Living and working in Singapore - expats guide to Singapore
The. Expats, guide to moving to Singapore. People. From all around the world move to this beautiful, bustling. Cosmopolitan. Tropical, nation of Singapore. Sometimes. Called the Lion City the. City state of Singapore ranks at the very top worldwide, in studies. Measuring stability. Opportunity. Prosperity. And quality of life, despite. Its small land, area, of less than 700, square kilometers, Singapore. Is a modern, thriving. City-state, of 5 million people. Boasting. One of the world's most advanced, economies, efficient. Transportation, networks and a tolerant, mix of cultures, religions, and, ethnic backgrounds. Singapore. Is known is one of the most cosmopolitan, places. To live and work, it. Is consistently, rated in the top ten for happiest, countries, on earth one. Of the safest countries and one of the best places to be born it's. Ranked high on the Human Development Index which, measures quality, of life foreign. Workers named it the number one place for expats, in. 2016. Its students achieve the top test scores worldwide, for math and science. Singapore. Tops so many lists easiest. Place to conduct business consecutively. For seven years by the World Bank world's. Fastest internet speed world's, most widely accepted Passport. Of course. It's also ranked, as the world's most expensive city, are. You preparing to move to Singapore this. Video will give you a quick guide to some Singapore essentials such, as where to live basic. Information on Singapore popular. Neighborhoods for expats public. Transportation, and buying a car schools. And childcare shopping. In food health, care hiring. A foreign domestic worker local. Laws bringing. A pet living, in Singapore with children and disability. Access. Singapore. Basics. Singapore. Is an island nation in Southeast Asia its, closest, neighbors are Malaysia to the north just across the straits of Johar and the, islands of Indonesia to the south it's. Often called the small red dot because, it's small enough that it's usually marked with a red dot on maps it. Covers an area of almost seven hundred twenty kilometres this. Half the size of Los Angeles and, a little less than half the size of London. Singapore. Has one of the highest population densities. Of any country, but by no means is a tall skyscrapers, it. Had a population of, 5.6, million as of 2016, according, to the World Bank it.
Has A densely populated central. Business district, and lesser populated outlying, areas, including. Several small islands. Singapore. Is officially made up of 63, natural, and man-made islands. The. Main business district, is in the central southern part of the island this. Is also where you will find the iconic, sites of Singapore such, as the famous Marina, Bay Sands Hotel the. Merlion gardens, by the bay the, Esplanade, Clark, Key Chinatown. Little, India Arab. Street The Orchard shopping district and more there. Are several outstanding, museums. Devoted, to art history, Asian. Cultures, science, and more. Singapore. Has a lot of things to do no, matter your age your interest the, island of santosa is also close to the downtown Sentosa. Is a commercial, playground, of amusement, parks beaches, shopping. Tourist, attractions, and condos. The. Northeast far north and west coasts, are not as densely inhabited as the downtown and have a more suburban feeling, in the. Center of the island is a massive, Nature Reserve residents. Can hike there or visit the Botanical Gardens in the zoo you. Can also see the reservoirs, that provide much of Singapore's, drinking water. Singapore. Is called the Garden City it, has 330, parks and 97. Square kilometers have been dedicated to parks and green spaces. Singapore. Has a highly developed infrastructure. And is a stable, free-market economy, the, economy is based mostly on exports, information. Technology, medical, technology, pharmaceuticals. And tourism. The. Currency is the Singapore dollar credit, cards are widely accepted but some small shops only accept cash or nets a locally. Issued payment card ATMs. Are widely available. Singapore. Has very high standards for hygiene and health newcomers. Don't need to worry about drinking the water or eating local food it's very safe however. If you travel outside of Singapore, you should be cautious in some other nations without the same level of infrastructure. Singapore's. Located, one degree north of the Equator it. Has a hot humid, tropical, climate year-round, during. The day temperatures.
