International students who are searching for an ideal place to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree should give Singapore a serious thought. Nicknamed “the Lion City”, Singapore is known for its business world as one of the freest, most innovative, and most competitive cities, owning a leading position in terms of successful global affairs.
What makes Singapore such a popular study destination, including for prospective MBA degree students, is a combination of world-class education, a large number of scholarship opportunities, high employability rate after graduation and the multicultural environment.
Why study abroad in Singapore?
Singapore has a worldwide reputation in terms of high standard education, research opportunities and innovative teaching and learning.
According to a UNESCO report, more than 50,000 international students arrive in Singapore each year and it was rated the 6th best student city in the world by QS World University Rankings. Due to a melting-pot society, international students don’t have any problem with adjusting to the bustling Singapore. Here are other good reasons that make this city a place worth considering for a degree abroad:
1. English is the official language used in all education institutions
English is the main language of instruction used in all universities from Singapore, so this won’t limit your study options; you can choose any degree that is provided by the university. The only condition is that you deliver proof of your English language proficiency, usually an internationally recognised test.
In addition, English is spoken by around 75% of the population in Singapore, so communicating and fitting in will be quite easy.
2. Join a diverse student population
Foreign students from all over the world choose Singapore for their higher education, especially since local universities have partnerships with leading universities from other countries. An extensive and diverse student body leads to an enriching study experience provided by the exchange of different ideas and acquiring knowledge about other cultures.
3. Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world
Despite its hectic, always busy and thriving city life, Singapore was actually rated as one the safest cities in the world (number two on the list of the safest cities in the world established by TripAdvisor). The very strict laws, police efficiency and well-developed infrastructure contribute to the overall secure environment of Singapore.
4. Singapore has a great city life
Singapore is that kind of city that truly satisfies anyone’s taste so there is nothing that you can’t do here. Singapore has it all: numerous cultural attractions, night life venues, a wide selection of restaurants, countless shopping stores and the city is alive and vibrant including during the night. You could say it has “the city that never sleeps” type of feeling.
Interesting places to visit while in Singapore include Gardens by the Bay, Buddha Temple and Museum, The triple-towered Marina Bay Sands, The Museum of Art & Design (MAD), Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel.
Why study an MBA degree in Singapore?
The name “Lion City” that was given to Singapore is related to its great economic and financial success, as the city is one of the four “Asian Tiger” economies (along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan). Global Finance Magazine placed Singapore in top three of the wealthiest nations in the world. Singapore itself is basically all about business, investment and entrepreneurship, all the things that interest future successful business people.
MBA students in Singapore will have the chance to learn from the best and business schools from Singapore offer a number of MBA specialisations, in finance, marketing, strategy and organisation, real estate, healthcare management and more.
Well-known for the high standard education, worldwide employers will always be impressed by MBA graduates that gained their knowledge and skills in Singapore.
Teaching style in universities and business schools from Singapore
Study programmes offered by universities and business schools from Singapore cover a mix of team work, interactive class discussions, and a focus on acquiring critical thinking and problem-solving skills. MBA degrees integrate a strong alignment of curriculum, assessment, instruction and practical experience.
Most Business Administration courses have a core module, enabling students to attain key concepts of a general management education. The curriculum then advances to more complex topics, meant to teach students how to succeed in the global business environment.
Interesting aspects of MBA degrees in Singapore universities and business schools:
- All MBA programmes cover internship or work opportunities, networking and social activities.
- Universities collaborate with local and international companies and organisations and often organise business workshops.
- Students work on team projects that run across the semesters and have to explore and learn more about organisational and managerial effectiveness and communication.
Universities offering MBA courses in Singapore
- National University of Singapore (ranked 15th best university in the world in QS World University Rankings, second in the QS University Rankings of Asia 2018, and 22nd best in the world in The Times Higher Education Rankings)
- Nanyang Technological University (ranked 11th best university in the world in QS World University Rankings, 1stt in Asia and 52nd in The Times Higher Education Rankings)
- Singapore Management University
- SIM University
Career development for Business students
Singapore has an incredibly open and friendly business environment and was rated by the World Bank as the number one spot where anyone can easily manage or open a business. In fact, it only takes about one or two days to incorporate a company in Singapore, as the government provides assistance in all the required steps. Because of this, Singapore gathers a large palette of multinational corporations and foreign entrepreneurs.
Singapore is practically the heaven of business people and investors so whatever you decide to do here professionally speaking, you have the guarantee to boost your chances for a successful career life.
In addition, universities organise recruitment presentations, offering students a preview of specific companies and business fields from Singapore. They also encourage students to participate in various career skills workshops.
As an international student, you are allowed to work full-time during the holidays between semesters. Here are some interesting job offer resources from Singapore:
Living in Singapore: accommodation and transportation
Overall living costs in Singapore are a little pricey, but mostly in terms of housing, so plan your monthly budget with proper care.
Average costs of living in Singapore
You would need a monthly budget of around 1,400 USD for all your expenses.
The most common student housing options in Singapore are:
- Campus accommodation – price for a single room ranges from 200 to 600 USD/month
- Rent an apartment –rates ranges from 1,500 to 4,000 USD for two – three bedroom units
- Home stay –prices are between 630 and 1,400 USD/month with meals included
With a well-developed infrastructure and a very organised public transportation, the best way to get around Singapore is by bus and by train. A student bus or train pass costs around 76 USD/month.
Taxis are also a good option, especially if you want to go to places not accessible by the bus or the train. A taxi fare is usually around 0,5 USD per kilometre, with a 3 USD start tariff.
Tuition fees for business students in Singapore
For MBA courses, public universities from Singapore charge tuition fees that range between 45,000 and 62,000 USD per year. Moreover, they charge the same tuition for both local and international students.
Private universities usually charge higher tuition fees for any type of degree and field of study, including for Masters of Business Administration.
Scholarships for students in Singapore
Compared to other Asian countries, foreign students have a larger palette of scholarships, grants and fellowship opportunities to support their studies.
Grants won’t have to be repaid, but students will have to sign a bond, stating they will work for a Singapore-registered company at least three years after completing their degree.
Check this list with organisations from Singapore offering scholarships to foreign students:
- INSEAD Syngenta Endowed Scholarship(s) for Emerging Country Leadership
- ADB-Japan Scholarship Program for Developing Countries in Asia and Pacific
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.
Find more international scholarships in Singapore.
Student visa for Singapore
If you wish to study abroad in Singapore, you might be required to apply for a visa. However, the application process for the student visa is linked to your university application; once you are accepted by a university from Singapore, the institution will issue an in-principle approval (IPA) letter that works as a visa and you have to present it at entry checkpoints.
In addition to the IPA, you will also need a student pass. Find out more details about the study visa and study pass for Singapore.
All students accepted to study at a university in Singapore receive their visa with their letter of approval.
Choose a suitable MBA programme offered by a university from Singapore and start building a fruitful career in the ever challenging international business world!