Congratulations on your decision to study abroad in Singapore!

We have outlined here TEAN’s six easy steps to studying abroad. Your TEAN Program Manager guides you through the entire process, reminding you when and what we need from you as you traverse along the journey to studying abroad. These six steps also include all the vital information you need to know as you prepare for your time abroad. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, then don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Get Started



Congratulations! You have applied to a TEAN Singapore semester or summer program, so you are already one step toward the best semester of your college life! This section walks you through how to complete your application; paying your deposit; how to obtain a passport and check that yours will be valid for the duration you need, the best ways to contact TEAN and all the important dates to mark down on your calendar. As usual, if your questions are not answered here, then don’t hesitate to contact us. Step 1: Get Started explained in 60 seconds.

TEAN Application

Complete your TEAN Application

1. If you haven’t already started your application with TEAN, you will need to visit the apply now page to start the process. You will be asked to pay a $95 application deposit that is counted toward your total program fees.

2. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the application deposit, our team will review your application.

3. After your application has been approved by TEAN you will receive an email from us with information on how to login to your account and access your application.

4. Now you can start to work on the checklist items listed for your application. You will see a list of things that need to be worked on including the following:

  • TEAN Applicant Profile
  • Personal Statement
  • Copy of Your Passport – see the step-by-step instructions below (let us know if you’re renewing).  
  • Send the TEAN Statement from University electronically to your study abroad advisor at your home institution for completion
  • Emergency Contact Info 
  • Academic Reference (if marked as required)

5. Submit your most recent transcripts

In order for us to fully process your application, we will need to review your official transcripts. For students studying in the Spring semester, we will need transcripts including grades from the previous Spring semester. For Fall students, we require transcripts including grades from the previous Fall semester. Summer students must have the previous Fall semester grades included on your transcript.

Please request an official copy of your transcripts, from all universities attended, be sent to our offices at:

2405 N Sheffield Ave #14522
Chicago, IL 60614

Program Deposit

Pay your Program Deposit

  • Upon acceptance into the program you will be issued with a $500 program deposit invoice. TEAN cannot make any accommodations or on-site reservations on behalf of a student until the $500 program deposit is received.*
  • The program deposit is applied to the total program cost and is not an additional fee.
  • You may submit online credit card payments for your $500 program deposit via our online credit card link.

*Some home universities cover the $500 program deposit on behalf of their students and therefore would be exempt from this program deposit. Check your TEAN Application or contact your Program Manager if you are not sure.

Withdrawing from the program

If you withdraw from the program the $95 application deposit is non-refundable. If you withdraw before the withdrawal deadline, the $500 program deposit is refundable. However, after the deadline (typically 3-4 months before departure) this deposit is non-refundable. Please refer to the program deposit invoice for the specific refund date for your program.


Apply/Renew your Passport

Obtaining a passport for international travel may take a considerable period of time as the State Department can often have a backlog of applications to work through. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for your passport as early as possible to avoid any last minute complications. You can apply for your passport at your local U.S. Post Office.

You can obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department,   download passport applications, find a nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. here.

Verify Validity of your Passport

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months after your program end date. If your current passport is set to expire before then, you will need to apply for a renewal.

Inform TEAN of your passport details

  1. Scan a color copy of your passport page with your photo and information on it.
  1. Upload the scanned image to your TEAN application where it states, “Please upload a copy/photo of your passport (signature and picture page only).” Alternatively, email the scanned copy of your passport to your TEAN Program Manager.
  1. Enter your passport information under the section titled, “TEAN Applicant Profile.”

Contacting TEAN

Contacting TEAN

Email is the primary form of communication during the application and enrollment period. Please provide us with an email address you use regularly, as important program announcements and instructions will be sent via email. Also, please check your email on a regular basis and make sure to update your online application if you change your email address. Please also periodically check your junk mail to ensure that messages from TEAN are not begin filtered into “spam”. If messages are being filtered into spam, please add TEAN’s email to your contacts. Singapore Management University may also contact you directly via email with information regarding your student visa and enrollment.

In addition, please be sure to include your full name on all correspondence (including emails). We work with many students so providing your name will ensure timely responses to questions and inquiries.

Physical Address

The Education Abroad Network
505 N. LaSalle, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654-7093

Telephone and Fax

Toll Free: 1-800-585-9658 (from within U.S.)
Local Number: 1-312-239-3710 (from outside of U.S.)
Fax: 1-312-239-3713

Office Hours

TEAN is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Central Standard Time and observes all major holidays. If these hours are not convenient, you may schedule a time outside of our normal business hours to speak with us. If you are currently international, it is possible to set up a time to Skype and get to know your Program Managers.

Important Dates

Important Dates

We finalize our program calendar several months before each semester abroad. During that time, we work with our overseas partner universities in order to determine our orientation schedule. We will provide updated information pertaining to orientation, key semester dates, flights and excursions once our program calendar has been finalized. We will send you an email notification once the updated calendar information has been posted on the website so you can plan accordingly.

Once the program calendar has been finalized, we will post this information on our website and you’ll be notified by your Program Manager. Once the calendar has been released, all dates are still subject to change. While we do not anticipate any date changes once the calendar has been finalized, we reserve the right to make changes, particularly if one of our partner universities institutes their own date modification. All program participants will be contacted in the event of a date change.

Program Start Dates

The program officially begins at the start of our Orientation Program in Singapore. Students arriving in advance of our orientation will be responsible for their own transportation from the airport and any necessary accommodations prior to the orientation start date.

Dates by Program

Singapore Semester
Singapore Summer

Diversity & Identity

Diversity and Identity

One of our main goals at TEAN is to make sure all of our students are thoroughly supported from day one of the study abroad process. Embracing diversity in all its forms is very important to us. We’re dedicated to providing the most information and resources possible so students can make an informed decision on what program will best suit them, both academically and personally. We encourage all students to read through our Diversity and Identity page of our website to find resources useful for you directly and learn more about the students you will be studying abroad with.

Get Schooled



Congratulations again! If you’ve gotten this far you are well and truly on your way to an incredible study abroad program in Singapore! This section contains information on selecting your courses to ensure you get credit for them, financial aid and how to navigate the system to ensure your aid transfers, details of the TEAN and other scholarships you may want to apply for. Step 2: Get Schooled explained in 60 seconds.

Semester Courses

Read this First

  • The courses for the upcoming semester are not released until about three months prior to the start of the semester so until the courses are confirmed for your term it is best to look at the previous academic year’s courses for the term in which you are interested (i.e. Spring 2022 students should look at the Spring 2021 [2020-21 Term 2] course offerings and Fall 2021 students should look at the Fall 2020 [2020-21 Term 1] course offerings).
  • The courses you pick at this stage are for pre-approval. You are not actually signing up at this time and you will not work with the SMU timetable until 6-8 weeks prior to departure.
  • ALWAYS choose at least 6-8 courses in order to have enough to select from in the event you do not fulfill prerequisites or that courses overlap on the timetable.
  • Make sure to review your course selections with your academic advisor in order to ensure that your credits will transfer back to your home university.

