International Students

International Students

International students from various countries have chosen Republic Polytechnic (RP) as their preferred placed to study. As an international student at RP, you will gain knowledge and skills that will lead to exciting careers and further studies opportunities. You will also get to make new friends and experience new cultures.

For details about applying to study at RP as an international student, please visit our admissions section.

Relocating from one’s home country is a big step, and you may experience some challenges adjusting to your new environment upon arrival. You also have to pay attention to issues such as immigration and accommodation matters, in addition to learning about life in Singapore.

The Office of Student Support will help you settle in by providing caring and personalised services, such as counselling, mentoring, insurance and financial assistance (for emergency). You can also join a host of programmes and activities organised through the International Students’ Club.

Before leaving for Singapore, you must prepare the following items:

  • RP Letter of Offer
  • Passport to be valid for at least 6 months
  • In-Principle Approval for Student Pass (you must submit your application via the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority)
  • Accommodation in Singapore (make advance booking

Student’s Pass

International students who are offered admission must apply for a Student’s Pass to remain and stay in Singapore for the duration of their study in RP. 

After you have received a letter of offer for admission issued by RP, you should submit an online application via the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority website for an in-principle approval of a Student’s Pass. The in-principle approval letter from ICA will allow you to enter Singapore. 

Appointment of a Local Representative

In the course of your studies in RP, you may need medical attention in the form of surgery or any other medical procedures or treatment, and may be unable to give or refuse consent to the procedure or treatment. In such an event, surgeons or consultants in Singapore hospitals would require a Local Representative to be present at the hospital to authorise or refuse consent to the surgery or other medical procedures or treatment on your behalf. 

Your parent/guardian will need to appoint a Local Representative, residing in Singapore, who will have the authority to authorise or refuse consent for the surgery or other medical procedure or treatment on your behalf. This Local Representative should be informed of his/her role and be contactable by you and/or RP when required.

Only when the Local Representative is not contactable after reasonable efforts have been made, RP, its officers, staff or any authorised personnel will authorise or refuse consent to the surgery or other medical procedure or treatment. 

Part-time Employment

Any part-time work must be done outside of school hours and co-curricular activities, and it must not affect your academic performance. You should not engage in controversial activities that are detrimental to the interest of Singapore and RP.

For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Manpower website.

Accommodation

This may be your first experience living away from home or living in a foreign country. Choosing a suitable place to stay is a major concern, and you would want to settle in as soon as possible.

The earlier you begin your search, the greater your chances of finding a place that meets your needs and budget. Students are expected to pay at least one month advance rent and one month deposit.

You are strongly encouraged to secure your own accommodation before you arrive in Singapore. Most international students stay in HDB flats in view of their relative affordability.  International students usually rent rooms from the owners of HDB flats.

Living Expenses

Living expenses vary according to individual lifestyles and means. The following is only a guide on the monthly estimated cost of living in Singapore.

Item Average per month in S$
Accommodation $300 to $1,000 (depending on location, facilities and number of students sharing a room)
Utilities $80 to $100
Food $400 to $550
Public Transport $50 to $100 (with student concession pass)
Telecommunications & Internet Access $50 to $100 (varies with usage)
Books, Stationery & Equipment $50 to $100 (varies across the different courses)
Personal Expenses $100 to $200 (varies with spending habits)
Total per month (estimated) From $1,030

Insurance

All RP full-time international students are covered under the Group Hospitalisation & Surgical Insurance with Mental Health Rider (GHSI). The insurance covers treatment for the following conditions at a Singapore Government/Restructured Hospital/Specialist Outpatient Clinic/A&E:

  • bodily injury and sickness including mental illness
  • communicable diseases (requiring isolation and/or quarantine by law such as SARS, bird flu)
  • other infectious diseases

Students may apply for a Letter of Guarantee (LOG) for hospitalisation treatment in Singapore. A LOG is a document issued by the insurer for hospitalisation and/or surgery. With a LOG, the hospital will waive the cash deposit and payment of the hospital bill up to the limits of the insurance and subject to the policy terms and conditions. The hospital will bill the insurer directly. 

You can find out more about this insurance scheme in our students’ insurance scheme webpage.

Managing Finances

When you first arrive in Singapore, you will need to have enough Singapore currency for your expenses for the initial period of your stay. You should consider doing the following:

  • Bring along a small amount of cash for immediate expenses (for example S$1000).
  • Prepare some Singapore Dollars. You will need this for transport and food. Shops and transport providers generally do not accept foreign currencies.
  • Buy a bank draft or travellers' cheques of a larger amount from a bank in your own country. Most banks in Singapore handle bank drafts and travellers' cheques. Bear in mind that that they may take about three weeks to clear the draft before the amount can be deposited into your new account.

Opening an account at a bank in Singapore

Once you have settled down in Singapore, you should consider opening a savings or checking account with a local or international bank.

Some of the major banks in Singapore are: 

You can visit the websites of these banks to find out more about starting an account with them.

Public Transport

Getting around in Singapore is easy with its extensive public transport system. For instance, a trip by the MRT train from Woodlands Station (the station nearest the RP campus) to the city centre takes about 50 minutes.

The vast majority of people in Singapore travel to work and school by MRT trains and public buses and they use a common fare card called EZ-link Card. The EZ-link card is a stored-value smart card for travelling on the public transport system. This card may be purchased and topped up at all MRT stations and bus interchanges. 

Tertiary Student EZ-Link card

The Tertiary Student EZ-Link card is issued to all eligible full time students.

For students who are applying for the EZ-Link Card during RP's enrolment exercise, the One-Stop Centre will assist in the distribution of the EZ-Link Card to students. If you need further assistance, please contact the One-Stop Centre

If you miss this application period, you may apply directly via the TransitLink website. You can also visit the TransitLink website for more information.