Average 31, to 33 degrees Celsius or, 87. To 91 degrees Fahrenheit, at. Night temperatures. Average 23, to 25 degrees, Celsius, or 73. To 77, degrees Fahrenheit, it. Rains about 180, days a year basically, one of every two days a light. Sprinkle, can suddenly turn to a downpour so you would be wise to keep your umbrella handy there, are two distinct, monsoon seasons December. To March and June to September, often. The morning will be sunny and thunderstorms, will develop in the afternoon or evening in. General, Singaporeans. Are warm and courteous people who will be happy to help a newcomer you can meet people who will help you in the move by joining Singapore, newcomers on Facebook or other groups, it. Is a very diverse country, and, the government encourages tolerance, and cultural acceptance as an official policy, most. Singaporeans are, ethnically Chinese Malay. Indian, or a mix of those there's. Also a large population of, foreign workers. Singapore. Has four official languages English. Mandarin, 2, mil and Malay as a general rule almost, everyone speaks English however. It's often referred to as Singlish, Singlish. Blends in words from other languages and sometimes. Uses a different word order emphasis, or structure, than the English you may be used to it. May take some time to get used to the local accent as well most. People speak at least two languages, usually. English, in their ancestral, mother tongue Singapore. Has a mix of religions and, is very tolerant, towards those of different faiths while. Exploring, Singapore, is common to see Hindu, and Sikh temples, Buddhist, and Taoist temples, Christian, churches and Islamic, mosques, you. May also see lots of small shrines where local people make offerings of food or incense especially. Around holidays. Singapore. Seeks to maintain cultural. Harmony between these diverse groups by, encouraging cultural, pride. Public. Holidays in Singapore, honored, the diversity, of the country, recognizing. Everything from Christmas, to Deepavali, in, Chinese, New Year to Eid most. Businesses, are closed on public, holidays, finding. A place to live most. Expats, live in a few neighborhoods many. Stay close to downtown in, places such as Holland, village orchard. Tanglin. Novena. And bukit timah a little. Farther from the central business district, Saren, gyoon the east coast upper, Thompson and woodlands, are also popular with expats, many. Of these neighborhoods are close to the international, schools there's. A large variety of housing available including, condos, terraced. Houses and landed houses you. Can search for rentals online or hire a real estate agent as one. Of the world's most expensive, cities rents, are high in, Singapore, condos. Close to the central business district, can be very pricey the. Farther you go from the downtown, the more you can get for your money the. Suburbs are still densely, populated but. Are intermixed, with a lot of green space there. Are also many, more low-rise, condos, townhomes. And landed, houses farther out from the city there. Are several websites where, you can search for apartments, to get an idea of what's available and prices. Many. Newcomers, choose to stay in serviced, apartments, when they first arrive, these apartments can be leased short-term, and are furnished and have maid service this. Gives you a chance to get to explore Singapore, a bit and decide where you'd like to live before signing a long-term lease, real. Estate agent fees are complex, but typically if you take a lease below a certain amount you pay the agents be above. A certain amount the landlord pays the fee, clarify. Fees with them before, agreeing to hire them for. A newcomer in Singapore, it may be easier, to engage a realtor to help you find a home and negotiate, a lease the. Realtor knows the areas and knows what can and can't be negotiated.
When. Choosing a location there, are many things to consider Singapore. Is not a large island, but, commuting, can be hectic during rush hours as, a result, you should consider commuting, time and committing, routes before, renting, before. Deciding upon an area consider, transportation. Parking. Schools. Amenities. Size. And price which. Train and bus lines are closest to your place of work if possible. Live along the same train line or bus route so you won't have to switch. If you plan to purchase a car check, if there's on-site parking available, and find out if you have to pay extra for a parking space, consider. The locations, of schools and which neighborhood amenities are important to you would, you like to be in thick of city life or in a certain neighborhood or. Would you prefer something, quieter and more suburban are. You looking for nightlife for a neighborhood bubbling with children and playgrounds, or for quiet retreat with a view of the sea. Truly. In Singapore you're never that far from, shops and amenities but, the density and quantity, can vary greatly, according. To Forbes Singapore. Is the most, expensive, place to live in the world most, of that is due to rental, prices, expect. To spend several thousand, dollars per month in rent if you live downtown if, you, have a lower budget consider, looking farther out, deposits. Can be quite steep as they are equal to a few months rent, most. Companies provide a housing stipend, so be sure your company is offering that before, you consider moving here lease is here or long you, can and should, include, a clause in the lease that releases you from responsibility, if your company, moves you out of the country or you, have to leave Singapore without having a choice in the matter when. Seeing pictures and videos of Singapore you, may see the ubiquitous, HDB. Flats, HDB's. Are public housing for Singaporeans, and some permanent residents the. HDB's, are self-contained, communities, that have shops restaurants, daycares. And clinics on the ground floors and condos, up above most. Singaporeans and, permanent residents live in HDB's however. Most temporary, residents, can't live there. Transportation. The. Public transportation, network in Singapore, is efficient, cheap and easy to use the. Mass rapid, transit or MRT, train network winds, its way around the island with several lines the. Downtown, area in particular has many stations with. New stations under construction, all the time the. Outlying areas also have MRT, service although the stations are a bit more spread out the, island also has an extensive bus system, buses. Run frequently and, are generally on time, public. Transportation gets, very crowded during rush hour, buses. And the MRT, both accept the easy link card which, can be purchased at MRT, stations. Children, under seven years old can qualify for a child concession, card which allows them to ride the MRT, and buses free many, people also use bicycles, electric, scooters and electric bikes to get around or walk there. Are extensive, sidewalks, and bike paths, rental. Bikes are also common, and there are usually a few available, near most bus stops MRT, stations, and other popular, spots, taxis.
