Language courses in Singapore seem like an exotic choice, given that it is a city-state that is hard to pinpoint on a map. At the same time, the country is considered to be English-speaking and holds 4th place in terms of knowledge of this language[1]. Moreover, migrants from all over the world come to Singapore, offering an ideal environment for students to practice their skills. At the same time, the cost of language courses is lower than in more popular countries, such as the United States and United Kingdom.

Advantages of language courses in Singapore

  • Affordable prices. The average weekly cost of courses is 220 USD. This is cheaper than that in the USA — 430 USD/week, Great Britain — 462 USD/week, and Australia — 400 USD/week.
  • Wide range of options. Singapore is not as obvious a destination for learning English as the US or the UK. However, there are about 300 options for learning English both at private schools and university centers[2].
  • Cosmopolitan atmosphere. About 35% of Singaporeans are immigrants[3]. People from Asian and European countries coexist comfortably here.
  • Clear schedule. All courses in Singapore have a fixed duration and a well-defined curriculum. At the beginning of classes, students are given a printed schedule and a detailed course syllabus. Learning will be clear and predictable.
  • Transparent visa process. For English programs of up to 30 days, you can apply for a tourist visa, while longer courses require a student pass. Language schools and universities assist with the application process — the student only needs to fill out and print a special form. With it, you need to come to the migration service upon arrival in the country and get a ready-made student visa.

Disadvantages of language courses in Singapore

  • High prices. Singapore is an expensive city. The average cost of living is 1,000 USD per month.
  • Special English. The variant of English spoken in Singapore even has its own name — Singlish. It has been heavily influenced by Chinese and Malay. Basically, it differs from British or American vocabulary. Students may have trouble understanding local speech outside of school.
  • Easy to lose your visa. Language course students may lose their visa and leave the country prematurely if they miss more than 10% of classes or decide to change programs during their studies.

Cost of language courses in Singapore

SchoolProgramWeeksTuition fee/weekCitiesHotelsApartments
LSBFPreparatory course in English (PCE)50+167 USDSingapore190 USD/day1,116 USD/month
Preparatory course for IELTS 15*Weekly7,512 USD
General Course 25*1-31,101 USD
English Summer Camp 5*SGD1750/course
MDISProfessional Certificate in English (for Tertiary Education) 30*50283 USDSingapore190 USD/day1,116 USD/month

Certificate in English (for Secondary / Post-Secondary Education) 30*

25

* number of hours per week

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Types of language courses in Singapore

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelCost per week
General English10-1510-16Beginner357 USD
Intensive English15-205-8Beginner203 USD
Academic English3010-16Beginner208 USD
Business English2010-16Elementary134 USD
Conversational English4-68-10Elementary91 USD
IELTS Preparation1515Intermediate74 USD
Corporate EnglishIndividual1-5Elementary1,339 USD/lesson
Summer Camp510-16Beginner1,302 USD/lesson
Private lessonsIndividual1-3Beginner149 USD/lesson
  • General and Intensive English lessons. General English courses available for students with any language level. Duration — from 1 to 4 weeks.
  • Academic English. Preparatory courses for future university students. Available for any language level. Programs last from 11 to 33 weeks depending on the initial language level.
  • Business English. English for those who plan to work in an English-speaking country. The main emphasis is on oral speech and listening comprehension. Students also learn business vocabulary and master the skills of presentation and negotiation. Duration — from 10 to 50 weeks. You can attend this program with a level of Elementary and above.
  • Corporate English. English language courses for companies. You can study one-on-one with a teacher or in small groups of up to 5 people. The intensity and duration of the course depends on the needs and spare time of the group. Suitable for the Elementary level and above.
  • Conversational English. Special conversation courses. The main emphasis is putting rules in practice and communication between students. Duration — from 4 to 12 weeks. You can study at the Elementary level and above.
  • IELTS Preparation. Courses to prepare for the international language exam. Duration — 2 months. The program consists of two modules: a general English course and practice exercises, during which students solve tasks from real tests and train for the speaking section. The minimum language level is Intermediate.
  • Private lessons. Classes in small groups of up to 3 people. Courses are available with a total duration of 10 to 40 hours. The student himself can choose the number of weeks and hours per week that he is ready to devote to classes.

Some courses can be combined with each other — for example, an intensive and conversational program to develop speaking skills. Or, you can take a writing elective for a Business English course and learn how to competently conduct business correspondence in English.

University courses

University courses in Singapore aim to prepare students for studying at English-speaking universities. The duration of such programs is from 6 to 12 months. You can study with any initial language level. Classes are held in the format of lectures and emphasize academic writing and reading, along with presentations and critical thinking. The main advantage of such courses is access to and lessons within the university campus.

Summer programs

Language schools in Singapore offer special summer courses. In the morning, students study English with teachers, and in the afternoon they go on excursions, walk around the city, play sports, and participate in conversation clubs.

The program costs include English courses, extracurricular activities, accommodation with breakfast, and transfers from the airport. Students with any language level can attend a summer camp in Singapore. Duration — from 1 to 3 weeks.

