Updates on Student Exchanges for AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022)

**Important Update on COVID-19**

12 Nov 2021 (Latest): The Singapore government announced changes to border control measures on 2 Oct 2021, which will impact our inbound exchange students for AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022). Firstly, starting 1 Nov 2021, all Student’s Pass holders will need to be fully vaccinated before travelling to Singapore. Secondly, with effect from 6 Oct 2021, the mandatory quarantine period (or Stay-home Notice or SHN for short) has been shortened from 14 days to 7 to 10 days depending on a person’s 14-day travel history. The latest SHN and swab test requirements can be found here. Incoming exchange students for AY2021/22 Semester 2 are advised not make any travel arrangements until receiving their Acceptance Letters (emails) from NUS Registrar's Office as well as their In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter for their Student's Pass from Singapore's Immigration & Checkpoints Authority. For more information on pre-arrival steps, please refer to the Registration Guide for Non-Graduating Students.

Pre-arrival Steps

In the new norm of international travel, there will be a number of steps visiting exchange students need to follow in order to ensure a smooth arrival in Singapore as well as on NUS campus. NUS Registrar's Office has prepared the following step-by-step guide to help students navigate the entire process, from application to your first day on campus. Please refer here for the latest pre-arrival advice:


Frequently Asked Questions

Students from partner universities of NUS who have been nominated for exchange for AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022)

I am interested in continuing with the exchange programme and understand that there will be a number of administrative tasks and much uncertainty that remains. When should I confirm my travel itinerary?

NUS is looking to resume exchanges in AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022), but a risk still remains that exchange may be suspended due to the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide. Students are strongly encouraged to refrain from making any non-refundable transactions until they have received their In-Principal Approval (IPA) letter for their Student’s Pass (Visa) as well as their Entry Approval (if applicable). Purchasing your airline tickets prior to receiving your Student’s Pass and Entry Approval is extremely risky as there is no guarantee that the Singapore government will accede to your applications for either immigration document.

When will I receive the offer letter of my exchange application at NUS?

Students can expect to receive their acceptance letter (offer letter) in mid-November 2021 for AY2021/22 Semester 2. Students should read the accompanying Registration Guide for Non-Graduating Students very carefully to ensure they are aware of the various pre-arrival administrative tasks to complete.

Will there be on-campus accommodation available at NUS?

Limited on-campus accommodation will be available at NUS and there is no guarantee that exchange students will be successful in on-campus housing applications. The supply of the on-campus accommodation is further reduced due to safe management measures deployed for COVID-19, closure of hostels due to on-going renovation and fewer NUS students going on overseas programmes. Students are strongly encouraged to consider off-campus options and to explore off-campus options early (even as their on-campus housing applications are being processed) to be safe. For information on off-campus housing options, please refer here. Read about the experience of past exchange students who stayed at off-campus accommodation here.

When can I start applying for housing on campus?

On-campus housing applications are slated to begin in mid-November 2021. Details of the application process will be shared in the offer letter.

May I withdraw from the Student Exchange Programme (SEP) at NUS?

Yes, students may withdraw from the exchange programme at any time. Many of the quarantine (if applicable) and testing fees associated with travel to Singapore are payable in advance, therefore we encourage students who are considering a withdrawal or deferment to do so by mid-December 2021 to avoid any non-refundable quarantine or testing fees.

As the very first step for withdrawal, please inform your home university’s International or Study Abroad Office of your intention as soon as you have made the decision to withdraw.

Can I defer my exchange to NUS to AY2022/23 Semester 1 (Fall 2022)?

Exchange in AY2022/23 Semester 1 corresponds to a new application cycle. Your home university will need to re-nominate you and if nominated, you will need to put in a new application for this exchange period. Please check with your home university’s International or Study Abroad Office to see what options are available to you.

If my home university has agreed to re-nominate me for exchange to NUS in AY2022/23 Semester 1, will I need to submit another online application?

Yes, a new exchange application will need to be submitted. NUS will share the updated application information and timeline with your home university.

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

Unfortunately, NUS is not planning to offer a virtual exchange option at this time.

