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Learning A New Language: Costs And Which Schools to Choose

profileRuth Lum

There’s a Chinese idiom that goes: “活到老,学到老” which means “one is never too old to learn”.

Languages unlock a world of possibilities for you in terms of living, working and exploring.

It also helps as a conversation starter, and it instantly connects you with people from vastly different cultures from all over the world.

Also, you get minor bragging rights when the waiter asks for your order in a foreign land, and you’re able to reply without skipping a beat.

Source: Tenor

(German: Two bratwursts, please.)

Convinced that you should spend your time picking up a foreign language? Here is a list of language schools in Singapore to choose from. And since here at Seedly, we’re all about making smarter financial decisions, I’ve also included options which you are SkillsFuture subsidised.

Note: Singaporeans above the age of 25 may claim your SkillsFuture credit of $500 for several of these courses. Course fees will also vary for locals and foreigners.

 SessionsCourse FeesAdditional Fees (textbooks etc.)Skillsfuture Claimable?
French2.5hr lesson/week, 8 weeks$295$55.0Y
Spanish2.5hr lesson/week, 8 weeks$295$60.0Y
German3hr lesson/week, 10 weeks$520$112.8Y
Korean2hr lesson/week, 9 weeks$220$42.0Y
Japanese3hr lesson/week, 10 weeks$390-Y
Thai3hr lesson/week, 10 weeks342 (after subsidy)$52.0Y
Italian2hr lesson/week, 12 weeks$470$55Y
Russian2hr lesson/week, 6 weeks$330--
Hindi2.5hr lesson/week, 12 weeks$421$50-
Bahasa Indonesia2hr lesson/week, 12 weeks$660-Y
Mandarin2hr/week, 12 weeks$600$50Y

French: French Toast

Source: Forbes
  • Course Fees: $295
  • Duration: 2.5hr lesson/week for 8 weeks

Besides being known as the language of love, did you know that you actually see, read, and speak more French right here in Singapore than you might think?

Non (French: no), you say?

I’m pretty sure you’ve ordered a croissant in a cafe or have picked up a baguette or a loaf of Bonjour bread from the supermarket for breakfast. And what about the chalet that you and your friends hang out at?

German: Eurolingo

Source: Land Lopers
  • Course Fees: $520
  • Duration: 3hr lesson/week for 10 weeks

Tired of throwing out the usual “Guten Morgen”, “Bratwurst” or “Scheis*e” when you meet a German-speaker? Then it’s time to get your Deutschesprache in order.

Most job opportunities in Germany, Austria and some parts of Switzerland require at least conversational-level German.

So if your ideal job is somewhere in Europe, then taking up this course should open up quite a few doors!

Spanish: Eurolingo

Source: Shutterstock
  • Course Fees: $295
  • Duration: 3.5hr lesson/week for 8 weeks

Arguably one of the most spoken languages of the world, picking up Spanish means that you can travel to places like Spain, Mexico, and Argentina, and you would feel right at home.

Italian: Inlingua Language School

Source: Shutterstock
  • Course Fees: $470
  • Duration: 2hr lesson/week for 12 weeks

There’s plenty to fall in love with when it comes to Italy, and chief amongst them is the language.

If you’ve fallen in love with the emotive nuances of Italian, then why not pick up a course in it?

Another Italian language school in Singapore to consider is APICS, which offer scholarships to study in Italy as well.

Korean: Ganada Korean Language School

Source: Nami Island
  • Course Fees: $220
  • Duration: 2hr lesson/week for 9 weeks

Not only does Ganada Language School offer one of the more affordable classes in the list, their teachers also bring many years of experience from teaching in local Korean schools.

If you’re swept up in the K-Wave, picking up Korean lets you sing along to your favourite K-Pop songs (and actually understanding what your favourite idol is singing), and proudly be able to turn off the subtitles the next time you watch those sappy Korean dramas!

Japanese: Bunka Language School

Source: Small Luxury Hotels
  • Course Fees: $390
  • Duration: 3hr lesson/week for 10 weeks

The Japanese language is no doubt not an easy one to learn, but it is said to be a gateway to several other languages. Mandarin and Korean speakers would benefit from learning Japanese as there are several similarities in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean characters that would aid in picking up the language much quicker.

Thai: NUS Language Courses (Subsidies available)

Souce: bangkok.com
  • Course Fees: $342 (after subsidy)
  • Duration: 3hr lesson/week for 10 weeks

Fascinated by the richness of what Thailand has to offer, yet fazed by the language barrier? Learning Thai will definitely help you strike good deals as you chummy up to the locals and show off your best rendition of “Discount, pls”. The course fees (amongst other languages) are subsidized so instead of paying the usual $642, you get it at a cheaper rate of $342.

Russian: Russian Language Centre Singapore

Source: N Lifestyle
  • Course Fees: $330
  • Duration: 2hr lesson/week for 6 weeks

This one’s contentious, but Russians are said to not speak much English, so learning their language would help a lot in communicating with the locals and getting around.

Bahasa Indonesia: LIA Singapore

Source: Touropia
  • Course Fees: $660
  • Duration: 2hr lesson/week for 12 weeks

Bahasa Indonesia is not a difficult language to pick up, and it is indeed a very practical language to learn even for Singaporeans. Unlike other languages, the words are easy to pronounce and it is a language that people learn quickly just by listening.

Mandarin: Yi Mandarin

  • Course Fees: $600
  • Duration: 2hr lesson/week for 12 weeks

I’m including Yi Mandarin Language School just because it is (arguably, soon-to-be) the language of the global economy. Yi Mandarin offers a free trial lesson for you to decide if you would like to sign up for a full course with them.


About Ruth Lum
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