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Jul 15, 2024

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Affordable International Schools in Singapore

Affordable International Schools in Singapore

Singapore stands as a dream destination for expatriate families looking to relocate and secure a promising future for their children. Renowned for its academic excellence, the city-state boasts world-class infrastructure, a multicultural environment, and a dedication to nurturing a holistic approach to learning. However, the pursuit of quality education often comes with a hefty price tag, leading many families to explore more affordable international schools in Singapore.

Estimated educational costs

The tuition fee is merely the tip of the iceberg; beyond that, there are additional costs that parents ought to take into account before enrolling their child in any international school in Singapore.

Application fees 

Many renowned schools may request a non-refundable application fee to secure a spot on their waitlist. This policy is standard among top-ranked schools, enabling them to manage their overall admissions.

The application fee could range from 30 SGD to 5,000 SGD, depending on the child’s education level and each school’s policy.

Tuition fees 

The primary portion of your child’s educational cost is the tuition fee, which varies at different levels of international schools. The actual tuition cost is influenced by various factors, including the qualifications of teachers, their cumulative teaching experience, the campus location, and the number of subjects offered.

Here is an overview of the annual tuition fees across different levels: 

  • Preschool (5,000-38,000 SGD)
  • Primary School (13,000-42,000 SGD)
  • Secondary School (15,000-49,000 SGD)

Uniforms and books

The majority of international schools in Singapore require students to wear uniforms that may amount to approximately 100 SGD. The term ‘uniform’ extends beyond the classic pairing of a white shirt with paints, as it encompasses physical education uniforms, a school swimsuit, and a house t-shirt. Parents should plan for a budget ranging between 300 SGD to 400 SGD per set, and it’s recommended to purchase at least five sets of shirts and pants to cater to a week’s worth of uniforms.

Transportation cost in Singapore

Transportation 

School bus services, with fees ranging from 1,000 to 8,000 SGD per year, play a significant role in many students’ daily routines. In August 2023, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced a pricing cap adjustment, allowing operators to increase school bus fares by up to 13 percent under existing contracts. This change introduces a dynamic element to cost considerations, emphasizing the need for parents to stay informed about potential adjustments in school bus fees. 

While school bus services provide convenience, public transport emerges as a budget-friendly alternative, ranging from 900 to 1,500 SGD per year. Many schools are located near MRT or bus stations, offering students and parents accessible and budget-friendly commuting options. It’s advisable for parents to evaluate the distance from the school to public transportation options before deciding on a school bus service. Taking public transport into consideration, families can comfortably balance the financial aspect with the convenience factor.

Extracurricular activities

Numerous schools in Singapore offer a diverse range of extracurricular activities, fostering a holistic learning experience for your child. Yet, it’s important to note that these activities do require additional costs. An hourly charge for an afterschool activity can range from 25 SGD to 100 SGD. Parents should consider budgeting for expenses related to sports equipment, musical instruments, art supplies, or any specialized gear associated with these activities. Certain clubs or teams might necessitate a participation fee. 

Lunch

International schools in Singapore offer an extensive array of nutritious lunch choices, often accompanied by a substantial cost. The average budget for school lunches typically falls within the range of 1,000 SGD to 1,500 SGD per year. Opting for a homemade lunch box appears to be a more budget-friendly alternative for families to consider.

How to reduce cost

Find schools near where you live

For international students in Singapore, a practical approach to reducing costs involves selecting a school in close proximity to your residence. By choosing a school nearby, you not only minimize transportation expenses but also save time traveling to school.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

In addition to consulting tuition fees, parents can explore scholarship opportunities tailored to their child’s profile. As outlined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

University-specific Scholarships:

International students may qualify for university-specific scholarships provided by the institutions themselves or external organizations. These scholarships often cater to diverse academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, or specific fields of study, offering additional avenues to ease the financial burden of education.

Budgeting and cost-cutting measures

Another great tip for new expat families in Singapore is to create a budget plan that lays out your income, expenses, and potential savings. Have some fun finding ways to save money, like checking out affordable housing options, cooking delicious meals at home instead of eating out, and hunting for student discounts on different services. With a little budgeting magic, you’ll be able to handle your expenses like a pro!

