Singapore is one of the most popular expat destinations in Asia, no doubt because of its high GDP and high happiness index. It is also one of the world’s most significant trading centres. If you’d like to move to Singapore here are some of the things you should know beforehand.
When moving to Singapore you shouldn’t be very concerned about the local language. Most Singaporeans know English and it’s one of the four official languages next to Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil. This is because Singapore was under the British colonial rule for quite some time. Though English is in everyday use for most locals a different variant of English is also in use – Singlish, Sinagaporean English. For example, instead of “yes”, you will hear “can” or “shiok” meaning “cool”.
A great tip is that before moving somewhere you should research local culture thoroughly. Singapore’s history is very rich and is mirrored in architecture and lifestyle. Nowadays, it’s mostly known as a cosmopolitan city with tall modern buildings but you can see a lot of old traditional landmarks scattered around the city. Singaporeans are very hard workers who also like to unwind sometimes. Most of their leisure time is spent with their family but they also like to enjoy spa days. When you move make sure to enjoy a lymphatic massage in Singapore, you will find it refreshing after the strains of the move.
Definitely the most important thing when moving somewhere is to ensure the accommodation beforehand. The cost of living is quite high because the land is scarce in Singapore so you need to have some money saved up for the move. You should also choose a neighbourhood to live in according to your needs and wishes. If you’re more of an artsy type, a part of town dear to expats called Tiong Bahru is made for you. However if you like to enjoy luxury, finding an apartment in Sentosa should be at the top of your list.
In order to move to Singapore you will need to have an Employment Pass. This means that you will need to have a secured job and an open line of communication with your employer in order to move to Singapore. Of course, if you have a spouse and children, they can apply for a Dependents Pass. There are many other specific types of resident permits available for people who are planning to move to Singapore.
If you are planning on moving to Singapore with your children the obvious question which raises is where should they continue their education. Luckily, international English speaking schools are common in Singapore. Although, you should be ready to pay if you want your kids to have quality education since these schools tend to be private schools. If you don’t have money to spare on private schools, there’s always an option of public schools, but you should be prepared to encounter some cultural and language barriers.
Unlike the United States, Singapore has universal healthcare funded by public taxes. Unfortunately, expats aren’t covered by this program. There’s no need to stress since you can get an international health insurance plan through which you will be covered. Luckily, Singapore’s hospitals and polyclinics are very modern and doctors are some of the most professional in Asia.
If you’re someone who dreads winter, Singapore is heaven on earth for you. In Singapore the weather is tropical with summer all year round. The only downfall is that it can get quite humid, sometimes it’s up to 100%. July and June are the hottest months of the year and the most humid one’s are November and December when it’s also the monsoon season.