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Singapore 
Approx. Time Difference
Apr - Oct: +15 hrs
Nov - Mar: +16 hrs
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Science & Engineering Internship, Agency for Science, Technology & Research

- Summer

 
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
 
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
 

Disclaimer
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.


Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
 

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
 
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
 
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
 
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
 
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Program Specialist
May Pothongsunun
Phone: (805) 893-6152; E-mail: mpothongsunun@eap.ucop.edu
 
Academic Specialist
Eva Bilandzia
Phone: (805) 893-2598; E-mail: ebilandzia@eap.ucop.edu
 
Student Finance Accountant
Gildas Halle
Phone: (805) 893-2761; E-mail: studentfinance@eap.ucop.edu
 
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
 
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583
 

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Pre-Departure Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
 
 

Study Center Abroad

UCEAP is working closely with the Academic Internship Council (AIC), which will provide on-site student support, including an orientation and cultural activities.
 
It is critical that you understand the role of each person involved with program, logistic, and academic issues, and remember to communicate your concerns with all parties (both at AIC and at UC).
 

Academic Internship Council:

Shannah Teo
Singapore Site Director
75 High Street
The Co Building, Level 6
Singapore 179435
 
Email: singapore@academicinternshipcouncil.org
 
Phone (calling from the US): (011-65) 9278-8557
Phone (calling from Singapore): 9278-8557 
 

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code . . . . . . . . . . .011   (dial this to call from the U.S.)
 
Singapore code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 

Approximate Time Difference

April–October: Add 15 hours
November–March: Add 16 hours
 
Academic Information
Program Overview
During this summer program, you will participate in a full-time research internship.
 
You will be responsible for following all policies, procedures, and requirements set forth by A*STAR in addition to UCEAP policies.
 
All UCEAP students in the program will receive 10.0 quarter/6.7 semester UC units of upper-division research internship credit. It will be reported as Research Internship 197 S to the UC Offices of the Registrar. The subject areas will vary depending on the student's individual internship placements. Past internships have been under the areas of biological sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical engineering, computer science, engineering, and physics. Other subject areas are possible.
 
You will complete two forms with your internship supervisor:
You may choose either the P/NP or letter grade option for your internship.
 
You will receive information on MyEAP course registration and deadlines after arrival.
Academic Culture
Course Information
Grades
You may choose either the P/NP or letter grade option for your internship. 

Grade submission varies depending on the A*STAR internship provider. 
 
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
 
Internships
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Get acquainted with Singapore and its culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites such as
Lonely Planet are excellent resources.
 
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. You will also need to understand the local culture and history.
Cultural Adjustments
 "Remember to be open, tolerant, and respectful of other cultures and you will have the time of your life!" - UCEAP Student
The external Western appearance of Singapore contradicts the deep cultural influences that exist at the core of the country’s cultural mores and expectations. Singapore’s cultural diversity combines at least three ancient cultures: Chinese, Malay, and Indian. Important distinctions exist within each of these cultures and religious practices.
 "It’s amazing how and why the layered culture of Singapore works." - UCEAP Student
In order to socially, academically, and culturally integrate into the local student population, you must pursue local friendships and participate in student activities. While it may take some time and effort, UCEAP students have been treated with great hospitality and made lifelong friendships.

Singlish

The four official languages of Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English. English use is widespread and considered the language that unites the various ethnic groups. English spoken by locals may have unique accents or syntax that can lead to misunderstandings.
 
Singlish is a local dialect derived from clipped forms of English mixed with Chinese, Indian, and Malay. Previous participants mention that it can take some time to adjust to Singlish. Refer to A Dictionary of Singlish and Singapore English.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Official UCEAP Start Date

Pre-Program Travel

Do not plan to travel outside of the U.S. after finals at UC and before the program begins. Each year, the Research Institutions send acceptance letters and visa documents on different dates, sometimes only a short time before the program’s Official Start Date. You need to be in the U.S. to receive the materials.
 

Travel to the Research Institution

The dates of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel arrangements.
 
In order to keep informed of program changes, update MyEAP with any changes to your contact information.
 
