The students sitting the HSC in Singapore

At the same time as more than 70,000 year-12 students are completing their first English papers in exam rooms around NSW, about 60 students will be doing the same paper in Singapore.

The students, who are doing their HSC at Singapore's Australian International School, will start their exam at about 8am on Monday to make up for the time difference and ensure that no students have left their exam room before all students have begun the exams.

Daniel Phelan, 18, who started at the school half-way through year 7 after his family moved to Singapore from Melbourne, said he has sat exams, including NAPLAN tests, early in the morning throughout high school.

"We've always kind of sat them at the same time as kids in Australia, so we're used to that process," Daniel said.

"For me, I'm lucky I live near the school because I'm still not used to waking up early. It takes a bit of getting in the right mindset."

The school offers both the International Baccalaureate and the HSC to students once they get to year 11 and more than half currently choose to do the HSC, although the split is expected to be even by next year, the school's head of secondary Fiona Johnston said.

Daniel said he chose to do the HSC to make it easier for him to move back to Australia for university.

"I reckon it'll help doing an Australian-style curriculum, the assessments and how it's all styled is similar to universities," Daniel said.

He said he is planning to study international relations and Chinese at a university in Melbourne, but isn't sure what he wants to do once he graduates from university.

"I'd like to stay in Australia but I'd definitely be open to living overseas after having already done it," Daniel said.

He said he was initially "quite unhappy" about his parents' decision to move to Singapore, but has since enjoyed living and studying there.

"I think it's opened my eyes a little bit more, it's [given me] a broader outlook than some of my mates back in Melbourne and being right in the centre of south-east Asia, I've been lucky to have been able to travel all over these areas," Daniel said.

"And I definitely think it helps being at an Australian school, you feel a little closer to home when you're getting homesick and want to go back."

The school's head, Simon Leslie, said that out of the current body of 2500 students, about 70 per cent are Australian and many others come from the southern hemisphere or other English-speaking countries.

Ms Johnston said studying in a foreign country also enhances the students' "cultural intelligence".

"Given they're going into a global world, they're establishing connections and skills that are going to position them for success, they have an open mindset and they're geared to look at the world differently," she said.

"About 60 per cent [end up moving back to Australia] but that's a trend that's changing. The HSC can take them all over the world."

There are currently nine Australian International Schools around the world but convener of the Australian International Schools Association, Bruce Ferres, said the majority only offer the IB.

This story The students sitting the HSC in Singapore first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.