About the Courses (Units)

  • Courses are not set in stone. You will be able to make changes to your initial list throughout the enrollment process, however, once you are registered (about 6-8 weeks prior to departure), you will have to officially request any course changes through your Program Manager.
  • Although courses do not change tremendously from year-to-year, please be aware that you may need to make additional selections once units are officially published, past when courses are submitted.
  • Typical course load: 3-4 credit points (most courses are 1 SMU credit / 3-4 U.S. credits)
  • Normal courses enrolled in: 3–4 courses (3-4 SMU credits / 12–16 U.S. credits)
  • U.S. Fall Semester = Term 1 at SMU and the U.S. Spring Semester = Term 2 at SMU

Course Levels

Students should pay close attention to the prerequisites of the courses as the 100, 200, 300 and 400 levels are not necessarily indicative of the sequential order of the courses and the class level of the student. 600 level courses are for graduate students only.

How to Find Courses

  1. Visit the Singapore Management University online course catalog.
  2. Click “Change Term” and review courses from the previous year until the courses for the upcoming term are published (i.e. Spring 2022 students should look at the Spring 2021 [2020-21 Term 2] course offerings and Fall 2021 students should look at the Fall 2020 [2020-21 Term 1] course offerings.
  3. Click on the different letters for the subject area for which you want to explore.
  4. Click on courses to view their descriptions and prerequisites.
  5. To view the course syllabi, click on “View Class Sections” and then click on the course outline icon.

Submit your Courses to TEAN

  1. Meet with an advisor at your home university to make sure your courses are approved.
  2. Email your TEAN Program Manager if you require any syllabi for pre-approval.
  3. Submit your course selections on your TEAN online application.

Course Prerequisites

If you intend to apply for courses that have prerequisites, you may need to provide syllabi from courses that you have previously taken so the appropriate academic advisors at SMU can assess your eligibility.

Choose Earth Courses

At TEAN, “Choose Earth” encompasses not only environmental sustainability but also social justice and cross-cultural awareness. SMU offers a range of courses that will expose you to global issues, solutions and understanding. If you would like to participate in our Choose Earth Certificate program, consider one of the subjects below to complete the course requirement.

MGMT632: Corporate Social Responsibility
FNCE314 Sustainable Finance
GA001: Exploring Asian Identities
IDIS007: Climate, History, and Society
LAW001: Ethics and Social Responsibility
MGMT235: Sustainability Management and Governance
SMT112: Sustainable Digital Cities

Asian Studies Certificate

Study abroad students have the unique opportunity to earn an Asian Studies Certificate during their semester at SMU. Students who take 3 courses from the list below will be eligible for a certificate of completion in the Asian Studies Program.

Term 1
ACCT 003 Capital Markets in China
ACCT 412 MNC Business Model & Tax in Asia Pacific
ECON 118 Economic Development in Asia
HUMN 010  Governance of Ethnic Relations in Singapore
HUMN 017  A Cultural Introduction to India
IAS 201 Popular Culture in Asia
IAS 001 Exploring Asian Identities
MGMT 312 Asia Pacific Business
POSC 206  Politics of Japan and Korea
PHIL 207  Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy
SOCG 209  Contemporary South Asian Societies
SOCG 218 Social Problems in Asia
SOCG 222 Nation-Building in Asia
SOCG 301 Special Topics in Sociology: Political Sociology and Chinese Politics
JPAN 201 Japanese Language
KREA 201 Korean Language
MAND 201 Mandarin Language
THAI 201 Thai Language
Term 2
ACCT 003 Capital Markets in China
ECON 118 Economic Development in Asia
HUMN 020  Singapore: Imagining the Next Fifty Years
LGST 226 Introduction to Chinese History, Culture, Economics and Law (Mandarin)
MGMT 312 Asia Pacific Business
MGMT 320 Innovation for Asia’s Smart Cities
POSC 213 Politics of South-East Asia
SOCG 208 Understanding China’s Economic Miracle
SOCG 222 Nation-Building in Asia
SOCG 301 Special Topics in Sociology: Political Sociology and Chinese Politics
JPAN 201 Japanese Language
KREA 201 Korean Language
MAND 201 Mandarin Language
MLAY 201 Bahasa Melayu

Summer Courses

Courses & Credits

Students can take 1 – 2 courses over the four-week program, which usually transfer as 3 – 6 U.S. semester credits. For scheduling reasons, students taking two courses must select one course from each cluster listed below.

Courses in Cluster 1 will be held in the morning, and courses in Cluster 2 will be held in the afternoon. Each course has 39 contact hours so depending on your home university, each course may be worth either 3 or 4 credits. Final credit allotment is at the discretion of each student’s home university, and is typically based off of the total number of contact hours for each course.

Please be sure to select at least one additional course per cluster so you have a back-up should a course fill up and meet capacity. All courses are limited to the first 45 students and are admitted on a first come, first serve basis.

Selecting your Courses

  1. Review the 2020 Summer Course Listings below.
  2. Click the linked title of the course to see the full syllabus from SMU.
  3. Enter your courses in order of preference in the TEAN Course Selection form in your TEAN Application


Cluster One 8:30-11:45am

In the past decade, the U.S. economy grew by an average of 1.6% a year while Southeast Asia’s by 5.9%. The 21 economies of the largest trans-Pacific grouping, AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), account for nearly half of global trade. Yet despite the region’s celebrated economic progress and its further potential, there are clear strains and risks resulting from geopolitical and economic trends which impact businesses that operate here. This course’s lectures which will introduce students to: (a) economic, political and socio-cultural theories and frameworks for understanding the context of business in the Asia Pacific region; and (b) the application of international business theories and frameworks to understand the decision-making processes of companies investing in the region. Students will analyze and make presentations about challenges t relevant to companies operating in large emerging economies such as China, India, Taiwan, and South Korea as well as other economies, including Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

What makes a city “smart”? Through case studies and industry leaders, innovative city designers, tech experts and business development executives from local and international companies, as well as incorporating actual site visits to enhance experiential learning, students will learn the opportunities and challenges of the ‘smart city business’, and how to create a ‘smart’ city. This interesting and challenging course is led by highly decorated Prof. Thomas Menkhoff and Mr. Kan Siew Ning.

This course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary and visual approach to understanding Asia using films about Asia produced by Asians themselves as well as those films about Asia produced by non-Asian filmmakers. First, we will briefly explore the history of film in the Asian region and discuss various methods of reading films as texts. Second, we will critically examine what films reveal about the history of Asia – the period of colonialism, decolonization and nation-building, Cold War, and globalization in the Asian region. Next, we will explore contemporary topics and issues in Asia such as traditional and non-traditional security issues such as maritime issues, climate change, and migration, among others. Finally, we will assess the contemporary role and significance of films against the rapid technological disruptions taking place within Asia and beyond.