Failure to arrive before the Official Start Date is cause for dismissal from the program. More detailed arrival information and directions to the check-in point are provided in the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist online.
Not all taxi drivers are familiar with residences. Look up the location of your destination ahead of time. Provide the driver with the address of your housing and have a map with you to show the driver exactly where you want to go.

On-site Orientation

At the beginning of your program, you will attend an orientation that covers information related to the host institution as well as UCEAP. Participation in all orientation sessions is mandatory.
 
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
 
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
There is no UCEAP group flight to Singapore. You are responsible for making your own flight arrangements. You should not purchase flights until you receive your admission offer. 
 
It is recommended that you arrive during regular business hours.
 
Additional arrival information is provided in the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Travel Documents
Additional information about passports and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist.

​Passport & Work Holiday Pass

To enter Singapore, a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended stay is required.
 
Students participating in the A*STAR internship program must apply for either a Work Holiday Pass (WHP) or a Training Employment Pass (TEP). Like a work visa, the WHP/TEP will allow you to reside in Singapore for the purpose of completing an internship. The WHP/TEP is issued by the Ministry of Manpower. Application instructions will be provided by your Research Institution.
 
If given the option, you should apply for the WHP over the TEP. The WHP process is started by the applicant and is usually quicker. 
 
Both the WHP and TEP will require you to complete the registration process in person at the Ministry of Manpower after arrival. You must have your WHP/TEP by the start date of your internship. Any delays will affect your end date and program eligibility.
 

Special Travel Notifications

If you are not a U.S. citizen, special travel restrictions or entry requirements may affect you. Contact the Singapore Consulate-General in San Francisco for details.
 
Notify UCEAP immediately if you are or have ever held Singaporean citizenship. You may be required to submit additional documents.  
 
Male Singapore citizens and permanent residents are liable for compulsory military service. If you hold dual U.S. and Singapore citizenship you are also subject to this law. If this situation applies to you, research this further with the Singapore Consulate-General in San Francisco and the Singapore Ministry of Defense

U.S. Travel Registration

As soon as you know your flight plans prior to departure, register online with the U.S. Department of State. Registration is free and allows for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to be a source of assistance and information in case of difficulty or an emergency while traveling abroad.

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents when you have photocopies. Photocopy all important documents in duplicate, including passport photo pages, visa pages, vaccination certificates, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a copy at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage.

Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students

Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.

 
If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Berkeley, contact the Undocumented Student Program http://undocu.berkeley.edu.
 

If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at https://law.ucdavis.edu/uc-undocumented/.
 
 
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
Identify all luggage on both the outside and inside with your name, home address, and destination.
When traveling always carry your passport, visa, airline tickets, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in your checked luggage.
 
Singapore is well developed in terms of the availability of consumer goods. Therefore, limit your baggage to a reasonable amount.  
 
Do Not Pack
  • Cigarette and pocket lighters
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Controlled drugs and substances
  • Endangered species of wildlife and their byproducts
  • Firecrackers
  • Obscene articles and publications
  • Reproductions of copyrighted publications, videotapes, DVDs, CDs, or cassettes
  • Toy coins and currency notes

Climate and Dress

Singapore’s climate includes uniformly warm temperatures, humidity, and abundant rainfall due to the maritime exposure of the island and its close proximity to the equator. Most buildings are air-conditioned, so you may need to dress for both the warm weather and chilly air-conditioned buildings.
 
Despite the hot and humid conditions, Singaporeans dress fairly conservatively. Avoid excessively revealing clothing. Sleeveless and backless tops with low necklines or clothing with vulgar words and pictures are unacceptable.

Electrical Items

The electrical current in Singapore is 230V/50Hz; therefore, American electrical items running on 120V/60Hz will not work without a converter.
 
