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French:Where to settle? work at "Expo/Changi" MRT station

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Dam74
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French:Where to settle? work at "Expo/Changi" MRT

Postby Dam74 » Thu, 15 May 2014 5:50 pm

Hi all,

I am french, 36, married with 2 young children (3 and 5 years old).
We will most probably relocate to Singapore in September 2014.
I am starting to investigate where we should be looking for our future flat:

We don't want particularly to stay within a french-only community, as we love to meet expats of any nationalities (we've been traveling a lot).
But my wife does not speak very well English yet, so she'd like to still be able to meet some french people.

We plan to place our children in a public school (they do have some basics of English already). We'd like a school close from home.

I'd like to be relatively close to "Expo MRT"/Changi, but also be able to reach the city center easily. It would mean I guess to be close to an MRT station (or is the Bus red efficient enough?)

=> WHERE do you advise us to look?

I've read about "Paya Lebar"
Any particular nice place in that area ?

Any other area to advise us ?
What about "East coast park"? Feasible without a car??

Thanks in advance for your help and ideas!
Regards,

Damien

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 May 2014 7:33 pm

How long do you anticipate being in Singapore? If more than a couple of years, I'd suggest you think about the children's schooling. The French School is on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 near Serangoon North Avenue 1, so you might want to think about that as well as your oldest is just about school age. Getting them in a Government public school will be difficult. At least in a school than is not located out at the ends of the island somewhere.

Dam74
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Postby Dam74 » Wed, 21 May 2014 10:49 pm

OK thanks for this answer... I would say that I m not sure how long we would stay. Something around 2 years probably.

We were thinking about putting our 2 children in a local public school with the local children. You're saying that this is difficult ?
As I would be working close to the "Expo MRT station", I was thinking about Paya Lebar: any school/kinder garden there for 3 and 5 years olds ?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Damien

PS: Anyone can give more advice ? Thanks

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 21 May 2014 10:57 pm

Busses are efficient, but if you live quite far east (Expo/Changi are the far Eastern half of the island) you'll probably find the MRT faster.

Getting your kids into a local school isn't easy, and it isn't free either. As a foreigner expect to pay somewhere between S$600-900 a month per child. The worse part is that you won't be guaranteed a spot in any one specific school; your children may be assigned a school quite far away from where they actually live. There are topics dedicated to this in the "Parenting" forum on this board. Also google "kiasu parent", you'll find another website dedicated to this topic.

That said, Paya Lebar is a rather well-connected area in the central-east. You'll find getting to Changi Expo convenient, as would be the city.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Thu, 22 May 2014 7:23 am

You mentioned East Coast Park as an option. I live off Bayshore Road near there. It is feasible without a car, but having a car makes things easier because it's not near a MRT station. There are, however, shuttle buses that go from the condo directly to Bedok MRT. Probably not all condos in the East have this service, though.

Another thing about schools, like the other posters said, it might be hard getting your kids into the same local school and into a local school near where you live. Citizens and permanent residents get first pick, foreigners are last. It's not like in some countries where you're automatically guaranteed admission based on your address. An option could be to get them into a local private preschool or "playhouse," which serves kids who are in kindergarten and younger.

Also, you mentioned not wanting to be near only french speakers. I'm not familiar with the French School, but with some International Schools, lots do kids going there aren't even from the country the school's title represents. About half of the kids at the American and Canadian schools aren't even from the US or Canada. So it's possible you'll find a diverse background at the French school, but I can't say for sure.


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