Singapore Expats Forum

Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Discuss about childcare, parenthood, playschools, educational, family & international school issues.

Sponsored by:

Canadian International School
Post Reply
User avatar
Ian Pickering
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue, 01 Jul 2014 3:10 am

Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by Ian Pickering » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 3:34 am

Hi everybody,

I have an opportunity to apply for a job in Singapore, and I am very excited about potentially relocating there.

I currently live in the US. I have a wife that was born and raised in Indonesia and has become a PR here in the US. I also have 2 young children - a girl (just 6) and a boy (19 months). We have mad the trip home for my wife to Indonesia twice, and both trips we spent several weeks in Singapore. We absolutely love it, and I would like to believe that it is for the right reasons - the city, the people, the culture, the climate, and yes - the FOOD.

The opportunity is for a large international oil exploration company in a mid-level position.

My first question is, what do I need to make realistically to be able to support my family?

We are a normal, middle class family. I think I have fairly realistic expectations in terms of housing and things, but I see a ton of crazy figures on different forums. I would like to not have my wife work if possible.

My second question, is it reasonable to think my daughter will attend local schools?

I have heard that Singapore public schools are some of the best schools in the world. Is it reasonable to assume she can attend?

My third question, are there any specific things I need to clarify with my potential employer about this?

This is all very new to me, but this has been a dream of ours for quite some time. We are very excited that this is a possibility for us!

If this is similar to anyone else out there, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see some replies :)

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5272
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010 6:29 pm
Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location: Location:

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by the lynx » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 8:45 am

Ian Pickering wrote:Hi everybody,

I have an opportunity to apply for a job in Singapore, and I am very excited about potentially relocating there.

I currently live in the US. I have a wife that was born and raised in Indonesia and has become a PR here in the US. I also have 2 young children - a girl (just 6) and a boy (19 months). We have mad the trip home for my wife to Indonesia twice, and both trips we spent several weeks in Singapore. We absolutely love it, and I would like to believe that it is for the right reasons - the city, the people, the culture, the climate, and yes - the FOOD.

The opportunity is for a large international oil exploration company in a mid-level position.

My first question is, what do I need to make realistically to be able to support my family?

We are a normal, middle class family. I think I have fairly realistic expectations in terms of housing and things, but I see a ton of crazy figures on different forums. I would like to not have my wife work if possible.

Hi start with this for better comparison between USA and Singapore.
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp

If your children's education is not covered, accommodation is not covered and your car is not covered by your employer (and you think you need one - some families think they don't), you need to earn SGD240,000 annually (after tax) so be able to live comfortably enough without stressing it out. The figure is just my estimate but I know some families who think this is more than enough, and some who think this is unreasonably low.

Tax? http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=282



My second question, is it reasonable to think my daughter will attend local schools?

I have heard that Singapore public schools are some of the best schools in the world. Is it reasonable to assume she can attend?

Foreigner children will get last priority to local schools after several number of phases (you can check the sub-forum for schools in this forum). Even that, your child will get the least favourite school, which could be very very far away from your house.

You do not have to worry about this if your employer is covering for her education. Then you can put her in any private or International School that you can get her in.

Your first priority is to check which (international) school she can get in, and then plan your housing based on that location. It is better for your child to be near to the school, than to be far. Other forum regulars who are parents of school-going children will be better in advising which schools or the system.



My third question, are there any specific things I need to clarify with my potential employer about this?

Check if your employer is paying for
1. Accommodation (with or without furniture)
2. Car (not really a huge priority unless you cannot handle two young children on public transport. FYI Singapore public transport system is adequate)
3. Children's education
4. Relocation

This is all very new to me, but this has been a dream of ours for quite some time. We are very excited that this is a possibility for us!

If this is similar to anyone else out there, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see some replies :)

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:50 pm

I'd suggest going back maybe 6 months, or more if you have time, on the 'Relo/moving to SG' sub-forum and scanning any likely looking topic.
http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/forum33.html

You'll see other people who have been in similar shoes, and how such pre-research will allow you to identify questions with a clearer focus. Also, it'll raise other issues you haven't even thought of yet (health insurance? and so on).

Happy reading, and look forward to seeing your follow-up questions.


p.s. http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic101985.html
This will help us help you on where to live, and hence your housing budget, perhaps your largest outgoing here...

BedokAmerican
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:10 pm

Post by BedokAmerican » Fri, 04 Jul 2014 5:31 am

Lynx made some good points about there being challenges for foreigners to get into local schools because they get last pick after citizens and PRs. It's not like in the U.S. where you automatically go to a zoned school based on your address. Also, public schools in Sngapore are not free like they are in the U.S. A foreigner pays about $500 per month for primary school, plus bus transportation (if opting for that). You might want to consider an int'l school. Some take kids as young as 18 months.

Another point that is true in a general sense (but not in all instances): Students in Singapore take tests very well and THAT'S IT. Ask a typical Singaporean to think outside the box and they'll freak out because their "rote learning" education never prepared them to do so. If it's not on their script, forget about it! Ask "why" and they'll look at you like you're an alien.

Think about it. In a country with such a great education system, there are so many foreigners being brought in to fill positions. Another American once told me that their company didn't hire non-Americans in this part of the world for certain jobs because they don't trust them. I've personally found that sometimes when locals don't know something that they try and BS their way through it rather than admit they don't know and/or ask someone for help.

