Living in Singapore With a Family: 10 Important Aspects to Know

Jasween Gill
Updated on
October 13, 2020

Singapore is a vibrant city with a multicultural population that is bursting with life. It is filled with modern developments, yet it is also a community that values green space and recreational opportunities. Families who are relocating to Singapore might be wondering what it's going to be like to live in this city. We have created a guide that will introduce you to the ten most important things you need to know about Singapore.

Housing

One of the things that often surprises expatriate families the most is the type of housing that is available. Singapore is distinctly different from many countries in the fact that the majority of people reside in apartments or condominiums. Anyone who is looking to relocate to Singapore may want to view housing options online prior to their arrival, as apartments and condominiums are often in high demand. This is particularly important for those who want to live within close proximity to their office building or their child's school. For more information on securing housing in Singapore, download the OWIS Relocation e-book.

Education

Parents who relocate to Singapore with their school-aged children will find that they have many options available to them when it comes to education. Not only does Singapore have world-renowned public schools and esteemed private schools, but there are also many international schools that are ideal for expatriate families. One World International School is an international school in Singapore that offers an international curriculum, a moderate fee structure and music, art, language and sports programmes designed to develop the whole child.

Healthcare and Medical Facilities

In Singapore, residents can feel confident knowing that they are receiving the best health care. There are many experienced and qualified health care professionals working in Singapore, and they operate out of state-of-the-art facilities. However, health care is very expensive, and families who are relocating to Singapore need to know that health insurance is a necessity. Many expatriate families who are relocating to Singapore for work are able to secure health care from their employers.

Infrastructure

Singapore is a modern city that is filled with new, state-of-the-art developments. In addition to its towering skyscrapers and premier amenities, Singapore also has a variety of well-maintained public spaces, housing estates and several efficient transportation systems. In every locality of the city, families will find small neighbourhood gardens as well as play spaces for children. Residents are proud of the fact that they live in a clean, contemporary city, and both local people, visitors and government officials maintain the community well.

Social Life 

Singapore is often described as a cosmopolitan community, and its residents find that there are many places to visit and various activities to enjoy. Families who like to get active and stay outside will enjoy running on scenic trails, visiting nearby beaches or going ziplining through the trees. Those who prefer the city life will feel right at home with the Singapore locals, who love to eat at fine dining restaurants and hawker stalls alike, or shop at the many retail developments in the city. Families who have relocated to Singapore will also find that it's fun to take day trips on the weekend and explore nearby areas, such as Malaysia or Indonesia. Although with the current Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is not an option for the foreseeable future.

Domestic Help

Sometimes, when getting settled into a new home and country, it can be beneficial to hire domestic help. Whether a family needs someone to help them keep their new home clean and tidy or they need extra assistance with child care, domestic help is readily available in Singapore. Options range from part-time help to live-in domestic helpers. While it is not difficult to secure a domestic helper for your new home in Singapore, you also need to keep in mind the cost and responsibility of having an employee. Although domestic helpers are quite common across households in Singapore, families need to consider their own unique circumstances before deciding to add a domestic helper to their household.

Singapore Culture

Singapore is a diverse community, and that diversity is highlighted in every aspect of this country's culture. English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil are spoken in Singapore among a host of other languages. However, it won’t be long before you hear Singlish, which is colloquial Singaporean English and is a blend of English and Singaporean slang. Singlish has many words from English, Malay, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, Japanese and Tamil. Although Singlish is not typically used in official settings, it is commonly spoken by Singaporeans and long-term residents alike. 

Transportation

One of the aspects that new families love the most about Singapore is that it's very easy to get around. The public transportation system is efficient and effective, and the people who frequently use it appreciate the fact that it's clean and safe. There is a subway system in Singapore called the Mass Rapid Transit or the MRT and an efficient bus system, which makes it easy for families to get from one part of the island-state to the other.

Weather in Singapore

Singapore is an island, and the people who live on this island enjoy a tropical climate throughout the entire year. Families who are relocating from a country where there are four distinct seasons might be surprised to find out that it's summer all the time in Singapore. While it can be extremely sultry at times, indoor environments typically have the air-conditioning on to counter the heat and provide cool relief. On the other hand, the sunny weather in Singapore allows children and adults alike to spend time outdoors enjoying their favourite activities.

Expatriate Clubs and Forums

Expatriate families who want to connect with other people who have relocated from across the world have the opportunity to join expat clubs and forums. Social media is a valuable tool for expatriate families, as there are many Facebook groups designed specifically for international residents living in Singapore. Examples of expatriate clubs in Singapore include ‘The British Association of Singapore’ and the ‘Singapore International Foundation’. There are often smaller groups for people from other countries around the world.

Families that are new to Singapore will want to find a school that helps them adapt to Singapore and become part of the community. One World International School is one of the best options for expatriate families who are relocating to Singapore. Our experienced administrators and teachers work tirelessly to support our students and help them acclimatise to life in their new country. Our school has a welcoming environment, a multicultural student population and renowned international curricula. To learn more about living in Singapore, visit our Relocation page today.

About Author

Jasween Gill

Admissions & Communications Director

Admissions Team

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