Things to Consider Before Moving to Singapore
If you’re looking for a severe change in scenery, a great option for moving abroad is Singapore. Its dual world main city makes it attractive to expats looking for the holiday feeling everyday while still fulfilling practicalities like jobs and accommodation. Singapore stokes a variety of jobs with its business-minded environment and appreciation for information technology, while also dripping in its Asian heritage in its architecture and culture.
But before you go looking for the passport, there are some things you should be aware of if you’re thinking of moving to Singapore.
The cost of living
It should be considered that the cost of living in Singapore makes for an expensive experience. The small country has put a lot of money into its public services, including a great appreciation for public transport. This means that buying a car is not cheap. A new hatch back model will be far more expensive than the prices you would expect to see in Europe and on top of it, once you have a car, you will be hit with an additional payment to the government for a Certificate of Entitlement. This can cost almost as much as the car.
Singapore’s highly educated population also comes at a price. Expats in Singapore usually send their children to international school, due to Singapore having one of the most expensive education systems in the world, which drives up monthly spending.
How you’ll live
Expats living in Singapore are generally advised to rent a place before they buy. Being a tale of two cities, Singapore has a beautiful skyline of skyscraper buildings full of apartments, as well as traditional ornate houses holding all their Asian heritage scattered across the city. The main perk of apartment living is that most are serviced, with payment included in your monthly rent and an array of facilities like gyms and swimming pools.
Property prices can be steep in Singapore, but if you have the means, you can skip the recommended temporary lease and take a look online for a Singapore housing loan. If you get yourself a lease, you can island hop and browse home options while you work. And that is another aspect to think of.
Don’t expect to reach Singapore on a travelling visa and find a job once you’re in the country. You will be advised that it is mandatory to get a job in the country before you move. Singaporeans impressive school system makes for a fiercely competitive population of qualified employees, so forethought will be needed. But it’s not hopeless. Those who are highly educated or have strong work experience have a good shot and are welcomed.
A significant portion of jobs available in Singapore are in banking and finance, so expect to network a lot. Rather than scanning the newspaper for ads, jobs are generally found through who you know, so work on your language skills. Singapore also has an interest in information technology so there are opportunities in IT, electric industries, and shipping.
However, if you plan to take a partner, they will need their own employment pass and cannot piggyback off of yours.
There is a lot to love about Singapore. It is a tiny country with a culture made up of the influences around it and a healthy respect for the past and future, technology and nature.
Lucky for those who struggle with a new language, English is in fact the official language of business in Singapore. This will allow you to get around without the struggle of miming out what you’re looking for. However, there is a unique local language called Singlish, and it is a result of more than 150 years of a diverse culture made up of Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay and Tamil speakers influence on the spoken English in Singapore. Must like everything else in Singapore, it is a charming hybrid of East and West, but there is a dictionary listing terms and correct usages, just in case you don’t pick it up quick enough by being there.
Being just a quick hop away from a variety of countries, Singapore has a diverse population, which means, a large variety of delicious food. The islands have three major types of local cuisine: Malay, Chinese and Indian, all of which are famously adored in the western world.
Try a bowl of curried noodles called Laska, Hainanese chicken rice or chili crabs which is hard-shell crabs cooked in gravy with a tomato and chili base. If you want to really try something new you can go for a barbecued stingray or an oyster omelet.
With this quick hop to other countries, and Singapore’s tiny landmass, long weekend trips are common. Visit the Gardens By the Bay to enjoy 250 acres of tropical plants or the Esplanade: Singapore’s answer to the Sydney Opera House. Beyond the city is various natural attractions that will take your breath away.