Top schools in Singapore for foreigners

When seeking an affordable international school in Singapore, the primary strategy is often to compare tuition fees across various options and select the most budget-friendly one. However, it’s crucial to go beyond just pricing. Consider the school’s curriculum and find a balance between cost-effectiveness and a curriculum that aligns well with your preferences. Here are some reasonably priced international schools along with their estimated annual tuition fees:

Singapore American School (SAS)

Singapore American School (SAS)

Singapore American School (SAS), a well-known non-profit institution in northern Singapore, is distinguished by its largely American student population. The school is not only renowned for hosting the largest Advanced Placement (AP) program outside the United States, but also stands out as one of the select schools in Singapore offering a Chinese immersion program from kindergarten. Beyond academics, the school prioritizes instilling joy and a lifelong love for learning in each student. Additionally, SAS personalizes education to cater to the unique learning needs of every child, embodying its commitment to delivering a well-rounded and globally enriched educational experience.

Annual tuition fees here range from 24,490 SGD to 38,930 SGD. This fee structure accommodates different levels and ensures that families have flexibility in choosing the educational options that best suit their needs within this range.

Website: https://www.sas.edu.sg/
Location: 40 Woodlands Street 41, Singapore 738547

Canadian International School (CIS)

The Canadian International School’s educational approach is future-focused, guided by the question of how best to prepare students for challenges that have yet to emerge in our evolving world. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme of Education. Graduates of CIS receive the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and IB Diploma, globally recognized qualifications acknowledged by major universities worldwide. 

Canadian International School offers a range of tuition fees, from 18,370 SGD per year to 47,070 SGD per year. Families with multiple children benefit from a sibling discount, particularly for the third child enrolled at CIS. This structure aims to make quality education more accessible for families with several children attending the school.

Website: https://www.cis.edu.sg/
Location: 7 Jurong West Street 41, Singapore 649414

ISS International School of Singapore

ISS International School is not just a place of learning; it’s also a place of adventure for your child. Recognized as one of the longest-established three-programme IB international schools in Singapore, ISS goes beyond just academic education –they provide a holistic experience in a warm and inclusive environment. This institution boasts a community of open-minded learners and passionate educators. More importantly, the personalized approach to teaching at ISS pays attention to the little details that make a big difference, ensuring that your child’s educational journey is as unique as they are.

ISS International School of Singapore offers an annual course fee, starting at 32,822 SGD in K1 and increasing to approximately 55,758 SGD in G12. To provide families with added benefits, ISS extends a 5% discount for payments received during the early bird period, as stated in the invoice.

Website: https://www.iss.edu.sg/
Location: 21 Preston Road, Singapore 109355

Chatsworth International School

Chatsworth International School falls within the mid-range price bracket, offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes. Renowned for its stellar academic record, Chatsworth is dedicated to providing a well-rounded education with a strong emphasis on athletics and the arts. Committed to inclusivity, the school welcomes all students without a selective admissions process. 

The school fees, ranging from 24,000 SGD in kindergarten to 33,000 GSD in Year 13, ensure accessibility to quality education. Additionally, Chatsworth sweetens the deal with enticing discounts for siblings and promising scholarship opportunities.

Website: https://www.chatsworth.com.sg/
Location: 72 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289760

UWC Dover

UWC Dover

UWC South East Asia (UWCSEA) stands as a beacon of international education with two campuses: East campus and Dover campus, each accommodating approximately 2,500 to 3,000 students. At UWCSEA, diversity thrives as it welcomes students and their families from around 100 different nations, creating a rich tapestry of cultures and perspectives.

UWCSEA’s educational philosophy is rooted in nurturing global citizens equipped with the skills and mindset necessary to effect positive change. Guided by a learner-centered approach, UWCSEA’s programs span across literacy, languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics, the arts, physical education, and design and technology, empowering students to become lifelong learners and compassionate global citizens. For the school year 2024-2025, tuition fees range from 36,078 SGD to 46,824 SGD, ensuring accessibility to world-class education.

Website: https://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/
Location: 

  • DOVER CAMPUS: 1207 Dover Road, Singapore 139654
  • EAST CAMPUS: 1 Tampines Street 73, Singapore 528704

XCL Academy

XCL Academy

XCL World Academy stands at the forefront of educational innovation, that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving world. The school prides itself on offering a well-rounded education that integrates all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching learning journey for every student. One of the defining features of XCL Academy is its remarkably diverse and international community, making it one of the most demographically diverse and truly global schools in Singapore.

The school emphasizes integrated learning experiences where all subjects – including mathematics, languages, science, social studies, personal and social education, physical education, technology, music, and art – are taught through interconnected units. This approach not only fosters interdisciplinary thinking but also nurtures essential skills for success in the 21st century.

Fees range from SGD 25,780 (Nursery) to SGD 49,390 (Grade 12), ensuring accessibility to its innovative educational programs for families from diverse backgrounds.