Are Relatively cheap and are a very common way to get around, uber, grab and other companies, offer another option all, taxis, in Singapore are metered and most cabs can also accept credit cards in, Singapore. People drive on the lift traffic, signs are similar to those in Europe or Japan the. Road system is good with the highway system and wide well paved roads, owning. A car and sand port is extremely, expensive to, the point that most people do without a car the. Singapore government wants, to limit the number of cars on the road to, avoid traffic deadlock, to. Get permission to buy a car you must first purchase, a certificate, of entitlement, which, can cost in the tens of thousands, of dollars depending. On the car the. Average CEO E and 2017. Cost 50,000. Singapore dollars and that's, just for permission to buy a car, the. C OE lasts for 10 years at which point it expires and a new co e must be purchased add to. The coa the price of buying or importing a vehicle plus, fees road tax car, maintenance and gas car. Insurance averages, about 1,500, Singapore dollars a year in many. Areas you will have to pay for a parking spot in a garage as well as pay parking fees everywhere you go and pay, tolls when you use certain roads it. All adds up quickly as. A result most, people are simply priced out of being able to own a vehicle, co, es for motorcycles, are much lower than for cars but, still require the other costs such as road tax parking, and so on, education. Singapore. Consistently, ranks at the very top worldwide, for education, especially. In math and science at. 95 percent their. Literacy rate is among the highest in the world however. Most foreigners, in Singapore cannot use the Singapore school system which is primarily for citizens and permanent residents, most. Foreigners use the private school system which is also excellent however. It can be very expensive. Running in the tens of thousands of dollars per year many. Companies pay for private schooling so, check with your company if they offer tuition payment, or reimbursement. Schools. Are mainly separated, by country, these. Schools tend to follow the curriculum and holiday schedule, of the home country their. International, schools focused, on educating children from Australia, the United Kingdom United, States India. Japan, Germany. China. Canada. France. South. Korea and Switzerland as. Well as Singapore run schools that cater to the international, children, however. Children can apply to any international, school regardless, of country of origin children. Must be accepted, for a spot in the school which can take some time many. Parents wait to find out which school their children are accepted, to before, signing a lease, homeschooling, is also an option but it requires approval from the Ministry of Education you. Can learn more about homeschooling at the Ministry of Education website. Most. Schools ask for, an application, application, fee, and you, may have to pay six months to a year tuition, in advance or, range a payment plan most. Schools offer extracurricular. Activities, such as sports art or music on, a, four fee basis, in before, or after school care, if. Your child requires special education, you, can in try to enroll them in an inclusive private, school that will provide accommodations.