Before someone yells at me, I just want to say that I'm speaking in very general terms. Yes, I know there are exceptions. Every school is different, every teacher is different, every employer is different and every individual is different. I'm also aware that Americans are far from perfect.

Singapore is a nice place to live and easy for some to fall in love with, but it doesn't come without its faults.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Post by JR8 » Fri, 04 Jul 2014 8:50 am

BedokAmerican wrote:Think about it. In a country with such a great education system, there are so many foreigners being brought in to fill positions. Another American once told me that their company didn't hire non-Americans in this part of the world for certain jobs because they don't trust them. I've personally found that sometimes when locals don't know something that they try and BS their way through it rather than admit they don't know and/or ask someone for help.
I found that locals who worked for me were bright, able to learn, and would get the job done, but that was about it. They seemed to have a clear sense of 'these are my responsibilities' and that was it. There wouldn't be any innovation, any 'Hey, I just re-wrote those spreadsheets with macros, so now the job takes an hour less, what do you think?' kind of initiative.

There would be an expectation of getting to the office at say 8.30, and leaving at 5.30. Gawd help you if you required people to work late. ... To us there was almost a messianic belief that we'd sold ourselves to the devil (lol ;)), our lives were not our own, we would do what ever, and what ever hours were required of us, and we would never publicly complain. For locals (IME), that was extremely rare, and most seemed focused on getting home to their parents in time for dinner.

I think that is at the core of it. Most SGns never get responsibility, autonomy, over their own lives. They're perpetually beholden to someone else who tells them precisely what to do. That is so culturally and politically embedded I don't see it ever changing. And that is why despite the periodic anti-FT chest-beating from the government, the government will continue to need us - and they know it. Ironic; they can't do without us because their own political ideology does not allow locals to think creatively/out of the box, so they flamboyantly 'tilt at [FT] windmills instead', for public effect, whilst hoping to God we don't leave...

Just my 2c/IME.
To the backing song ... 'I'm just an FT dirtbag baby' lol...

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC3y9llDXuM
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag ]

User avatar
nutnut
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:20 am
Location: The Mainland....

Post by nutnut » Sat, 05 Jul 2014 9:48 am

When was your daughter 6? if in 2013 then you are pretty much screwed (Year of the golden pig) I know a family who couldn't get their kid into school at all and had to go to International School.

If this year, chances are better.
nutnut

User avatar
jamesmccoy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 7:51 pm

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by jamesmccoy » Mon, 01 Jul 2019 5:05 pm

the lynx wrote:
Hi start with this for better comparison between USA and Singapore.
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/essaytyper/comparison.jsp

If your children's education is not covered, accommodation is not covered and your car is not covered by your employer (and you think you need one - some families think they don't), you need to earn SGD240,000 annually (after tax) so be able to live comfortably enough without stressing it out. The figure is just my estimate but I know some families who think this is more than enough, and some who think this is unreasonably low.

Tax? http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=282
Hi,

Is there any updated information about taxes? I've sent an official request and received an answer from the employer that my children's education is not covered. Accommodation is covered though.
Edit: In what cases can I get free education for my kids in a public school? Thanks.
I'm an engineering analyst

bro75
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun, 02 Sep 2012 8:06 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by bro75 » Mon, 01 Jul 2019 5:24 pm

Tax info
https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/indivi ... tax-rates/

For incoming primary 1 students
Apply through the primary 1 registration exercise. Foreigners are given the last priority so the chances of getting a slot is low.

https://beta.moe.gov.sg/primary/p1-regi ... -students/

For incoming primary 2 to primary 5 students, secondary 1 to secondary 3 students
There is an exam called AEIS for those who want to go to public primary and secondary school in Singapore. The chances of getting a local school slot through this is low. The AEIS is done twice a year. Please see the link below:

https://www.moe.gov.sg/admissions/inter ... s-exercise

A Singapore PR student is guaranteed a slot in local school although it may not be the best school in terms of distance.

tiktok
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 5:04 pm

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by tiktok » Thu, 04 Jul 2019 7:30 pm

@JR8 Sorry FOB here. What's FT?

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35888
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Jul 2019 9:32 pm

It what a gone downhill in recent years. Used to be an acronym of pride, but today more snide. FT = foreign talent

tiktok
Member
Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 5:04 pm

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by tiktok » Thu, 04 Jul 2019 9:42 pm

Thanks. I guess I never heard it before, because while I'm foreign, I ain't no talent :wink:

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6316
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 9:06 pm
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 05 Jul 2019 4:00 pm

tiktok wrote:
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 7:30 pm
@JR8 Sorry FOB here. What's FT?
JR8 hasn't been around for years and I haven't heard anything about him. Anyone know how he's doing? HE was not in the best of health when he left either :(
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35888
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: Looking at an opportunity in Singapore - Help?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 05 Jul 2019 4:51 pm

I know his wife took up another foreign assignment with the Sg Gahment, but it would seem he just dropped off the face of the earth. You are right, though. I think last time I saw him was at one of our gathering on the quay at The Juban Stand or at the German pub at Raffles City and he didn't look too good then.

Post Reply


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Parenting, Family & Schools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests