Hey guys! Welcome to Residing Overseas, a brand new sequence that reveals you what expat life is like in cities world wide. Our first interview is with Sarah, an American expat residing in Singapore together with her husband and 15-year previous daughter. Right here, she shares about what residing in Singapore as an American is admittedly like and presents perception into the professionals and cons of life in Singapore as an expat.
So if you happen to’re questioning “What’s it wish to stay in Singapore?” or “Is Singapore a superb place to stay?” I feel you’ll actually take pleasure in this interview! As Sarah shares, the usual of residing in Singapore may be very excessive, so it looks as if an important alternative if you happen to’re keen on working and residing overseas.
Fast information about residing in Singapore:
- Languages: English, Tamil, Malay, Mandarin Chinese language
- Foreign money: $ Singapore Greenback (SGD)
- Stage of crime in Singapore: Low
- Value of residing in Singapore: Average
- High quality of life in Singapore: Excessive
Greatest locations to stay in Singapore:
In case you’re questioning “The place do expats stay in Singapore?” listed here are some common neighborhoods:
- Tiong Bahru — a neighborhood with a great deal of character, a extra relaxed vibe, and a novel cafe tradition. Tiong Bahru additionally has easy accessibility to central Singapore and the enterprise district.
- Katong/Joo Chiat —A neighborhood that additionally has a number of character, although it’s a bit farther from central Singapore.
- The East Coast — A neighborhood with sea views and breezes. The draw back is that it’s pretty removed from downtown.
Singapore expat teams to affix on Fb:
Becoming a member of a Fb group is a GREAT strategy to meet different expats residing in Singapore. Listed below are some good ones:
- All About Singapore – Expats
- Singapore Expat Ladies
- People in Singapore
On Sarah’s background and causes for shifting to Singapore:
I truly spent my teenage years residing in Singapore within the late ’90s, so I’ve at all times had a particular place in my coronary heart for this tiny nation. When a chance got here up for my husband’s job to switch, we determined to depart London and transfer to Singapore!
On working as an expat in Singapore: I don’t maintain an everyday 9-to-5 job right here in Singapore, however I hold myself busy working freelance, writing about our travels on The Wanderblogger, and volunteering for an NGO that helps training in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
On discovering an house in Singapore: Landlords in Singapore usually hire flats and homes on two-year leases, so it’s necessary to make sure you’re completely proud of the world earlier than you signal something.
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On the Singapore expat neighborhood: The expat neighborhood in Singapore is superb. The best strategy to meet different Singapore expats is to affix one of many many expat teams on Fb. There are at all times meet-ups occurring and occasions to attend.
On the price of residing: Singapore is usually ranked as the most costly nation on the earth to stay in. I don’t know what metrics they use to find out that, however I do know I’ve paid $16 for a zucchini earlier than. And the hire on our house for one month is sort of as a lot as our mortgage was in Tennessee for the entire yr.
Between the price of a automotive (over $100,000 for one thing like a Toyota Corolla), the taxes and costs, and the petrol, you’d virtually should be a millionaire to drive in Singapore as effectively.
On residing on a funds in Singapore: There are methods to chop down on prices – residing in HDBs (Singaporean public housing), solely consuming at hawker facilities (which are sometimes cheaper than cooking at dwelling), and taking public transport – however you’ll seemingly nonetheless be spending greater than you’ll anyplace else in Southeast Asia.
On life in Singapore for expats in comparison with different Asian cities: In comparison with nearly all of Southeast Asia, Singapore would most likely be thought-about considerably fast-paced, however having moved from London, all the pieces about life right here feels slower to me.
On the fervour for meals: Consuming is virtually a nationwide pastime in Singapore, and for good motive. The meals here’s a scrumptious mix of Malay, Indonesian, and Chinese language affect with a Singaporean twist.
My absolute favourite is char kway teow, which is made up of stir-fried flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, fish cake, Chinese language sausage, prawns, and squid. Though fairly a bit much less unique, Singapore’s hottest dish, Hainanese hen rice, is one other of my favorites.
On chili crab: If it’s your first time in Singapore, you need to attempt the chili crab. Extra candy than spicy, consuming chili crab is as a lot in regards to the meals as it’s the expertise, as most individuals choose to eat it with their naked palms.