Or, You can apply for private, school specifically, focused on special education. State-run. Special, ed facilities, are only for citizens and permanent residents a few. Schools to consider for special ed services are the windstedt school Saint, Gerard's, integrated. International School Dovercourt. Singapore. American school and Stanford, American international school children. Attending private schools can be brought to school either by their parents or by private school bus the. School buses can cost a few hundred dollars per month depending on how far your child has to travel the. Schools can suggest which company, to use, childcare. Costs can vary widely from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand, many, childcare centers offer bilingual. Daycare specialized. Methods such as Montessori or. Focus programs like art music or technology. Cost. Is largely based on how specialized, a program you're seeking and how, much time the child was been there. Shopping. There. Are lots of options for grocery shopping for fresh, produce meat, and seafood you can go to a wet market what. Markets are typically cheaper than supermarkets, and contain very fresh products however, somewhat markets are only open in the mornings and they can be crowded and chaotic for, a newbie. Supermarkets. Are usually located in the basements of malls they. Are typical of grocery, stores and any other first world nation, stores. Will deliver groceries for a small charge or free if you spend a minimum amount. Supermarkets. Here carry a large variety of products but typically don't carry a lot of dairy alcohol. Is very expensive due to local taxes, there. Are a few big supermarket, chains cold. Storage and to, see fair price giant. And sing-song are some of the most common chains cold. Storage is known for carrying lots of Western foods but. Singapore, has so many foreigners, that almost all supermarkets, will have some international, foods for. Online groceries, with home delivery try, read more rqb, food, if. You need to buy some hardware items most malls have a do-it-yourself, store these. Tiny shops carry items, such as basic hand tools locks. Glue, light bulbs batteries, and other essentials, most. Malls also have a store for pet items, stores. Such as IKEA, lozada, SG, and Amazon SG, sell and deliver home products to. Save money head to the Mustapha Center in Little India this. 24-hour, super, center sells everything but he can get very crowded especially, on Sundays. Singaporeans. Love their malls and malls are everywhere, malls. Offer what you'd expect from, clothes to shoes books, to electronics, salons, and a place to buy phones and phone cards malls. Also have a food court locally, called a hawker centre with large supply of cheap fast food places, many. MRT, and bus interchange stops, are co-located, with malls so, it's very quick and convenient to stop in and buy what you need most.
Malls Have a playground, often on the roof and some have commercial, play areas inside malls. Downtown, carry a lot of luxury brands and Singapore, is known for great shopping if you, want stores with lower prices or non designer brands head to the suburbs for cheaper options. Health. Care. Healthcare, and Singapore's world class and people, travel from across Asia to access its medical facilities, and specialists. Bloomberg. Rated Singapore's healthcare system is the most efficient, in the world in 2014. And the, World Health Organization, ranked their healthcare system is the sixth best worldwide in. 2014. For, appointments, there. Are 25, hospitals, and specialty centers in Singapore, if you, need to see a specialist, you can contact a hospital, for a referral. Singapore. Also has a vast easy-to-use. Network, of small medical clinics spread, throughout neighborhoods, across the island in MRT. Stops in malls and on the first floor of HDB apartment, buildings are a few of the places you will find medical and dental clinics many. Of these are on a walk-in basis, or you can schedule an appointment the. Doctors there handle basic care prescribe, medications, and do immunizations. Singapore. Operates a state-run, non modified, universal, healthcare system, most. Singaporeans use, the public system as a, foreigner, you can use the public facilities, or the private system but. You must purchase insurance or pay out of pocket. Some. Companies, here offer health insurance to the employee but, do not cover dependents, you can buy plans to cover dependents, from several companies, some. Insurance companies will deal directly with the healthcare facility and in some cases you must file claims yourself. The. Centers for Disease Control, suggest. That travelers get their routine vaccinations. Before traveling to Singapore, as, well as hepatitis, A and typhoid, if you plan to travel in neighboring countries though. The risk of transmission is very low sick, of virus and dengue fever have been reported, in Singapore, take. Precautions, in parks and forests, to avoid getting mosquito, bites there. Is no risk of malaria or yellow, fever here, food. Singapore. Has an amazing, variety of delicious, foods you can find all kinds of international restaurants, especially in neighborhoods near the downtown that, are popular with expats, and tourists, the. Downtown restaurants, are ritzy but, can be very expensive if you're. Looking to try some authentic, local cuisine for a great price, head to a hawker centre they. Are located either on the top floor or basement, of most every mall and an open-air markets Hawker. Centers are food courts with several small food stands selling fast food first little as two to five Singapore, dollars there's. An open seating that is first-come first-served, people. Tend to reserve tables by placing a packet of tissues on the table or leaving their bags it's. Common to share tables with strangers, so don't be shy to ask if a seat is free. Hiring. A helper, many. People in Singapore hire, live in foreign, domestic workers to work in their homes locally. Called helpers, they mostly come from Indonesia, the, Philippines, Myanmar. India, or Sri Lanka the. Helpers can assist with childcare caring. For the elderly or people with disabilities cleaning. Cooking, and other domestic tasks, in and around the home, salary. Varies with experience, and abilities but. Typically wages, are between 600. To 800 Singapore, dollars per month plus. You must pay a monthly levy of a couple hundred dollars to the Singapore government and pay, for the helpers medical insurance, health.
