Singapore is a unique blend of East meets West. Roughly 11 hours from Auckland, the city nation might be physically small but it’s an economic giant with a lot of opportunity for all kinds of people. Southeast Asia’s most modern city for over a century, Singapore offers a unique way of living for adventurers, families and professionals alike.
You might need a hand relocating to Singapore, though. Keen to find out a bit more about what living in Singapore might be like, and how to get there? Here are a few tips and tricks.
Travelling to Singapore
Getting to Singapore from Auckland is pretty straightforward. With multiple flights a day via Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, you’ve got a bit of choice when it comes to what time of day you choose to leave New Zealand. If you’re moving to Singapore, not just travelling, you will probably need to get an international relocation company like Crown Relocations involved too.
Depending on what you’re doing in Singapore and for how long, are a range of visa options are available. New Zealand passport holders don’t need a visa if they’re simply visiting Singapore for work or pleasure, but if you’re actually moving to Singapore to work, generally you will. The Employment Pass allows foreign professionals, managers and executives to work in Singapore. Candidates need to earn at least $3,600 a month and have acceptable qualifications. New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 can apply for a six-month working holiday visa for Singapore. The Work Permit also allows semi-skilled foreign workers from approved source countries to work in certain sectors.
Languages Spoken in Singapore
There are four official languages spoken in Singapore; English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. English is the most commonly-spoken language and is used just about everywhere, kids are taught English in schools but are expected to learn Mandarin as well. Other common languages include Chinese, Cantonese and ‘Singlish’ which is a blend of English and other languages.
Singapore enjoys a largely tropical climate and no clearly-defined seasons like New Zealand has. The temperature usually falls between 22°C and 34°C. Humidity is often high and it rains frequently too; the more rain, usually the higher the humidity. June and July are the hottest months of the year, while November and December are regarded as monsoon season.
Working in Singapore
Singapore is an expat’s paradise if they can land a job on an expat’s package. In recent years stricter employment guidelines have been implemented to help locals get better jobs which has seen a drop in expats moving to Singapore, however there are still plenty of opportunities out there for expats. Using LinkedIn or having a network of connections who already work in Singapore are the best inroads, however if you’re starting from scratch JobsDB, JobsCentral and Monster are good Singapore job websites.
Many expats who move to Singapore do so as part of an expat package that includes funding to cover or put towards accommodation. Expats tend to live in in condominiums (condos) which are often like resorts but are also pretty expensive … but if your employer is paying for it, the price doesn’t really matter! It’s common for condos to be home to lots of New Zealanders, Australians, South Africans and Britons, many of which have brought their families over too, so the community feel within a condo is usually very inclusive.
It will always cost more to live the closer you are to the city so if location doesn’t matter, living closer to the airport will be cheaper.
Cost of Living
The most expensive part of living in Singapore is the accommodation, so if you’re lucky enough to be on an expat package the rest shouldn’t be too bad. Owning and maintaining a car is very expensive in Singapore (done so to dissuade people from owning them in the first place) so it’s much cheaper to use public transport or taxis to get around. The cost of food is on-par with that of New Zealand but if you’re happy to shop around or visit fresh markets every week you can definitely save money here. International supermarkets are common but expensive. A beer might cost you about $15 but most bars will offer ‘happy hour’ to make after-work drinks more affordable. Singapore is a shopaholic’s paradise so if you think you’ll blow your budget the first day you visit a mall, it might be a good idea to avoid them for a while.
Singapore has some of the best public transport in the world, and it’s very affordable too. You’re never too far away from a train station, and Uber or Grab is significantly cheaper than taxis in New Zealand. Owning a car is very expensive — so much so that most people don’t — so stick to public transport, pedal power or walking to get from A to B.
During your downtime, Singapore has a lot to offer. A visit to Marina Bay is a must, as is a roam around the Gardens by the Bay and a ride on the Singapore Flyer (much like the London Eye). The Singapore Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world and the night zoo offers an amazing opportunity to see the animals up close and personal just before they go to bed or get up for the night. Singapore’s shopping is a must-do too; in fact, Singapore has more high-end shopping malls per capita than anywhere else in Asia. Orchard Road has a number of shopping malls that are interlinked and, in many cases, you don’t even have to go outside to move from one mall to another. Find out more about shopping in Singapore here.
Moving to Singapore
Moving to Singapore is a must-do for professionals, adventurers and families looking for some serious excitement in their lives. Crown Relocations is an international moving company with more than 50 years’ experience moving New Zealanders from one country to another, so if your next adventure is set to be in Singapore, Crown is perfectly set to help you move there.
Still exploring your options? Crown can give you all the information you need to know about furniture removals, shipping and storage. Call our friendly team on: 0508 227 696 or request a free, no-obligation estimate online.