Things To Know When Moving To Singapore

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Moving to Singapore is something many professionals take into consideration, as they know this city offers a high quality of life. Efficient and clean, this Asian city has many things in common with British colonial cities in terms of charm and beauty. On the other hand, it provides a modern, cutting edge environment that makes living here easy and pleasurable. Located on the southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore has become one of the biggest trade centers in Asia. Its GDP ranks Singapore as the fifth wealthiest country in the world. In addition, it is home to the fourth largest foreign exchange center in the world.

The 5 million Singapore residents are of Chinese (70%), Indian and Malay origin.

Singapore has very strict laws, hence its reputation of authoritarian state. Nonetheless, this is what makes this city so safe, clean and organized.

Among the many religions followed in Singapore there are Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Taoism.

Singapore For Expats

Every year, lots of expats move to Singapore, the reason being that it is widely seen as a city that caters to expats, and the easiest city in Asia where an expat can fit into according to Immigration Solutions. The mix of various cultures and the relatively safe and clean environment recommend Singapore as one of the best destinations for expats.

This is the ideal place to raise children. The access to high quality education, the safety and the affordable housing options can make your family life easier than in your home country.

The city is renowned for its high standard of living and for its state of the art medical and healthcare facilities. The crime rate is very low, the streets are safe 24/7, even by nighttime. Besides, there are countless expat groups and clubs, so chances are you're going to find some of your co-nationals here as soon as you get out of your house.

One of the major drawbacks of living in Singapore is that media channels are heavily censored by the Government. Nonetheless, you can always use your trusted information channels, as broadband services are fairly inexpensive and reliable.

The Cost Of Living

The high standard of living isn't cheap. According to the 2012 Mercer cost of living report, Singapore is one of the top ten most expensive cities in the world. As a matter of fact, it climbed two positions in comparison to the previous year, from position 8 to position 6. Expats who want to maintain the living standards they've been used to at home will have to pay a lot more, as property prices are very high, whether you want to buy or rent. Alcohol is also expensive, because it has a very high tax rate. This makes maintaining an active social life expensive, especially if you like to enjoy a drink or two with your peers. Owning a car is also insanely expensive due to the huge taxes imposed on vehicles. You should take all these in consideration during your salary negotiations, in order to get properly compensated for choosing the expat life.

Food and groceries have reasonable prices. Even expats who want to dine out can do it very cheaply, if they don't mind dining in shopping mall food courts and local hawker stalls. If you enjoy cooking at home, you'll be able to decrease your cost of living while eating tasty, fresh and delicious foods.

You can read more details about the living costs in our relocation guide. You can trust our guides, because they are written by expats who live and work in Singapore, hence being able to offer you the most accurate information on the various living options you have here.

Languages Spoken

Although the official language of Singapore and used in all official documents and communications is Mandarin Chinese, English is commonly used in business communications. Your children will study in English, but they will also be taught Mandarin. There are also several other languages that are common here such as Tamil, Malay and Cantonese.

The English spoken by many locals is known as Singlish. It is a mix of English and foreign words, hard to understand at times by native English speakers. Nonetheless, language problems are rather rare in Singapore, very few expats reporting such issues. An a newcomer, you'll get used to Singlish rather quickly, so you won't have troubles in understanding the locals.

Climate

Singapore has a tropical climate, without distinct seasons. It has high humidity and heavy rainfall. Temperatures range from 22 C to 34 C (72-93 F). During the rainy periods, humidity can reach 100%. The monsoon season lasts from November to December, the hottest months being June and July. There aren't major temperature variations from one month to the other.


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