 
Return Transportation
You cannot leave the academic program before your exams are officially over. You are not permitted to ask for a change in exam dates to accommodate your holiday travel schedule or because of non-refundable plane tickets. See the program calendar on the UCEAP website for departure dates.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
 
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
 
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
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Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
 
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
 
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
 

Instructions

  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.
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Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

 
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
 
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Handling Money Abroad
Before departure, obtain Singaporean dollars. This will give you an opportunity to become familiar with the currency. In addition, the funds will be useful for transportation and other purchases immediately after arrival. You can arrange to purchase foreign currency through your local U.S. bank, although the process may take a week or more. You can also easily exchange money upon arrival at Changi Airport.
 
After orientation, you will learn where to obtain good exchange rates and you can begin using nearby banks and money changing facilities. Have enough to cover your initial expenses.
If you plan on using your U.S. ATM and/or credit card while abroad, be sure to notify your bank ahead of time. Otherwise, they may freeze your account on suspicion of fraud. 

ATM Card

Students often use their ATM card and PIN from a U.S. bank to withdraw money in Singapore. ATMs are available in banks, MRT stations, shopping centers, and other locations throughout Singapore.
 
Check with your bank prior to departure regarding service charges and networks; the Cirrus or Plus networks are the most common. Charles Schwab account holders can withdraw money from international ATMs and be reimbursed for fees incurred. However, there may be a minimum balance requirement.  

Credit Cards

It is a good idea to take a credit card abroad. Major international credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted. Credit cards can be used at most hotels, restaurants, and department stores, as well as for cash advances. Check with your bank and credit card providers to determine fees and services that will be available to you abroad. 

Transfer of Funds

Most students also use ATM cards to transfer money. However, travelers checks and telegraphic transfers are other secure options. You may process funds using international bank drafts made out in Singaporean dollars. These can be credited to accounts and withdrawn in several days. UCEAP discourages using personal checks to transfer money. 

Banking Facilities

Many banks in Singapore offer a wide range of services. Examples include the Development Bank of Singapore, a Post Office Savings Bank, Overseas Union Bank Ltd., and United Overseas Bank Ltd. Each bank has their own account policies (ex. minimum balance).
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Computer access for A*STAR students will depend on where you decide to live. Internet cafés that charge an hourly rate are available in Singapore, but are geared more towards tourists.
 
Phones
Dial 100 for 24/7 English directory and operator assistance.
You can purchase a cell phone after arrival or bring your unlocked cell phone to use with a local SIM card. SIM cards for use in Singapore are sold at the Changi Airport and local convenience stores.
 
Pay phones are widely available. Phone cards can be purchased in multiple denominations. If you live on the NUS campus, you can request private phone service in your room after you register.
 
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the technology for transmitting voice conversations via the Internet, is popular with students who take a laptop abroad. Students and travelers of all kinds use social networking software such as Skype to make free or low-cost calls over the Internet.
 
Messenging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Line, WeChat) are also increasing in popularity.  
"Bug your friends and family members to get a free Internet calling service. Then you can hear their beautiful, wonderful voices from the other side of the globe." - UCEAP Student
Mail & Shipments
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Housing & Meals
Housing
A*STAR internships are offered at various locations throughout Singapore. You can start researching housing options as soon as you are informed of your internship location.
 
Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and rent payments to management.
 
While you look for housing to cover the duration of your program, it may be possible to reserve temporary housing at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Rooms at U-Town and Prince George’s Park Residences are usually available in June. UCEAP students may be eligible for the Non-NUS student rate.
 
You can find additional information in the UCEAP online Pre-Departure Checklist.
 
"Live at a student hostel for affordable rent and to meet international students from all over the world!" - UCEAP Student
Meals
Singapore is a culinary heaven and is considered the food capital of Asia. Tasty Chinese, Indian, Malay, Indonesian, and Western foods are sold from the many "hawker centers" (food stalls) at reasonable prices. Singapore is also home to many fine, expensive restaurants as well as many American fast-food restaurants.
"Once you get used to the food, you’ll realize how delicious most of the food in Singapore actually is. I know I’m definitely gonna be missing this all when I go back home." - UCEAP Student
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
An efficient public transportation network of taxis, buses, and the modern mass transit system ensures that getting around is hassle-free and affordable.
 
UCEAP students recommend obtaining an Ez-Link transportation card after arrival in Singapore. The card can be used to pay for buses, the MRT, and some taxis. It is available at MRT stations and you can reload your card at TransitLink machines in every station.  

