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Study abroad in Singapore

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calendar_month 01 Mar 2011, 00:00
Singapore offers an international experience of culture, colour and education. It's no wonder, this small, but very populated, island nation is beoming such a popular study abroad destination.
Country overview
Singapore stands out for its magnificent blend and influences of Chinese, Malay and Indian traditions. It is this, combined with up-to-the-minute technology and unparalleled cleanliness, that gives the city its character.It is also a major hub for travellers, and as an international student, you will be able to benefit from excellent travel deals to nearby Malaysia, Indonesia and even Australia.

Religious monuments and buildings fill the streets in Chinatown and Kampong Glam, while you'll be spoilt for choice to choose between the continuous festivals and events that take place throughout the year. The international cuisine of Singapore really is something to behold and explore, with a variety of dishes you are sure to have never tried, or possibly will never want to try again!

Should you want some respite from the city, greenery and rainforest await you not too far away. Alternatively,you can opt to relax in one of the nation's numerous and luxurious spas.
Education overview
Three publicly funded universities exist in Singapore. The National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University - two of which appear in the 2010 QS World University Rankings Top 100 Universities. Singapore also has five polytechnics, offering two and three year diplomas, in many different subject areas.

Additionally, Singapore plays host to both an increasingly diverse private education scene and a growing number of offshore campuses. A number of these private institutions offer qualifications with completely international curricula, such as those for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.Moreover, others offer international undergraduate programs from universities in countries such as Australia.

All national and international students are free to apply to the Singaporean Ministry of Education for a Tuition Grant once they have been admitted to their program of choice.This scheme allows for a grant of between SIN$14,000 and SIN$16,000 for most programs to be paid against tuition fees, thus reducing the amount considerably.For programs such as medicine and music, the grant can be as much as SIN$65,500 a year. However, international students are required to sign a bond in order to obtain a tuition grant, committing them to work in Singapore for three years after the completion of their university or polytechnic program.
Pros and Cons
Increasing international reputation Reasonably priced tuition fees Ability to work after graduation Links to Asia Lack of global visibility for Singaporean qualifications Vast array of private colleges with unclear reputations Limited numbers of students from all over the world



International student accommodation
International student accommodation in Singapore is easy to come by and students will have a variety of choice. It is also quite cheap. University housing in the form of halls of residence are often available, and fairly common.As is often the case, priority is given to those beginning their course. Private hostels and home-stays are also options, although most housing is not in the city centre.



Most universities have an international student office which will help you out, and even though there is usually availability, it is still a good idea to make contact before travelling to Singapore. Should you opt for the private housing market, the classified advertisements in the local newspapers are a a good source for listings of apartments and rooms to rent.

Weather/Climate

With the exception of heavier rainfall than usual in November and December, the weather in Singapore is uniform all year round. Be prepared for hot and humid weather - although the country is well-managed with air-conditioning in the majority of buildings. Expect maximum temperatures in the day to swelter around 30-35 degrees Celsius, whilst at night they tend to linger around a sweaty 20-25 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is spread throughout the year and can come at anytime -when it does, it's usually short and heavy. Expect the streets to have become rivers within a few minutes, and the sun to shine the next!
Transport
Public transport in Singapore is simple, reliable and affordable. Whether it be by bus, or themodern, air-conditioned, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), you will never be far from your destination. On the buses, ensure you have the correct fare. The MRT also offers connections to and from the airport. However, refrain from that late night snack on the way home, as the MRT hands out fines for eating, drinking, littering and smoking.
Cost*

ItemPrice
small bottle of beerS$5.00
museum entrance feeS$3.00
all day Mass Rapid Transit ticketS$5.00
simple hawker mealS$5.00
process 36 roll color filmS$13.00
Singapore Sling at RafflesS$16.00
trishaw transport per half hourS$40.00
basic hostel bedS$40.00
half day cookery courseS$75.00

*WorldGuide Index from Lonely Planet

Useful info

Dialing code: 65

Currency: Singapore Dollar (S$)

Time zone:GMT/UTC +8 (Standard Time)