Considering SIM-UB? Here’s what you should know!
Starting your university journey can seem scary. With the various options for universities available, it can seem difficult to choose which to apply for. Don’t worry!
If you are interested in learning about a diverse community, with professors from the US, and in a new education system. Then read more about SIM-UB!
In this article, you will learn about the different aspects of SIM-UB, such as the culture, clubs, education style, career prospects, and much more.
Sourced from The Straits Times
SIM Global Education (SIM-GE) is a private tertiary institution offering programmes with reputable university partners from Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The school I attend is SIM-University at Buffalo (SIM-UB), majoring in Communications. UB is a US public university in Buffalo, New York, and is known as one of the leading public research universities. It has partnered with SIM-GE to provide full-time bachelor degrees for almost 20 years.
It is different from other universities in SIM-GE since it is a 3-year bachelor programme. It offers degrees in Communication, Psychology, Economics, International Trade, Sociology, Business Administration, and Geographic Information Science. You can double major and take up a minor in Management or Marketing too.
The academic year occurs over a trimester system with Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions. Students are admitted as regular UB students with no distinction between Singapore and Buffalo.
The Culture – Campus and Student Life
Sourced from oom
SIM-UB culture mainly comprises campus life and student life, since living on campus is not available if you live in Singapore.
Dorms are only available for international students who need accommodation.
The campus is very spacious since it is connected to SUSS, so you get to enjoy 2 campuses! Personally, I haven’t had a lot of experience on campus since the majority of my classes have been online since August 2020.
With COVID-19, a lot of spots on campus were closed to students. But slowly, places like the library, gyms, open study areas, sports halls, dance studios, and food outlets are opening up.
What I heard from my seniors was that campus life was bustling. Students would occupy every part of the campus, either studying, eating, or hanging out with their friends.
The student life at SIM-UB comprises an endless number of CCAs and clubs. These clubs are not exclusive to SIM-UB and are open to any student studying at SIM.
CCAs and clubs range from arts & culture, international students’ clubs, special interest clubs, and sports & fitness.
If you want to immerse yourself more in the culture of your school, you can join the respective student councils of each school. SIM-UB has its own student council.
The clubs I am part of are SIM’s Writers’ Society as a writer and the IAS Gazette as a graphic designer. In these clubs, I have met students from RMIT, the University of London, the University of Birmingham, and many more.
The best part about campus and student life is that you not only interact with SIM-UB students, but you mingle with other students from other schools. So, you get to meet various types of people.
Even with online classes, I still felt connected and welcomed into SIM-UB since group chats and zoom calls allowed me to interact with others.
The Education Fees
The education fees are quite affordable, especially if you are a local student. Depending on whether you take a double degree and how many credits you complete.
Typically, for a single degree, local students completing around 60 to 120 credits pay around S$35,310 to S$70,620 for 3 years. And international students pay around S$37,236 to S$74,472 for 3 years.
For my SIM-UB Communications bachelor’s degree, I will have to complete 120 credits in total. My estimated course fee is S $69,000 for 3 years. Course fees are calculated on how many credits you take per semester, which is between 12 to 15 credits (4 to 5 modules).
SIM-UB scholarships are available for prospective and current students. The two categories of scholarships are Academic Excellence & Leadership, and Sports & Artistic Talent.
These scholarships cover the course fees, examination fees, other compulsory fees, and book allowances, and no bond is attached.
The application period is available in March and September each year.
The Exchange Programs
Exchange programs are available for any SIM student. For SIM-UB students, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at Buffalo’s home campus, either in the fall or spring semester.
Other exchange programs happen during the summer and winter semesters with universities in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Programs are available at Korea University, Boston University, UC Berkeley, London School of Economics and Political Science London, etc.
The Grading System
The grading system at SIM-UB is quite different from the Singaporean system as it follows the American education system.
The classes are interactive and class participation is a must, which some professors will grade you on.
The weightage of assignments depends on the class and the professor, but usually, it is 50% on projects and 50% on tests, and a small percentage on class participation.
The GPA follows UB’s grading system, which is calculated on a 4.0 scale. Most classes follow the grading system listed below, but some introductory classes might lower the percentage, so achieving an A could be easy.
Sourced from University at buffalo
The different approach towards grades is that the American system values doing a mix of projects and tests.
The majority of your grades come from quizzes, mid-terms, and final exams. But the inclusion of individual & group projects and sometimes papers are tested.
It is different for each class because, depending on the content, you might only do a presentation, a semester-long project, or a research paper.
Extra credit opportunities are available depending on the professor. Some might give it if the class average is below a B/B-.
If you talk nicely to the professor and explain your situation, some will kindly give extra credit. These opportunities can be a paper, a quiz, or even a presentation.
The Admission Standards
The admission standards for SIM-UB are to provide your Polytechnic/Junior College/High School diploma and sufficient results from an English proficiency test. These tests can be the SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, ACT, or IB Diploma.
The academic expectations are the same as at UB, since you are treated as UB students who are essentially studying American education in Singapore. This program is a holistic experience that engages all learners.
If you are someone who wants to experience an educational style that doesn’t rely only on testing and you are able to get graded on projects, then consider SIM-UB.
Estimated Salary & Employment Rates
The overall employment rate for SIM graduates is 85.7%, according to the Private Education Institution Graduate Employment Survey 2019/20.
In Singapore, typically, SIM and SIM-UB Communication students have a median starting salary of $2,923 a month.
In comparison, students from well-known public universities do earn more, but these days there are firms that do not discriminate based on the university you went to.
If you want to receive a higher starting salary, taking up internships or part-time jobs while studying can increase your chances. Many SIM students, including me, are taking up internships related to our degrees to increase our skills and experience.
Common Misconceptions of SIM-UB
The most common misconception that SIM-UB receives is that we are unmotivated and academically-weak to go into public universities. I disagree with this because I have met so many hard-working, motivated, and smart individuals at SIM.
Some say it is an easy school to get a degree and get out. But it’s more than that. SIM-UB fosters a community that encourages everyone to do their best work.
The reasons why students go to SIM-UB range from starting their own company, starting their modeling career, and simply wanting to pursue a different educational system. These reasons vary from person to person.
The misconception that those who don’t get into prestigious schools like NTU, SMU, or NUS have “failed” in life is false. This type of thinking fosters discrimination and prejudice towards those who wish to pursue a degree at private institutions.
My reason for joining SIM-UB was due to COVID-19. I didn’t want to leave my family here and live in a new country where a pandemic was going on. So, I decided to pursue SIM-UB and it has been such a great decision.
I have met so many incredible students and professors who have enlightened me about the college experience. I did have a mindset that going to a school like SIM would mean I wouldn’t receive the best education, but that has changed dramatically.
At the end of the day, once you graduate, your school name only holds so much. Overtime, your skills and experience play a bigger role.
Should You Be Part of UB?
If you are wondering, should you go to SIM-UB?
Well, if you would like to try out the American education system, it includes a variety of ways to be graded that don’t rely on tests.
You want a community of students and professors who will constantly support you. And with the availability of scholarships, various CCAs and clubs, opportunities for exchange programs. Then yes, join SIM-UB!
Choose the school that is best for you, regardless of its name and prestige. If you work hard and do your best, the results have more of an effect than just a name. SIM-UB has been a blessing in disguise for me, and it can be for you too.