Insurance For helpers is quite low costing, only 150. To 250, dollars per year, altogether. You could expect to pay between 800. To, a little over a thousand, Singapore, dollars monthly you, must also provide the helper room and board and cover, her basic necessities, the. Helpers usually have every Sunday off and many, employers also give public holidays off there's. Some additional costs, such as paying for flights at the end of a contract and other incidentals, before. Hiring a helper you must attend a government training to learn the rules of being an employer the. Easiest way to hire a maid is to engage an agency, that will help you find someone and do the paperwork for a fee maids. With experience, in Singapore command a higher salary but. They are already accustomed to their jobs and know how to function in Singapore, for. A lower price you, can hire a fresh, maid which, means she has never worked in Singapore and may need more help understanding, expectations. Getting, acclimated speaking. English and may, suffer from homesickness, you. Can also hire a transfer, maid this. Is a maid who is already working in Singapore but would like to move to a new employer, transfer. Maids can be hired more quickly than helpers hired from overseas be, sure to use a reputable agency that, hires helpers, who are at least 23, years old which is the minimum age for helpers, in Singapore, reputable. Agencies, will also have filed the appropriate, paperwork have, ensured health tests are accurate, and shouldn't. Be cheating the helpers with exploitative, contracts, whomever, you choose to hire these, women come from very poor countries, they, are typically very hardworking, and sacrifice, a lot to come to Singapore to work including. Leaving behind families, their, cases of helpers being treated very poorly through, overwork neglect, endangerment. Or abuse and the, Singapore government will prosecute those who mistreat mates you. Can learn more about hiring a helper at the Ministry of Manpower website. Laws. Singapore. Has a reputation, is both a very safe place to live and is, having a very strict penal system its. Ban on chewing, gum is internationally. Famous. Residents. Sometimes joke that Singapore, is a fine City emphasis. On fine, for. Instance smoking, at a bus stop eating, or drinking on public transportation, littering. Feeding, wildlife such as pigeons or monkeys jaywalking. Or spitting could land you with a heavy fine traffic. Violations, also bring fines but they are more in line with what you'd expect to pay in other countries. Occasionally. People may be a victim of petty theft such as pickpocketing, and crowded places or bars or, bag snatching when people leave items unattended. Naturally. You should follow common, sense precautions such, as locking up bikes protecting. Valuables, and not, leaving your belongings unattended, some. Items are illegal in Singapore, that you may not expect along, with gum ecig. Arete s' chewing, tobacco and pornography, are illegal, and should not be imported likewise. Do not attempt to bring firearms or alcohol, across the border it's. Said that no matter where you are in Singapore you are never in a dangerous neighborhood, violent. Crimes and drug use are very rare and strictly, punished, to. Reach the Singapore Police the, emergency, number is 999. To. Call an ambulance or the fire department call. 995. Other helpful, information. Bringing. A pet to Singapore is possible, but very expensive, and time-consuming with, lots of paperwork, unless. Your pet is small enough to fit under the seat on an airplane expect. To pay a few thousand dollars in airline costs, and fees you. Can visit Singapore's animal management website for. The latest requirements. Fees and required forms be. Sure that your pet will not arrive in Singapore, on a Sunday, or public, holiday as the, customs facility, will be closed.
Singapore. Is generally, very accessible, for people with disabilities, and parents, using strollers. MRT. Stations all have ramps and elevators where, people with limited mobility are supposed, to have priority, trains. Have disabled, sections where seats have been removed to accommodate wheelchairs. There, are also reserved seats for people who are elderly have, trouble walking or standing pregnant. Women and those with small children, train. Riders are supposed to offer their seats to those who need them and many, people do. Accessible. Buses are marked and have wheelchair, ramps which the driver will deploy is necessary, parents. With children and strollers can board the bus with an open stroller but, must fold but if someone using a wheelchair needs, the wheelchair space. The. Electrical system uses the 220, to 230 volt, 50 cycle, with three-prong, outlets, electrical. Outlets are the same as those in the United Kingdom expats. From Europe Australia, New Zealand and, most of Asian Africa will only need an adapter which, are white sold in local shops people. From countries with a different voltage such, as the US Canada, and most of South America will, need to use a power transformer, unless. The electronic, item is dual voltage. Car. Seat usage is mandatory in Singapore for children under 1.3. 5 meters or 4. Feet 4 inches tall, taxis. Are exempt, from the rule. We. Hope this video will be helpful to make it easier for you to move to Singapore if you, like this video please click like and subscribe to. Education, world for more great videos for language. Tips to help you fit in like a native check, out our language learning videos.