This is an introductory course designed to help acquaint students –who may be future business owners or managers –with the legal environment within which businesses operate and the common legal issues one may face when doing business in Asia, with a particular emphasis on Singapore. The course will entail not only classroom teaching and learning, but will also include invaluable sharing sessions guest speakers from various relevant fields, as well as field trips to legal institutions and/or offices in Singapore. A substantial part of the course will be dedicated to exploring, at a general level, various aspects of laws pertaining to doing business, with an especial focus on business organizations and commercial transactions. Because business relationships with commercial parties are primarily governed by contract, an understanding of how contracts work is important. Basic principles of contract law (e.g. the making and performance of contracts), as well as laws applying to specific situations (e.g. the sale of goods and services), will be taught in brief. Students will also be introduced to the law of torts and will, in particular, learn the essentials of the very pervasive tort of negligence, and the often-misunderstood tort of defamation.

So, you have collected customer data. Lots of it. What’s the next step? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Analytics is an approach companies can take, to improve business relationships with customers. Discover and practice with current tools, and learn from best practices with case studies in the region, before developing customer relationship strategies with the help of business process management tools and customer analytics. Learn how to improve relationship intelligence with your customer to apply to your next job or business! This course is taught by SMU Faculty Mr. Rafael J. Barros.

Cluster Two 1:00-4:15pm

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and analytics are transforming and disrupting the accounting and finance industry in unprecedented ways. AI/ML/Analytics now have the practical capabilities to carry out many tasks that are within the scope of accounting and finance professionals. However, rather than worrying that their jobs are at risk, accountants should embrace AI/ML/Analytics in their line of work.. This course aims to provide students with the foundational understanding of analytics through its four stages (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive), focusing focus on applying analytics in accounting, including the use of R Programming to statistically analyze accounting data. Along with the critical analysis of successful use cases in Asia, the course will also cover misconceptions that Asian economies have about AI/ML/Analytics, the challenges faced during implementation and the ethical aspects of adopting these technologies.

Initially two obscure projects (The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road) announced in 2013, over the past few years the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has quickly become the centerpiece of China’s economic diplomacy. Spanning across Asia, Europe and Africa, the project is often called the “Marshall Plan” of China as it aims to promote economic development the the less-developed countries found across the three continents. Taught by an advisor to the WTO and the Chinese government, this course will provide an in-depth analysis for the background for the BRI, the detailed strategy of China in each areas covered such as trade and investment, and how the BRI might result in an alternative economic order led by China.

Using real-life case studies and trends, this course helps students to understand the importance and developments of globally-evolving data patterns in 5 key domains: ecology, society, economy, geopolitics and technology. Opportunities, complexities and uncertainties are discussed in a business context, analyzing the effects of resource scarcity, environmental and societal stress, demographic change, diversity, globalization, the economic system, and key technology areas (AI, big data, biotech, nanotech, IT, internet security). The course will be taught by Dr. Frank Siegfried.

This course focuses on various aspects of economic globalization in general, but with specific reference to Asia. Students could learn both positive and negative aspects of the many globalization issues in Asia, such as “Choosing the Right Exchange Rate Regime for Small and Open Economies in East Asia”, “Trade liberalization and poverty in Asia” as well as “Singapore’s Drive to Form Cross-regional Trade Pacts”. The course will also explore various topics under international trade and international finance, and cover case studies such as “High Performance Asian Economies: Asian Economic Miracle”, and “ The Two Asian Giants: China and India”.

Embedded at a key entrepreneurial hub of Asia young and fast-growing economic region, this course in SMU traces the steps that entrepreneurs likely encounter from a first recognition of a potential business opportunity to the nascent operation of the actual company. This course teaches students the basic ingredients of a business plan and a short ‘pitch’ for their ideas. Customized through the exposure to start-up communities in Asia and the use of relevant business cases, all underpinned by rigorous problem-based learning, this course helps students address various start-up issues and become more familiar with nuances of starting up in Asia.

Course Approvals

Schedule Meeting with Academic Advisor

It is highly recommended that you have your academic advisor approve your classes before leaving if you wish to ensure you receive transfer credit. If you do not wish to receive any credit when you return home you may be able to forego the approval process. Some students negotiate the credit transfer issues when they return from their program, but at the very minimum you should meet with your academic advisor/dean before departure so they are fully aware you will be studying abroad. They will be able to help you select courses that will count towards your major and that will be easily transferable for credit when you return.

Schedule Meeting with Study Abroad Office

Contact your study abroad office at your home university to discuss study abroad credit approval and other specific procedures to be completed for your program overseas. This is an important step as it may reveal crucial steps towards avoiding complications and making your transition abroad seamless. In addition, your study abroad advisor will need to sign our “Statement from University” form. You can send this to them from your online application.

Financial Aid

Schedule Meeting with Financial Aid Advisor

While we strive to keep our programs affordable, we recognize that many students need financial help. The good news is that most financial aid you are currently receiving is applicable toward study abroad. Generally, you can transfer federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, which do not need to be repaid until after graduation.

See the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 102-325, 106 Stat.448): The act was reauthorized in the summer of 1992 to include a number of provisions to facilitate the use of federal financial aid for study abroad. (NAFSA: Association of International Educators Newsletter, Volume 44, No 3/Dec-Jan 1993).

The U.S. Department of Education advised that the Perkins Loans, SSIG Grant Program, Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, Stafford Loans, SLS loans, PLUS Loans and Consolidation loans can now be used for study abroad. Your study abroad experience does not have to be compulsory for your degree program in order to apply your aid. Please contact your home institution financial aid office to discuss your financial aid options for study abroad.

Consortium Agreements

If you are currently receiving financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) from your home institution please follow these steps. The financial aid you currently receive may not be processed in the same manner and the same amounts may not be awarded to you.

Step 1:  Visit your home university’s financial aid office and inform them you will be studying abroad through TEAN. Ask them how much of your current aid will transfer for a study abroad experience. You will also need to check if there is additional paperwork specific to your home university.

Step 2:  Ask your financial aid office if they have a “consortium agreement” (do not worry if this is a foreign term to you, they will know what it is!) which essentially means they will complete all paperwork regarding your existing financial aid while you are studying abroad. This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the whole process easier for everyone. You will also need to have a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form filled out that will be provided to you by your Program Manager.

Step 3:  If they have a consortium agreement, most likely they will have an existing agreement that is university specific. TEAN will likely have to sign this for you and send it back to them. It will not go to your overseas institution. The TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form should then be faxed or emailed to us.