Buses

SBS Transit manages most of the bus services in Singapore. Bus fares will range based on distance and type. You will need exact change or an Ez-Link transportation card.  

MRT

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is a modern, air-conditioned passenger train service with stations all over the island. This MRT system is one of the most modern in the world.
 
There are multiple lines that operate at regular intervals daily. Visit the SMRT website for additional information.  

Taxis

Taxis are available everywhere in Singapore and can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads. All taxis are metered with a basic fee, but there may be surcharges for certain circumstances (e.g., late-night rides).
 
"You basically will be using a lot of public transportation while here, but it’s good and cheap! MRT and the buses. The card is called the EZ-Link card and you can get it at the MRT station." - UCEAP Student
 
Extracurricular Activities

Get Involved

Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while abroad is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community. Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad! 

Local Attractions

Singapore has many local attractions worth exploring, including world- renowned botanical gardens and several ethnic neighborhoods.
 

Festivals

Singapore celebrates a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Festivals are a wonderful opportunity to experience the Chinese, Hindu, and Muslim cultures that come together in Singapore. Most celebrations are based on a lunar calendar, so the dates vary. For a current calendar of events, refer to the Singapore Tourism Board website
"Pay attention to the festivals held near the Singapore River. I attended the Buskers’ Festival, which had street performers from all over the world. Just before I left, I also got to see the annual duck race, which had 10,000 rubber ducks float in the river. It was quite a sight." - UCEAP Student

 

Sports & Outdoor Activities

Singaporeans are active in sports. Swimming and water sport activities are easily accessible along the beaches. There are several parks and nature reserves, such as Bukit Timah, that are optimal locations for hiking and mountain biking. 
Students with Disabilities
The Disabled People’s Association of Singapore is a nonprofit organization that coordinates services, promotes awareness, and publishes useful information about disability accommodations.
 
Disabled People’s Association of Singapore
1 Jurong West Central 2,
#04-01 Jurong Point Shopping Centre,
Singapore 648886
 
Hours: M-F 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: (65) 6791-1134
 
The National Council of Social Services sponsors the Disability Portal, a comprehensive resource for persons with disabilities and service providers.

 

For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account. 
 
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the US), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you. 
 
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
LGBTIQ Students
Singapore remains conservative regarding LGBT rights. Social acceptance of homosexuality varies, with most of the population opposed to decriminalizing homosexual behavior. Anti-LGBT laws are rarely enforced, and while there is a grassroots movement to abolish these laws, the government and Parliament currently show no indication of repealing restrictions.
 
Both Singaporean government and society generally view same-sex relationships as a threat to traditional values and the nuclear family.
  • Exercise caution during LGBT Pride events and festivals.
  • Evaluate the city and surrounding neighborhoods for prevailing social attitudes before deciding on what public behavior is appropriate.
  • Be cautious when engaging others in conversations about sexuality or LGBT issues.

 

​For more information,
Insurance
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before You Go

 
As a UCEAP participant, you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy anywhere in the world. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
 
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Inform yourself before seeking care. Your UCEAP Travel Insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations. Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. You will be financially responsible for any charges for medical services that are not included benefits in the policy and for any charges over an above the “maximum allowable amount”. Your travel insurance policy number is ADD N04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
 
The travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. There is no deductible or co-insurance. You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim process or about non-medical claims.
 
Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
 
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.
 

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits, and Claims Status

Contact ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com.

Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property, as you may experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
 
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage. Review the policy carefully before departure to determine if it is adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
 
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
 
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions.
Staying Healthy
 
University of California does not make any representation of warranty with respect to the names of medical providers referenced on this Staying Healthy chapter. The names listed are only a point of reference as the University of California does not recommend or endorse any medical provider on this list.
 
Local Medical Facilities
Good medical care is widely available. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate payment for health services by credit card or cash. 
 
If you experience a medical emergency, go to National University Hospital. It is located approximately 15 minutes from the National University of Singapore.
 
