Preparing to Study in Singapore

International students seeking admission to mainstream schools in Singapore should note that English is the medium of instruction. International students are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves before taking the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS) tests. They should be familiar with the English and Mathematics syllabi of the level preceding the one they are applying for.

International students who are successfully admitted to mainstream schools are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves in advance for a new school environment where English is the language of classroom instruction, and to familiarise themselves with the relevant curriculum for their level.

Admission to Pre-schools, Private Schools and Post-Secondary Institutions

International students who wish to seek admission to a pre-school, private school or post-secondary institution (e.g. university or polytechnic) should approach the pre-school, private school or institution directly.

Age Criteria for Admission of International Students

The Right Age

International students should ensure that they satisfy the age requirements for the levels they are seeking admission to. MOE does not recommend admission to levels where international students will be more than two years older than their classmates.

The following age ranges are for new international students seeking admission and former international students seeking re-admission into schools.

Student’s Pass

In accordance with the Immigration Regulations, a foreigner who wishes to study in a Government / Government-aided / Independent School requires a Student’s Pass, unless he / she is a holder of a Dependant’s Pass (DP) or an Immigration Exemption Order (IEO). For more details on Student’s Pass applications, please refer to ICA’s website.

Guardian’s Particulars

International students are required to provide their guardians’ particulars to the school. The guardian should be either:

A Singapore Citizen / Singapore Permanent Resident above 21 years old, or
The parent of the international student if the parent is working / staying in Singapore
It is a requirement for international students to have a guardian when they are studying in local mainstream schools. The guardian is responsible to account for the child under his/her care. The guardian must be contactable by the school and any change in guardianship must be reported to the school immediately.

Primary Level Admission

International students admitted at the primary level will be expected to complete the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) like all local students, before proceeding to the secondary level.

Exemption from offering Chinese, Malay or Tamil as a Mother Tongue Language

As part of the Singapore education system, all students are required to offer their mother tongue language as part of the curriculum. Exemption from the mother tongue requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission to school. Application for exemption should be made through the school principal, who will refer the application to the Languages & Literature Branch, Ministry of Education, for consideration.