Unfortunately, not all universities will sign a consortium agreement. If this applies to your school please consult us immediately for further guidance.

Please note: The financial aid process is very complex and adequate planning is necessary. You should contact your home institution’s financial aid office if you will, or think you may need to, apply loans or aid to your study abroad program. TEAN is not a lending institution so unfortunately, all financial aid and loan discussions will need to be made within your home university’s financial aid office.



In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. TEAN awards thousands of dollars each year in scholarships to qualified students. Awards range from $500 – $3,000, and we have categories including need-based and merit-based scholarships. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available through external organizations. Review details of study abroad scholarships.

Get a Room



You will live in an off-campus apartment located a quick ride away from the SMU campus via public transport. Within a short walk from your front door you’ll find many cafes, awesome street food and restaurants, and shopping. You will share a room with another TEAN student within a multi-bedroom apartment. Depending on the program size, there may be an option for a triple-share room. Each apartment is fully furnished with a refrigerator, air-conditioner, TV, washer and dryer, bathrooms and wardrobes in each bedroom. Within the building, there is a lobby, pool and tennis courts. Step 3: Get a Room explained in 60 seconds.


*These are example photos of previous TEAN apartments and the actual apartment may vary subject to availability

Housing Details


All of your utilities will be included except for your air conditioning. TEAN will cover $150 SGD a month toward your air-conditioning bill and the roommates are responsible for splitting anything that exceeds this amount.


Linens are provided included in your total program fee. Students are provided with sheets, a comforter, a pillow and pillow case.


Wireless internet is included.


The apartments are cleaned once a month. In between those monthly cleans you will be responsible for keeping your room and the common areas tidy. You are also responsible for laundering your own sheets and towels.


Accessible options vary greatly, please consult your program manager or our diversity and inclusion coordinator, Nick Falzone ( directly for additional information.

Get Booked



It’s time to book your flights! It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding booking flights for Singapore. Step 4: Get Booked explained in 60 seconds.



The best route (and airfare) for flights to Singapore will depend on your departure point in the U.S. Please read the below Steps for Booking Flights, Important Flight Booking Notes, and FAQs in full before booking your flights.

Important: Do NOT book your flights until you have received instructions to do so by email from TEAN.

Steps for Booking

Step 1: Review the Flight Booking Instruction email sent to you by your Program Manager. Do not book your flights until you receive the instructions from TEAN by email.

Step 2: Read all the information on this page carefully and be sure to contact us with any questions, to ensure you understand the flight booking procedures.

Step 3: Review the arrival date and program end date. TEAN Staff will meet you at the airport provided you arrive within the specified timeframe. You must arrive in Singapore by 4:00pm on the designated arrival day in order to be eligible for one of the group transfers. There will be set transfer times of 9:00am, 12:00pm and 4:00pm. Students should book flights departing on or after the program end date. If you depart after the program end date you may not be able to stay in TEAN housing beyond the end date.

Note on Arrival Timeframe: TEAN staff will meet you at the airport between 7:00am-4:00pm but please note the transfer times are scheduled for 9:00am, 12:00pm and 4:00pm so depending on your flight arrival time, you may be required to wait for the next transfer. If you arrive before the specified timeframe, you will just need to wait in the International Arrivals area. For anyone arriving after 4:00pm, you will be responsible for making your own way to accommodation and your Program Manager will provide you with details on that closer to departure.

Step 4: Decide if you are intending to travel independently prior to or after the program dates as this will impact your travel dates to/from the U.S.

Step 5: Research travel itineraries and costs. To assist with your search, ensure you read the below “Important Booking Notes”.

Before you purchase tickets, please feel free to contact us or send us your tentative itinerary so that we may ensure it is correct and/or the best routing for your situation.

Step 6: Book your international travel and submit your entire travel itinerary to your TEAN Application and complete the TEAN Arrival Form sent to you by your Program Manager.

Important Flight Booking Notes

  • TEAN recommends shopping around to find the best routing and airfare from your departing location.
  • Check out Flight Centre, TEAN’s preferred travel agent. The key benefit to using a travel agent like Flight Centre is the personalized service, which is particularly useful if flights are delayed or connections are missed, and you need further assistance with your bookings. You can call or email a representative at Flight Centre at or  We strongly suggest email contact first as they will be able to better manage the flood of inquiries from the group; however, you can also call if you prefer discussing over the phone: 602-253-4743 (8:00am – 6:00pm MT)
  • If you would like to compare airfares, please feel free to research flights online. We recommend flight search tools such as SkyScanner or Google Flights.
  • Students must arrive in Singapore on or prior to the recommended arrival date. Please ensure that you have the correct arrival date when researching airfare options. Most flights arriving on the arrival date will have departed a day before, however this is not always the case, as sometimes a departure of two days prior will be required!
  • Provided you arrive on the official arrival date during the specified timeframe, TEAN will coordinate your airport transfer to your accommodation for the semester in the TEAN apartment.
  • Your accommodation will be  available starting on your arrival day. It will not be available to early move-ins.
  • Be careful when looking at arrival dates/times. Double check dates and times to ensure you arrive during the TEAN pick-up time window, otherwise you will need to book airport transportation and accommodation if you arrive outside the arrival window.
  • Airfare costs can vary greatly from one departure city to another. In the event that you live relatively close to more than one potential departure city, we encourage you to research flight options through each applicable departure location. Students may find that by driving to a slightly farther departure city/airport, they may save several hundred dollars in airfare costs.
  • Pay attention to any cancellation policies, ticketing fees and baggage fees. Many great deals are non-refundable and have quite a few rules and regulations for use.
  • We recommend booking any domestic flights from your home city on the same ticket as your international flight in order to get international baggage allowances. This will also ensure that you will be booked on the next available flight in the event that a connection is missed.
  • We strongly encourage you to do your research on various websites before finalizing your flight booking to ensure you’re getting the best value. Keep in mind that sometimes sites like Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, etc. do not provide the best customer service in times of need (missed flights, getting rebooked, changing your itinerary, etc.). We recommend booking with Flight Centre or with the airline directly.
  • We strongly advise you to consider purchasing trip insurance on all your flights, as  you will be protecting a large purchase from possible interruptions to your trip.

Flight FAQs

Flight FAQs

How much should I expect the airfare to be?
The estimated cost for all international flights varies from approximately $1500 – $2,500. This is due in large part to the departure locations from within the U.S. (for example: New York, NY versus Omaha, NE), as well as the return travel dates.

Why doesn’t TEAN offer a group flight for Southeast Asia programs?
Airfares for individual flights to this region are cheaper than group flights, and for this reason we provide advice on booking your flights individually.

What if I want to arrive prior to the recommended arrival date?
That’s fine. You will need to book your own accommodation until the official program arrival date. Your TEAN Program Manager will be able to provide you with details of the TEAN housing, and a time of when to meet up with the group on the arrival day. Note that airport pickup is only available if you arrive on the official program arrival date during the designated arrival window.

