Before leaving for Singapore, students could explore various avenues for availing scholarships; related information can be found on various web sites.

Planning and budgeting should precede any endeavour. The facility of tuition grant from the Ministry of Education for international students was indicated earlier. Bursaries are also available in Singapore.

You may apply for bursaries to meet the tuition fees and other expenses. These are awarded on the basis of financial need of the student. The amount would be below S$1,500 per academic year.

You can try for study loans as well. The loan amount may have to be returned after graduation at limited interest rates.

Certain institutions offer loans to meet your special educational requirements.

You can check the availability of scholarships that are usually based on academic excellence, and distinction in co-curricular activities. Institutions give support in this regard.

Some important contacts

Ministry of Education (MOE), 1 North Buona Vista Drive, Singapore 138675; Ph: (65) 6872 2220; e-mail: contact@moe.edu.sg; Website: www.moe.gov.sg

Singapore Education, Tourism Court, 1 Orchard Spring Lane, Singapore 247729; Ph:(65) 6831 3764; e-mail: STB_Education_Services@stb.gov.sg; Website: www.singaporeedu.gov.sg

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, 10 Kallang Road, ICA Building , Singapore 208718, Ph: (65) 6391 6100, e-mail: ica_feedback@ica.gov.sg; Website: www.ica.gov.sg

Principals Academy Inc (PAI), 9 Woodlands Ave 9, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore 738964; Ph: (65) 6363 0330, e-mail: Info@pai.sg

Singapore High Commission – India, E-6 Chandragupta Marg Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021; Ph : 011 46000915; e-mail : singhc_del@sgmfa.gov.sg; Web site: www.mfa.gov.sg/newdelhi

Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore, 17-A North Boag Road, T.Nagar, Chennai- 600017; Ph: 044 28158207; e-mail : singcon_maa@sgmfa.gov.sg

Accommodation

There are different types of accommodation in Singapore to suit different budgets and needs. You should make advance arrangements for accommodation before arrival in Singapore. Most educational institutions have an International Student Office which would help you in the matter of finding suitable accommodation. There is a government publication called the Student Accommodation Handbook detailing the various options, which can be accessed on the web site www.singaporeedu.gov.sg/doc/res/stb_students.pdf.

Halls of residence and hostels, boarding schools, private hostels, home stay, and public or private apartments / houses are some of the possibilities.

Life in Singapore

Opportunities for studies abroad give us not only challenging experiences in the academic atmosphere, but transformative encounters exposing us to new environs that enable us to gain fresh impressions, develop new perspectives, and get inspired by what happens beyond our limited corner of the world. As mentioned earlier, Singapore though small in size and numbers is in many ways refreshingly different from our country.

A piece on Singapore reads thus: “Beneath the city’s towering skyscrapers, you’ll discover the rich and vibrant sights and sounds of ethnic precincts like Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam. You will experience a unique learning experience that is global yet Asian.”

Food that caters to every taste, from Indian vegetarian to continental, is available at reasonable rates. There are good facilities for accommodation. The transport system is efficient. You can use the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines or passenger friendly taxi services.

While planning your budget, you will have to take into account elements such as accommodation, food, transport, clothing, utilities, telecommunications, books and stationery, healthcare and insurance, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Your needs may be anything from S$750 to S$2000 a month, depending on your lifestyle.

International students are generally not allowed to engage in any form of employment, whether paid or unpaid, in Singapore during the validity of their student’s pass, unless they have the consent in writing from the Controller of Immigration. Of course, there are exceptions.

Full-time undergraduates of polytechnics and universities are allowed to work part-time up to 16 hours per week during school term.

For the work, they should obtain permission from the respective institutions.

During their vacations, they can work full-time, since the Ministry of Manpower has exempted them from applying for work permits.

Certain categories of foreign students are exempted from the Work Permit regulations. They can work part-time during term time for less than 16 hours per week, as well as full-time during the school vacation period.

For details of the Work Permit Scheme, you may contact the Work Pass Division, Ministry of Manpower, 18 Havelock Road, Singapore 059764; Ph: (65) 6438 5122; e-mail: mom_wpd@mom.gov.sg

SIA Youth Scholarship

This competitive scholarship, awarded exclusively to Indian students after Standard 10 with good academic records, is a collaborative endeavour of the Singapore Ministry of Education and the Singapore Airlines. It is tenable for two years leading to the award of the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education ‘Advanced’ (GCE ‘A’) Level. Each year they select 25 to 50 students from all over India after selection tests and interviews. Selection is strictly merit based.

The scholarship terms cover the following:

Allowance of S$2,400 per annum with hostel accommodation

Hostel accommodation provided

Settling-in allowance of S$500 (once only)

Economy class air passage to Singapore and back to home country upon completion of course

Waiver of school fees (excluding miscellaneous fees)

Waiver of GCE ‘A’ Level examination fees (once only)

Subsidised medical benefits and accident insurance cover

Selected SIA Youth Scholars attend the top Junior Colleges in Singapore pursuing courses in the Arts or Sciences. Boarding facilities are good. This is a non-bonded scholarship. At the end of two years, the scholars are free to continue in Singapore or apply for admission overseas. There are several fine options.

Further education in countries like the USA, the U.K. and Australia are the most popular. Scholarships for undergraduate studies in NTU, SMU, and NUS are readily available.

Various other scholarships to study in Singapore and abroad are offered by Singapore companies and government bodies. If you want to return to India, you can do so.

Applications will be received during June-July. Usually the test and interview would be in November at Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. Students studying in Singapore schools are not eligible to apply for the SIA Youth scholarship.

Guidanceplus archives: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/nic0051

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