Study in Singapore: Visas, Costs & Universities

Singapore is among the world's top educational destinations. It is a modern and vibrant island nation with a rich, multicultural heritage. It has been rated as a destination for international students seeking a unique and contemporary higher education experience. We tell you what you need to know about studying in Singapore.

Reasons to study in Singapore

Singapore offers a progressive education system with state-of-the-art facilities. The standard of education is excellent, but in particular, here are some reasons to study in Singapore.

Cheaper than UK / USA / Australia

Because of its proximity to India, studying in Singapore is much cheaper than some of the most popular destinations for international students, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia.

Clean, green and safe country

Thanks to strict anti-littering policies (a fine of SGD 1000 if you litter for the first time and a fine of SGD 5000 if you repeat the offense), Singapore is a very clean island state.

And despite being a fully urbanized state, Singapore is the greenest city in Asia, with green coverage increasing from 36% in the 1980s to 47% in 2016 (Center for Livable Cities).

Multicultural society.

You'll see a lot of diversity in this country. Singapore's multicultural society is made up of four main ethnic groups: the Chinese, Malays, Indians, and smaller minority groups.

And as for religions, the main religions are Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.

Home to many foreign universities

Singapore is a center of business and education, so many foreign universities have opened campuses there. SP Jain School of Global Management, ESSEC Business School, Queen Margaret University are some of the foreign candidates that have settled in this country.

A leading global business center

In 2016, the World Bank rated Singapore as the easiest country to do business in.

It is a very attractive country for investors and so it is no wonder that most of the world's multinational corporate giants also have their presence in Singapore. All in all, you are guaranteed to have no shortage of employment in this country.

Singapore degrees are valued worldwide

National University of Singapore (NUS) is ranked 17th, Nanyang Technological University is ranked 117th in the Global University Employability Ranking 2015.

It means that degrees from well-known Singaporean institutes are globally recognized by employers.

Scholarship opportunities.

For Indian students, for example, Singapore is very expensive. But the good news is that there are a lot of scholarships among which you can find a help to manage yourself better.

Visas to study in Singapore

International students wishing to study in Singapore will need to obtain a student visa. Once you receive your approval letter, the university will issue you a visa.

Within two weeks of acceptance you must apply to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for a student pass. This must also be no later than two months and no later than one month before the start of your course.

The process is done through the Student Pass Online Application and Registration System (SOLAR). The university where you are enrolled will provide you with the registration data that you will use to complete and submit the required forms. You will then need to complete the paperwork once you arrive in the country. To do this, you will need to make an appointment with the ICA and present the flight card you were issued upon entry to Singapore.

Cost of living

The official currency in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD). Tuition fees will depend on where you decide to study and at what level, but on average, you can expect to pay between SGD 14,000 and SGD 50,000 per year.

For foreign students there are many scholarships, some offered by the Singapore Ministry of Education, as well as others offered by individual institutions. And as is the case in all countries, tuition fees at public institutions are much lower than at private institutions.

The general cost of living for a foreign student can be around 10,000 SGD per year. But in this country you are allowed to work up to 16 hours a week during the semester and full time during vacations. To get a job you must get approval from the institution where you are studying.


In total, 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), both perform highly in the QS World University Rankings® 2019.

Each university has a total enrollment of around 30,000, and being a center of study for the world, many of those students are foreign. Among the renowned universities in Singapore we can mention:

Singapore Management University.

It is ranked among the world's leading education providers in the fields of accounting and finance, computer science, economics, law and statistics. It is ranked 78th in the World University Rankings, and also holds a top position for accounting, economics and business in the QS World University Rankings 2018.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

It is ranked No. 12 in the world rankings and is the third recognized university in Asia. It is highly regarded for its engineering, technology and science majors. This institution has important academic collaborations with the United Kingdom.

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Ranked 11th in the QS World University Rankings, and first in the QS Asia University Rankings 2019. The performance of this institution can hardly be compared to that of other institutions in the world. Among its outstanding majors are engineering, technology, social sciences and management.