6 questions answered about why Singapore could be your go-study abroad destination

Move over Europe and America! Here is why you should set aside Europe and America and consider Singapore as your new go-to study abroad destination.

Singapore can be your new target as a study-abroad destination -- here's why!

Singapore has consistently maintained its position among the top 15 cities in the world for students, according to QS Top Universities. It is not just the quality of universities that puts Singapore on a high pedestal as the ranking also accounts for cost of living, the standard of living, job opportunities and student lifestyle compatibility.

We are going to answer six common yet important questions that linger in the minds of students who aspire to study abroad.

1. Does Singapore have high-quality institutions like Europe and the USA?

Yes. Some of their world-class universities include Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Yale-NUS College, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Singapore has both private and public universities with in-campus provisions, open to expatriate students. Some universities even have strong connections to real-time industries and have all the provisions for a great job placement at the end of the term.

The island-nation also offers technical studies in business, electronics, media and applied sciences, apart from industry-oriented polytechnic institutes.

These answers to the common questions about studying in Singapore might just give you your favourite study abroad destination!

2. Is Singapore more expensive to study than the USA, the UK and Australia?

No. The average annual tuition fees in Singapore will cost you INR 8,42,756, which is much lesser than the above-mentioned countries.

A full-time MBA programme in a reputed international university such as the National University of Singapore Business School, can cost you approximately SGD 62,000 i.e. INR 33 lakh.

Undergraduate students can serve the Singaporean Government and secure a tuition fee subsidy while postgraduates can avail the same if they agree to serve the government for three years.

3. Is the cost of living very high in Singapore?

As a student, living in Singapore can cost between SGD 750 to SGD 2000 i.e. INR 40,000 to INR 1 lakh a month. This includes best-in-class facilities in leisure, entertainment, healthcare, transportation and other utilities.

Accommodation in a student hostel can cost you SGD 345 or INR 18,000 while other expenses like train and bus fares are much more nominal. As a student, you would end up spending another INR 18,000 monthly on all your meals.

You can always opt to stay in luxury at a shared student flat or a private hostel as well. This will cost you anywhere between SGD 150-700 i.e. INR 8,000 - 37,000.

Apart from this, your phone bill and stationary per term will be around SGD 50 and SGD 1000 i.e. INR 2500 and INR 5500 respectively.

4. Are there career opportunities for an expat student in Singapore?

In Singapore, you can start earning even before you complete your education.

According to the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, expats on a student visa are allowed to work 16 hours a week on a part-time basis. They can work unlimited hours during vacation time.

However, it is advised that the students check with their university beforehand and obtain the necessary permissions.

To be abreast with techniques to save money while studying abroad, students can check out the tips available on multiple websites online. This will help you save money on university fee payments, rent payments, living expenses and other education expenses.

After securing your UG or PG degrees in Singapore, you are eligible to work in the country since you will be allowed to apply for the Long-Term Visit Pass. This will enable you to stay in Singapore for another one year even if you don’t get a job.

It gives international students the opportunity to seek employment in Singapore, and, if you do find a job, you will be granted a Work Pass.

5. Where can an expat student go during her/his free hours away from rigorous academic schedule?

While you have seen pictures of Singapore’s elegant skyline, what you’ve probably not seen is that the country has a thriving ecosystem of nature and wildlife, rain-forests, wetlands and nature reserves.

From clubs to music bars and museums to art and culture shows, Singapore has the ecosystem to help you calm your mind and give it adequate rest. If you are a literary enthusiast, the Central Public Library offers multiple book clubs across different genres.

If you are a sports lover, wake-boarding, windsurfing, and dragon-boat racing can be done all year-round except the monsoon season. Cricket lovers can head to the Indian Association sports club or Millennium United Cricket club to brush your cricketing skills. Football fans can visit ESPZEN for game of football or training.

Singapore is also a food lover’s paradise and you will be spoilt for choice with delicious dishes from cuisines such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan and others. Another great thing about being a student in Singapore is that you have the time to travel to other Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam, that too, on a budget.

Apart from all this, there are a plethora of Indian associations for expats to feel closer to home like the Singapore Indian Association, Singapore Indian Film, Art and Dramatic Society, and Indian Community Welfare Centre etc.

The famous Supertree Grove in Singapore

6. How to escape the high transfer fees while sending money from and to Singapore?

While education costs in Singapore are quite reasonable, a lot of money can be lost on expensive money transfers to Singapore.

Though most traditional money transfer service providers like banks and money transfer operators promise zero fees, what you do not realize while dealing with them is that they eat up a major share of your money in FX margins and hidden charges.

The new-age fintech-based digital money transfer firms can help you save on expensive money transfers. Singapore-headquartered overseas money transfer service provider, InstaReM enables money transfers to 55+ countries at Zero-Margin FX Rates.

With a presence in Asia, Europe, the USA and the UK; InstaReM is completely transparent and charges you a nominal fee ranging between 0.25% and 1%.