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STUDYING & LIVING IN SINGAPORE

Education has always been key in the growth and development of Singapore society, particularly in the years following 1965 when it became an independent republic. Now in the 21st century, where the knowledge-based economy is the driver in the global community, education has become even more critical in shaping our country's future. At the same time, through education, every individual can realise his/her full potential to benefit the community, nation, and lead a personally fulfilling life.

Over the years, Singapore has evolved from its traditional British-based education system to one that endeavours to meet the needs of individuals and seeks to nurture talents. The strength of Singapore's national education system lies in its bilingual policy (English with Malay/Mandarin/Tamil) and a broad-based curriculum where innovation and entrepreneurship command a premium. Individuals acquire the relevant skills and abilities to survive in competitive environments, equipped for a brighter future.

 

The presence an international mix of institutions, a high quality and rigorous education system, and a nation that believes in investing in education, together they offer international students here an enriching and fulfilling learning journey.

The island state, though small in size and population of 5.6 million, people has become a reputable financial and key regional trading centre. It is also the world's busiest port, and a prime location for investment. Often cited as a model for transparency, efficiency and political stability, Singapore has earned recognition and acceptance from all around the world.

Singapore's rich multicultural heritage is highlighted through the various ethnic groups (Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians) living together harmoniously. These groups have gradually acquired a distinct identity as Singaporeans while maintaining each race's traditional practices, customs and festivals. In addition, with more than 100,000 professional expatriates living and working in Singapore, they too bring their unique cultures and perspectives, adding colour and vibrancy to cosmopolitan Singapore.

Singapore is well connected via sea, air, land and telecommunications to all parts of the world. Singapore Changi Airport serves more than 80 airlines which fly to over 190 cities and has for many consecutive years been nominated as the best airport in the world. Singapore is also probably the most connected country in Asia, with Internet penetration rate of 76%. Housing ownership is encouraged by the Singapore Government to give citizens an asset in the country. About 85% of Singaporeans live in Government-built vertical housing.

Singapore may seem like a small dot on the world map, but the island state bustles all over with attractions and activities. Dining and shopping are two of the top-rated activities of locals. Needless to say, this is reflected in the staggering range of food and cuisine, as well as the proliferation of shops in the city and suburban centres.

The standard of living in Singapore is amongst the highest in Asia. Compared to some expenses in other developed countries, the cost of living here is relatively lower and basic items such as food and clothing are very reasonably priced.

When planning your budget, you will need to include these items :

  • Accommodation

  • Utilities

  • Food

  • Transport

  • Clothing

  • Telecommunications

  • Books & Stationery

  • Medical/Hospitalisation Insurance

  • Other incidental or personal expenses

An international student in Singapore spends on average about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This amount, of course, varies depending on your individual lifestyle and course of study.

Most banks handle travellers' cheques and exchange foreign currencies. Passports are required when cashing travellers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

Apart from at banks and hotels, you may exchange foreign currencies at outlets which display the sign "Licensed Money Changer". Larger banks in Singapore include:

Singapore has one of the most extensive and efficient public transportation systems in the world. Travelling in the city and suburbs is typically a quick and affordable affair.

Singapore is one of the most connected cities in the world. There is a number of service operators offering a wide range of communication services at competitive rates, including telephone service, mobile communications services, Internet access services or international telephone services. More popular telecommunication service providers in Singapore include:

Singapore Post (SingPost) has more than 60 main branches, over 40 authorised agencies and more than 800 stamp vendors throughout Singapore. SingPost's retail counters serve as one-stop centres for postal, telecommunication and agency services. The SingPost retail shop in Bras Basah Complex is within minutes of walking from AAC campus.

Singapore is the quintessential tropical island, with warm and humid climate all year round. Save the woollies for the cold weather back home where winter exists - light and summer clothing rules in Singapore! Casual dress is accepted for most situations but some establishments like restaurants and clubs may observe a more formal dress code.

Singapore has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare by worldwide standards. Healthcare in Singapore is regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its statutory boards. There are different types of health care facilities which ranges from government to private health care facilities.

