Desi students' experience of sunny Singapore

With over 17 percent of foreign students making up the student population in Singapore, Indian students continue to choose the island as their ideal destination for their higher education. Connected To India spoke to these students to find out their reasons for choosing Singapore and their experience of the Southeast Asian country thus far.

Aditi Ganesan, who came from Chennai, Tamil Nadu said, “Singapore is only a four hour journey by air and the country is also known for its safety. The other aspect I considered was the great quality of education. Being close to home with good quality education was a perfect fit for me.”

Adithi with her group of friends from college. Photo courtesy: Adithi Ganesan
Adithi with her group of friends from college. Photo courtesy: Adithi Ganesan

When asked about what was different from their home cities when compared to Singapore, a student from Delhi, Naman Kaushal mentioned how coming from a city like Delhi, Singapore had a higher standard of living and the crime rates here were very low. The crime rate in Singapore stands at 3.2 percent, which is far less than the rate of many other countries around the world.

Naman with his squad. Photo courtesy: Naman Kaushal
Naman with his squad. Photo courtesy: Naman Kaushal

Singapore is known to have the best education system in the world where universities like NUS ( National University of Singapore) and NTU ( Nanyang Technological University) continue to place themselves in the ‘Top 10’ rankings worldwide.

“I have visited Singapore a lot of times before and it genuinely feels like home away from home. The people here are friendly and make me feel warm. It is also easy for me to communicate as Tamil is also my mother tongue”,said Manasi Jain, a first year student of Business Management from the Singapore Institute of Management.

Caught smiling with pizza at the cafe. Photo courtesy: Manasi Jain
Caught smiling with pizza at the cafe. Photo courtesy: Manasi Jain

With Instagram-worthy backdrops and hip bistros, the Singapore cafe culture is very vibrant. Students are often found chilling with buddies and even studying or revising for exams at these spaces.

“My best memory so far has been my visit to this cafe called ‘Rise and Grind Coffee’. I was having a very hectic day and my friend just decided to lighten up my mood by asking me to join her at the cafe. I loved the food and the ambience," Manasi continued.

Being a foreign student in a new country is not as easy as it seems. Aditi shared, ”Being the only child, I have been a very pampered kid back home. These three weeks of complete independence has been one hell of a ride. From cooking to doing my laundry to cleaning my room, it has been a very new experience.’’

Jatin Bagrecha, a first-year student of Business Management from Singapore Institute of Management shared about his first day of the university where he met people from around the world. He also interacted with so many personalities around the university campus. He said, “It is a place with so much diversity and this experience is great for students who come from India, as it helps us better understand different communities and cultures, all under one roof.’’

Lined with mosques, shrines, churches and temples, the Telok Ayer Street is one such example of how multiracial and multicultural the nation can be. In 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared a Facebook post which said, ”Singapore is a rare and precious example of a multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-religious society where people live harmoniously together.”

Students living in Singapore enjoy a great balance of studies along with a vibrant social life with various places to visit and de-stress. Indian students continue to pour into the country year by year, attracted by the great level of safety alongside the remarkable standards of the education system that continue to deliver competent graduates.

Ketki Acharya
Ketki Acharya – Contributor

Completing her undergraduate degree in Singapore, Ketki has been a part of various events like Unleash. Her taste buds are always craving different cuisines and she also loves to interact with different people from various cultures. She occasionally writes poetry, but also enjoys telling stories to the world.