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 centralised test. They should be familiar with the English and Mathematics syllabuses 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.

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

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

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 New students are generally not admitted at this level.
Secondary 1 12 to 14+
Secondary 2 13 to 15+
Secondary 3 14 to 16+
Secondary 4 New students are generally not admitted at this level.
Secondary 5 New students are generally not admitted at this level.
Pre-University 1 16 - 18+
Pre-University 2 New students are generally not admitted at this level.
Pre-University 3 New students are generally not admitted at this level.

 

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.

Guardian’s Particulars

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

  • A Singapore Citizen / Singapore Permanent Resident above 21 years old, or
  • The parent of the international student if the parent is working / staying in Singapore

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.

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.

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.

Monthly School and Miscellaneous Fees

The school and miscellaneous fees payable by Singapore citizens in 2015/2016 are shown in the table below.

Level 2015/2016
Monthly School Fee Monthly Standard Miscellaneous Fee Monthly 2nd-tier Miscellaneous Fee* (Maximum) Monthly Total Fee (Maximum)
($) ($) ($) ($)
Primary Free 6.50 6.50 13.00
Secondary 5.00 10.00 10.00 25.00
Pre-University 6.00 13.50 13.50 33.00

* 2nd-Tier Miscellaneous Fee is decided by the schools and is capped at 100% of the standard miscellaneous fee.

Student can use their Edusave Accounts to pay the 2nd-Tier Miscellaneous Fee.

The school and misc fees payable by SPR and IS in 2015/2016 are as shown in the table below.

Level Nationality 2015 2016
Monthly School Fee (S$) Monthly Misc Fee* (S$) Monthly Total Fee (S$) Monthly School Fee (S$) Monthly Misc Fee* (S$) Monthly Total Fee (S$)
Primary Singapore PR 90.00 13.00 103.00 110.00 13.00 123.00
IS (Non-ASEAN) 500.00 13.00 513.00 550.00 13.00 563.00
IS (ASEAN) 350.00 13.00 363.00 370.00 13.00 383.00
Secondary Singapore PR 120.00 20.00 140.00 160.00 20.00 180.00
IS (Non-ASEAN) 650.00 20.00 670.00 800.00 20.00 820.00
IS (ASEAN) 450.00 20.00 470.00 550.00 20.00 570.00
Pre-University Singapore PR 160.00 27.00 187.00 220.00 27.00 247.00
IS (Non-ASEAN) 1000.00 27.00 1027.00 1150.00 27.00 1177.00
IS (ASEAN) 700.00 27.00 727.00 800.00 27.00 827.00

* 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.

Important Note:

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.

Boarding Facilities

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

Information on Schools

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