Features of admission to language schools in Singapore

Enrollment at language schools takes place all year round. For long-term courses, classes begin once a month, and for short-term courses — every Monday. To enroll in a language course, you need to:

  • Select the appropriate course
  • Fill out an application form on the website of the school or university
  • Pay for tuition and additional fees
  • Receive an invitation and attach it to your visa documents

Some language courses in Singapore require a certain language level, which you can find out by taking a test on the school website. The results will not affect admission in any way. Upon arrival, you need to take a test at the school to determine your language level. Based on these results, you will be assigned to an appropriate group.

Students are enrolled in university courses four times a year: in January, April, July, and October. The admission process at some universities in Singapore is similar to that of undergraduate or graduate programs. You must provide:

  • Completed application for admission
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Legalized documents on previous education
  • 4 photos
  • Copy of student visa

When choosing an educational institution, it is important to make sure that it has state accreditation. Otherwise, your visa will be denied.

Taking language courses in Singapore

University language courses in Singapore take place in the format of lectures and seminars. These courses are aimed at preparing students for studying at English-speaking universities.

Classes at language schools are more variable. You can take academic English courses, but in addition to them, summer programs, Business English, and international language exam preparations are available.

A distinctive feature of all courses in Singapore is a fixed duration. Schools rarely allow students to choose their own length of study. Moreover, the lesson plan is very clearly regulated. A detailed description of each lesson is given to students at the beginning of the course. Throughout the course, students take several intermediate tests and a final exam. At the end of the course, they are given a certificate.

Please note that language centers in Singapore do not provide accommodation. However, they can help find an apartment near the school.

Accommodation options in Singapore

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost
HotelsOptional1-4190 USD/day
ApartmentsNone1-51,116 USD/month

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular embassy fee22 USD35 USD
Registration fee358 USD
GST7%

For additional costs, check the official website of the chosen school.

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Visa for language courses in Singapore

For courses lasting up to 30 days, you can apply for a tourist visa.

To study for more than 30 days, you need to obtain a student pass[4], which can be done directly through a language school or university.

To receive a student pass:

  • The school or university registers you in a system using the data provided in the admission application form
  • Receive a special registration number
  • No later than 2 months before the start of the course, fill out the student pass form using this registration number
  • Print out a copy of the completed form and paste a photo into it. You will need this document upon arrival in Singapore to obtain a student pass
  • The school or university sends your documents to the immigration office
  • Apply for a tourist visa to enter the country, attaching the student pass number to it
  • Arrive in Singapore and get a student pass at the immigration service

Documents for a tourist visa to Singapore:

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months after entering the territory of Singapore
  • Сompleted application form
  • 3x4 photo, not older than 3 months
  • Student pass registration number and proof of enrollment at an educational institution (for long-term courses)
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 USD

It may be necessary to provide booking confirmation for flights and accommodation in Singapore. All documents must be translated into English and notarized. You can submit them online. The processing time for a tourist visa is up to 4 weeks.

It is worth bearing in mind that a student visa can be easily lost if you:

  • Spend less than 15 hours a week studying
  • Skip more than 10% of classes without a good reason
  • Decide to change the place of study
  • Try to get a job
Work while taking a language course in Singapore

A student visa does not allow you to work in Singapore. An exception is an internship at a university. You can be deported and banned from entering the country in the future if you attempt illegal employment.

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Best language schools in Singapore

London School of Business & Finance

LSBF was founded in 2011. Since then, it has annually trained about 10 thousand students from all over the world.

The school offers general English courses, summer programs, and preparatory courses for IELTS exams or admission to English-speaking universities. Courses last from 1 week to a year, while summer programs go on for 1 to 3 weeks.

The average cost of courses is 372 USD per week.

MDIS — Management Development Institute of Singapore

MDIS offers undergraduate and graduate programs in areas ranging from psychology and media communications to engineering. You can also take academic English courses to prepare for high school and university studies.

The duration of the course for high school preparation is 6 months, for university admission — 10 months.

University preparation programs are only available to students who have already enrolled in MDIS for undergraduate or graduate studies.

The average cost of the course is 283 USD per week. Additional costs (registration fees, study materials, internal exam fees, health insurance, etc.) average at 1,079-2,083 USD.

Singapore for learning English

  • Multicultural environment. Singapore is a very unique city. It organically combines different cultures: Chinese, European, and Malay. There are many official languages ​​here — English, Singaporean Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. International students can experience the country's unique culture while using English to communicate with locals.
  • Asian education center. There are 6 universities in the country, including the National University of Singapore. According to QS, it has been ranked in the top 3 Asian universities since 2013[5]. Education takes place mainly in English.
  • High standard of living. According to the 2021 Quality of Urban Living Index, Singapore ranks third in the world in terms of urban living comfort[6]. A well-developed and convenient infrastructure, rapidly developing economy, warm climate, and benevolent society make Singapore a popular tourist and educational destination.
Language courses with UniPage

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