We all know Singapore is a stellar tourist destination for its abundant food choices and Garden City status. And while we may have taken for granted the conveniences of home, Singapore stands out for its strategic location, modern facilities, and its unique positions as a cultural melting pot and hub for research and innovation.
This enviable list of traits ultimately makes our little red dot the ideal location for a fulfilling higher education. Not convinced? Read on to find out why you should go local for a holistic and global uni journey:
We might complain about train delays from time to time, but the transportation system in Singapore is so intricately and thoughtfully planned that often we don’t even have to walk five minutes to reach a bus stop or MRT station. It also takes under an hour to get to almost anywhere, even to the airport! SMU for one is located right smack in the heart of the city with access via a host of buses, as well as accessibility via 5 different MRT train lines and 4 stations (including the Bencoolen station due to open on 21 Oct 2017) all within a 10-minute walking distance to SMU. Still unsure? Just chat with folks who have had to walk, cycle or drive for miles to get to campus when they were studying abroad elsewhere.
Still unsure? Just chat with folks who have had to walk, cycle or drive for miles to get to campus when they were studying abroad elsewhere.
Singapore Train System Map as of 4 Oct ’17 (Source: lta.gov.sg)
2. Walk on the safe side
It’s no news that Singapore is incredibly safe with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Our cosmopolitan status means that most areas are well populated and boast amenities like ample street lighting and police posts. Stability, a low crime rate and friendly citizens mean that you could afford to hang out after hours or even leave your phone on the table at lunch while you eat, without thinking twice (note that we recommend it though!).
Shoppers, tourists, shopping late into the night along Orchard Road.
3. Location, location
Being the ultimate gateway to Asia, Singapore is a hotspot for developed industries and start-ups alike. Studying here provides plenty of professional and entrepreneurial opportunities upon graduation, or even for internships while in school. Furthermore, for those who love to enrich themselves through their travels, there are plenty of terrific getaway destinations just a couple of hours away. Finally, Singapore is also home to scenic spots like Coney Island Park or Sungei Buloh to take a break from the concrete jungle, all without a plane ticket.
4. East meets West
Truly multicultural, Singapore embraces popular Western culture — largely thanks to the adoption of English as the main language, while remaining rooted in its Asian traditions. Even for those who have grown up in this vibrant city-state, there’s always something new to discover about a different culture at every turn. This helps undergraduates to grow into true global citizens, on campus and beyond.
5. Foreign affairs
Studying in a university does not mean being cloistered on campus. SMU, for one, offers a rich international exchange programme through its close relationships with over 200 partner institutions across various continents. Carefully curated to nurture global perspectives and cross-cultural understanding, students gain exposure by immersing themselves in a foreign country through global summer programmes, short-term exchanges, and other study-abroad opportunities. Not forgetting many other global exposure opportunities through study missions and overseas community service projects as well!
6. Culture fix
SMU is at the heart of the cultural district, surrounded by historical museums and venues, and a part of attractions like the annual Singapore Night Festival. Students here gain free or concession entry to cultural institutions with world-class events and exhibitions. Beyond traditional cultural activities, Singapore is also home to a vibrant music scene with a lineup of international music festivals such as Laneway, Ultra and Zoukout; and plenty of concerts spanning multiple genres.
Singapore is a thriving financial centre in the region because of strong fundamentals like a prime location and pro-business environment. With a stable economy, superior technology and ability to breed emerging industries like fintech, Singapore has been . All this provides students with abundant opportunities to connect and work with top businesses and financial institutions based here.
The Central Business District in Singapore City at twilight.
8. Fusion food
Singapore is a veritable rojak (Asian salad) of culinary flavours, offering the best of Asian cuisine as well as gourmet international meals. The first in the world to receive Michelin stars, our acclaimed street food stalls present delicious local dishes to tantalise tastebuds. Or one might choose to satiate cravings for Japanese omakase, handmade pasta and authentic Spanish tapas at the annual event, which sees fine dining restaurants offering value-for-money prix fixe menus.
9. Cutting-edge technology
With a whopping set aside to support research and development (R&D) efforts over the next five years, the Singapore government is committed to growing innovation and technology. This means more job opportunities for potential grads over the next 10 years to fuel such aggressive initiatives in the sector, and ensure that Singapore is poised to make its mark on the global economy.