Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Straits of Malacca to the west, the Riau Islands (Indonesia) to the south, and the South China Sea to the east. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet, the combined area of which has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the second greatest population density in the world. The country has almost 5.7 million residents, 61% (3.4 million) of whom are Singaporean citizens. There are four official languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. English is the lingua franca. Multiracialism is enshrined in the constitution, and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics.
Singapore has a reputation for academic excellence not just in Asia, but across the world. The nation’s education system is considered world-class and boasts academic talent that is both highly advanced and competitive. For a continuous number of years, Singapore has been named the best-performing location for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is also home to universities that have won global recognition for both their top-tier academics and their advanced research facilities. For example, the QS World University Rankings® 2021 listed NUS as the top university in Asia and eleventh in the world.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore as the second safest city in the world in the 2019 Safe City Index. Laws in Singapore are strictly enforced, which explains its very low crime rate and its reputation as one of the safest countries in the world. This is undoubtedly a draw for many international students. Living away from home can cause worries for both international students and their families, which is why NUS has its own security team that patrols its campuses 24/7, 365 days of the year.