A. Preparation for the stay abroad
1. When did you start preparing for your stay?
About 9 months in advance
2. Was a visa required?
A student visa was required. However, this may not be used on site in Singapore. I got the provisional visa with the help of MicroEDU (more on this later). To do this, I had to fill out two forms and send them back to MicroEDU. The rest of the work was done by the agency and I received all the documents I needed shortly before I left. The official visa is only available at the local university. There you get the so-called student pass, which works more or less as an ID. During Orientation Week (one week before the official start of the course), a few more documents must be filled out and presented again (MicroEDU will also tell you exactly what these are). Shortly afterwards you will be given your student pass. During the period of validity, this is a multiple entry visa, which means you can enter and leave Singapore multiple times with it. Even the fast entry for locals can be used with this at airports or other border controls.
3. Were there any special features with insurance (liability, health insurance, etc.)
There are tons of different international health insurances. However, there were no special features. Note: There are some insurances that offer foreign health insurance especially for students, which can even be taken out to the exact day.
4. How did you apply to the host university (self-employed, placement agency, international office, etc.)?
As already mentioned, I applied to JCU Singapore with the help of the MicroEDU recruitment agency. I can fully recommend this to anyone who is interested. I first came across the JCU through MicroEDU during a consultation at the EUFH. There has been a long-term cooperation between the University of Singapore and the agency. Because of this, MicroEDU had all the necessary registration documents ready, which I could easily download online. In addition, you always get a contact person who can explain all questions about the application.
How did you live (student dormitory, flat share, etc.)? How did you find your accommodation ? Was this recommended?
First of all, the JCU provides you with free two-week accommodation. This can be called a student residence, although some students still live here. If you like it here, you can of course stay longer. I cannot recommend this under any circumstances. The accommodation is very shabby, really dirty and very small even by Singapore standards. The good thing about this was that you can meet many other international students here, with whom you can go looking for accommodation together. For the same money (approx. 800 SGD for a double room and 1100-1200 SGD for a single room per month excluding rent) you can even live in a so-called condominium. This is a huge residential complex that in the vast majority of cases has a swimming pool, a small gym, BBQ corners, Includes tennis and basketball courts that can be used free of charge by all residents. I myself have lived in such an apartment with up to eight roommates (including other Germans, French and Chinese). This was absolutely recommended. Most of the time you met up with the other students here to start the evenings together over a BBQ. My condo was in the Ang Mo Kio district where you can actually experience the real Singapore. This was also in the immediate vicinity of both campuses. However, the JCU has moved to its new main campus in Geylang since the new semester.
I actually found the numerous offers on Facebook. There are some groups (e.g. Find your Roomie in SG) where sub-tenants are sought or landlords (landlords) offer their apartments for rent. Attention: many landlords require a minimum rental period of 6 months, but there are also some who only offer short rentals for foreign students, just ask! In a pinch there is also an accommodation office of the JCU, who have contacts to landlords!
Last note: actually only rent the accommodation on site, as the price-performance ratio can vary widely and images on the Internet can be far from reality.
1. Have you paid tuition fees? If yes, in what amount?
JCU Singapore has tuition fees equivalent to around € 5000.
2. How did you finance your studies abroad? (Erasmus, foreign BAföG, scholarship, support from the company, etc.)?
I partially financed the semester abroad with the help of a DAAD Promos scholarship in the amount of 900 €. Other students have also financed a lot through the Auslands-BAföG.
3. How high do you estimate the cost of living in the host country?
Singapore has recently become the most expensive city in the world. Accordingly, the cost of living is enormous. The largest part of the expenditure amounts to the rental costs. However, food and drink can be compared to Germany. Groceries are best bought at Fairprice, a Singaporean discounter. The most expensive here are by far the dairy products. You can definitely eat cheaply in hawker centers (food courts). The resident stalls offer all kinds of local and international things. From 2 € upwards you can eat great here. Incidentally, most of the locals do this too, as it is cheaper and easier than cooking yourself.
- Learn more information about the country of Singapore and continent of Asia on printerhall.
Club visits typically cost SGD 30 with a free drink. Wednesdays are always ladies night, so all ladies come to the club for free and have some free drinks. Men often come in free of charge via guest lists. There are also some groups on Facebook for this purpose (e.g. Hazel’s Guestlist or Singapore UNI). More on the subject of “transport” later.