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119074
 
Phone: (65) 6779-5555
24-Hour Emergency Hotline: (65) 6772-5000
 
If you need information about the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy benefits and claims process, contact ACI at intlassist@visitaci.com
 

Ambulance Services

Dial 995

Medical Records

Privacy laws pertaining to medical records differ from those in the US. The Ministry of Health auditors may under certain circumstances grant permission to retrieve a patient’s medical records without the consent of the patient.

 

​A list of English-speaking doctors is available at the US Embassy’s website. You can also contact the UCEAP Study Center or partner institution staff for r ecommendations on physicians or specialists that students have used in the past.
 
Local doctors expect direct payment. If you are sick or injured, seek care, pay for treatment and submit a claim through the UCEAP travel insurance. Many doctors do not accept credit card payment. Make sure you budget for this expense. For information about benefits and the claims process email ACI, intlassist@acitpa.com.
Physical Health

Know Before You Go

Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
 
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
 
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Prescription Medications

PLAN AHEAD

Research and Resources:

  • Find out if your prescription is legal and licensed in your UCEAP country.  There are many resources you can check: The US embassy website for the country where you will be studying; the foreign embassy for the country where you will be studying; regulations from official foreign government sites; the International Narcotics Control Board (link below).
  •  
  • As a UCEAP participant you are covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. Review the UCEAP Travel Insurance terms of coverage. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage.
  •  
  • Refer to UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, specifically the Health and Insurance sections.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor as least 3-6 months before departure to discuss your medication and treatment plan:

  • Ask if you can get a prescription to last the entire duration of your program. Consider that you may need to fill your prescription abroad.
  •  
  • Obtain a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead indicating your diagnosis, treatment, medication regimen, and generic name(s) of medication(s) as brand names vary around the world. This will be for passing through Customs and for refilling abroad.
  •  
  • Your doctor may need to change your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.
  •  
  • Discuss how to adjust dosage to account for different time zones.
  •  

TRAVELING WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

Airport Security

  • Keep medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor's name, generic/brand name, and exact dosage. 
  •  
  • Carry copies of original US prescriptions and carry the letter from your doctor (see above).
  •  
  • Travel with medications in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill form. Consult the US Transportation Security Administration if your medication is liquid.

In Country

  • If you need to refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor as US prescriptions are not valid in other countries. Take with you the letter from your doctor (see above). Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventative care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. However, your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.
  •  
  • To purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must pay up front and submit a claim for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start date of your program).
  •  
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, and the Insurance tab on your pre-departure checklist for more insurance information.
  •  
  • For specific information about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, contact, intlassist@acitpa.com.
  •  

REGULATED AND CONTROLLED MEDICATIONS

  • Two classes of medicines - narcotics and psychotropics - are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that affects the central nervous system and the potential for drug abuse.  The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine). Psychotropic medications are used to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. These medications are often highly regulated.
  •  
  • If you have a prescription containing controlled substances, check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g. Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal or unlicensed in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.

 

Prescription Medications in Singapore:

You are responsible for confirming in advance that your prescription medications are legal in Singapore.
 
The Singapore Health Science Authority determines medication regulations.
 
Health Sciences Authority
11 Biopolis Way #11-03 Helios
Singapore 138667
 
Phone: (65) 6866-3522
 
Medications and related documents may be inspected by customs authorities. Do not plan on mailing medications to Singapore as they may be confiscated.
 
If you need additional medication or prescription refills after arrival in Singapore, seek guidance from a local pharmacist or physician. Pharmacies are generally located in all hospitals. Over-the-counter medications are available in chain drug stores throughout Singapore. 
 
Mental Health

PLAN AHEAD

 
Consider your host country. Many countries do not have adequate resources. How will you manage your mental health while studying abroad, whether or not you have a pre-existing condition? 
 
If you are currently in treatment in the US, discuss all program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. Carry a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating condition, treatment history, and medication regimen so a local physician can assess your needs.
 

If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for the length of your stay. Traveling through customs with medications for personal use can be problematic in countries where those medications are prohibited. Examples include stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, and narcotics. Prohibited substances vary depending on the country. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.​

Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.