Various types of healthcare include the following:

- Government Hospitals (Public Healthcare that provides subsidised inpatient healthcare services)

- Private Hospitals (Not government owned)

- Polyclinics (22 polyclinics located throughout the country that provides subsidised primary care, outpatient medical treatment, preventive healthcare and health education.

- Private Clinics (Not government owned)

If you have a medical insurance plan, depending on your plan, your fees can be partially or fully recovered. For more information on Singapore health care’s services, please visit www.moh.gov.sg.

Singapore has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare by worldwide standards. Healthcare in Singapore is regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its statutory boards. There are different types of health care facilities which ranges from government to private health care facilities.

Various types of healthcare include the following:

- Government Hospitals (Public Healthcare that provides subsidised inpatient healthcare services)

- Private Hospitals (Not government owned)

- Polyclinics (22 polyclinics located throughout the country that provides subsidised primary care, outpatient medical treatment, preventive healthcare and health education.

- Private Clinics (Not government owned)

If you have a medical insurance plan, depending on your plan, your fees can be partially or fully recovered. For more information on Singapore health care’s services, please visit www.moh.gov.sg.

Singapore Laws & Regulations for International Students

Singapore Laws and You

International students are guests of the Republic of Singapore. It is important that you know the laws of the land and your responsibilities as a foreign student while studying here. International students are subjected to some of the laws applicable to Singapore citizens. There are also specific laws and regulations pertaining to international students. International students are not to engage in any form of employment or industrial attachment paid or unpaid without a valid work pass issued by the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore.

 

Avoid

  • Loitering and congregating

  • Unlawful assembly

  • Purchasing and consumption of alcoholic beverage

  • Shoplifting

  • Vandalism and mischief

  • Using another person’s identification card as your own

  • Possessing dangerous weapons

  • Driving without a license

  • Chewing gum and smoking

 

Drug Policy

Any student found to be in possession of, taking, using, buying, selling or trafficking narcotics, stimulants, marijuana etc. will face immediate expulsion from AAC. Parents or guardians of students under 18 years old must sign on the relevant section in admissions documentation to indicate their understanding of the policy.

 

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Regulations

All full-time international students are required to hold a valid Student's Pass issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority AND must meet the following requirements: Student is only permitted to attend the course at the school that the students’ pass is approved.

Have a minimum of 90% attendance each month or not absent from the course for 7 consecutive days without any reasons. Must not engage in any form of activities that may violate the stipulated conditions stated in the Student’s Pass application form or In-principle Approval letter in which a Student’s Pass has been issued.(e.g. illegal employment).

International Students are not permitted to engage in any form of employment or attend an Industrial Attachment/intership programme whether paid or unpaid without MOM's approval Student is required to surrender their Student's Pass cards for cancellation within 7 days from the date of cessation or termination of their study.

RELEVANT SINGAPORE LAWS

Relevant Singapore laws include, but are not limited to, immigration requirements, employment, laws on driving, drugs and alcohol abuse, smoking, traffic and littering. Students are strongly advised to clarify with the relevant authorities when in doubt.

Immigration: All international students studying in Singapore must have a valid passport and a student pass from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Employment: International students are not allowed to work in Singapore without a work pass exemption from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Driving: All drivers must be in possession of a valid Singapore driving license and the vehicle must be insured.

Drugs: Possession of controlled drugs is presumed to be for trafficking, an offence, which can carry the death penalty.

Alcohol Abuse: Any offence committed while being intoxicated (drunk) is punishable under the law. Drunk driving is a serious offence.

Smoking: Smoking in specific public places and indoor restaurants is prohibited.

Traffic: Jay walking is an offence.

Littering: Littering, spitting and vandalism (with graffiti) in public areas are serious offences.

For more details of ICA regulations, please refer to the ICA website: www.ica.gov.sg.

Vaccination for Foreign-born children aged 12 years old and below

From 1 February 2019, foreign-born children aged 12 years old and below applying for student’s pass will be required to submit documented proof of vaccination for diphtheria and measles for verification (Original and English translation).