(You’re even offered slightly bowl of water to clean up with afterward as a result of, consider me, you’re going to get messy!)
On the relaxed Singaporean way of life: For a metropolis, Singapore may be very relaxed. Folks even stroll slower right here than I’m used to, so I’ve needed to be taught to decelerate just a bit to slot in.
On getting round: I stay centrally, so I are likely to stroll most in all places. Each Singapore’s MRT (subway) and bus system are glorious, so if I’m heading out slightly additional I’ll take both of these.
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Taxis and Ubers are one other common strategy to get round and are significantly cheaper than they’re in lots of different locations (e.g., London), however I nonetheless choose public transport.
In case you’re visiting, I counsel downloading the Citymapper app to your cellphone – it makes navigating Singapore by yourself tremendous simple!
On Singaporean climate: Singapore is sizzling year-round, so I’m normally sporting both a lightweight cotton sundress or shorts and a tank high, and but I’ll nonetheless be sweating inside seconds of strolling outdoor.
The one locations in Singapore that require you to cowl up are the temples, however I usually carry a lightweight sweater or wrap with me anyway if I plan to be indoors.
On the dearth of seasons: With the dearth of seasons, the weeks and months all begin to run collectively creating what we wish to name the Groundhog Day impact.
On the rampant air-conditioning: Singapore likes to assist everybody overlook how sizzling it’s exterior by making all buying malls, eating places, and film theaters really feel just like the Arctic Circle.
On the numerous official languages: Since Singapore is made up of so many nationalities, in a single journey to the grocery, I usually hear a minimum of 5 totally different languages. In addition to English, although, the official language in Singapore is Mandarin. Most Chinese language Singaporeans can converse each.
On Singlish: After which there’s Singapore’s unofficial language – Singlish! Singlish is an off-the-cuff method of talking that mixes English and varied Chinese language and Malay dialects to create a one-of-a-kind language that’s truly fairly enjoyable to make use of. My native buddies get an enormous kick out of listening to me attempt to converse it.
On the nightlife: After I’m on my morning runs, persons are nonetheless spilling out of the golf equipment at 6 a.m., even on weekdays, so if partying till dawn is your factor, you’ll be effectively taken care of in Singapore.
If it’s a extra relaxed, drinks with buddies form of vibe you’re after, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay provide a number of totally different decisions, all with fairly views of the Singapore River.
The craft beer scene has been selecting up right here fairly a bit in recent times, so there are alternatives for that, too. However be ready to drop some money on an evening out. Alcohol in Singapore isn’t low-cost!
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On staying energetic in Singapore: I’m a runner, so I are likely to get up effectively earlier than dawn to get my exercise in earlier than the humidity will get too insufferable. Yoga, pilates, tai chi, and all kinds of boot camp-style lessons are supplied (some without cost) each morning within the Botanic Gardens, a stunning public park in central Singapore.
In any other case, there’s at all times climbing on one in every of Singapore’s many nature trails or watersports alongside the coasts, each of that are glorious choices if you happen to want a break from the town.
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On the draconian Singaporean legal guidelines: Most everyone is aware of that Singapore doesn’t mess around in terms of legal guidelines and the penalties for many who break them.
And also you’ve certainly heard about Singapore’s ban on chewing gum (that’s usually the very first thing folks ask me about after they hear I stay in Singapore), however there are fairly a number of different legal guidelines in place right here that the majority of us from exterior Singapore would by no means even take into consideration.
For example, you could be fined if you happen to overlook to flush a rest room in a public place. Or if somebody sees you bare in your individual dwelling. Whereas in most locations we’d simply chortle about breaking these kinds of guidelines, that’s undoubtedly not one thing you’d wish to do in Singapore!
On residing in Singapore as an expat long-term: I’ve a tough time imagining staying anyplace long-term, nevertheless it’s even more durable in a spot as small as Singapore. It may begin to really feel slightly claustrophobic after some time, particularly for these of us used to countless highways and wide-open areas.
On the numerous advantages of residing overseas in Singapore: Singapore is an excellent place to stay, particularly if you’d like a style of Asia with all of the comforts of the west, however I feel most individuals will discover their enjoyment of residing in such a small nation has an expiration date.
Thanks a lot, Sarah! Your photographs are beautiful.
What do you concentrate on expat life in Singapore? Is that this what you pictured being an expat in Singapore could be like?
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