Ever wanted to live in a clean and green place, with the best weather, a competitive economy and a high level of safety? Have ever think about moving to Singapore? The city has them all. It has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, making it a top choice for expats looking for an ideal place to move to.
From world-class shopping malls to basic hawker centres selling street food, Singapore has a unique blend of cultures. What makes this all the more better is that English is an official language of the country, making communication much easier for many expats. With so many benefits, it is no wonder that many expats want to relocate to Singapore. Before you jump to your maps and examine this lovely island, let’s look at what you need to know about moving there!
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Singapore’s work culture observes punctuality and respect for those in more senior positions. This means that the power distance between juniors and managers is huge, although the trends are changing. Singaporeans value team culture rather than individuality. Also, negotiations are often less confrontational due to the traditional business culture present. This is less prevalent in multi-national corporations which have a more diverse workforce. Which leads to the next point that expats make up more than 50% of the workforce. This means that you won’t be alone in the challenges you face as an expat in the workforce, and there are ample avenues of support.
Common challenges expats face in Singapore include not securing a job in a field/company of their choice. Given that Singapore has a highly skilled workforce, it is good to approach this with an open mind and being flexible to different job options.
If you are an expat wishing to lead your own business in Singapore, that is well and truly possible. You will have to keep in mind the appropriate visa to apply for, the registration of your business and the correct taxes to pay.
Here’s a final tip about working in Singapore: Salaries in Singapore are rather competitive. However, since there is no minimum wage, be sure you negotiate your salary well before signing the contract.
Education System in Singapore
The education system in Singapore is deemed to be one of the best in the world. With state-of-the-art education facilities for students of all ages, it has become one of Asia’s largest education hubs. If you are an expat parent looking to enrol your children to schools in Singapore, there are many international school options with different academic models. If you are someone looking to move through higher education, Singapore might be a bit expensive. It recognises foreign qualifications and has a large number of course options.
Notice is “lah” and “lor” used throughout the article? Those are words part of Singapore’s official colloquial language, Singlish. The bulk of Singlish is made up of the core English language, with words taken from Hokkien, a Chinese dialect, Malay and Tamil. Expats looking first to do an English language course before further study also have tons of options to choose from!
Your health how?
Healthcare in Singapore is one of the best in the world, but it is expensive. While Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) are entitled to government subsidies for their healthcare, these schemes do not cover the healthcare fees for expats. As such, the best way to cover your health costs in Singapore is to get a health insurance plan.
There are several doctor/dental clinics available in Singapore, and they almost always take a walk-in appointment. The only thing is that they expect you to pay it upfront, and you can then sort it out with your insurance company later for the reimbursement. The wait times are not too long, either unless you visit one of the local government clinics called Polyclinic. The services provided at a Polyclinic is cheaper.
Singaporeans are quite health-conscious and encourage others to take off when they display the slightest of symptoms to prevent the spread of illnesses. Likewise, most public toilets/food areas are plastered with good hygiene reminders. Many Singaporeans and expats in Singapore enjoy a healthy lifestyle with a large number of outdoor activities there.
With such fantastic sunshine on a daily basis, how can one refuse to go out for a walk?
Property prices in Singapore are high, given the land constraint, and this trickles down to rental prices being high as well. Be it a single room you wish to rent or to buy a luxury apartment, be prepared to spend.
Like healthcare, Singaporeans and PRs have more subsidies and rights when it comes to purchasing property in Singapore. The most common type of accommodation is Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, which is kept mostly for lower to middle-income Singaporeans. These would be the cheapest to rent, but since it is not available to foreign residents, you would have to rent it from a Singaporean.
There are a large number of foreigners who live in private accommodation such as condominiums and landed properties due to lesser regulation applied to these properties.
Unlike other countries, there is only one utility provider in Singapore, which looks after gas, electricity and water, called Singapore Power.
If you are renting, you should have a rental agreement with your landlord in place. Sometimes, a deposit is involved. Landlords in Singapore will often want proof your for immigration status, so it is good to keep it handy when you are going for inspections.
That’s it meh?
While that’s not all, here are some final few things about Singapore:
Multiculturalism: Singapore has been built on the value of being a multicultural society, and embraces its ethnic diversity by celebrating the main cultural holidays from these predominant demographic cultures – Chinese, Indian (Hindu), Malay(Muslim) and Caucasian (Christmas). It is useful to note that Singapore is currently way more diverse than just these four cultures, although these four cultures were the main ones in the early days.
Weather: Yes, while it is blessed with regular weather throughout the year with beautiful sunshine, it is humid. As such, many shopping malls and areas are fitted with air-conditioners.
Safety: It is one of the safest places on earth! This is due to its strong implementation of strict laws which tolerates zero crimes.
Food Culture: Singapore has a wide variety of food, and it is easily available. This makes food consumption somewhat a national hobby amongst the locals and foreigners there!
Transportation: Singapore has an efficient public transport system, and it is highly recommended to use public transport, as owning a car can be costly. This is due to the fact that Singapore highly regulates the number of cars on its roads and to own one. You would have to pay for a certificate of entitlement (COE), which can go up to SGD 30,000!
It seems like you’re already convinced to move to Singapore but don’t know where to begin?
An international relocation is not something you should do by yourself. Here are Palmers Relocations, we understand what you need, and offer the best solutions to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us to embark your journey to Singapore!