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

Overview

Snapshot

Congratulations! You have applied to a TEAN Singapore semester or summer program, so you are already one step towards 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 those important dates to mark down on your calendar. As usual, if your questions are not answered here, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

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 $100 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 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 advisor at your home institution for completion
  • Emergency Contact Info 
  • Medical Information
  • Academic Reference (if marked as required)

5. Submit your most recent transcripts

In order for us to fully accept you into the program, 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:

The EDUCATION ABROAD Network
505 N. LaSalle Street,  Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60654

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.
Withdrawing from the program

If you withdraw from the program the $100 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.

Passport

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. For more information see: https://www.usps.com/international/passports.htm

Obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department. Download passport applications, nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. at: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

Expedited Services

You can also check out an alternative passport express service:
www.passportsandvisas.com


Verify Validity of your Passport

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months post your anticipated return home. 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 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 The Education Abroad Network are not begin filtered into “spam”. If messages are being filtered into spam, please add The Education Abroad Network to your contacts.

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

The Education Abroad Network is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m and Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 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 Skype time to chat 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

Get Schooled

Overview

Snapshot

Congratulations again! If you’ve gotten this far you are well and truly on your way to an incredible semester 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.

Semester Academics

Courses & Credits

While it may seem that SMU is only for business students, SMU offers a variety of courses spanning across many disciplines. Courses at SMU are all taught in English and provide a very interactive environment. Students studying abroad at SMU have full access to their course catalogue as long as they fulfill all of the prerequisites and there is availability. All courses and syllabi can be found online. Please ensure you are looking at the correct term: Term 1 is equivalent to the U.S. Fall semester and Term 2 is equivalent to the U.S. Spring semester.


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
IAS 201 Popular Culture in Asia
IAS 205 Managing Diversity in Asia
LGST 219 Islamic Law, Banking and Commerce
MGMT 234 Strategic Management in China
MGMT 312 Asia Pacific Business
POSC 206  Politics of Japan and Korea
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
KREA 201 Mandarin Language
THAI 201 Thai Language
Term 2
ACCT 003 Capital Markets in China
ECON 118 Economic Development in Asia
IAS 001 Exploring Asian Identities
IAS 103 Changing Public Policy in Singapore
IAS 2015 Managing Diversity in Asia
LGST 226 Introduction to Chinese History, Culture, Economics and Law (Mandarin)
MGMT 312 Asia Pacific Business
POSC 213 Politics of South-East Asia
POSC 216 Politics and Society of India
POSC 316 The Politics of Water in Asia
SOCG 301 Special Topics in Sociology: Political Sociology and Chinese Politics
SOCG 208 Understanding China’s Economic Miracle
SOCG 222 Nation-Building in Asia
JPAN 201 Japanese Language
KREA 201 Korean Language
KREA 201 Mandarin Language
MLAY 201 Bahasa Melayu

Course Selections

Read this First

  • The courses for the upcoming semester are not released until about 3 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 2017 students should look at the Spring 2016 [Term 2] course offerings and Fall 2017 students should look at the Fall 2016 [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 pre-requisites 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 US credits)
  • Normal courses enrolled in: 3 – 4 courses (3-4 SMU credits / 12 – 16 US credits)

Course Levels

  • Students should pay close attention to the pre-requisites 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.
  • Please review the sample of the SMU course list that highlights the courses that are generally taken by 3rd or 4th year student

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.

How to Find Courses

  1. Visit the Singapore Management University online course catalog.
  2. Click “Change Term” and review courses from the previous year’s courses until the courses for the upcoming term are published (i.e. Spring 2017 students should look at the Spring 2016 [Term 2] course offerings and Fall 2017 students should look at the Fall 2016 [Term 1] course offerings Term 2 2015-16).
  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 pre-requisites.
  5. To view the course syllabi, click on “View Class Sections” and then click on the course outline icon.

Course Prerequisites

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

Summer Academics

Courses & Credits

Summer students have the opportunity to take either 1 or 2 classes at Singapore Management University during their 4-week program. There are no prerequisites.


Course Listings

All available summer courses are listed on the Summer in Singapore page. The course options cover a variety of disciplines and can change from year to year.


Contact Hours

Each course is 1 SMU credit and meets for 39 hours. Typically students will receive either 3 or 4 credits from their home university. 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.

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 re-authorized 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 The Education Abroad Network. 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.