Does TEAN need my flight information?
Yes! We require that you complete the TEAN Arrival Form and upload your flight itinerary to your TEAN Application under “Upload Copy of your Flight Itinerary”. Both of these can be found in your TEAN Application.

How many bags can I have?
You need to check with the airline for baggage allowances as they differ by airline and by international or domestic. We strongly recommend that you confirm your luggage allowance before you travel to avoid expensive charges for additional bags or overweight luggage.

Do I have to book a return flight?
You don’t have to book your return flight now if you’re not sure what your plans are going to be at the end of your semester. That said, it can oftentimes be more economical to book it all on one ticket.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

How to Offset your Carbon Footprint

Team up with TEAN to reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from air travel!

What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the action or process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions produced from industrial or other human activity by participating in activities or programs designed to reduce the equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How do I calculate my carbon emissions?
Visit the free Carbon Footprint calculator page to access a user-friendly calculator that will guide you through the quick process of calculating your carbon.  We encourage you to utilize the emissions calculator to estimate how much carbon is entering the atmosphere from your flight overseas. Through TEAN activities or utilizing companies that Carbon Footprint Ltd is associated with, you will have plenty of ample opportunities to offset your carbon throughout your semester abroad and better understand the many ways in which you can make a positive environmental impact.  The Choose Earth Team at TEAN is always happy to assist you with your calculations, so please don’t hesitate to ask Kate McSurley at for help!

What can I do to offset my carbon emissions?
TEAN will suggest plenty of opportunities to Choose Earth while you are abroad that will help offset your carbon emissions from your international flight. Following their helpful tips and offsetting your flight is the best way to start reducing your overall carbon footprint while abroad.

If you would like to do more – and we hope that you do! We encourage you to donate the monetary amount estimated by the calculator through Carbon Footprint Ltd.'s partnerships with multiple certified eco-friendly companies. That way, you can directly contribute to programs that help offset the carbon emitted from your flights, helping to make a global impact. Contributions from climate conscious consumers assist in developing projects that promote clean technology. The beauty of this particular program is that you can choose from a variety of charitable causes that are personal to you, as opposed to a single monetary donation to an airline where you may not beg sure if your money is going exactly where you intend it to. Through Carbon Footprint Ltd, you have the power to choose when and how your carbon emissions are offset.

Get Documents



This section is very important. It also tends to be a little boring, so please stick with us. Before you jet off for the time of your life, there are contracts you need to sign, forms you need to complete; a Singapore Student Pass (visa) for which you need to be approved and a final payment you need to make. Please read this section carefully, and when the time comes, your Program Manager will guide you through it all – step by step. Step 5: Get Documents explained in 60 seconds.


Sign Contracts with TEAN

You will receive contracts from TEAN that will cover important information and policies for you to keep in mind during your time abroad. By signing the program contract this will also allow us to introduce you to other TEAN program participants prior to departure. Both you and a parent/guardian will need to electronically sign the document to confirm your understanding of the terms and conditions of your program.

Student Visa

Student Pass

All students going to Singapore will be required to apply for a student pass online prior to your departure and you will finalize the visa process in person after you arrive in Singapore. You do not have to surrender your passport to the Singaporean Consulate at any point since the application process is completed online prior to departure and in person after you arrive in Singapore. However, we encourage you to not plan travel for your first four weeks in Singapore while your Student Pass is being finalized. SMU will submit the initial application information that is required by the Singaporean government before you are able to begin the process of applying for the Student Pass. Your Program Manager and SMU will supply you with specific, step-by-step instructions about 6- to 8-weeks before departure, when you are eligible to apply. Please read the following instructions as it is important to understand the process and what to expect.

When you arrive in Singapore, you will be granted a Social Visit Pass stamp in your passport or on your Disembarkation/ Embarkation card, because they will see your Student Pass application in their system. This will allow you to stay for at least 30 days in Singapore. Before expiry of the entry visa stamp, you must collect your Student Pass from the immigration office (this is an actual card similar to a drivers license) and finalize the visa process, which will either be facilitated by Singapore Management University on a specific day prior to the start of the semester or you will need to make an appointment directly with the Immigrations and Checkpoint Authority (ICA).

Visa Application Process

The Student Pass application is a three-step process with required steps to complete before you leave and after you arrive in Singapore.

Part One (prior to Departure)

After you receive your official acceptance letter from SMU, it will only be about a week or two before they notify  you that you are able to to submit your online application (eForm16) with Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Items required for your Student Pass application:

  1. You will need your Student’s Pass Application and Registration (SOLAR) number that will be listed on your Singapore Management University acceptance letter
  2. Please note that an electronic copy of a recent passport-sized color photograph, which meets the following requirements, is needed for your visa submission. You will also need to have this photo printed and with you when you arrive in Singapore to finalize your Student Pass.
    1. The photograph image must be taken within the last three months.
    2. The photograph should be in color and must be taken against a white background with a matte or semi-matte finish.
    3. The photograph image must show the full face and without headgear (headgear worn in accordance with religious or racial customs is acceptable but must not hide the facial features).
  3. Submit $30 SGD application fee
  4. Print and sign the application (eForm16). You will need to bring this form with you to Singapore to verify with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Part Two (Prior to departure)

After the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority approves your application, they will issue an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter to SMU. SMU will send the IPA letter so you are able to proceed with Part Two; you cannot move forward until this is received. Once you receive the IPA letter, please log into your SOLAR application on the ICA’s website and pay the $60 SGD issuance fee and $30 SGD multiple entry fee. The multiple journey/multiple entry fee is required if you plan to leave Singapore to travel during the semester. Items required for Part Two of your Student Pass application:

  1. In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter (that you received in your Student Pass confirmation email)
  2. Submit Issuance Fee on ICA’s website
Part Three (After you arrive in Singapore)

All students applying for the Student Pass are required to attend the Student Verification and Enrollment session at held at SMU or schedule an e-appointment with ICA directly (your Program Manager will let you know if you need to schedule an e-appointment – we will confirm this for you after you book your flights). Bring the following with you to the Offsite Student Verification and Enrollment session or e-appointment at ICA:

  1. Your In-Principal Approval letter
  2. Your signed printout of the Student Pass application form (Form 16)
  3. Your passport-sized color photograph which meets the requirements listed above
  4. Proof of payments ($60 SGD Student’s Pass Issuance Fee, $30 SGD multiple entry fee and $30 SGD application fee)

Cost of Student Visa

Students are required to pay a $30 SGD application fee electronically at the time of submission and then $90 SGD prior to your departure.

