Student Pass: There are strict regulations for international students studying in Singapore. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore (ICA) requires all international students to possess a valid student pass throughout the whole duration of their studies. Once your application has been approved, you will need to apply for a student pass from ICA. For more details about the requirements of a student pass, you may refer to the ICA portal (www.ica.gov.sg).

The Registrar’s Office will help to facilitate your student pass application. You are responsible for submitting all the necessary items together with your application to the College for the submission to the ICA: (i) one copy each of Form 16 and Form V36 from the ICA fully filled out; (ii) a copy of your Birth Certificate; (iii) copies of highest educational certificates and academic transcripts; (iv) a copy of passport personal information pages; (v) Two passport-size photos; and (vi) documentary proof of financial ability in the form of bank statements.

Please do not come to Singapore unless the student pass has already been approved. Upon approval of the student pass, the College will inform you to prepare to come to Singapore. You may enter Singapore using a social visit pass. After arrival, you will need to fulfil the ICA requirements before collecting your student pass. The usual part of the requirement includes a health-screening (HIV) at one of the clinics designated by the Ministry of Health. Charges for the medical check-up varies from $40-$70. You are required to collect your student pass in-person and to produce all ORIGINAL copies of supporting documents for verification at the interview conducted by the ICA. The fee for a student pass and each subsequent renewal is S$90-120.

You must demonstrate adequate financial resources or support from church, family, friends, savings or other means in order that your application for a student pass may be granted.

Where applicable, a security deposit in the form of Banker’s guarantee may be required upon approval of the student pass application. You need to pay a banker’s guarantee service charge of $160 to $450, depending on your country of origin and the duration of the course of study.

If you have a family and intend to bring them into to Singapore with you, you must apply for a long-term social visit pass for them to remain in Singapore for the duration of your study. You must have your student pass, a copy of the marriage certificate and copies of birth certificates of your children to apply.

The Singapore Immigration Law forbids holders of a student pass and long-term social visit pass to engage in any form of paid employment. A breach of the law may result in forfeiture of the security deposit, cancellation of the pass and repatriation.

Accommodation: You may need to look for an appropriate place of accommodation for the duration of your studies in Singapore. If you have contacts with local congregations, you are advised to seek their help in finding a suitable accommodation. You may approach the College for help if you have no contacts.

The majority of Singaporeans stay in public housing built by the Housing Development Board (HDB). There are strict rules governing the renting of these flats. For more details, please visit the HDB portal (www.hdb.gov.sg). The average monthly rental rate for a room is $500-$800. Other than public housing, there are also private apartments for rent. These will cost more but often come with more luxurious amenities. There is also the option of staying in student hostels and boarding houses run by private companies.

Travelling Around: The College is located at Jurong East district (in the western part of Singapore). It is advisable to find accommodation near the College. The night lectures are conducted at Newton district (in the central part of Singapore). If you do not stay within walking distance to the College, you can still travel around easily in Singapore. Singapore is a city-state which has a good public transport system. Most parts of the country can be reached either by Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains, Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains, or buses. There is at least one MRT station at each major town. The transport system uses a cashless system for fares. In order to facilitate easy access in transportation, you may want to buy a stored value smartcard (EZLink Card) at any MRT station/Bus Interchange for travel using trains and buses. You tap your card when you begin your journey on the bus/train and tap it again when you exit. The stored value in your card can be increased by “topping up” with cash at machines available at any MRT station/Bus Interchange. The fares for a single journey cost from $0.80-$2.00. For more information, please refer to the web portal of the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (www.lta.gov.sg).

Traveling by taxi is expensive. All taxis run by the taxi meter. Haggling over the taxi fare is prohibited. The fares depend on the distance travelled and waiting time. There are also different surcharges implemented at peak hours or pick-up at specific places (e.g. Changi Airport). If the taxi takes a route which requires it to pass through an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry, there will also be a toll charge on top of the taxi fare.

Food: Eating out in Singapore is an affordable option. There are plenty of hawker centres, coffee shops and food courts which offer a wide range of food. A meal in the HDB heartlands can cost $4-$6 (it will cost more if you have a meal at air-condition food courts or restaurants). Most outlets will close by 9.30pm-10pm. On top of the local fares, there are also a variety of fast food chains and restaurants available in shopping malls.

Social Etiquette: There are certain points of social etiquette which you may need to get accustomed to as these may differ from those in your own country.

   Respect elderly people by greeting them first.

   Take off your shoes when you enter into someone’s home.

   Offer up your seat in the bus or train to a person who needs it more than you (e.g. the elderly, pregnant, mother with a young child). 

   Do not talk loudly, spit or litter in public.