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questions from a Brit moving to Singapore

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Sparky12
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questions from a Brit moving to Singapore

Post by Sparky12 » Mon, 20 Mar 2006 10:44 pm

I am planning to come out to singapore from the UK to start work in May. My wife will join me in July and is a teacher ( primary school with key skills in Mathematics ). I have a long list of questions that I'm hoping some of you good people can assist me with .

Firstly

I am looking for a house with a or access to a pool/ facilities and somewhere private to sit outside ( garden or roof terrace or both) somewhere near a school with a UK curriculum ( Tanglin seems an obvious one) . I have between $3 - $6k per month to spend and would like a good space with 4 bdrms. Is this feasible? If so which area should I look at ?

Secondly
Does anyone know of any schools who are recruiting for September term ...I dont want my wife sitting at home for too long if poss?

Thirdly
What cost should I be looking at for relocation and how long should I anticipate for shipping . We live in a 3 bedroom property in the UK to give an estimate of shipment size?

Fourthly

we have cats that we would love to bring with us , Has anybody done this successfully. Also is it safe for them to roam outdoors ?

Loads of queries and I appreciate that they may have been answered before but there are so many entries on this site that its easy to get lost in response , so anyone that can help would be have my eternal appreciation

:o
Sparky

june_faerie
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Private language lessons?

Post by june_faerie » Tue, 21 Mar 2006 9:35 pm

Hi,

For your wife, will she be interested to teach in a private education centre or as a private tutor?

Sparky12
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Post by Sparky12 » Tue, 21 Mar 2006 9:53 pm

hi there thanks for the query

she would be interested more in working in a school . She teaches ages 7 - 11.
Sparky

wk
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school

Post by wk » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 12:09 am

Probably best to check with the schools directly. Some International Schools here include Tanglin Trust, Dover Court, United World College, & Chatsworth. I believe they have their own websites from which you can obtain contact info. Good luck with your move!

As for your housing budget, up to 6K a month would get you a decent place. Houses with a pool may be hard to get at that price (depending on where you live), but you would probably be able to get a condo with pool & facilities. District that you would want to live in would depend on where you work, & where your kids, if any, go to school.

Sparky12
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want to impress my wife .....whats good ?

Post by Sparky12 » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 5:54 pm

thanks for your advice . Anything received so far is giving me a clearer understanding of what to expect. Another Question ......are theri any significant downsides to licving in Singapore . I have only heard two criticisms ; firstly that it can be a bit of a nanny state and secondly that its a bit of a retail frenzy.

On another note I am bringing my wife over for the first time and I want to really blow her away on the trip . any recommendations of what to do ...we only have a week . FYI she loves good beaches , greenery , smart and stylish places , good restaurants ......are there any stand out options I should consider ? :wink:
Sparky

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Post by skye » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 6:10 pm

As well as the schools already mentioned, your wife could also contact ISS, OFS and Eton House. Most schools will already have done a lot of overseas hiring for next year but if you already have the move and housing etc organised by your employer she may still be able to get a local hire position. If that doesn't prove too fruitful right now, she should register with the schools for temporary teaching positions when classroom teacher is sick or away on training. I know a few people who do that and the work is quite regular. A couple have gone on to full-time positions. I have heard anecdotally that Tanglin, UWC and SAS are the best payers, but can't confirm that. It would also let her check out what she thought of the schools and their management. Tanglin follows the National Curriculum so it would be a very easy transition.
Your cats should be fine unless there is another SARS or Bird Flu scare. Last time, cats roaming freely were rounded up as authorities were afraid they would contribute to the disease spreading. If that happens again, best to keep them indoors.
$6000 should get you a very decent house. For a house with a pool at that price, you will have to look out of the centre. For $3000, you would have to look further afield or get really lucky. It's unlikely you would get a pool at that price. Other option would be a condo - perhaps a ground floor unit with terrace or private garden area which would be within your budget and come with a pool. Most apartments have balconies as well. If you want to be near Tanglin, you could look at South Buona Vista - Pasir Panjang area. Island View condo has nice terraces and pool. The old black and white apartments on Portsdown Road (Premas) near Tanglin are also nice and green but not convenient for public transport and again no pool. Best bet is to start off in a Serviced Apartment and give yourself time to look around, check out the market and find what area is going to suit your lifestyle.

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singapore

Post by wk » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 9:53 pm

Bring her to the Zoo - world class. Botanic Gardens, Mandai Orchid Gardens if she is into nature & flowers. Singapore's close proximity to beach resorts like Phuket, Bali, Langkawi etc is another draw. The variety & high standard of food available here is also a big plus. You can eat cheap & eat good, or you can eat like a king (& pay accordingly!) - that's one of the great things about living here!

Downsides- apart from the nanny state thing, it would get pretty boring once you have seen all the sights. On the other hand, there are plenty of courses (recreational as well as continuing education) to take up if she has the time or inclination to do so. The weather is also very hot & the humidity can be pretty dampening (no pun intended).