WHILE ABROAD

  • Do not try to manage alone. Reach out to local staff.
  •  
  • The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at intlassist@acitpa.com.

 

The Singapore American Community Action Council (SACAC) is a nonprofit organization providing services to the local and expatriate community. SACAC offers psychological counseling, mental health resources, and support groups. They have counselors who were trained and licensed in the US and practice different areas of specialty.
 
SACAC Counseling
09-04 Thong Teck Building
15 Scotts Road
Singapore 228218
 
Tel: (65) 6733-9249
Fax: (65) 6733-9321
 
Institute of Mental Health Helpline - 24 hour Hotline for Mental Health Crisis Emergencies: (65) 6389-2222
Health Risks

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

There is risk of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Japanese encephalitis, and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Take precautions against mosquito bites:
  • Wear long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
  • Use insect protection containing DEET, picaridin, or another approved repellent.
 
Do not use aspirin or ibuprofen products if you suspect you may have dengue, as these could exacerbate bleeding tendencies associated with the disease.
 
If you plan on traveling to neighboring countries, consider vaccinations and health risks specific to the areas you will be visiting.
 

Keep Cool in Hot Weather 

​Singapore is 1 degree north of the equator. The climate is classified as tropical rainforest with no distinct seasons.
  • Stay hydrated - carry water. Freeze it overnight so that it melts and stays cold throughout the day.
  • Sports drinks, coconut water, and other electrolyte-replacement beverages will help maintain hydration levels.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-clolored clothing. Cotton will keep you cooler than synthetic material.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face.
  • Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house.
  • Store lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on face, feet, hands, and other parts of your body.
  • Take frequent baths or showers with cool or tepid water.
 

 

Food Allergies
Students with severe food allergies should plan ahead:
  • Talk with your doctor before departure to discuss how to manage your allergy while abroad.
     
  • Research the local cuisine.
     
  • Carry medication to treat surprise reactions.
     
  • Tell others about your food allergy.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter.
Air Quality
​Check the Singapore National Environmental Agency website for information about air quality and health advisories.
Electronic Cigarettes
​E-cigarettes are strictly prohibited in Singapore.
 
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) prohibits the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of any article that is designed to resemble a tobacco product; this includes vaporizers such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars, etc.  Any person who is convicted of an offense is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000 for a first offense and a fine not exceeding $10,000 for a second or subsequent offense and any e-cigarettes imported will be seized and confiscated.
 
Information pertaining to the prohibition of e-cigarettes in Singapore is available on HSA's website.
Staying Safe
 
While traveling, you are subject to the local laws even if you are a US citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own and it is very important to know what is legal and what is not. If you break local laws while abroad, your US passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution, and the US Embassy cannot get you out of jail.
 
Minimize Risk

Safety is our concern but it is your responsibility. Be proactive in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Have an action plan.

With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Observe and assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think about how you can lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel. Label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of the consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
 

Terrorism

Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.
 
Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers, identify safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at high speed.

Report anything suspicious to local authorities. Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff. Schedule direct flights, if possible. Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency. If you are ever in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible. Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
 

Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety

  • Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.
  •  
  • Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel.
     
  • Observe and assess your surroundings. Learn to recognize danger.
  •  
  • Trust your feelings. If you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  •  
  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
  •  
  • Drink responsibly. Know your limits. In many countries, beer, wine and liquor contain a higher alcohol content than similar products in the US. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
  •  
  • Practice the buddy system. Choose your buddy wisely. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  •  
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call locally if you are in an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
 

Registration with the local US Embassy or Consulate

Register online with the US embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service for US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
 

Registration with the UCEAP Security Provider

You will be automatically registered with WorldAware, the University of California security provider. You will receive important security and informational messages about local conditions for your program country.
 
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, for more information. Access the US Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention
The crime rate is one of the lowest in the world. Singaporeans enjoy a high standard of living and the government vigorously promotes a sense of civic responsibility that helps deter crime. Strict legal penalties for even minor offenses and excellent policing also serve as significant crime deterrents. Exercise the same amount of caution as you would in any major city.
 
