International Students

The following is an extract from the “International Students” section of the Prospectus. Please review the above mentioned section for more detailed information.

Application Process

In addition to the general application process, there are additional requirements for international applicants.

Application Deadline for International Applicants. All applications (with application fee and accompanying documents) must reach EAST by 1 March. This allows four months for processing of the application and if accepted, the Student Pass application, prior to the start of EAST Aleph (a two-week program in July which is required for all new students).

Demonstration of Financial Ability. International students must also demonstrate that they have adequate funds for living expenses and accommodation. International students whose studies are sponsored by churches, organizations, or individuals must submit proof of financial support. If an international student is self-supporting a bank statement must be submitted.

The school provides an estimate of education and living expenses for international applicants. In addition, international applicants should review the schedule of fees and other related expenses. (See “Financial Information” section in this Prospectus for specific details.)

Financial Bridging Aid. Limited financial aid for international students originating from economically depressed areas may be available for application subject to approval and funding availability. Students who wish to apply for New Student Bridging Aid must indicate this on the Application Form.

The New Student Bridging Aid is applicable to the first year of studies only. Subsequent year(s) of financial aid, if applied for and approved, will depend on the academic performance of the student and the availability of funds. There is no guarantee of financial aid for studies at EAST.

English Language Proficiency. Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System, Academic Version (IELTS), or a comparable test of English proficiency prior to acceptance. It is the responsibility of the applicant to take the test and arrange for the scores to be sent to EAST, Office of Admissions.

For admission to a degree program, EAST requires a TOEFL score of not less than 76 of the Internet-Based Test (iBT), 540 overall (or 53 minimum on each of the three sections) of the Paper-Based Test (PBT), or an IELTS band score of not less than 6.0. EAST reserves the right to require foreign students to take the English Proficiency Test (EPT) upon arrival in Singapore, even if they have obtained a requisite score on the TOEFL, or IELTS, or comparable test of English proficiency.

Immigration and Preparation to Move to Singapore

Married International Applicants

All married international applicants, if accepted, must bring their spouse and dependent children with them to Singapore. EAST places a high value on the student’s marriage relationships and family life and views family life as a part of the student’s spiritual formation while at seminary.

It is recommended that women who wish to enter the Partners in Ministry (PIM) Certificate program submit the Application Form and pay the application fee prior to arrival. However, applications will be accepted after arrival in Singapore. PIM provides training for wives alongside their husbands. (See “PIM Certificate Program” in this Prospectus for further details.)

Student Pass Requirements and Application Process

Once an international applicant has been accepted into a program of study, the EAST Admissions Officer will apply for a Student Pass for the individual. The following documents must be sent to EAST as they will be submitted with the application for the Student Pass.

  • One original copy of each of the Forms 16, V36
  • Photocopy of passport pages showing full particulars including passport expiry date
  • Birth certificate (notarized and translated, if not in English)
  • Marriage certificate, if the student is married (notarized and translated, if not in English)
  • Educational certificates and transcripts (notarized and translated, if not in English)
  • Note: Both notarized and translated copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and educational certificates/transcripts must be submitted.

The Student Pass application forms must be returned properly filled and signed. EAST will not process incomplete forms or documents. It is an offence under Singapore’s Immigration Act to submit false statements, representations, or declarations.

EAST will e-submit the completed Student Pass application to the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA) on behalf of the prospective students via the SOLAR+ system. It takes ICA about 4-8 weeks to process the application.

EAST will liaise with the prospective student on e-payment of S$30 processing fee to ICA.

When the Student Pass is approved, the Admissions Officer will notify the new student to come to Singapore as soon as possible. New international students should not arrive in Singapore until the Admissions Officer gives approval to do so.

NOTE: The new student must bring with him/her to Singapore all original documents to be presented to the ICA for verification.

Recommended Arrival Dates in Singapore

Married international students should plan to arrive in Singapore at least one month before the start of EAST Aleph. EAST Aleph is two-week program for new students prior to the start of the academic year in July. (For further information about EAST Aleph, see the “Student Services” section of this Prospectus.)

A married student may want to arrive in Singapore before the spouse and children. This will allow him/her time to finalize housing and children’s schooling arrangements.

Single international students should plan to arrive about three weeks prior to the start of EAST Aleph. For both married and single students, the weeks prior to the start of EAST Aleph allow time to get settled, complete all immigration requirements, and become familiar with the city.

Housing

EAST does not provide on-campus student housing. However there are a number of housing options available for international students. Some churches and individuals make rooms or flats available at reduced costs for EAST students. Recent graduates leaving Singapore who know of reasonably priced housing inform EAST so the information can be passed on to incoming students. Please consult with the International Student Services Coordinator if you need assistance.

Additional Expenses for International Students

Immigration Fees

All international students must have a Student Pass issued by Immigration and Customs Authority (ICA) prior to arrival in Singapore. After arrival in Singapore, the student’s spouse and children must each obtain a Long-term Visit Pass. A multiple-entry visa will be issued together with both the Student Pass and Long-term Visit Pass. The fees listed below are per person.

 

ICA Fee Paid Semi-Annually (every 6 months) Paid Annually(every 12 months)
Student Pass Application Fee (Men) N/A $30
Student Pass Issuance Fee (Men) N/A $60
Student Pass Application Fee (Women) $30 N/A
Student Pass Issuance Fee (Women) $60 N/A
Long-term Visit Pass Application Fee for student’s spouse and child(ren) $30 N/A
Long-term Visit Pass Issuance Fee for student’s spouse and child(ren) $60 N/A
Multiple-entry Visa Fee (men) N/A $30
Multiple-entry Visa Fee (women students, spouses of students, and children) $30 N/A

 

Security Deposits

All international students (except Malaysians) are required by the Immigration and Customs Authority (ICA) to obtain a Banker’s Guarantee as a Security Deposit before they can obtain their Student Passes. The Banker’s Guarantee must be valid for at least six months beyond until the completion of studies and the cancellation of the Student Pass. This is to fulfil ICA requirements.  For example, if a student is planning to complete his studies in three years’ time, the validity of the Banker’s Guarantee should be at least three years and six months.

