Known as ‘The Lion City of Asia’, Singapore is a small, densely-populated city-state in South-East Asia with a diverse and cosmopolitan population. It’s one of the largest trade and transport hubs of the world and has a bustling business sector.
All the international trade flowing through Singapore creates conflicting legal interactions which are addressed by an ever-growing assembly of legal experts, most of them local graduates. You could also be part of this respectable community by enrolling in a Bachelor's or Master’s Law programme in Singapore.
Why study abroad in Singapore?
If you’re wondering why this small, apparently isolated country as small as a city has obtained such a high reputation as a desirable study destination, there are quite a few reasons for this.
1. Multicultural society
More than a third of the population are foreign-born or expats, comprising a highly tolerant and vibrant environment.
2. English is everywhere
All Singaporeans are bilingual, fluent in English, with most of them having Malay, Chinese or Tamil as their other language.
3. One of the safest cities in the world
Singapore maintains for several years straight the label of ‘crime free’ city. According to statistics, all the indicators of urban violence have been consistently at a ‘low’ or ‘very low’ level, including the corruption index.
4. Wide internet usage and availability
The city-state has one of the fastest internet connections in the world and enjoys almost complete network coverage.
5. Rich nightlife
Singapore is world famous as ‘the city that never sleeps’, which means it offers a wide range of options for spending leisure time, as well as practical alternatives for ‘night owls’.
6. Health insurance
The country has a highly developed welfare and social services system. Basic plans are very affordable and offer some of the best services throughout Asia. However, for surgeries and hospitalisation, additional fees or insurance plans may be required.
7. Great sightseeing
Singapore has some unique tourist attractions, from the Marina Bay area with its seaside promenades and light shows, to the Universal Studios amusement park’s rides, the Night Safari zoo’s exhibits and the architectural wonders of Chinatown and ‘Little India’ neighbourhoods.
Why study a Law degree in Singapore?
The city-state’s booming commercial sector offers a unique and in-depth opportunity for international students interested in the complex legal challenges of the future. Singapore’s universities strive to provide just that: an up-to-date, practical and professional approach to Law.
Varying between institutions, the universities in Singapore offer degree courses and specialisations in Maritime Law, International Business Law, Financial Law, Corporate and Financial Services Law, Intellectual Property and Technology Law, as well as other highly specialised programmes.
Given Singapore’s central role in the Asia-Pacific region, the Law study programmes, the staff and the curriculum reflect this widely international focus. Moreover, other countries in the area China and Australia have started capitalising from the Singaporean experience by organising Law and Business Law degree programmes in the city-state for local and international students.
Teaching style in Singapore
Singapore has one of the most pragmatic and employment-oriented systems of education in the whole region, offering up an extensive, inclusive and competitive curriculum. All courses focus on the international applicability of skills and aim to produce widely capable legal experts (or fused professionals), that are both barristers and solicitors.
Universities offering Law degree programmes in Singapore
Career opportunities for Law degree graduates in Singapore
There are numerous international law firms with offices in Singapore, offering specialised counsel regarding maritime law, commercial law, international business acquisitions, as well as general practices. Given that the competition in this field has only been increasing in the previous years, these companies are constantly looking to employ new people for their local and international offices. Some of the largest law firms include names like Latham & Watkins, Allen & Gledhill and Chiu Cheong LLC.
Living in Singapore: accommodation, transport and healthcare
As a unique trait, Singapore’s universities offer the possibility for local housing (living with natives in their homes), as well as numerous boarding houses alongside the option of independently renting apartments or hotel rooms.
Accommodation types and prices
Average renting costs vary depending on the type of housing and its location. The average cost of housing can be anywhere between 500 and 1,200 USD/month.
Costs of living in Singapore
Groceries, entertainment and other expenses are estimated at about 500-700 USD/month, but, for the low-budget experience, you can handle Singapore life for 300-400 USD, if you benefit from government subsidies for transport and housing. The authorities offer students bonuses and subsidies, such as for buying laptops or utility bills. However, it is more realistic to budget about 1,400 USD/month for all living costs if you don't have subsidies or scholarships.
One of the most effective and budget-friendly means of transport in Singapore are taxis. However, international students should be aware that cabs usually modify their fares for rush hours and weekends. For public transport (trains, subway and buses), the government offers students deductions. A full price monthly transport pass is around 76 USD, while a one-way ticket is 1.3 USD.
Student visa requirements for Singapore
While Singapore welcomes international students and workers, you may be required to apply for an entry or student visa, depending on your country of origin. The related fees can either be wavered or paid upon arrival at the university. Check the specific student visa requirements for Singapore.