Processing Time

All students need to complete their Student Pass application at least 30 days prior to departure. It can take up to ten days to get your In-Principal Approval letter. Once you complete the final step of the process after your arrival in Singapore, we estimate that it can take up to 4 weeks for you to receive your Student Pass.


You should apply for your passport as soon as possible once you apply for your study abroad experience in Singapore, as this process can take approximately 4–8 weeks and will be required for your student visa application as well.

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the conclusion of your semester to satisfy Singapore’s entry requirements. All countries have different requirements for passport validity so be sure to check details for any other countries you plan to visit before your final return home.

Final Payment

Final Payment

Final invoices will be sent out approximately 60 days prior to your departure. Financial Aid Agreements must be submitted by this time as well to account for any delay in payment. If you are relying heavily on Financial Aid funds, please note that we will require a minimum of $4,000 to be applied to your account prior to your departure.

For checks or money orders, you can make checks payable to The Education Abroad Network and mail to us at:

The Education Abroad Network
2405 N Sheffield Ave #14522
Chicago, IL 60614

For your convenience we accept credit card payments for the $500 program deposit and excursion deposits. We are unable to accept credit card payments on final program balances due to the high cost of credit card processing fees incurred on those transactions.

Program Deposit

A $500 program deposit is due upon acceptance into your program. It will be credited to the student’s overall program fee.  The deposit is refundable, should the student withdraw 3–4 months prior to the start of the program. After this date, the deposit is non-refundable. The $95 application deposit is not refundable. Please refer to the welcome letter and deposit invoice for the specific refund date

Refund Policy

Refunds Prior to Semester Commencement

If a student withdraws from the program prior to arrival overseas, we can only reimburse the portion of the program fee that has not already been allocated to some aspect of the students program (ex: housing, deposits, etc). Generally this will be less the $500 deposit (see above), but is subject to our program contract, though students are usually eligible to receive close to full refund amount. See your program contract for the withdrawal date for your program. Any withdrawals after this date will incur a $2,350 cancellation fee plus any additional costs that can’t be recovered.

Refunds During the Semester

In these situations, refunds are only available for the amount of the program fee that is recoverable at the time the student returns home. The amount recoverable relates to tuition and housing fees only and is dictated by the refund policy of each host university. Our official refund policy is outlined in the program contract provided to each participant.

Past Due accounts

All past-due amounts will accrue simple interest at 12% per annum.

Get Going



It’s almost time! Now you just need to review some final pre-departure information including the below quick tips, insurance while abroad, our packing tips; planning how you will manage your money while abroad, reviewing cell phone arrangements, and reading up on details regarding your arrival and your orientation. Our Singapore-based staff is looking forward to meeting you when you get off that plane. Step 6: Get Going explained in 60 seconds.

Pre-Departure Tips

Pre-Departure Quick Tips

Photocopy all-important documents – Leave one set of photocopies with your parent/guardian and keep one set with you (on your person) as you travel. Important documents to copy include, but are not limited to: passport, airline itinerary, medical insurance details, inoculation details.

Bring copies of important numbers/contact details – Details include, but are not limited to: emergency contact details (ie: parents/guardians), TEAN contact details (to be provided), arrival details (to be provided).

Exchange money in advance of your arrival into Singapore – If possible, it is advisable to exchange some funds prior to your arrival into Singapore. Most international airports have currency exchange kiosks where you can exchange funds for a small fee. Rates are competitive with local banks, and will be much more convenient than attempting to exchange funds after your arrival in Singapore following a long and exhausting journey. It is recommended that students have enough funds to get them from the airport to the accommodations (if necessary) and cover any initial expenses while in Singapore ($100 USD is a recommended amount!).

Arrival Instructions – Be sure to carry all airport arrival instructions as provided by TEAN. This will be extremely helpful in the event you are unable to locate your TEAN staff at the airport.

Bug Spray – This is highly recommended for your stay in Southeast Asia; however rather than bring along, it is advisable to wait to purchase it until after you have arrived in Singapore. Doing so will allow for more space and less weight.

Clothing – Please refer to the Packing List in regards to appropriate dress, especially in consideration of classes at SMU. Please also note that beyond these campus requirements, it is still important to practice “conservative dressing” while in Southeast Asia. Be careful not to expose too much of the shoulders or arms (tank tops are okay for daily wear but can’t be worn for temple visits). Clothing exposing the torso or with low-cut necklines should not be worn. Shorter skirts and shorts are generally okay outside of temples and rural areas. In regards to exposure of the shoulders – when in doubt, throw a thin lightweight shawl or scarf over your shoulders.


Health Insurance

TEAN requires that all international students possess health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies in Singapore. The cost of this insurance will be included in your program fee and enrollment is automatic.

Your medical insurance policy includes the following:

  • Prescription medications
  • Medical evaluation
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays
  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Medical transportation and evacuation
  • Return of mortal remains
  • There are some limitations to this medical insurance, including dental and optical services. If you have any existing health concerns, contact your current insurance provider before you leave for Singapore. Medical insurance for higher levels of need is your own responsibility.

Personal Articles Insurance

We recommend students put anything of value, i.e. phone, camera, tablet, jewelry, musical instruments, cell phone, laptops, etc., on a Personal Articles Policy (many homeowners already have this policy so students most likely can add their items onto their parents’ Personal Article Policy). This insurance often covers the full value of the items worldwide, with no deductible. Typically, items valued up to $3,000 can be covered for an approximately $30 premium. We encourage students to take pictures of item(s) and note their model, make and serial number, as well as saving receipts when possible. Purchase of this insurance is left to the discretion of the student and their parents.

Travel Insurance

Trip insurance is optional and is not included in TEAN program fees. We recommend considering supplemental trip insurance to protect against unexpected mishaps (i.e. lost luggage) that can occur while traveling. Plans range from $100 to $350 and can be purchased through various insurance carriers. If you would like to discuss plans with TEAN’s recommended travel liaison please contact Flight Centre at 602-253-4743.

Health & Safety

Health and Safety

TEAN is committed to the health and safety of every participant. It is very important that students make informed decisions about their study and travel destinations. TEAN continually monitors the safety and security of our study abroad program locations as well as popular student travel destinations. We continue to advise students of the safety and health risks associated with studying and traveling abroad based on the information from the U.S. Department of State travel warnings, local law enforcement, the Southeast Asian governments, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the World Health Organization.

TEAN has created an Emergency Response Plan for our study abroad locations that will be implemented by both our staff in Southeast Asia/the South Pacific, and our U.S.-based staff in Chicago. TEAN staff will work with students, parents, and study abroad staff at both the student’s home and host institution to provide the most up-to-date information regarding situations that may arise while studying abroad.

Tips for Personal Safety

Emergency Contacts: Be sure to designate a parent or guardian as your Emergency Contact. This way, information regarding an emergency situation will automatically be passed on to your parents. Also make sure to provide TEAN your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information.

