which provides numerous opportunities for international students who wish to study abroad. The economic and social development, the quality of its universities and the business infrastructure offering good employment are the factors that attract Indian students to this financial hub of the Asia Pacific region. Singapore is a good option for Indian students to study abroad as the climate conditions, living culture is almost similar to India. Driven by excellence, Singapore education offers a broad base curriculum and global perspective to equip students with the relevant qualification and training. Education is a priority in Singapore and the nation is recognized as a global schoolhouse. Universities of Singapore maintain high standards of teaching and learning, as well as scientific research. The country is ranked among the top ten leaders in various areas of studies. Teaching style in Singapore is systematic, pragmatic and instructional, based on pedagogical traditions from both East and West. There are 34 universities in Singapore, of which six are national. The two best known, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are ranked highly in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, offering courses in a wide range of subjects. Another major reason for Indian students attracted to Singapore for higher studies is that it is a safer place with zero tolerance for racism and drugs.
Cost of Living for Students
Cost of Living in Singapore
There is a good reason why Singapore is also referred to as a 'city in the garden'. With lush belts of greenery contributing to the cityscape, Singapore offers a comfortable living environment. The city's hostels, homestays, private and public apartments are unrivalled for their modernity and comfort. The cost of studying in Singapore is not as affordable as other Asian destinations; still, it is reasonable compared to universities in the UK, USA and Australia.
Documents for University Admissions in Singapore
To complete the eForm 16 in SOLAR+, you will need to have the following documents and information:
- A notice of registration acknowledgement from the institution where you registered which acknowledging and confirming that they have registered you with the SOLAR+ system.
- Passport details: passport number, nationality, date of expiry.
- If your parents are Singaporean, or living and working in Singapore, you will need to provide NRIC/ FIN of your parents.
- Need to provide your address in Singapore, if applicable.
- Your e-mail address.
- One recent passport-sized colour photograph that has been taken within the last 3 months.
Once you have completed the form online through SOLAR+, you need to print a copy of it that you will need to submit in person to the Student's Pass Unit (ICA) when you go to pick up your pass. If your application is successful, you will be issued an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter by your host institution. If you require a visa to enter Singapore, it will be attached to this letter. Your IPA letter will act as a provisional Student's Pass until you collect it from an ICA office.
In some cases, your host university may be authorized by the ICA to issue your Student's Pass on campus. If not, you will need to contact the ICA and make an appointment to collect your pass and submit additional documents.
When you go to collect your pass, you have to take with you the following documents:
- A valid passport and a photocopy of the passport photo page
- The Disembarkation/Embarkation card granted upon entry into Singapore
- One recent passport-sized colour photograph taken against a white background
- A printout of the eForm 16 submitted through SOLAR that has been signed by you
- A photocopy of your IPA
- A medical report no older than three months
- Relevant fees