In Singapore, a country smaller than New York City, you'll find influences from east and west, old and new, urban and rural environments. This city-state has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, with "Singlish" becoming popular in social settings.
You can experience this unique blend of cultures while taking English classes from native English speakers -- in Asia! If you have basic English language skills, you can choose to study at the university level if desired. If you are starting at level one, you can find beginner classes at one of many high-quality language schools in Singapore.
Take advantage of your time abroad through weekend trips to other parts of Southeast Asia or Australia. Try as much food as you can -- it's uniquely delicious due to the range of Asian inspiration. Singapore is known for its strict laws, but many of those laws help make the city-state a clean and safe place for everyone.
Choose from highly qualified language schools or universities where you can learn in a group, find a private tutor for one-on-one specialized training, or attend a university if you've got basic English skills mastered already.
- Language school courses are the best way to learn English in Singapore for students who are new to the English language, students who need to learn English specifically for business purposes, or students who are not currently in college. Most language schools offer various lengths and prices so you can choose which course is best suited to your needs.
- If you've already been successful in basic English classes, you might be eligible to take university courses in Singapore. You will need to show evidence that you are prepared for college-level English classes, and each university will have instructions on how to meet this requirement. Taking English classes at a university is the best option if you're hoping to get college credit, you want to pursue a full degree, or you want to stay in Singapore for an extended period of time.
Why Learn English In Singapore?
Singapore is a great place to learn English if you are interested in Southeast Asian culture. Because English is one of the four national languages of Singapore, all course types will be taught by native English speakers. However, you also get the benefits of being close to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, and other fun destinations.
This city-state is clean and safe, well known for its delicious food, and offers high-quality instruction. Singapore is also a beautiful example of a city committed to incorporating greenery into its urban environment. Gardens grow on buildings throughout the city and giant artificial trees provide support for plant life, giving Singapore a futuristic feel.
If you are planning to take a short-term, beginner-level English course at a language school in Singapore, you won't need to do much more than show up. Most schools provide placement tests to find the right level for you, but generally do not exclude any student. Colleges have more strict requirements that can usually be met with TOEFL scores or an accepted equivalent.
Planning Your Trip
Popular Locations to Learn English in Singapore
Singapore is slightly smaller than New York City, so no matter where you choose to study English, you'll be able to travel around the city-state with ease. The majority of Singapore's universities and languages schools are located in the southern half of Singapore. This is also where you'll find the most popular shopping, dining, and tourist destinations.
Choosing an English Learning Program in Singapore
If you are planning to stay in Singapore long term as a full-time student, and have a good command of basic English, you can look into direct enrollment or study abroad at universities. On the other end of the scale are short-term language school courses. Several of these are 10 weeks long with 20 hours of total instruction.
You can also find intensive classes that last one month or even as little as one day! The best part about many language schools in Singapore is that they offer trial classes so you can get a feel for the style before you pay. If you need a course that is more customized to fit your needs, you might consider paying extra for a private tutor.
Cultural Immersion in Singapore
Singapore's history has been influenced by its connections with Malaysia, China, India, and Great Britain and this is evidenced in all aspects of the culture. Students are bilingual from the beginning. They learn English, but they also choose one other language that corresponds with their heritage. Citizens see themselves as distinct in their background but united as Singaporeans.
Importance is placed on respecting one's elders and the environment. There are strict laws against jaywalking, littering, spitting, public intoxication, and drug use. Chewing gum has even been banned. While this might sound a bit unnecessary, the result is a clean and safe city for locals and tourists alike.
Costs & Funding
Average English Language School Tuition in Singapore
Universities are certainly the most expensive route to studying English in Singapore, but scholarships are usually only available at the college level. Without scholarships, studying abroad in Singapore will cost around $10,000.
Language schools are much cheaper, but you will most likely need to pay out of pocket. Expect to pay between $270 and $330 for 20 hours of instruction in a group setting. A private tutor can be more than twice as expensive at approximately $860 for 20 hours.
Scholarships for Learning English in Singapore
If you are studying at a university, scholarships and other types of funding are available from private organizations and government agencies in both the United States and Singapore. If you are planning to enroll directly in a college in Singapore, check the university's website for scholarships. If you are studying abroad with a third party, see if you qualify for funding through the third party and through your home university.
Unfortunately, outside funding for language schools is very rare in any country, but if you'll only be abroad for a short period of time, you can try crowdfunding websites and fundraising on your own to meet your financial goal.
Cost of Living in Singapore
Living in Singapore is a high-quality experience, with a cost of living to match it. Food, accommodation, transportation, and other daily expenses are considered high when compared to other areas of Asia. You can expect to pay around $7,000 to $8,000 per year for everything outside of tuition. Your budget for one night out would be similar to that in a big city in the United States.
Visas & Other Relevant Information
To enter Singapore, your passport should be valid for at least six months after your intended departure date. No visa is required for visits under 90 days. However, if you will be studying full time for more than 30 days (or longer than 50 hours of instruction time), you will need a student visa, which you can get by showing your acceptance letter to a Singapore university. Once you're in Singapore, there are additional requirements for maintaining your student status.