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Post by superfurryanimal » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:34 pm

The Zoo and the Night Safari are world class, agreed.

Take her for dinner at Equinox, located on the 75th floor of the Swissotel in City Hall. The view there is fantastic. After dinner you can take her for drinks at Boat Quay or Clarke Quay.

I would also recommend this very nice boutique hotel called The Scarlet.

For some really good (and cheap) food, go to the food centre at Newton Circus. Try the barbecued stingray with sambal chilli. It's something unlike anything you'll ever have tried.

Downsides - the nanny state thing won't really affect you if you are just getting on with your own life and don't get involved in any civil society/public policy issues. One thing is that the level of service you get at restaurants, shops etc is far poorer than in the West but it's improving gradually. And of course, the weather. I actually prefer the weather in London!!

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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 23 Mar 2006 4:35 pm

Sparky 12

Here's my two cents.

Your budget sounds fine, you should be able to find what you are looking for in that range.

We did the quarantine thing twice with dogs. They were fine. We visited them often and they were well taken care of. It was heart-breaking but its just 30 days and those are busy days for you.

Your wife should first see if there are any hiring fairs in the UK before you come to Singapore. Most International Schools hire this way. In addition to that, go to each school's website, I would suggest (and I definitely don't have the names exactly right):

Tanglin Trust School
Singapore American School
Overseas Family School
United World College
Canadian School of Singapore
Australian School of Singapore

She should also strongly consider substitute teaching if that's all that is available. Most of these schools are desperate for qualifed teachers and it is a great way to meet the kids and their families in your community.

I'd make appointments with e Superintendant's/Headmasters with all the schools mentioned above and drop off a CV when she's up to it.

Re: Cost of moving. Not sure, the bills never came to us.

One of the best things to show your wife are things you don't see:

homeless
harsh winters
dangerous neighborhoods

Singapore is lovely and the people who say it is boring just might be boring themselves. Good Luck & PM me for more detailed info if you need it,

MHB

Sparky12
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Post by Sparky12 » Thu, 23 Mar 2006 5:25 pm

thats what I figured and everything I have seen of the place is looking good .
Sparky

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Post by Baron Greenback » Mon, 27 Mar 2006 1:41 pm

You will get a nice place with your budget,

Get the wife to email a few schools & test the water.

Shipping cats is not a problem, we used Par air services(?) to get ours here from the UK, they even have a catery service so you can get settled before they arrive.

For a wow time all the above is good advice, maybe try curry buffet in the Tiffin Room at raffles hotel, followed by a Sling in the long bar or courtyard.

Best of luck
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."
Hemingway

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Post by bunty » Thu, 30 Mar 2006 1:56 pm

whats a nanny state :o

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Post by dot dot dot » Fri, 31 Mar 2006 2:22 pm

For the 'spoiling' Part then:

Book a suite in the Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel, if you want to stay in downtown area. Best 5 star hotel when looking at value for money, by far.

If location is not so much of an issue, then stay in a suite in The Sentosa Spa and Resort ( http://www.thesentosa.com/ ), you will feel like a royal couple.

If you do not stay in the resort, then at least go there for some spa treatment, it is fabulous. Also, do dine there at The Cliff restaurant, overlooking the South Chinese sea and enjoy one of the best restaurants in Singapore. Also, a saturday afternoon of High Tea at their Pavillion restarant / lounge is highly recommended.

Another good place for a spa treatment would be at the Spa at ParkPlaza Royal Hotel on Beach Road, very good as well.

If Thai Food is your appetite, go to the Patara Thai restaurant at the 3rd floor in Raffles City mall, great views at night and very good Thai food (the buffet desert is fabulous).

A nice romantic evening dining would also be at The Vanilla Pod at the Mandai Orchid Gardens near the Zoo. Check their website: http://www.mandai.com.sg/

It is a nice hideout from the hustle and bustle of the city and totally relaxing amidst orchids and a waterfall. The food is contemporary fusion cuisine, mainly Italian influences, superb.

Of course you gotta go to the Botanic Gardens, where you can stroll along the trees and plants and dine at either Halia restaurant (also nice hight tea in the weekend) or for more upscale the French top restaurant Les Amis au Jardin. http://www.lesamis.com.sg/webtop/index2.html

Opposite is Dempsey Road, where you can have a good time in tasting some very nice wines at a wine bar at the end of dempsey road (forgot the exact name alas...).

Enjoy!

Eric

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Baron Greenback
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Post by Baron Greenback » Wed, 12 Apr 2006 12:38 pm

whats a nanny state Surprised
It refers to a country where the government controls the people much like a nanny would control children. In other words they try to control as much as possible & don't let you make you own decisions or have too much freedom - doing what is best for you because the government thinks it is best for you.

It can be used to describe many levels & decisions of governemt, from national health insurance to putting floride in the water supply, to strong censorship.
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."
Hemingway

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