The little red dot with worldwide impact. It is small and dense yet global and powerful. Singapore has a great reputation for its prosperity and low crime rates.
Singapore is also rich in diversity. It consists of three major racial groups: Chinese, Malay, and Indian with multiple religious communities. It is a melting pot of different cultural backgrounds yet a strong ‘kampong’ spirit.
Without a doubt, Singapore is one of the greatest places to study in the world. It is ranked 20th in QS best student cities and has built top universities in the world. Despite its ranking, most of the universities in Singapore have a great collaboration with world-renowned universities in research, exchange programs, curriculum developments, and many more.
Most importantly, the strong Indonesian community will be your new family to support your course of studies in Singapore.
PLANNING YOUR STUDIES
Have you decided which major you want to take? Universities in Singapore provide a lot of choices for majors. However, there are some majors that might be a bit more difficult to take for international students such as medicine, architecture and law.
Nonetheless, it does not mean that you have no chance. You have to know the qualifications that they are looking for and prepare for them early. It will be good to talk with your seniors to understand the requirements and curriculum.
Generally, it is harder to get admission to public universities as compared to private universities. To be admitted to public universities, you have to make sure that your results fulfill the required criteria.
You will be called to take a written test called University Entrance Exam (which differs across universities). Some programs will also be required to attend an interview before getting an admission.
If you have decided to attend a private university, don’t worry! Singapore government ensures a high quality of education in private institutions through an agency called Council for Private Education (CPE). CPE ensures that private universities are up to high standard which is denoted by certificate from EduTrust.
This is one of the most important things to consider before we decide to study in Singapore. Studying in Singapore may require a lot of financial capital to be prepared. Nevertheless, multiple scholarship opportunities are available and we encouraged you to seek those possibilities.
Here is the rough estimate of education costs in Singapore:
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
There are many documents that you have to prepare prior your studies. This includes acceptance letter, report card, graduation certificate, digital and printed passport-sized photos, cash (minimal SGD 2,000 for unexpected expenditures and to open your bank account), Singapore Embarkation Card, and Kartu Kedatangan Imigrasi Indonesia.
Make sure all the study tools and required documents are prepared. These things are relatively hard or more expensive to be obtained once you have arrived in Singapore.
Make sure you have contacted the school administration to get all the required documents that you have to bring. These include SMA report card, birth certificate, family card (KK), identity card (KTP) Lastly, your passport is ESSENTIAL.
We encourage you to research thoroughly all the housing opportunities in Singapore. There are a lot of cases where new students are being tricked by the property agent or owner. For cheaper alternatives, find non-popular places to stay. This is because popular private housing and downtown areas are usually more expensive.
One of the great choice for students is to rent a room or a flat in Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats. HDB flats are quite popular among international students as they are usually located nearby essential public facilities like ATM, supermarket, parks, and others.
There are a lot of websites available online to check the market rate of the place that you would like to stay. Try to contact the agent early to get the information right.
Pro tip 1: Make sure to find public transport nearby your future room. In general, 5-10 minutes walk is still acceptable.
Pro tip 2: Renting with friends is a great alternative to get a cheaper housing and fun experience.
AFTER YOU ARRIVE
Phone and Internet
From the moment you arrived at Changi Airport, it is possible to buy the phone card straight away. Another possibility is to buy outside the airport which is usually available in 7-eleven or other mini-market branches. The sim cards in mini markets are usually cheaper than the airport in the long run.
We encouraged you to research further on the providers that you like as the mobile pricing in Singapore is quite expensive especially in comparison to Indonesian providers.
Pro tip 1: DO NOT forget to buy data plans in Singapore. They might drain your mobile credits if you forget to buy data plans.
Pro tip 2: You have to pay for all incoming calls. Consider buying call packages as well.
Without MRT card, we can't commute around Singapore. MRT card is available at any MRT station (Changi Airport included) and could be used for almost all public transportation. Unless you have enough capital to take a cab all the time, this is probably the first thing you want to do once you have arrived.
Pro tip: Consider buying tourist past for you and your parents or visitors for a short trip (up to 3 days) if you plan to explore the city.
International students are required to apply for a student visa called Student Pass to study in Singapore. Once you have settled with your housing and school, It should be your top priority to clear up all the requirements from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA).
Prepare all the necessary documents and go to Lavender MRT to settle your pass. This is probably the first time that you will get to taste the stressful life in Singapore. But, do not worry. You only need to do this once and the staffs are very helpful to assist you. Stay relax and confident!
Pro Tip: Explore the areas nearby ICA. There are multiple good venues to enjoy after a long day in the ICA office.
Finally, the last essential thing that you have to settle is to open a bank account. As you are the client of the bank, the experience here should be very pleasant. Banks are convenient ways to make a transaction and there are ATMs almost at any MRT station. Furthermore, digital payment through bank applications is also very common.
There are few things that you have to consider when choosing a bank: location of ATMs and branches, digital payment platform, foreign exchange rate, and interest rates. However, these considerations should not affect our choice too much especially if you are not planning to stay for good in Singapore. Besides, you always have the choice to change banks or create multiple accounts.
5 THINGS NOT TO DO :
1. Do Not Chew Gums
2. Do Not Litter
3. Do Not Spit
4. Do Not Jaywalk
5. Do Not Smoke at Non-Smoking Areas
5 THINGS TO DO :
1. Ask for Price Before Buying
2. Stand on The Left Side of an Escalator
3. Explore Singapore
4. Study Hard
5. Enjoy Your Time With PPIS !
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