Communication Information: Provide TEAN with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your mobile phone, address and email address. Be sure to notify your parents and Resident Director in case of an emergency.

Keep Others Informed: Tell others (your roommates, your parents, your Resident Director) your travel plans. Keeping others informed will make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.

Stay Informed: Research the political, cultural, and social climate of your study and travel abroad destination before heading overseas. While abroad, whenever possible, read local newspapers and watch local news broadcasts for developments that may affect your health and safety. If you have questions, please contact a TEAN staff member either in the U.S. or abroad.

What about anti-foreign sentiment? Although individuals are generally well liked abroad, host nationals will often question the activities of foreign governments and may hold anti-foreign views. This has occurred for some time, in periods of both peace and crisis. Participants in the past have found these tips useful: use common sense, dress to blend in, speak softly, avoid overt displays of home country patriotism, and stay away from known established locations frequented by foreigners. TEAN also advises that students avoid all public demonstrations.


There is no need to have malaria shots or take malaria pills. Malaria is not prevalent in the areas where you will be studying. It is always common sense to have general vaccinations up to date, including tetanus, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, etc., but no immunizations are mandatory to participate on the program.

If you have any health conditions that may cause issues, please make sure to consult a doctor before departing.

Safety Notes Regarding Food & Water

While Singapore is very clean and you do not need to worry about the drinking water, TEAN urges students to be extremely cautious about food and water while traveling elsewhere around Southeast Asia. Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers. When traveling around other parts of SE Asia follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes. Water that is provided at restaurants is safe to drink.
  • Make sure food is fully cooked.
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.

Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to bring diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases yourself.

Relevant Travel and Safety Links

State Department Travel Warnings
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
U.S. Embassies

Packing List

School Dress Expectations

While Singapore Management University does not have an official dress code, students studying at SMU typically are a bit more dressed up for class than American students are used to. You likely will not see students coming to class in pajamas or hooded sweatshirts. Students are also advised against wearing overly revealing clothing or clothing with vulgar language. Other than that, please just use your best judgment to wear casual but appropriate attire. Also, plan on dressing in layers for the hot weather outside and the air conditioning inside!


Wear a nicer t-shirt, polo or button down shirt with jeans or slacks. Sometimes students wear shorts to class, but we are told it usually is only on Fridays. Don’t wear t-shirts or jeans with any holes in it.


Wear dresses and skirts at appropriate lengths and don’t wear short shorts to class. T-shirts, blouses, jeans and slacks are all fine.

Computers & School Supplies

We recommend that you bring your own laptop with you to Singapore so you can do your schoolwork from home. There are computer labs on campus though if you need to use them. The internet is pretty fast and reliable so students have not had trouble getting online in the past.

If you need to purchase schools supplies you can go to the bookstores on campus or you can order items online. You will get more specific instructions at the Singapore Management University orientation. Feel free to bring the school supplies that you cannot live without, but keep in mind you can but pretty much everything you need from back home in Singapore.

Suggested Packing List

 Essentials to Pack

  • Passport/visa documents
  • Arrival instructions
  • Driver’s license or state ID (alternate form of ID)
  • Airline tickets and/or electronic confirmation numbers
  • Money (cash, debit/credit cards, etc.)
  • Photocopies of important documents
  • Prescription medicine to last your entire stay (bring note/proof from doctor)

Necessary Items        

  • Basic lightweight clothing such as khakis/lightweight trousers, pajamas, underwear, socks, shorts, bathing suit and t-shirts
  • Two pairs of comfortable walking shoes: tennis shoes, shoes for hiking (lace-up shoes), flip-flops, etc.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray (may also be purchased after arrival)
  • Beach towel and/or bath towel
  • Hat (to protect from the sun)
  • Camera/smart phone and memory card + battery charger or extra batteries
  • Electrical outlet converter and adapter
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Glasses: prescription (if necessary) and sunglasses
  • Backpack for school books and for short–term travel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Phone numbers, email addresses of people with whom you wish to keep in contact
  • Extra passport photos just in case
  • Feminine hygiene products (tampons can be difficult to find throughout Southeast Asia and may be expensive)

Former Participant Recommendations

  • Asian sizes run smaller, so bring comfortable, lounge-type clothes and clothes to go out at night in from home.
  • More room for souvenirs for your way home!
  • Although books are readily available, you may want a book or two for your arrival. You can even buy one at the airport.
  • Medications – Ibuprofen, stomach medications, cold medications, and if you are prone to iron deficiency, perhaps consider bringing some supplements for your iron supply.

Baggage Restrictions

International Flight to Singapore

Most airlines allow all passengers flying internationally two checked items: one carry-on and one personal item. Please contact your air carrier for their current baggage restrictions (including dimensions and weight) and fees for additional checked items. If you will exceed your air carrier’s baggage restrictions, it is generally more economical, safer and easier to pay the airlines for additional checked baggage versus shipping items to Singapore.

Internal Flights within Southeast Asia

Pack light when traveling around Southeast Asia on personal excursions as discount airlines have strict baggage allowances. Be mindful of these restrictions if you booked each leg of your flight to Singapore separately, as each airline may have different allowances.

Packing Tips

Students are notorious for bringing too much luggage for the duration of their study abroad term. Please try to limit your belongings to only the most necessary items for the duration of the semester. Remember, you will also accumulate items during your stay as well. Please also keep in mind the following:

  • Less is more – pack lightly!
  • Leave behind half of what you think you will need (remember you will purchase items overseas so you will need extra space)
  • Affix labels on your belongings (especially on all of your luggage)
  • Go to the website of your overseas carrier for current baggage restrictions on international flights
  • Take clothes that can be layered and mixed/matched rather than individual outfits.
  • Consider buying electronic appliances (like hairdryers) in your host country so they are automatically adapted to the electrical systems in Southeast Asia.
  • Don’t bring any sentimental favorites. If you can’t bear to lose something, don’t bring it!

It is wise to plan that the airline may lose your baggage and to have ample supplies with you for at least 24 hours. Pack toiletries, laptop/valuable electronics, necessary medication and one change of clothes in your carry-on. More than likely this will not happen to you, but if it does you will be prepared. Please remember to adhere to all luggage restrictions when packing your carry-on. Also note that you may only take 3 oz or less of each liquid in a quart-sized Ziploc bag on the plan with you. The packing list provided is a suggested list only. Double check to ensure you have packed all necessary items.

