Singapore is well-known for its research and innovation, and takes pride in its international standard of education. Housing some of the world-class universities, you will be surprised that their education costs are at an affordable price.
Its’ reputation is based more than just words. In both 2014 and 2015, the island nation was ranked 2nd in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Rankings. In the same years, it was ranked 3rd in IMD’s 2014 World Competitiveness Rankings and 7th in INSEAD Global Innovation Index (2015).
You will also be glad to know that along with its reputable universities, it is also an adaptable city to live in. In 2016, Singapore was ranked 6th as top cities for students. The criteria for the ranking was based on the country’s universities, standard of living, cost of living, student lifestyle compatibility and future job opportunities.
So if you are still considering your options to study overseas, here are 7 reasons why you should consider Singapore.
Due to its cutting-edge infrastructure, latest academics, and distinguished faculty members, it is safe to say that Singapore has a lot of scope for higher education. It has both public and private universities, and most include in-campus provisions.
The National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) are the pride of Singapore as world-class universities. Moreover, their association with other international universities worldwide will offer you even more opportunities that you can imagine. It is what that gave them an edge over other universities and institutes. Some of the universities in Singapore also have a strong connection with real-time industries, thus allowing their students to secure a good related job once they graduate.
For industry-oriented programmes, Singapore has a separate unique education system of polytechnics. Some of the polytechnics include Republic Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
Apart from polytechnics, an alternate option is The Institute of Technical Education (ITE), which also offers technical skills and knowledge for specific industries.
Singapore may be listed as one of the most expensive student destinations in Asia, but for the quality of education that you will gain, its cost is worth every dollar and more affordable when compared with other popular but more expensive student destinations such as the United State of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) and Australia.
On average, the annual tuition fee is around USD11,800. For a full time MBA programme in NUS, the tuition fees is around SGD62,000 (USD45,074). Some courses, providing that you fulfil the listed requirements, may offer Government subsidy for your tuition fee in exchange for a few years of job service upon graduation.
The cost of living really depends on the individual’s lifestyle choices, but as an international student, you can expect to spend anywhere from SGD 900 to SGD 2,000 per month.
The below table provides an estimated monthly expenses for an international student staying on campus (excluding university tuition fees):
Estimated monthly expenses for an international student staying on campus
Singapore dollar (SGD)
Rental (University campus)
Meals (at University canteen)
The below table provides an estimated monthly expenses for an international student staying in a shared flat or private apartment (excluding university tuition fees):
Estimated monthly expenses for an international student staying in a shared flat or private apartment
Singapore dollar (SGD)
Utilities (water and electricity)
Meals (at Food Court)
Telecommunication and house wifi
*The above tables only show an estimate and final cost of living depends on the individual’s lifestyle choices and needs.
Singapore’s skyline is filled with skyscrapers, as well as a rich ecosystem of nature and wildlife. It is also a diverse country with a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European influences.
Depending on your interests, the country has something to offer for everyone. If you are a night owl, the city is filled with clubs, bars with live bands, beach bars and more in the late hours. If you are a sports-lover, there are sport activities such as dragon-boat racing, wakeboard, windsurfing and more. If you are a nature-lover, there are many rainforests, wetlands and nature reserves to take a short hike in. If you are a food-lover, get spoilt with the variety of cuisines from around the world, particularly, Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan and more.
Another perk of being a student in Singapore is that it is located near other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam that you can plan a short trip on a budget.
Most of Singapore’s universities offer a number of different student exchange programmes to their students, providing them the opportunity to be exposed to the culture of another country. These countries include (and not limited to) United Kingdom (UK), United State of America (USA), Australia, China and more.
If you are intending to do some part-time while studying as an international student in Singapore, you will be happy to know that under a Student Pass in Singapore, you are eligible to work part-time for a maximum of 16 hours a week, providing that your university course is a part-time programme.
If you are interested to work in Singapore, you may do so by applying for a Long-Term Visit Pass upon graduation. The pass allows you to stay in Singapore for a limited time to find and secure a job. When you do find a job, you or your employer will then apply for a Work Pass for you to start work.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the most connected airports in the world, operating more than 100 airlines that fly to over 300 cities worldwide. It has 4 local carriers, the world-renowned Singapore Airlines, and other budget airlines SilkAir, Tiger Airways and Scoot. So wherever your hometown is, there is surely a flight connection to Singapore.