Partial Suspension of Student Exchanges in AY2020/21 Semester 2 (Spring 2021)

7 October 2020 - Webpage first published

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact the health and economies of communities around the globe. We were hopeful that there would be a general recovery from the pandemic, and that a vaccine would be available soon. Unfortunately, these look likely to take longer than expected. Currently, many countries are experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, and travel restrictions of various forms are still in place worldwide.

Students of NUS partner universities in the Americas, Europe or Middle East

After much deliberation and out of consideration for your health and safety, NUS has made the difficult decision of suspending student exchanges for AY2020/21 Semester 2 (Spring 2021) with partner universities in the destinations stated above.

We realise that you will be very disappointed in losing this particular opportunity to do your study abroad / exchange with us in Singapore. If your academic plans are able to accommodate study abroad in the near future, we would be happy to receive your application again for AY2021/22 Semester 1 (Fall 2021). Do consult your home university study abroad office about this possibility.

Students of NUS partner universities in Asia or Australia

Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region are faring better with the COVID-19 situation. Nonetheless, stringent border control measures remain in-place. NUS is not yet suspending student exchanges with partner universities in these countries, but will wait until early-November to see if the border control measures imposed by Singapore and these countries are lifted. If travel to these destinations becomes feasible, student exchanges will be allowed to proceed.

Thank you for your understanding in accommodating these difficult and uncertain circumstances. The FAQs listed below will help answer some of the most pressing questions you may have. If you require any further assistance, do consult your home university study abroad office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students of NUS partner universities in the Americas, Europe or Middle East affected by the suspension

NUS has informed me about the suspension of exchanges for AY2020/21 Semester 2 (Spring 2021). I have submitted an online application. Do I need to do anything?

Your application will be automatically withdrawn. There are no follow-up actions required by NUS of the exchange students affected by the suspension of exchanges.

Can I defer my exchange to NUS to AY2021/22 (Fall 2021 / Spring 2022)?

Exchange in AY2021/22 would correspond to a new application cycle. Your home university will need to re-nominate you and if nominated, you will need to put in a fresh application. Please check with your home university’s International or Study Abroad Office to see what options are available to you.

My home university has agreed to re-nominate me for exchange to NUS in the following academic year (AY2021/22). Will I need to submit another online application?

Yes, a fresh application will need to be submitted. NUS will share the updated application information and timeline with your home university in due course.

Can I do a virtual exchange or read online courses with NUS instead?

Unfortunately, NUS is not planning to offer the option of virtual exchange nor online courses at the moment.

Can I choose to come to NUS on a non-exchange / fee-paying basis?

Applying as a non-exchange / fee-paying student could be possible, but do note that much of the consideration behind the suspension of exchanges is due to border control measures and uncertainty over the issuance of student visas, which affects both exchange and non-exchange students alike. If you are interested in pursuing the non-exchange option, please refer to this webpage for details.

If you wish to pursue the non-exchange option, please refrain from making any travel arrangements or non-refundable financial commitments for services related to the time in Singapore until after acceptance letters has been issued to you by NUS Registrar’s Office.

Students of NUS partner universities in Asia or Australia

What are the chances of NUS suspending student exchanges with my home university in AY2020/21 Semester 2 (Spring 2021)?

Some destinations in the Asia-Pacific (e.g. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand) are faring better with COVID-19, and we are hopeful in terms of the possibility of student exchanges proceeding. A wait-and-see approach is being adopted. If border control measures imposed by Singapore and these destinations are lifted by early-November 2020 and the respective authorities do not restrict overseas programmes from taking place, your exchange at NUS can proceed. If not, NUS will have to suspend student exchanges with your home university.

Can I defer my exchange to NUS to AY2021/22 (Fall 2021 / Spring 2022)?

Exchange in AY2021/22 would correspond to a new application cycle. Your home university will need to re-nominate you and if nominated, you will need to put in a fresh application. Please check with your home university’s International or Study Abroad Office to see what options are available to you.

Can I do a virtual exchange or read online courses with NUS instead?

Unfortunately, NUS is not planning to offer the option of virtual exchange nor online courses at the moment.

The cost of travel and services for my exchange to NUS is increasing. Should I proceed to confirm my travel itinerary and needs?

There remains a good amount of risk in making any financial commitments as it is still possible that the exchange between NUS and your home university could be suspended. You are encouraged to withhold making any non-refundable transactions for as long as possible. NUS will notify your home university by early-November 2020 about whether your exchange can proceed.

What are the current border control measures imposed by the Singapore government? Are there any requirements I need to note should exchanges be able to proceed come end-November?

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 globally, border control measures imposed by the government of any locale can change often and suddenly. Information about the latest measures for entry into Singapore can be found via the following online resources:

SafeTravel website
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority - Border Control Measures
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority - Arrival Card & Health Declaration
Ministry of Foreign Affairs - COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Additionally, do ensure that you check on the border control measures implemented in the place(s) of origin and transit en route to Singapore.