The travel industry is slowly and surely warming up yet again, and this means families who have been considering moving abroad have one less thing to worry about. Now, if you’re reading this as someone who is thinking of moving to Singapore, or are a current expat in Singapore, one thing on your mind may be: How do I enrol my child in an international school in Singapore?
Studying in Singapore for foreigners
First things first, there are some things you need to know about getting an education as a foreigner in Singapore.
- The quality of education is superb
You probably already know it, but it’s worth emphasising again. Singapore is known for being top-notch in its education system, producing top-scorers in major exams like the GCE A Levels and IB Diploma exams each year. Singapore students also consistently put the little nation on the world map for their English, Science, and Math abilities, if international rankings like the PISA study is anything to go by.
In Singapore, parents and students have a strong emphasis on education, and students spend a lot of time in school or studying at home. Thus, you should expect to receive very good education here. But it also means it can be difficult to get into one of the ‘top’ schools here, as the standards are very high.
- It is very difficult to get into local schools
Locals get all the advantage when getting into the local schools here. School fees are heavily subsidised for citizens, and priority is given to Singaporean students and Permanent Residents. This results in many foreign students being turned away from local schools.
Despite the challenges, some expats are still keen on trying, because they want their child to have a truly local experience studying in Singapore. This is especially if you are planning on staying here for the long haul. If this is something you’d like to do, you have to plan early to take tests like the AEIS and Cambridge English Test in order to qualify for a place.
- International schools are quite expensive
Compared to local schools which are subsidised for locals, international school fees are exorbitant.
To provide a gauge, we looked up the annual tuition fee (minus any books, facilities, or other miscellaneous fees) for a final year high school student in a few international schools in Singapore. For admissions in year 2022-23, a high schooler at Canadian International School will set you back $44,200 a year, $37,262 at the Singapore American School, and $42,099 at Tanglin Trust School.
For expats who can deal with these costs, international schools are simply more popular because they are easier for foreigners to enter. Globe-trotters who are constantly on the move also tend to value the international syllabus and schooling experience that international schools provide, more so than the local school experience.
How do I apply to an international school in Singapore?
If what you have in mind is an international school here, here are some things you should do to get started.
- Find out about the different international schools in Singapore, especially in terms of key differences like their education system, teaching philosophy, educational pathways, diversity, fees, and location.
- Narrow down your choices to about 3 to 5 schools. It is good to apply to a few, as some schools will not have places and will have to put your child on a waiting list. For this same reason, it is a good idea to start your planning and applications early!
- Speak to the admissions officer in your school(s) of choice. Each school’s application process differs, so you will have to take note of what needs to be done for the schools you are applying to.
Need help applying?
Moving to a new country, settling into a new home, and easing into a new life away from the familiar can be immensely daunting and stressful. You may feel like getting your child all ready for school isn’t something you can handle all by yourself right now.
If that’s you, we can help!
What we offer is an international school application assistance service that guides you and your child through the application process. On the more academic side of things, we can identify areas that your child needs work on, and help them get up to speed with any school entrance tests, or simply get them ready for their first term in school.
Take a look at some of the offers and successful placement of our students!
In a nutshell, this is our process:
- Diagnostic test: Our advisor will use this pre-test to gauge the student’s current ability, and identify any key areas they need help with.
- Planning: With the parent and student, we will design an action plan of training steps to best prepare your child for the admissions process.
- Training: This may include tutoring for academic subjects, preparing for entrance tests, and coaching for interview skills.
- Receive offers: Combining diligent work with our step-by-step process, we can guarantee success in your application.
- Follow-up: For students who have gotten a place in their desired school, we can continue to assist students in assimilating into their new school and help them maintain good academic performance through our tutoring services.
Get into your dream school in Singapore
Don’t let complicated processes deter you from applying to a good school for your child. We can help you simplify things, increase your chances of getting that offer, and build up your child’s confidence through the application journey.
With the right steps, your child can benefit from the world-class education that Singapore’s schools provide. We welcome you to find out more about our international school application assistance services if you’re looking to apply to a school in Singapore. Happy school hunting!