Scholarships

Scholarships

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 – $2,500, and we have categories including need-based and merit-based scholarships. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available through external organisations. Review details of study abroad scholarships.

Get a Room

Overview

Snapshot

TEAN provides students with a unique living experience to aid in cultural immersion on a daily basis. You will live in an off-campus apartment located just a few blocks away from the SMU campus in the heart of downtown Singapore. Each apartment is fully furnished, wardrobes in each bedroom, refrigerator, air conditioner, TV, washer and dryer, and bathrooms. Students will share a room with one other student within a multi-bedroom apartment.   Within the building, you will find a lobby, pool, tennis courts, and a small fitness center. There are also several restaurants and shops on the ground floor that offer several affordable options. Within a short walk from your front door you will find many cafes, awesome street food and restaurants.

tean-singapore-housing

Housing Details

Utilities

All of your utilities will be included except for your air conditioning. TEAN will cover SG$150 a month towards you’re A/C bill and the roommates are responsible for splitting anything that exceeds this amount.


Linens

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


Internet and Cable

Wireless internet and cable are included.


Cleaning

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.


Housing Security Deposit

Your final program invoice will include a housing deposit. This deposit is refundable, less reasonable cleaning costs, at the end of the semester provided the unit is left in satisfactory condition and all furniture items are accounted for and intact. Generally, you will receive the deposit 4-8 weeks after the conclusion of the semester, provided you have completed the Refund Request Form via The Education Abroad Network website.

Get Booked

Overview

Snapshot

It’s time to book your flights! It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding booking flights for Singapore.

Flights

Flights

The best route (and airfare) for flights to Singapore will depend on your departure point in the USA. 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: Do not book your flights until you receive instructions from TEAN by email.

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

Step 3: Review the arrival dates and end of program dates. TEAN staff will pick you up from the airport provided you arrive on the scheduled arrival date. Students should book flights departing on or after the program end date. Note that if you depart after the program end date you may not be able to stay in TEAN housing beyond the end date.

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 US.

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

Before students 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 Program Manager.


Important Flight Booking Notes

  • TEAN recommends shopping around to find the best routing and airfare from your departing location.
  • Check out Corporate Traveler as TEAN’s preferred travel agent. The key benefit to using a travel agent like Corporate Traveler is the personalized service, 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 Corporate Traveler.
  • Other options to research include: STA Travel; Student Universe; SkyScanner; Kayak; SkyPicker (will include budget airlines that travel agents and some flight search websites will not include); Travelocity; Expedia; Orbitz
  • 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, TEAN will coordinate your airport pick up and transfer to the TEAN Orientation accommodation.
  • Accommodation will be provided for students arriving on the arrival date, but accommodation will not be available prior to this date.
  • Be careful when looking at arrival dates/times. For example, a flight may arrive at 12:05 AM on the arrival date, however, technically, this is the evening of the previous night. If you book a flight like this, you are going to need an extra night of accommodation.
  • 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.
  • If searching flight options, please be certain you have selected both the “Yes, I am a student” and “Yes, I am under 26” options in order to view student rates (discount of several hundred dollars).

Flight FAQs

Flight FAQs

How much should I expect the airfare to be?

The estimated cost for all international flights varies from approximately $1500 – $2500. This is due in large part to the departure locations from within the US (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 advise 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 Orientation Hotel, and a time of when to meet up with the group on the arrival day. Note that airport pick up is only available if you arrive on the official program arrival date.

Get Documents

Overview

Snapshot

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.

Contracts

Program Contracts

You will receive several contracts (TEAN program contract, housing contract, and privacy consent release) from TEAN that will cover important notices and policies for you to keep in mind during your time abroad. The Privacy Consent Release will also allow us to introduce you to other participants prior to departure. Both you and a parent/guardian will need to electronically sign the documents to confirm your understanding of the terms & conditions of your program.

Student Visa

Student Pass

All students going to Singapore will be required to apply for a student pass online 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 and in-person. 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 when you are eligible to apply, but it is important to understand the process and what you can expect.

After you have applied online for your Student Pass, when you arrive in Singapore, you will be granted a Social Visit Pass stamp in your passport or on your Disembarkation/ Embarkation card. 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 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

Items required for part one of your Student Pass application:

  1. You will need your Student’s Pass Application & Registration (SOLAR) system number that will be listed on your Singapore Management University acceptance letter
  2. Please note that an electronic copy of recent passport-sized color photograph, which meets the following requirements, is needed for your visa submission:
  • The photograph image must be taken within the last three months.
  • The photograph should be in color and must be taken against a white background with a matt or semi matt finish.
  • 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).

