Student Guide: Singapore

Whether you're moving abroad permanently or have decided to temporarily live in a new country to finish your higher education, it's important to know the facts and important information. In this article we take a look at all you need to know about Singapore's visa requirements (and the process you will go through in order to get your visa), what you accommodation options would be, and more.

Visas and Immigration Information

All international students, regardless of their nationality, with an offer of admissions for a college or university have to have a valid Student's Pass which are issued by the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to study in Singapore. It is important to note that, like is most countries around the world, a tourist visa is not sufficient enough to enable students to study in Singapore. The application process to gain a valid Student Pass can be done mostly online through the Student's Pass On-Line Application and Registration (SOLAR) system. The process requires both the student and the university they are intending to attend to submit relevant documentation. Those applicants who are successful will be issued an in-principle approval (IPA) letter by the ICA that will be sent to them by their chosen college or university. However, for those students who need a visa to enter the country, it will be incorporated in the IPA letter they will receive.


Working While Studying

If you're wondering if you can work as a student while studying your IT course in Singapore, you will be glad to know that part-time work is allowed, but only under certain conditions. You will be allowed to work part-time if your university you are studying at approves, which is why it is advisable to talk to your university before you start searching for part-time employment in order to make sure you can begin your search and get the right forms of documentation ready to present to possible employers. Employers are allowed to offer students part-time work, but in order to pursue a job you will need to show your letter of authorization from your university or college in order to secure your job.


Residential Options

Rent is most likely going to be your biggest outgoing cost throughout your time studying in Singapore, but there are a variety of options to choose from that range in price. Halls of residence, which is on-campus graduate housing, is a great option for students who want to keep the cost of their accommodation down. The only problems with halls of residence is the facts that the demand greatly exceeds supply, and that some institutions only provide on-campus accommodation for a defined period of time, for example: one year. Opting to rent a private shared flat is the second cheapest option and could cost you around S$400 per person per month. Private hostels could cost anything from S$140 - S$440 each month, depending on what accommodation option you choose. The most expensive options, of course, would be to live in a flat of your own. This would cost you anything from S$1000 and more. Choosing the right option for you depends on your wants and needs, as well as the budget you have to spend on accommodation each month.


Life, Culture and Leisure in your new City

Singapore is known to be cosmopolitan, with a multi-cultural heritage that is made up of four ethnic groups. These groups include Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasions, all of which have a strong unified Singaporean identity. Over the last few decades, however, expatriates who have moved to Singapore to live and work, have brought their own traditions and cultures which has only added to the multi-cultural environment. When it comes to leisure activities, those who live to travel are in for a treat. Singapore has an excellent geographical position, which makes it an ideal base to visit the likes of Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and India – all which are no more than a five to six hour flight away. In the city itself, the skyline is made up of skyscrapers, but the city is also home to a thriving ecosystem that consists of nature, wildlife, rainforests, wetlands and nature reserves, as well as heritage trails and historical monuments. Singapore is also home to shopping malls, museums, amazing restaurants, a thriving arts and cultural scene, world-class sporting facilities and a variety of nightlife options (that include themed nightclubs, bars, and much more).

While living and studying in Singapore, take advantage of all the opportunities while you are there. It is important to keep on top of your studies, but Singapore also has so much to offer you when you have the time to explore.

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18 August 2017
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