Violent crime is rare, and criminals rarely target Westerners. Burglaries, robberies, and vehicle thefts are uncommon. Crime in Singapore is non-confrontational, and opportunistic in nature. If you are the victim of a crime while in Singapore, immediately report it to the Study Center, local police, and US embassy. 
 
Pick-pocketing and petty thefts occur in tourist areas, such as hotels and airports but are not widespread problems. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) advises that most phone scams in Singapore attempt to persuade people to make advance payments to claim a prize. Sometimes the prize used to lure victims may be the promise of a luxury car and other valuables. Scammers contact victims via SMS messages to inform them that they won a “lucky draw.”
 

Police Response

Singapore has been ranked consistently in the top five positions in the Global Competitiveness Report in terms of its reliability of police services. Police response to crime incidents is professional and generally effective. There is an island-wide network of police cameras that have been helpful fighting crime.

Drug-related Crimes

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty for many offenses. Singapore police have the authority to compel both residents and non-residents to submit to random drug analysis. In applying local laws, the police do not distinguish between drugs consumed before or after entering Singapore.
 

Illegal or Restricted Activities

In Singaporean society, the public good may take precedence over personal rights. You must take Singaporean laws and regulations seriously. The following are a few examples of illegal activities:
  • Smoking in public places
  • Drinking in public places between 10:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Littering
  • Spitting
  • Jaywalking
  • Importing and selling chewing gum
  • Gum, eating, and drinking on mass rapid transit system
  • Vandalism

Media Censorship

Though the regulations are slowly loosening, there are still some forms of media censorship. Do not take materials with violent or sexual themes into Singapore.

Outrage of Modesty

Singapore enforces strict laws pertaining to the propriety of behavior between people and the modesty of individuals. The Singaporean law “Outrage of Modesty” is defined as an assault or use of criminal force on any person with the intent to, or the knowledge that it may, outrage the modesty of that person, such as molestation or intimate physical acts without consent.
 
Penalties may include imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, caning, or a combination thereof. Scams involving a claim of outrage of modesty are thought to exist, and male travelers should be cautious when frequenting popular nightspots.
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Singapore is a left-hand drive nation. The roads are in good condition that include well-lit, well-paved, English language thoroughfares and expressways.
 
Public transportation and taxis are abundant, inexpensive, and reliable.
 
Do not drive a motorized vehicle of any kind. Involvement in a traffic accident can lead to major safety, legal, and financial problems.
 
Strict law enforcement and well-developed public transportation systems make travel by public transportation in Singapore very secure. Regardless, maintain general security precautions while using buses, trains, and subways. Buses, commuter trains, the subway, and their associated stations attract thieves. Keep an eye on personal effects at times.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Cross the road at designated pedestrian crossings, overhead bridges, underpasses, or zebra crossings.
  • Be alert for inattentive drivers.
  • Use footpaths and other walkways when possible.
  • Be alert for any oncoming cyclists.
  • Use light colored clothing when you are walking at night, or carry some reflective materials so that drivers can see you from a distance.
 
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment

University of California Policy

Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/o​r University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local partners and/or UCEAP staff if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Fire Safety

Fire Emergency - Dial 995

Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country, as they differ drastically around the world.
  • Locate the nearest emergency exists and make sure they are not obstructed.
     
  • Know the sound of the fire alarm; not all alarms will sound the same.
  •  
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
      
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
     
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. The Fire Safety Foundation has  a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. They will ship to your host country address.
     
  • Have an escape plan.
       
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need in order to leave the building.
     

Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.

UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the US Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security providers, US Embassy, US Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on US government-arranged flights, that require US citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
 

If you are in the US

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
     
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
 
 

If you are abroad

 
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times:
 
Ambulance:   995
Fire:   995
Police:   999

US Embassy in Singapore

American Citizen Services
27 Napier Road
Singapore 258508
Phone: (65) 6476-9100
Fax: (65) 6476-9340
 
Regular Hours:
8:30 a.m.–noon (Monday–Friday);
1:30–3 p.m. (Monday–Friday, except Thursday)
 
 
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.