Phew, what an eventful week it has been! I finally have time to sit down and write the first post on this new blog of mine. Before I get ahead of myself, l am Beatrice. I figured I should start chronicling my days as an undergraduate in Singapore so I can look back fondly on my time here. Studying abroad comes with its own set of challenges and who knows, my experiences can help other international friends as well!
Anyway, I had to bring my cousin from India to the SIM Open House last week and boy did that bring back memories of my first open house event two years ago! Seeing her checking out the campus, finding out more about the courses and (most importantly) how to apply to study in Singapore reminded me just how lost I had felt then too. Since my cousin has decided to join me here, I decided to write this post to help her and anyone else who might find the process confusing. Once you sort out the steps, it’s actually really easy!
- Get a student pass
All international students must have a Singapore-issued student pass. You can apply for it online on the SIMConnect Applicant Portal or the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) e-Service portal. To apply, you’ll need to have SIM’s letter of offer to study plus these documents.
- Apply while you’re in your home country
You don’t have to come to Singapore to process your application. This is because if your application takes longer to approve, you’ll not be allowed to extend your stay. So to save on time and money, it’s best that you apply for your student pass before arriving in Singapore.
- Submit your application early
ICA says you should apply for your student pass two to three months before your course begins. The application fee is S$30 (non-refundable) and you can pay either with a credit/debit card, or internet bank transfer if you have a Singapore bank account. Processing takes about two to four weeks and you will be notified of the outcome on the ICA e-Service portal.
- Book your collection appointment
Once your application is approved, you’ll need to book an appointment to collect it personally in Singapore. And I have to emphasise this because I only remembered as I was leaving for the airport – pack and bring along all the original documents stated in your in-principle approval letter or the authorities will not issue your student pass. You’ll have to pay S$60 for the student pass and an additional S$30 for a visa if you need one to enter Singapore.
Hope this helps! If you have more questions, check out the SIM GE international students page.