How to Study in Singapore for International Students

Studying in Singapore can be a fulfilling experience for many international students. Universities here offer a world-class education that can be your ticket to a lucrative career. Studying in Singapore also means you get to enjoy a variety of extracurricular activities, like shopping, dining, and learning about different cultures.

Singapore, one of the beautiful cities in Singapore, is a city that needs to be considered when planning on studying abroad. Here, you can immerse yourself in a rich local culture and learn about its history and the factors that make it unique.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Singapore currently has 24 universities, from which 8 universities are a part of the public sector and 16 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Singapore you should definitely check out are National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Being able to study in Singapore as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Singapore, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Singapore

When choosing a university, you also need to consider the tuition fees and your budget. Before applying to a university in Singapore, it’s best to have a general knowledge of the tuition fees there. The annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students range from 17,700 SGD to 128,100 SGD, while for master’s degree studies, the yearly tuition fees are between 8,425 SGD and 127,100 SGD.

Cost of Studying in Public Universities in Singapore

To give you an idea of how much it costs to study in Singapore, here are the tuition fees in these public and private universities:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Singapore Institute of Technology 21,200 SGD - 48,900 SGD 8,425 SGD - 17,800 SGD
LASALLE College of the Arts 25,400 SGD 23,400 SGD
Singapore University of Social Sciences 18,800 SGD - 33,700 SGD 33,900 SGD - 46,300 SGD
Singapore University of Technology and Design 29,200 SGD - 61,000 SGD 29,200 SGD - 51,200 SGD
National University of Singapore 17,700 SGD - 128,100 SGD 19,100 SGD - 68,200 SGD
Nanyang Technological University 17,800 SGD - 39,800 SGD 15,700 SGD - 56,100 SGD
Singapore Management University 24,600 SGD - 47,600 SGD 32,400 SGD - 56,200 SGD

Cost of Studying in Private Universities in Singapore

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
ESSEC Asia-Pacific 23,100 SGD 17,600 SGD - 69,500 SGD
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 27,500 SGD - 32,600 SGD 24,000 SGD
DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore 28,400 SGD - 39,800 SGD 18,200 SGD
SP Jain School of Global Management 29,700 SGD 35,300 SGD - 42,200 SGD
EHL Campus (Singapore) 116,800 SGD
James Cook University Singapore 26,800 SGD - 31,400 SGD 34,500 SGD - 39,200 SGD
INSEAD Asia Campus 51,800 SGD - 127,100 SGD

If you’re looking for the most affordable universities in Singapore, check out the Cheap Universities in Singapore!

Besides tuition fees, you also need to consider other expenses like books, accommodation, and living expenses.

2. Requirements to Study in Singapore for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Singapore, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Singapore, English is the main language of instruction. An academic institution in Singapore may require non-native English speakers to prove language proficiency by taking standardized English tests, such as the International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS, and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. You can also check out if your target university is accepting a Duolingo English Test score because some universities in Singapore are accepting Duolingo scores. When you take any of these tests, note that you’ll need to get at least the required minimum score to qualify for your preferred university.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Singapore and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Singapore Institute of Technology

Bachelor’s degree

ESSEC Asia-Pacific

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Singapore

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Singapore have online applications available on their websites, like National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Singapore.

National University of Singapore

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore University of Technology and Design

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Singapore differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Singapore.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Singapore

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Singapore. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Singapore as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Singapore. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Student Pass.

To start your student visa application in Singapore, you will need to present the following:

  1. Original copies of birth certificate
  2. Original copies of highest educational level certificate and academic results
  3. Original copies of financial and bank statements
  4. Overseas study plan
  5. Original and photocopy of identity card, household register, employment statements, and letter from employers
  6. Monthly salary records for 3 months
  7. Passport and photocopy of passport identity page

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Singapore is 30 SGD for Processing, 60 SGD for Issuance.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Gather requirements and submit an online application through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website, at least 2 months but not more than 3 months before the start of the term.
  2. Await application decision.
  3. Once approved, complete the Student Pass issuance formalities in Singapore.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Singapore. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!