Cultural Tips

Cultural Tips

  • Greetings will follow a strict protocol often based on both the ethnic origin and age of the person. Younger people or those who work in multi-national companies may have adopted the western concept of shaking hands with everyone, but this is not the case with older or more reserved Singaporeans.
  • The concepts of group and harmony are very important
  • Having or saving face, which indicates personal dignity, is also very important. It is a mark of personal qualities such as a good name, good character and being held in esteem by one’s peers. Face is a prized commodity that can be given, lost, taken away or earned.
  • Singaporeans claim they are an egalitarian society, yet they retain strong hierarchical relationships that can be observed in the relationship between parents and children, teachers and students, and employers and employees.
  • This reliance on hierarchy is drawn from Confucianism, which emphasizes respecting age and status, even blind obedience to one’s elders. The elderly are always treated with the utmost respect and courtesy.
  • There was a law passed in 1996 that mandated that children must assume financial responsibility for their elderly parents should the need arise. This is indicative of the high status of the elderly and the challenges facing the small country as the next generation becomes more individualistic.
  • Avoid public displays of affection and never show anger.
  • Singaporean people appreciate clean and neatly presented visitors, especially in formal or public places.
  • Please never shout or raise your voice.
  • Before you take a photo of someone ask if it is okay.

Non-Verbal Communication

  • Singaporeans are group dependent and rely on facial expression, tone of voice and posture to tell them what someone feels.
  • They often trust non-verbal messages more than the spoken word.
  • They tend to be subtle, indirect and implicit in their communications.
  • They hint at a point rather than making a direct statement, since that might cause the other person to lose face.
  • Rather than say ‘no’, they might say, ‘I will try’, or ‘I’ll see what I can do’. This allows the person making the request and the person turning it down to save face and maintain harmony in their relationship.
  • Silence is an important element of Singaporean communication.
  • Pausing before responding to a question indicates that they have given the question appropriate thought and considered their response carefully.
  • They do not understand western cultures ability to respond to a question hastily and think this indicates thoughtlessness and rude behavior.


Arrival and Airport pick-up

Please complete the Arrival Form sent to you by your Program Manager. We use this information to help coordinate airport pick up when you first arrive in Singapore.

Specific arrival details will be provided to you prior to departure but in general, you will need to arrive within the allocated arrival window provided to you during the flight booking process. If you arrive in Singapore during the specified arrival window, you will be met by TEAN staff and provided an airport transfer to your accommodation.

It is your responsibility to notify TEAN in a timely manner if you experience flight delays and/or itinerary changes.

Contact Information

Prior to your departure your Program Manager will provide you with contact details for all key TEAN personnel, including your Resident Director, as well as information on your local embassy and emergency contacts.

Communicating While Abroad

Contacting Home

Below are some suggested ways that you can easily stay in touch with your family and friends while studying abroad.

We recommend setting up a contact plan before you depart, deciding how and when you’ll be available while abroad. Whether that looks like daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ins, it’s good to have a consistent way to get in touch, as well as back up alternatives in case of an emergency. While studying abroad can be a time to spread your wings and become more independent, it’s important to regularly touch base with your loved ones so they don’t worry while you’re away.

No matter which method you choose, we recommend downloading your preferred applications before leaving home and testing them out to make sure any accounts and contacts are set up properly.

Local SIM Card

TEAN provides all students a local SIM card for calls, texting and data. Phone plans vary depending on location and more details will be provided by your Program Manager. It is recommended to only use your local phone number to call home in cases of emergency since long distance calls can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to call internationally for free or very cheap (keep reading!)..

Unlocking your Phone

In order to use the local SIM card, you need to make sure your phone is unlocked and able to accept SIM cards from other mobile carriers. “Unlocking” your phone means that your phone is not locked to one specific carrier. If your phone is unlocked you will be able to use a foreign SIM card while you are abroad. If you’re unsure if your phone is unlocked, it’s important to call your current service provider to check. If you cannot get your current phone unlocked, you will need to bring a different unlocked phone from home or plan to purchase a phone while in your host country.

International Phone Plan

While all students are given local SIM cards, some may decide to keep their US number and opt for an international phone plan. In most cases, this allows students to utilize their phone domestically in their host country and internationally. The cost of this can vary based on service provider. If you are interested in this option, you should get in touch with your phone service provider to get the relevant fees and service options. Be sure to consider costs for dialing local numbers as it can sometimes make an international plan undesirable for calls within your host country.

Purchasing a Phone in Country

This would only be a viable option if you do not want to or cannot use your current U.S. phone, and can speak and read the local language. Phones can be purchased in all locations for costs comparable to U.S. phones. This may be a good option for a student who is looking to use a phone for just texting and calling while in country, as non-smart phones can be purchased cheaply in most countries. If you are worried about losing your U.S. smartphone, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive phone in your host country.

Free International Contact Options

While all students will have access to a local number, there are free ways to get in touch with people across the world while connected to the internet or data.


Allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while using WiFi or data. This allows for calls between two parties both using the Skype app downloaded. The Skype app can be downloaded onto you phone, tablet and computer. You can also purchase Skype credit which allows you to call international landline and mobile phone numbers directly (so both parties don't have to have a Skype account). These calls typically cost around $.05 for the connection and $.03 per minute, making it an affordable option.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s Messenger app allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data.


While we don’t suggest going out of your way to purchase an iPhone for this option, it is a great feature for any students who have these phones already. iPhones use iMessage and FaceTime while on WiFi or data at zero charge to the provider plan.

Other free messaging apps

There are several apps that allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data. WhatsApp is popular outside of the U.S. but some countries also have their own messaging app of choice that you’ll likely want to download to chat with your new local friends. These include:


It may seem obvious but email is a great way to continue to stay in touch with people back home regardless of the time differences. If your host institution gives you a new school email, but sure to update friends and family with the email address you will be checking most frequently throughout your program.

Finances Abroad

Finances Abroad

Opening a local bank account in Singapore

If you are in Singapore for the semester and interested in opening a local bank account, you can do so with the assistance of our Resident Director upon arrival.

Using a U.S. Bank Account

You can avoid paying ATM fees by joining a bank in the global ATM alliance. Charles Schwab is also a great bank to use because they refund all ATM domestic and foreign transaction fees worldwide and it is free to open an account. They never charge a fee but if the foreign bank does then Charles Schwab refunds the cost at the end of each month. Accounts can be opened online (details below). It is always good to check your local bank’s policy as well.

It usually takes 7-10 days for Charles Schwab to mail the actual ATM card (so don’t wait until the last minute to open an account!). All transactions can be done online (including funding the account from another bank accounts you have in the U.S.). More information here.

If you would like to use your regular U.S. bank, please just be sure you notify them that you will be in Singapore for approx. five months as well as likely traveling around Southeast Asia so they don’t flag and freeze your account. You will also want to ask about any international transaction fees.  

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Singapore is pretty comparable to life in the United States. The day-to-day living could be less if students eat at more local restaurants, then will be able to have their money go father than it would at home. Purchasing clothing is usually more expensive than it would be at home. However, as students are in one of the best regions in the world to travel, travel around Southeast Asia is very affordable and participants may find themselves booking regional airfares and optional excursions at additional expense.