S$1,000     Citizens of Indonesia, Republic of the Philippines, and Thailand

S$5,000     Citizens of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and People’s Republic of China

S$1,500     Citizens of other countries

 Note: Visa requirements and fees are subject to change. International students may check with the EAST Admissions Officer for current information or visit the ICA website (www.ica.gov.sg).

Other Expenses

To aid in planning, refer to “Estimated Costs for Full-time Students” at the end of this Prospectus. Additional costs international students may have while at EAST (such as hospitalization and surgical insurance, children’s school fees, etc.) are listed.

Student Life

Immigration Advisor

The Immigration Advisor ensures that all international students have the proper immigration status before arrival in Singapore and while studying at EAST. The Immigration Advisor also advises married students who need to obtain Long Term Social Passes for spouse and children.

EAST Aleph

“Aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also the name of the two-week immersion experience for new EAST students (including EFS students). EAST Aleph weeks are immediately prior to the start of first semester each July. Participation at EAST Aleph is required for all new students. Those who enter an EAST program in January attend EAST Aleph the following July.

Church Involvement

International students (including EFS students), who do not speak English as their first language, should attend an English-speaking church the first twelve months they reside in Singapore. This involvement includes weekly participation in services and/or a small group.

International students who have continued their long-term involvement in an English-speaking church often have an easier adjustment to Singapore. Many long-term friendships and ministry partnerships have developed as a result of the student’s active participation.

Employment

Under Singapore law, an international student who holds a Student Pass cannot work either full- or part-time while studying at EAST and living in Singapore. A student’s spouse and children who hold Long Term Social Passes are also not allowed to work while residing in Singapore. To comply with the law, EAST will cancel a Student Pass for any student who obtains part- or full-time paid employment.

Students’ Wives

Recognizing that students’ wives who are mothers are not usually able to take program classes, EAST offers a Partners in Ministry (PIM) Certificate program. The PIM certificate program has been developed to provide quality training for wives/mothers. PIM classes and Mentoring Groups meet on Mondays.

All wives, whose husbands are pursuing a degree program at EAST, whether in a full-time or part-time capacity, are strongly encouraged to work towards graduating with the PIM Certificate if they are not enrolled in another EAST program. For further information about PIM, please see the “Partners in Ministry” description in the Academic Programs section of this Prospectus.

Hospitalization and Surgical Insurance

All international students (and their dependent family members with them in Singapore) are required to have health insurance to cover hospitalization and surgical expenses in Singapore. This is available for international students through EAST. This is to ensure that the students and their family members will receive financial assistance if they are hospitalized or require surgery.

International students who do not have Hospitalization or Surgical Insurance valid in Singapore. An international student who does not have an insurance or health policy which provides for hospitalization or surgery needs in Singapore must register for the Hospital and Surgical Policy offered through EAST for international students. A Health Insurance Registration Form is obtainable from the Registrar’s Assistant.

International students who do have Hospitalization or Surgical Insurance valid in Singapore. An international student who already has an insurance or health policy which provides for hospitalization or surgery needs in Singapore may choose to opt out of the Hospital and Surgical Policy by signing the Health Insurance Waiver form. The student needs to, however, submit a photocopy of his or her insurance or health policy details to the Registrar’s Assistant.

Information about Hospitalization and Surgical Policy. EAST’s Hospital and Surgical Policy for international students is offered through Cru Asia Limited’s corporate Hospital and Surgical Policy. Students may select one of the three plans offered:

  • An INDIVIDUAL PLAN applicable for a single or individual student.
  • A COUPLE’S PLAN applicable for a student and spouse only.
  • A FAMILY PLAN applicable for a student, spouse, and their children.

The estimated annual premiums for each of these plans are listed on the Health Insurance Registration Form. Payment for the Hospitalization and Surgical Insurance is made to the EAST Accounts Executive at the beginning of each new academic year. International students are advised to budget for their annual health insurance premium as part of their living expenses.

Academics

Course Load. In order to graduate within the set time as designated by the program schedule, an international student should take 14-16 credits per semester except for the final semester of their stay in Singapore. It is possible to lighten the load during the semester by taking block courses during the long school holidays (November-December and May-July). Due to extenuating circumstances, some students may need to take a lighter load. International students need to obtain prior permission from the Registrar to do so.

All holders of Student Pass are considered by ICA as full-time students attending full-time programs. They must meet ICA minimum class hours requirement of at least three (3) hours per weekday for a total of at least 15 hours per week.  Chapel, Mentoring Group, and required school-wide activities are counted toward the 15 required class hours per week.

English for Seminarians. The English for Seminarians (EFS) program was developed to provide resources for international students who need to upgrade their English skills. In addition to attending class, each EFS student has an assigned English language coach and participates in Chapel, Mentoring Group, and school-wide activities. (Further details about EFS can be found in the “Academic Programs” section of this Prospectus.)

English Coaching for International Students not in EFS. Program students who need additional English assistance may be assigned an English coach by the EFS Coordinator. This provides the student with a qualified person to help the student upgrade writing, spelling, and grammar skills. Further details about English coaching are provided in the Student Handbook.

Course Enrolment Outside of EAST.  Because of Student Pass requirements, international students and their dependents cannot enrol for class(es) at another school without the permission of the Registrar. This includes both academic and personal enrichment classes. Dependent children attending Primary or Secondary schools do not need permission from the Registrar.