Top 3 International Schools In Singapore & How Much They Cost
One of the many things that keep parents up at night is the education of their children. Parents who are relocating to a foreign country may find the search for a good school to be a daunting affair.
Fortunately, the dilemma in Singapore is a good one to have, as there are many international schools that offer the academic syllabi of various countries as well as differing education philosophies.
To add to that dilemma is the fact that Singapore’s education system is one of the best in the world and it sits atop the PISA global ranking, beating the rest of the world. Not only that, its pedagogy in Mathematics has also been exported to the U.S and Europe.
So, why should expats still consider sending their children to an international school?
Why choose international schools?
First of all, it isn’t easy to enrol your child in a local school as priority is given to Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents. It is not unheard of for Singaporean parents to literally go the extra mile to move to a location where their preferred primary school is and to volunteer years ahead just to secure a place.
All international students who want to enrol in a local school will have to take the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS), which assesses English literacy, numeracy and reasoning abilities.
That probably gives you an idea of what the second point will be – competition. The educational system in Singapore is known to be highly competitive, and depending on your own philosophy, that may be a major plus point or an absolute downer.
Some children thrive while others are held back with rigorous academics and co-curricular activities that are focused on results. If you know your child learns better in a less competitive environment, then an international school may be a better option.
Last but not least, if you plan on returning to your home country in a couple of years, going to an international school that has the syllabus of your home country may make the transition home a lot smoother for your child. International schools are also more diverse in their nationality and ethnic mix, so that offers your child a glimpse into other cultures too.
Top 3 most popular international schools in Singapore and how much they cost?
1. UWC Southeast Asia
UWC Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) boasts two campuses in Dover and Tampines. With over 5,500 students from over 90 countries, UWCSEA is one of the most popular choices amongst expats.
Offering education at the Kindergarten, Junior, Middle, and High school levels, students are prepared for the GCSE and the IB examinations. In addition to academics, students can also take part in various sports, clubs, as well as music and drama productions.
Like most international schools, sending your child to UWCSEA could cost a lot more than sending him or her to university. Below is the fee schedule for Academic Year 2017/2018 and the fees do not include the one-time application and enrolment fees.
School fees – per student, per year
|K1 – G1||G2 – G5||G6 – G10 (I)GCSE||G10 FIB, G11, G12|
|School fees – first year||S$37,485||S$37,630||S$43,185||S$44,580|
|School fees – second and subsequent years||S$33,735||S$33,870||S$39,435||S$40,830|
Based on this, you can estimate that enrolling your child in Grade 6-10 will cost close to S$300,000.
2. Tanglin Trust School
Situated in Portsdown Road, the Tanglin Trust School offers a British-based education for children from the Nursery level up till either ‘A’ Levels or the IB Diploma.
In addition to the various club and societies that students can join, the school also collaborates with local schools to host sporting and cultural events, and also with the local business community to expose students to career paths through enterprise projects and work experience programmes.
|Year Group||Building Fund||Tuition Fee||Total Fees Per Term|
|Year 1 to Year 2||$9,366||$10,862|
|Junior School||Year 3 to Year 6||$9,936||$11,432|
|Senior School||Year 7 to Year 9||$11,694||$13,190|
|Year 10 to Year 11||$12,310||$13,806|
|Sixth Form||Year 12 to Year 13||$12,991||$14,487|
Source: Tanglin Trust School
There are three terms per school year. Comparing with UWCSEA, sending your child to Senior School will set you back S$201,546 excluding application fees.
3. Singapore American School
The Singapore American School is located in Woodlands and has a sprawling 36-acre campus, a luxury in a space-starved city like Singapore. While the majority of students here are American citizens, students from over 50 countries are represented.
The school offers education to students from Elementary to Middle and High School, and also has a separate Early Learning Centre for preschool children. Apparently, SAS students rank higher on academic tests than their counterparts in the US school systems.
In addition to the rich student life with an extensive range of athletic and artistic activities, there is also the Summer Term, which offers courses that are not taught in the curriculum, such as Immersion Chinese, Entrepreneurship, and Robotics.
|Students Enrolling For August 2017 and Afterwards||APP||One-time Registration||Facility||Tuition||Total|
|Lane 1||Lanes 2-4||Lane 1||Lanes 2-4|
|Early Childhood (PS & Pre-K)||$2,500||$7,490||$9,630||$6,634||$20,746||$37,370||$39,510|
|Kindergarten – Grade 5||$28,355||$44,979||$47,119|
|Middle School (Grades 6-8)||$31,304||$47,928||$50,068|
|High School (Grades 9-12)||$32984||$49,608||$51,748|
Lane One fees apply to students or parents who hold a US Passport or the Green Card while Lanes 2-4 refer to students or parents who do not hold the US Passport or Green Card.
Based on the latest fees, sending your child to SAS to complete Middle and High School will nearly $300,000 if you’re a US Citizen or Green Card holder and more otherwise.
Although there are many benefits to enrolling your child to an international school, it is important to ensure that you are not overextending your finances. Tuition fees are only going to go up.
If you are struggling to pay the fees in the first few years, it is only going to get worse. If you simply cannot afford to put your child through an international school without going into debt or compromising other important financial goals.
While attending an international school can give your child a kick start in life, it doesn’t guarantee a successful life.
Whatever option you choose, make sure you pick one that is both practical and sustainable for you and your child(ren) in the larger scheme of things.