International Student Admissions: General Information on Studying in Singapore

Preparing to Study in Singapore

International students seeking admission to mainstream schools in Singapore should note that English is the medium of instruction. International students are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves before taking the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS) tests. They should be familiar with the English and Mathematics syllabi of the level preceding the one they are applying for.

International students who are successfully admitted to mainstream schools are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves in advance for a new school environment where English is the language of classroom instruction, and to familiarise themselves with the relevant curriculum for their level.

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Admission to Pre-schools, Private Schools and Post-Secondary Institutions

International students who wish to seek admission to a pre-school, private school or post-secondary institution (e.g. university or polytechnic) should approach the pre-school, private school or institution directly.

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Age Criteria for Admission of International Students

The Right Age

International students should ensure that they satisfy the age requirements for the levels they are seeking admission to. MOE does not recommend admission to levels where international students will be more than two years older than their classmates.

The following age ranges are for new international students seeking admission and former international students seeking re-admission into schools.

Level Seeking Admission To Permissible Age Range
(as at 1st January of Year of Admission)
Primary 1 6 to 8+
Primary 2 7 to 9+
Primary 3 8 to 10+
Primary 4 9 to 11+
Primary 5 10 to 12+
Primary 6 11 to 13+
This is a critical level where students sit for the major examinations i.e. Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) held towards the end of the year*. Schools will normally not admit new IS at this level.
Secondary 1 12 to 14+
Secondary 2 13 to 15+
Secondary 3 14 to 16+
Secondary 4 15 to 17+
This is a critical level where students sit for the major examinations i.e. the GCE ‘N’ or GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations held towards the end of the year*. Schools will normally not admit new IS at this level.
Secondary 5 16 to 18+
This is a critical level where students sit for the major examinations i.e. the GCE ‘O’ Level Examination held towards the end of the year*. Schools will normally not admit new IS at this level.
Pre-University 1 16 - 18+
Pre-University 2 17 to 19+
This is a critical level where students sit for the major examinations i.e. the GCE ‘A’ Level Examination held towards the end of the year*. Schools will normally not admit new IS at this level.
Pre-University 3 This is a critical level where students sit for the major examinations i.e. the GCE ‘A’ Level Examination held towards the end of the year*. Schools will normally not admit new IS at this level.

* Students are to consider if they will have sufficient preparation time for major examinations which will be held towards the end of the year before approaching the schools of choice directly. Otherwise, students may consider admission to a lower academic level within the permissible age range. Admission is subject to availability of school vacancies and the school’s assessment of the student's level of ability.

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Student’s Pass

In accordance with the Immigration Regulations, a foreigner who wishes to study in a Government / Government-aided / Independent School requires a Student’s Pass, unless he / she is a holder of a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or an Immigration Exemption Order (IEO). For more details on Student’s Pass applications, please refer to ICA’s website.

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Guardian’s Particulars

International students are required to provide their guardians’ particulars to the school. The guardian should be either:

It is a requirement for international students to have a guardian when they are studying in local mainstream schools. The guardian is responsible to account for the child under his/her care. The guardian must be contactable by the school and any change in guardianship must be reported to the school immediately.

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Primary Level Admission

International students admitted at the primary level will be expected to complete the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) like all local students, before proceeding to the secondary level.

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Exemption from offering Chinese, Malay or Tamil as a Mother Tongue Language

As part of the Singapore education system, all students are required to offer their mother tongue language as part of the curriculum. Exemption from the mother tongue requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission to school. Application for exemption should be made through the school principal, who will refer the application to the Languages & Literature Branch, Ministry of Education, for consideration.

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Monthly School and Miscellaneous Fees

The school and misc fees payable by SPR and IS in 2013/2014 are as shown in the table below.

Level Nationality 2013/2014
School Fee (S$) Misc Fee* (S$) Total (S$)
Primary Singapore PR 90 13 103
IS (Non-ASEAN) 500 13 513
IS (ASEAN) 350 13 363
Secondary Singapore PR 120 20 140
IS (Non-ASEAN) 650 20 670
IS (ASEAN) 450 20 470
Junior College / Centralised Institute Singapore PR 160 27 187
IS (Non-ASEAN) 1000 27 1,027
IS (ASEAN) 700 27 727

* Students studying in Autonomous Schools are also required to pay Autonomous School (AS) Fee. Please check directly with the schools on the rate of AS Fee payable.

The rates of school and miscellaneous fees payable are reviewed by the Ministry of Education and individual schools from time to time.

You may like to know:

The rates of school and miscellaneous fees payable are reviewed by the Ministry of Education and individual schools from time to time.

Students studying in Autonomous Schools are also required to pay additional miscellaneous fees. Please check directly with the schools on the actual amount of miscellaneous fees payable.

The school fees payable for Independent Schools vary from school to school. Please check directly with the schools concerned for the fees payable.

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Boarding Facilities

A listing of private hostels in Singapore can be found in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Telephone Directory.

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Information on Schools

The contact information of mainstream schools in Singapore can be found in the School Information Service website.

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