Congratulations on making the decision to move to Singapore! The expats I talk to rate it pretty high in terms of comfort, sophistication, diversity and tolerance, and by all accounts it’s a lively and vibrant place to live.
Like any new country, it makes sense to find out as much as you can about it before you move. When you’re as well prepared as possible you’re more likely to enjoy a smooth move with fewer shocks and surprises. Here are my top five websites to visit before you go:
Your first stop for impartial, factual information, Wikipedia covers a broad range of subjects in some detail, including the history of the nation, its government and politics, the geography and the economy. They take a look at the state of Singapore’s foreign relations and military forces, the demographics and religions of the varied population and the languages they use. The Singapore entry also covers the infrastructure, science and technology, education and health, general culture, food, the arts, sports, recreation, media and of course transport.
2. The Singapore Government website
The www.gov.sg site, above, is the government’s official online presence, one of a suite of four portals in total, which cover every aspect of the place. The main site is full of information about the Singapore government itself including news, information, e-resources, events and contact information for public service agencies, run by the government’s Public Communications Division of the Ministry of Communications and Information.
The other three sites are as follows:
- Citizens and residents
It’s worth exploring all the government’s sites because, together, they provide a well-rounded and detailed picture of how things work.
There is also a handy directory of government services, which you can access via computer or smartphone. It’s the best way to find out how to communicate with public service providers and includes a list of ministries, statutory boards, public services and more.
Expat Singapore provides a multitude of great expat-specific information as well as a lively forum where you can post specific questions, making it the perfect destination for residents, people thinking about moving to the area and existing expats.
There are literally hundreds of pages of vital information and guidance about every aspect of life in Singapore including ‘before coming’, ‘culture shock’ and ‘expat tips’. There’s a popular message board and an excellent FAQ archive. Plus they even arrange real-life social events to help new arrivals make friends locally and connect with the expat community.
4. Asia Expat
Asia Expat is a superb resource for tracking down all the everyday things you need when you get there, a comprehensive property portal that goes much further than an ordinary estate agency.
As well as listing smart serviced apartments, share flats, serviced offices and rental apartments, they have teamed up with trusted moving companies. And there’s also a popular advisor forum where you can ask specific questions, get recommendations and advice about services like maids, babysitters and cleaners.
5. Travel CNN
If you want to reassure yourself that lots of people relocate to Singapore very happily, and stay for a long time, it’s worth taking a look at CNN’s 5 reasons why expats love Singapore, an interview with existing expats. It might be one of the world’s most expensive cities but the easy lifestyle, high levels of safety and security, top quality education system, friendly, multi-cultural nature and the weather make it an extremely popular choice with expats from all over the world.
Discover our expat country guides
Would you like to know more about expat living? Why not download our free eBook, The New Expat? It goes into detail about the medical side of expat life, family matters, accommodation, financial arrangements and more, designed to make your life easier in all sorts of ways. We also produce specific Country Guides each month, full of details to help you make the best decision and make the most of your new life.
Join the conversation
Do you live in Singapore? If so, what is the single most useful piece of information or website you’ve discovered, the one that’s made the most difference to your life? We’d love to share your experiences, so join the conversation by leaving a comment below or connecting with us on Twitter: @now_health or on the Now Health Facebook page so we can share them with our readers.
Image source: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee