#CAREER
The Perfect Scheme For You To Win At Education, Career and Life

Find out all about how the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme can benefit you from our successful awardees.

By Chris Ong      3 September 2021

The times, they are a-changin’ – the economy continues to diversify and jobs becoming increasingly specialised, with technology and digitalisation transforming both the worlds of education and work. Thus, it makes perfect sense to take stock of your life and plan for the future, by taking a closer look at your educational options, so as to improve your capabilities and expand your career opportunities.

Here’s our best advice: Try exploring the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme. Established in 1994, the scheme aims to enable SAFRA members to advance their knowledge and skill sets and upgrade themselves, through its partnerships with selected educational institutions to offer a myriad of bond-free Diploma, Degree and Master courses. These bond-free sponsorships are provided by various private educational institutions (PEIs) including Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), James Cook University (Singapore), SIM Global Education (SIMGE), and PSB Academy amongst others.

Open to all SAFRA members who have completed their full-time National Service (including NSFs under a valid SAFRA Ordinary A membership serving out their last year of service), all that’s needed for you to apply is to fill up the compulsory SAFRA application form along with the enrollment form of your selected institution, attach the pertinent supporting documents, and submit them via email. Successful applicants will then be contacted by email or phone to attend an interview conducted by SAFRA’s Education Committee before their respective sponsorship submissions are forwarded to the institutions. You need to do so before the 30th of September 2021 to be eligible for the September intake. Find out more about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme by visiting https://www.safra.sg/promotions/bond-free-education-scheme.

Here are some testimonials from our recent awardees to help you decide on your next step to bettering yourself.

Chan Zhixuan Joshua, 27, Legal Executive
Course: Bachelor of Laws
School: Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

1.  Prior to applying, how did you hear about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

I found out about the SAFRA-SUSS Education Sponsorship on my school’s webpage when I first applied for my degree.

2.  Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the SAFRA bond-free sponsorship. (please include highlights that you enjoyed)

Given that I had never before been a recipient of any awards, nor did I have a prolific co-curricular profile – the usual questions when applying for a scholarship/sponsorship, I was initially pessimistic in my chances for success.  The application process was quick and efficient. SAFRA responded to my application within 3 working days of submission and an interview via Zoom was arranged. The interview turned out different from what I imagined, and I found that my interview jitters were for naught. The interview was done informally and ended up being quite an enjoyable conversation.

3. What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you? (For eg, your commitment to complete the course/career plan/past experiences)

In my sponsorship interview, I shared with the interviewers of how my motivation for further studies stemmed from my time as a former regular in the SAF Military Police, as well as my plans and goals post-studies.

I believe that these factors gave SAFRA the confidence that I was determined in realising my goals and were instrumental to my successful application.

4. What are you currently doing/working as?

I recently made the transition into the legal industry and am currently a Paralegal in a mid-sized law firm.

5. How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects? Please elaborate.

Being awarded the sponsorship had alleviated much of the difficulties in switching careers. It has also boosted my confidence in completing my studies and brought me a step closer to realising my career goals

6. How has SAFRA’s bond-free education sponsorship given an opportunity for you to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

With the sponsorship, I am able to remain focused on my studies without having to worry of the substantial costs.

7. How were you able to strike a work-life balance and career switch?

Maintaining a balance between work, school and your personal life will as a matter of course, require certain sacrifices. But as they say, tough times don’t last. Always keeping my goal in mind and envisioning myself crossing the finish line encourages me to keep going.

8. What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

In making any big decisions such as making a career switch or even embarking on further studies, it always helps to have a plan and contingencies around it. Ultimately, don’t let the fear of the unknown or the comfort of the present stop you from pursuing your passion.

9. Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme made you more conscious to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

Yes, it has! Funny enough, I only came to know of the other various benefits and services through the interviewers. Now, I would periodically check for SAFRA promotions to look out for promotions on F&B and electronics. I recently also learned that holds a monthly legal clinic offering free consultations.

10. What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

Unfortunately, the current pandemic has made many of the facilities inaccessible. But prior to that, I’ve always enjoyed going on a short getaway at one of the SAFRA chalets.


Raziz Bin Mohamed, 37, Safety Distancing Ambassador
Course: Diploma in Psychology
School: Kaplan Higher Education Institute

1. Prior to applying, how did you hear about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

I was looking for a scholarship for my studies, so I did my own online research, and thus, came across this SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme.

2. Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the SAFRA bond-free sponsorship. (please include highlights that you enjoyed)

The application process was a breeze, and I was assisted by Elaine, the Membership Services Executive, who ensured my application was smooth and complete. Following which, I went through a couple of interviews through Zoom, and eventually my sponsorship was approved.

3. What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you? (For eg, your commitment to complete the course/career plan/past experiences)

I believe it could be due to my sense of commitment and altruistic character. I have a passion for helping others, listening to their problems, and being involved in volunteering activities since young. I believe, with this psychology career path, it is the best approach for me to understand and help others better, by developing my knowledge and expertise further.

4. What are you currently doing/working as?

I am currently working in the public service sector. During my free time, I do my own research pertaining to various psychology topics.

5. How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects? Please elaborate.

As a NSMan, I am proud to be sponsored by SAFRA as this organization has been providing valuable support to NSMen and assisting them in achieving their career prospects and goals.

6.  How has SAFRA’s bond-free education sponsorship given an opportunity for you to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

With this sponsorship, I am able to further my education in psychology as a part time student, and also being able to work at the same time.

7. How were you able to strike a work-life balance and career switch?

It is not that easy, as it needs a strong sense of determination and willpower.

8. What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

Be a do-er, not just a follower. Do not give up until you achieve your goals in life.

9. Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme made you more conscious to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

Yes. I do look up the SAFRA website to browse through the benefits, and at times I do look through the subscription emails that I received.

10. What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

I do appreciate some of the vouchers that I have received as a SAFRA member, and even if I did not utilise it, I will give it away to my family members.


Lim Tzer Shyun, 24, Research Assistant
Course: Bachelor of Science (Majoring in Aquaculture Science and Technology)
School: James Cook University (JCU)

1. Prior to applying, how did you hear about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

The SAFRA sponsorship came at a very appropriate timing for me. I was contemplating returning to school some time in February 2021 which was around the time where the SAFRA-JCU sponsorship was first announced. I got to know about it when I was searching online for scholarships to study in James Cook University Singapore. After finding out that I fit the criteria, I subsequently applied.

2. Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the SAFRA bond-free sponsorship. (please include highlights that you enjoyed)

The application process was straightforward. Ms Elaine was a very approachable and helped answer all my questions during the application process. After submitting my application, I was given a date and time for a Zoom interview with the SAFRA panel. The interview was also great, as the interviewers were very approachable and attentive.

After that it was a couple weeks more before I got the results of the interview. All in all, the entire process only took about 2 months which was relatively fast.

3. What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you? (For eg, your commitment to complete the course/career plan/past experiences)

For me, I like to think that my passion for aquaculture clinched me the sponsorship. During the interview, I successfully demonstrated to the interviewers how I would be able to make full use of my degree once I graduated. I also shared with them how aquaculture would play a vital role in helping Singapore achieve her 30 by 30 goal.

4. What are you currently doing/working as?

Currently, I am still studying in James Cook University, enrolled in the Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Aquaculture Science and Technology, and will be graduating July 2022.

5. How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects? Please elaborate.

The SAFRA sponsorship enabled me to further my studies and obtain my Bachelor’s. This degree will equip me with the relevant knowledge and help me in the future when I return to the working world.

6. How has SAFRA’s bond-free education sponsorship given an opportunity for you to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

The SAFRA sponsorship covers a significant portion of my school fees. This allowed me to fully concentrate on my studies instead of worrying about my finances. Having the chance to return to school is great, as it allows me to keep up to date with the latest developments and technology in the industry.

7. What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

If applicable, give it a shot and apply for the SAFRA sponsorship. It is definitely a great help towards your studies.

8. Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme made you more conscious to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

I do know that members can stand the chance to win movie tickets. Members get privilege rates for access to the gyms and facilities.

9. What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

I have used the gyms and badminton courts a few times.

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