05 Feb

7 Practical Tips for Expats Living in Singapore

Moving to Singapore? With so many new and interesting things to experience and places to explore, living in the Lion City can be quite an adventure for many expats. But since you’ll be moving to an unfamiliar place, it’s important that you know what to do and what to expect so will enjoy your stay and make the most of your life here. Here are some tips to help you get quickly settled in Singapore.

Tip No 1. Learn the local lingo

English is widely spoken in Singapore, so if you’re originally from an English-speaking nation, getting around and talking to everyone won’t be too much of a problem for you. However, it’s also best to learn the local language. There’s ‘Singlish,’ which is literally Singaporean English, and other languages like Mandarin. Since the Chinese are one of the biggest ethnic groups in Singapore, it would do you well to learn Mandarin.

Tip No 2. Live modestly

Singapore has one of the highest standards of living in the world. In fact, in 2014 and 2015, Economist Intelligence Unit ranked it as the world’s most expensive city. If you don’t want to blow up your entire savings, try to live below your means once you’re here. Also, try to negotiate a good expat package, including housing, medical and school fees. Since basic necessities are expensive in Singapore, you should learn how to haggle.

Tip No 3. Get ready for the heat

Because Singapore is just above the equator, temperatures here can be a bit intense. It’s hot and humid throughout the year, with April and May being the hottest months. The local climate can be challenging for you, especially if you come from a country with a cooler and more temperate climate. Also, while the monsoon season is from November to January, it can rain anytime so always bring an umbrella with you.

Tip No 4. Explore the local cuisine

One of the best things about living in Singapore is the local food. From hearty meals offered by hawker stalls to exquisite dishes in five-star restaurants, the city is a culinary heaven for foodies. Now if you learn to speak Mandarin, you’ll have an even better experience because some of the best dishes in the city are offered by the Chinese.

Tip No 5. Don’t litter

Singapore is well known for its cleanliness. As such, always make sure to respect the locals and their commitment to preserving the beauty and cleanliness of their environment by not littering. Be sure to throw rubbish in designated places. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying fines.

Tip No 6. Use public transport

The city has an excellent public transportation system that can get you anywhere on time. If you want to minimise your expenses, try to use public transport instead of buying and driving a car.

Tip No 7. Don’t be afraid to make new friends

Singapore is a melting pot of culture and it is fairly accepting of diversity. So don’t be afraid to go out and make new friends. Remember, talking to people is the best way to practise the lessons you’ve learned from your chosen Chinese language school.