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A technologically advanced city-state with a vibrant medley of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western culture, Singapore is a tropical heaven with a very high standard of living. Moving to Singapore gives you fast-paced society embedded in Asia with English spoken in nearly all corners which perfectly blends the cuisine and warm climate of the East with a world-class school system and booming technology and business industry. There are beaches, shopping centres, sparkling clean highways and a prompt train and underground system to enjoy all within relatively close proximity to each other. Walk along a lavish waterfront promenade then take a train journey to the heart of the city-state to enjoy the busy bars and bustling nightlife, Singapore offers experiences for all.
As a highly dense and populated place it’s important to start the property hunt early in Singapore. Be sure to work with local estate agents who can recommend the best type of property and location as no two districts are the same in terms of facilities and price ranges. Most will be filled with government housing, known locally as HDB, alongside private apartments to rent. Districts closer to the city centre will provide high-rise condominiums for a long-term lease due to the small land area, while some areas such as Bukit Timah may even sport a few detached houses. Condominiums are the most common choice for long-term stay as they boast recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and BBQ spots.
Singapore’s education system has been consistently regarded as world leading. With a large expatriate community, there are both state schools and private international schools available for all newcomers. International schools provide education taught in a multitude of languages from Chinese, to French, to Swiss. Meanwhile, the official teaching language of Singapore is English, so state-funded schools are also a fantastic option but only offered to residents with a work permit and who plan on staying long term.
Primary school begins at age 6 and continues until age 12, succeeded by secondary school for a further 4 years until students reach age 16/17. Extracurricular activities are greatly encouraged alongside education giving students the opportunity to explore performing arts, sports and other clubs. Post secondary school, students may make the decision to attend a junior college, polytechnic institution or continue into university.
As a hub of communities from Chinese to Canadian, Singapore has no single culture but is rather an exciting mix of customs and traditions. Singaporeans enjoy colourful festivals all year round from the vibrant festivities of Chinese New Year in February to the luminous and glittering celebrations of Christmas in December. The neoclassical western architecture stands a short distance from Chinese temples to create a dynamic metropolis. The choice of food is boundless in Singapore. It only takes a short trip down to Little India, Arab Street, Chinatown or Kampong Glam to see the variety of cuisine on offer. Those who prefer something quieter are not forgotten either, a break can be taken to visit beaches and grand temples just outside the centre.
Prepare for topical weather. Situated one mile from the equator, Singapore enjoys the heat all year round so shorts and flip flops are a must and air conditioning will quickly become a staple item.
Singapore is renowned for its cleanliness and for good reason. The sparkling clean streets come with harsh fines for anyone who dares litter and drinking or eating on public transport is also banned. Be sure to read up on other regulations regarding littering or transport as, for example, only dental or nicotine gum is permitted in Singapore surprising many western visitors.
Lastly, before your trip make sure to bring a credit or debit card as Singapore is fast becoming a cashless society.
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