Located at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula, Singapore (officially the Republic of Singapore) consists of the island of Singapore and some 63 islets within its territorial waters. The main island is about 42 kilometres from west to east and 23 kilometres from north to south. It’s a mostly undulating country with low hills.
Like most of Southeast Asia, Singapore is generally hot and humid. The temperature almost never drops below 20°C, even at night, and usually climbs to 30°C during the day. Humidity is usually over 75%.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan society where people live harmoniously and interaction among different races is amicable. The pattern of Singapore stems from the inherent cultural diversity of the island. The immigrants of the past have given the place a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European influences, all of which have intermingled. Behind the facade of a modern city, these ethnic groups are still evident. The bulk of Singaporeans think of themselves as Singaporeans, regardless of race or culture.
Known for how well run and regimented it is, Singapore provides an easy, safe, navigable, enjoyable experience for visitors and international students. Nightclubs, restaurants, and boutiques are among the most stylish in Asia, and the food is fantastic – sampling from all over Asia. Despite how urban it is, Singapore surprisingly offers many outdoor activities as well, including mountain biking, rock climbing, and water skiing.
Singapore boasts the world’s second busiest port after Rotterdam, minimal unemployment, and a super-efficient infrastructure. Indications of how advanced and prosperous Singapore is come from the World Bank’s Doing Business 2010 Report: Singapore is ranked the easiest economy to do business in as well as the most open and liberal economy in the world. It is ranked the most competitive country in Asia, with the lowest levels of corruption in the economy. Singapore is incredibly international, which it has had to be given limited natural resources; the government welcomes foreign investment and the economic policy is export-oriented. The official currency is the Singapore Dollar.
Singapore’s safety, low crime rate, and high standards of living are world renowned, offering international students an ideal environment for study. Leisure activities include sports, entertainment, and a range of fascinating sights and sounds to experience. The cost of living is relatively low, and basic items like food and clothing are very reasonably priced. An international student in Singapore spends on average about S$750 to S$2,000 a month on living expenses. This [KT5]amount, of course, varies depending on individual lifestyle and course of study.
Originally based on the British model, the Singaporean education system has evolved to meet the needs of the globalised economy. It has moved from a fairly rigid orientation to incorporate emphases like personalisation of learning, advanced technology, innovation, and creativity.
Its structure is quite complex, with students being “streamed” into different programmes/levels of study as soon as secondary school (four to five years), and then again streamed into different pre-universities[KT6] (two to three years) depending on their exam results and other qualifications. Students who don’t want to pursue university studies but do want professional qualifications go to polytechnics (three-year diploma programmes) or the Institute of Technical Education.
International students applying for admission to schools in Singapore have to provide documentary proof of having completed the age-based education level. In addition, institutions will normally conduct entrance examinations for international students in the subjects of English, math, science, and their first language.
However, admission procedures depend very much on the particular school an international student wants to study at. Students (and student counselors) will want to check with the education institution of choice for full details.