Website: https://www.xwa.edu.sg/
Location: 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039

XCL American Academy

XCL American Academy marks a significant milestone as the second educational institution established in Singapore by XCL Education. The school offers a comprehensive American curriculum tailored to students aged two to 14 years. The close ties between the two campuses allows XCL American Academy to benefit from XCL World Academy’s state-of-the-art facilities. 

At XCL American Academy, the curriculum is thoughtfully designed to facilitate seamless transitions for students, whether they are transferring from or to similar American curriculum schools worldwide. This ensures continuity and consistency in their educational journey, regardless of their geographic location. As the school prioritizes the academic progression of its students, it offers a seamless transition pathway. Upon completing Grade 8, students are provided with priority enrollment opportunities into Grade 9 at XCL World Academy, facilitating their continued educational journey within the XCL educational ecosystem.

XCL American Academy offers a comprehensive American curriculum at competitive tuition rates, ranging from SGD 24,940 for Pre-Kindergarten to SGD 32,910 for Grade 8. 

Website: https://www.xaa.edu.sg/
Location: 2 Yishun Street 42, Singapore 768039

Stamford American International School (SAIS)

Stamford American International School (SAIS)

Stamford American International School seamlessly integrates the full International Baccalaureate curriculum with the American curriculum, providing students with a comprehensive educational experience. Boasting a diverse student body of more than 3,000 learners, the school prides itself on nurturing the next generation of global citizens and leaders.

A standout feature of Stamford American International School’s curriculum is its World Language Programme, which offers students a rich and immersive language learning experience. Furthermore, the school places a strong emphasis on sports, reflecting the vibrant American spirit. SAIS boasts outstanding sports facilities and programs, providing students with ample opportunities to excel athletically while instilling values of teamwork and sportsmanship.

The annual fees at SAIS vary depending on the educational level. For early years, the fee ranges from 18,499 SGD for Pre-Nursery to 43,756 SGD for K2. For higher education, the fees range from 43,756 SGD for Elementary School to 49,561 SGD for High School.

Website: https://www.sais.edu.sg/
Location: 1 Woodleigh Lane (Off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore 357684

Top affordable international schools in Singapore

Australian International School (AIS)

Australian International School (AIS)

The Australian International School (AIS) is a fantastic hub of learning and fun, welcoming families from over 50 different countries. AIS is all about creating a warm and friendly environment for students, offering a well-rounded education with a special focus on academics. The school boasts one of the largest campuses in Singapore, equipped with top-notch facilities. In addition to academic training, your little ones  will also get to dive into more than 300 co-curricular activities such as gymnastics, ballet, sports, and drama.

Australian International School tailors its tuition fees to different educational stages. For Early Years, fees range from approximately 9,000 SGD to 18,000 SGD per semester. Elementary and Secondary fees vary, starting from 20,688 SGD for Year 5 and reaching around 25,000 SGD for Year 12. Families with multiple children at AIS enjoy the added advantage of discounts applied to the Enrolment Fee, Facility Fee, and Tuition Fee, ensuring a more affordable and accessible education for siblings.

Website: https://www.ais.com.sg/
Location: 1 Lorong Chuan, Singapore 556 818

One World International School

One World International School

One World International School (OWIS) stands out as one of Singapore’s most affordable educational institutions, offering a solid education that blends technology and innovation within well-equipped learning environments. A notable feature of OWIS is its Chinese-English Bilingual Programme, which equips students with valuable language skills and cultural fluency to succeed in an increasingly globalized world.

OWIS tuition fees range from 21,034 SGD for early childhood to 22,857 SGD for Grade 12. This commitment to accessible education ensures that families from diverse backgrounds can benefit from OWIS’s outstanding academic programs and supportive learning environment.

Website: https://owis.org/sg/
Location: 21 Jurong West Street 81, Singapore 649075

Invictus International School

Invictus International School

Invictus International School has established itself as a renowned institution known for providing low-cost education without compromising on quality for students aged 5-18 years old. As the school follows the prestigious Cambridge curricula, students benefit from immersive classroom experiences facilitated by experienced educators. 

A standout feature of Invictus International School is its Chinese-English bilingual programme offered from Grades 1 to 6. This programme not only enhances students’ language proficiency but also fosters cultural understanding and fluency in both languages, equipping them with valuable skills for the future. Moreover, this is one of the few schools in Singapore to offer A Levels, providing students with a pathway to pursue higher education and excel academically.

In terms of affordability, the annual fees at Invictus International School range from 20,800 SGD for Year 1-6 to 22,011 SGD for Year 7.

Website: https://www.invictus.edu.sg/
Location: 73 Loewen Road, #01-21, Singapore 248843

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