How To Choose The Right University

University counsellors from Tanglin Trust School, Dover Court International School and St Joseph's Institution International offer expert advice on how to plan for university, where to study, and how being an international student in Singapore is a huge advantage.
How To Choose The Right University
By Carli Allan
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Where to study – which is the best university for you?


Students from Singapore are applying to universities in the UK, US, Canada and beyond

As Hani Rahman at Dover Court so rightly says, the “the world is your oyster” and there are opportunities to study anywhere in the world. The start of your university education does not have to mean a return to your home country.

Ms Rahman adds:

“Many students feel they need to return to their home countries to study for university, but really, with a student visa, students can study anywhere. Student visas are granted to students who are in class over a minimum number of hours per week, so any full-time university course load would definitely grant one. Therefore, students should keep their options open and base their research on learning education styles and opportunities available to them.

“Being a student at an international school allows for so much fantastic exposure to so many different cultures and ideas. Students at international schools can hear about their friends applying to universities in Japan or Canada or Australia or anywhere in the world and can see how accessible universities around the world truly are.”

Where you study can come with plenty of red tape, depending on where your passport is from. There may be certain conditions that apply if you are returning to your home country, the cost of a degree varies by country, and so does the duration of a degree.

“A medical degree is never cheap but in Europe you can study it at undergraduate level whereas in North America you would need to complete an undergraduate degree first,” advises Zoe Williams at Tanglin.

You should also consider whether you want to study overseas for the experience, or plan to remain in that country and work after your graduate.

Aidan Crowley, University Counsellor at SJI International, says:

“A key part of investing in university studies is the return on that investment. Being able to start their professional life overseas can add significant value in terms of future employability and contract negotiation when returning to wherever home might be.”

With most students taking their first big step away from living at home, they should also consider distance from family and safety.

Zoe Williams at Tanglin says:

“We always encourage students to think about their support network, as many opt to move away from their families to study, and who they will have within a reasonable distance if they need assistance during the pandemic. This can depend on where a student has lived previously and how independent they feel or which country they regard as ‘home’. Safety is something they should consider.

“We are very fortunate to live in Singapore as it has an extremely high standard of living. Moving from Singapore to a large US or European city can come as a culture shock, so we discuss this with our students and prepare them with a series of transition workshops through University Counselling sessions and Life Skills lessons.”

Next: Advantages of being a student at an international school

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