According to legend, a 14th-century Sri Vijayan prince mistook a tiger for a lion - a lion being considered a good omen - on the island at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, prompting the area to be called by the Sanskrit term Singa Pura, or Lion City.
Singapura today, now known as Singapore, the prosperous and clean “Lion City,” exists on a small tropical island and more than 60 surrounding islets, lying one degree north of the equator. Singapore’s location offers ready access to other exotic Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Singapore is also conveniently located right between India and China, which are both easily accessible in 6 hours of flying time.
In many ways, Singapore has always acted as a crossroad for many travelers in the region, who often stop by for a short visit over a few days, for both leisure and business. Many have decided to settle down over the years, leading to an extremely diverse and exotic mix of cultures, languages and backgrounds.
Today, Singapore’s local population of more than 4 million inhabitants represents a multi-ethnic society that is fully and peacefully integrated and uniquely blends Western and Asian cultures. Around 1 in 4 people you meet on the street is likely to be a foreigner, hence with the foreign population combined, the total number of inhabitants on the tiny island state numbers to around 5 million.
Studying in Singapore provides students with the dual advantages of living comfortably and safely in one of Asia’s most modern metropolis, which is at the forefront of international business, finance, high technology, communications, and education. There is also a big commitment by Singapore to nurture an environment of innovation and entrepeneurism, and there is an active and dynamic business startup ecosystem that is developing in leaps and bounds.
At the same time, a student studying in Singapore will also get to enjoy the many opportunities to experience the abundant natural beauty and cultural diversity of Asia. Students in Singapore enjoy access to a dazzling variety of ethnic food, endless cultural celebrations, diverse religious traditions, the widest array of leisure and entertainment facilities, and, of course, the best shopping in the world.
Testimonials from past students note how Singapore feels immediately comfortable, with its abundance of tropical flowers and manicured trees and shrubs, and with both English and Mandarin Chinese spoken widely as primary languages.
Singaporeans are also amongst the most well traveled citizens of the world, and are also known, for the most parts, to be cosmopolitan in outlook, as well as friendly and warm towards new friends and visitors.
A dynamic, globally-oriented, multicultural city-state, Singapore’s record of economic and civic success since independence in 1965 has been nothing short of spectacular. The former British colony’s per capita income is the highest in the surrounding region and among the highest anywhere in the Asia Pacific.
Many Singaporeans enjoy an excellent standard of living, are home owners, and benefit from a stable social and political system that is based on merit and achievement. Basically, if you are able and willing to carve a life for yourself, Singapore presents compelling opportunities for personal development, and allows you to make your mark in this world, be it in sport, business or social achievements.
Singapore enjoys an excellent and competitive public education system, Singapore students regularly participate and win international Mathematics and Science competitions. At the university and tertiary education level, several world renowed institutions such as John Hopkins, INSEAD, the University of Chicago and MIT have set up satellite campuses, research laboratories and facilities in Singapore.
With inexpensive, advanced health care on a par with most developed countries, a high degree of political and economic stability, a highly-skilled English-speaking work force, one of the world’s most modern information infrastructures, and one of the world’s largest and most modern ports, Singapore is easily one of the top countries in the world to pride itself as an international trade and information hub.
As a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore has also been a bulwark of regional stability and free trade, whose open market economy is studied and emulated throughout the world.