Information needed when you are in-country for Part Two of the visa process:

  1. Your In-Principal Approval letter (that you received in your Student Pass confirmation email)
  2. Your passport-sized color photograph which means the requirements listed above
  3. Your signed printout of the Student Pass application form (Form 16)
  4. Proof of SGD$90 payment (SGD$60 Student’s Pass Issuance Fee and SGD$30 Multiple Journey fee)

Cost of Student Visa

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


PASSPORT REMINDER

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 $4000 to be applied to your account prior to your departure.

For Check or Money Orders, you can make checks payable to The Education Abroad Network and mail to us at:

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

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 $100 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 There

Overview

Snapshot

It’s almost time! Now you just need to review some last minute 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.

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 Tickets, 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), The Education Abroad Network 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 ($100USD 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 guide 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 Tips 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 ok 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.

Insurance

Health Insurance

The Education Abroad Network requires that all international students possess health insurance coverage through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) 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., digital camera, iPods, 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 $3000 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 his/her 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 Corporate Traveler at 312-924-1258.

Health & Safety

Health and Safety

The Education Abroad Network 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. The Education Abroad Network 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.

The Education Abroad Network 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 US-based staff in Chicago. The Education Abroad Network 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 The Education Abroad Network your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information.

Communication Information: Provide The Education Abroad Network with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your telephone, 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 The Education Abroad Network staff member either in the US 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, keep a low profile, dress to blend in, speak softly, avoid overt displays of home country patriotism, and stay away from known established locations frequented by foreigners. The Education Abroad Network also advises that students avoid all public demonstrations.


Vaccinations

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, The Education Abroad Network urges students to be extremely cautious about Food and Water while traveling 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
US 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!

Males

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.

 Females

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 have 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 (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
  • Sun screen 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 (extended wear if possible) and solution
  • Glasses: prescription (if necessary) and sunglasses
  • Backpack for school books and for short –term travel
  • MP3 player/iPod
  • Compact travel alarm clock
  • 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 could be expensive)

Former Participant Recommendations

  • Asian sizes run smaller, so bring comfortable, lounge-type clothes and clothes to go out at night in.
  • More room for souvenirs for your way home!
  • Although books, movies, CDs 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 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 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

Arrival and Airport pick-up

Specific arrival details will be provided prior to your departure.


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

Communicating While Abroad

Cell Phones

Students are required to bring an unlocked cell phone with them to Singapore.  Please verify with your U.S. cell phone provider that your phone is unlocked at least two weeks prior to your departure.   If you are unable to unlock your current cell phone, please bring an old phone that is unlocked.

Upon arrival, the Resident Director will take you to purchase a local SIM card so you will be able to use your cell phone for the duration of your time in Singapore.  There are different plans that you are able to choose from so you choose which plan suits you based on your typical use.  The cell phone plans in Singapore are typically less expensive than what we are used to paying in the U.S.  We need to be able to contact all students in an emergency situation so it is very important that you bring the unlocked cell phone with you or you will be required to purchase a working phone after you arrive in Singapore, which can be very expensive.

Skype

Computer to Computer- Skype is a software program that is free to download and use. It allows users anywhere in the world to call each other for free, provided both parties have downloaded the software. TEAN currently uses Skype to communicate with staff around the globe. Visit the Skype website.

To Mobile Devices- For a small fee, Skype can be used to call mobile devices and regular landline phones. For more information on packages visit their website.

Calling Cards

  • The Education Abroad Network does not suggest using “U.S.-based” calling cards as most do not provide international access numbers to call the U.S. from Southeast Asia.
  • Issued calling cards from AT&T, etc. may work in Southeast Asia; however they do not always provide the best rates.
  • You should be able to purchase calling cards at the airport or at any of the corner stores or newsstands close to campus.

Internet Services

  • Internet service is provided within the apartment as well as on SMU’s campus.

WhatsApp 

  • We recommend that students download What’sApp before they go to Singapore. It’s an easy way to message with friends while abroad.

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 in Singapore, 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 either joining a bank in the global ATM alliance, or Charles Schwab is 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 US). 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 four months as well as likely traveling around Southeast Asia so they don’t flag and freeze your account.

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 then 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.