My home university has not nominated me for exchange to NUS, or has suspended study abroad programmes to Singapore. 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 the application deadline for AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022) has closed. You may want to consider applying for AY2022/23 Semester 1 (Fall 2022) instead.

Please note the uncertainties over border control measures, and the difficulties in obtaining a Student’s Pass (Visa), Entry Approval and on-campus housing are also applicable to non-exchange students.

Please check with your home university’s International or Study Abroad Office to explore what options are available to you; if you are interested in pursuing the non-exchange option in AY2022/23 Semester 1 (Fall 2022), please refer to this webpage for more details.

Travelling into Singapore

What are the current border control measures imposed by the Singapore government? Are there any requirements I need to take note of should I proceed with my nomination for AY2021/22 Semester 2 (Spring 2022)?

Immigration policies and border control measures change regularly and often with little warning. Although the University strives to keep students and partner universities updated on important policy changes, the nominated student bears the onus of adhering to the latest guidelines of Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) as much of the requirements are based on the travel history of the traveller.

More information regarding 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

I am renewing my passport. When is the latest that my new passport should be ready?

Given the current processes to get entry approval to come to Singapore, students should have a new passport ready by mid-November 2021 as NUS will send out Student’s Pass Applications then. If your new passport details differs from that which was submitted during your online exchange application to NUS, please ensure that you request an update by emailing a scan of your new passport details to: nghelp@nus.edu.sg (quote your application number in the email for NUS’ reference).

How do I know if I am able to use a Safe Travel Lane to come to Singapore?

Please use this determining tool found on the Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s website: https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/arriving/overview

Would it be possible to use the Vaccinated Travel Lane to enter Singapore?

With effect 8 Sep 2021 (2359 SGT), the Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) became available to eligible travellers departing from Brunei Darussalam and Germany. With effect 18 Oct 2021 (2359 SGT), eligible travellers departing from Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America became eligible for the VTP as well. Eligible travellers departing from the Republic of Korea will be eligible for the VTP from 14 Nov 2021 (2359 SGT) onwards, as well as travellers from Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur International Airport only), Finland and Sweden from 29 Nov 2021 (2359 SGT) onwards.

Travelers must have been fully vaccinated in their VTL country/region of departure or Singapore. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after he or she has received the full regimen of Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna or WHO EUL Vaccines.

For more information on VTP, please refer to here.

Do I need to go through COVID-19 tests to enter Singapore?

Please refer here for more information: https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/health/covid19-tests/pcrtest

Do I need to be quarantined when I arrive in Singapore?

This will depend on the country of your departure and your 14-day travel history. Please refer here for more information: https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/shn-and-swab-summary.

COVID-19 Measures in Singapore

Do I need to be fully vaccinated to do exchange at NUS?

Yes, from 1 November 2021, all Student's Pass holders must be fully vaccinated before arrival in Singapore. More information regarding these requirements are found here: https://www.moh.gov.sg/docs/librariesprovider5/default-document-library/mtf-press-release-2-october-2021---annex-b.pdf.

What is the definition of “fully vaccinated”?

Travellers are considered fully vaccinated if they meet the following conditions at least 2 weeks before arrival in Singapore:

  • Received the full regimen of WHO EUL Vaccines, from a specific manufacturer, and
  • Met the minimum dose interval period.

Do keep abreast with the most updated information here: https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/health/vtsg.

What if I contract COVID-19 in Singapore?

Home recovery is expected for fully vaccinated individuals who are aged 12 to 69 and have no or mild symptoms, and no underlying health conditions. Please refer to the latest advisory by the Singapore Ministry of Health: https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/general/faqs.

Will the cost of COVID-19 treatment be covered in Singapore?

Exchange students in NUS are covered by the NUS Student Insurance. This covers some COVID-19 costs. However, it is strongly encouraged that exchange students purchase additional insurance package(s) which include COVID-19 coverage to ensure adequate coverage for the duration of their exchange semester(s). Exchange students should also check with their home university to see what health or travel insurance is included in their home university’s policy.

What are the safety measures NUS has in place for its students?

Please refer here: https://emergency.nus.edu.sg/.

NUS also continues to provide updates on this front through its circulars here:

What are the current safety measures in Singapore?