Singapore, which means "Lion City", is a city-state situated on an island lying just one degree north of the equator. Singapore's diverse ethnic composition, primarily consisting of citizens of Chinese, Malay, and Indian backgrounds, enables students to learn about several different Asian cultures, customs, religious practices, festivals, and cuisine. It is also a modern city, and English is the common and official language of business and government.
Singapore was a quiet fishing village until the age of British colonialism. In 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and decided to make the port a focal point of British power in Southeast Asia. During the next century, Singapore became a great trading center and a powerful military base. It was occupied by Japan from 1942-1945 before it was regained by the British. Singapore attained its independence in 1963 as part of the Federation of Malaysia. Two years later, it withdrew from the Federation and, in August 1965, proclaimed itself an independent country. This new city-state developed quickly, and the growth in trade, tourism, and manufacturing helped to establish Singapore as having the second-highest standard of living in East Asia after Japan. Today, Singapore is an attractive and extremely modern place, with many contemporary buildings and shopping centers. Its society is highly structured, with an orderly code of social conduct.
The National University of Singapore's main Kent Ridge Campus is located about 12 kilometers from the city's center, occupying approximately 350 acres of land. The university is comprised of several faculties, including: design and environment, arts and sciences, business administration, dentistry, engineering, law, medicine and science. There are 53 teaching departments within these faculties, as well as four post-graduate schools and three institutes for advanced training and research.
"Living in [Singapore] is fantastic. It's exceptionally clean and safe, everyone speaks English, the public transport is cheap/efficient, there is lots to do, it's beautiful and tropical and the food is delicious."
-Ashley Gibb, Singapore, Spring 2008
To view a list of other programs available in this region, visit our Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures.
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You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
You will take regular courses with local students at this institution. Course registration takes place during your on-site orientation period, so enrollment in particular courses cannot be guaranteed in advance of arrival. This institution offers a large selection of courses, with strengths in real estate, engineering, liberal arts, social sciences, and sciences.
You can choose from a wide selection of courses (all taught in English) available within specific colleges, as listed on the National University of Singapore faculty websites. You may choose classes (called "modules") from any faculty/school except the following: Business, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Singapore Conservatory of Music, or the University Scholars Programme. You must take what the host institution considers to be a full-time load (generally, the equivalent of 12-15 Penn State credits/16-20 NUS credits). Please note that four credit classes at National University of Singapore transfer to Penn State as three credits. For more information on specific courses, use the on-site course catalog.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Singapore Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.
Housing and Meals
You will make your own housing and food arrangements, in conjunction with the Office of Housing Services at National University of Singapore. You have several choices of residence halls on campus; halls offer single or double bedroom options. On-campus accommodations are often called "hostels" in Singapore.
Due to an increase in popularity of Singapore as a study choice for many international students, National University of Singapore can no longer guarantee on-campus housing. However, National University of Sinapore will work ahead of your arrival to direct you towards pleasant and affordable off-campus housing options, many with international roommates.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- One academic recommendation
- Signature Documents
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
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