Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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Robstar
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Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Post by Robstar » Thu, 14 Aug 2008 5:44 pm

Hi,

I've looked throught a lot of threads in this forum and I can get an idea of life in Singapore from them. But nobody seems to have ever asked, are expats who have moved to Singapore happy with their decision?

Are you glad you moved there?
Do you think you will stay there permanently, or at some point you will have had enough and move back home?
Have you made new friends and have a good social life?
Are there some things that you can't do / can't get like you could at home and really miss them?

I'm mid thirties, divorced with no kids, live in London and I'm considering a move over to Singapore. I went there last year on a week's business trip and I liked it a lot. I think I can get a job over there working for the same company I do now, so that's not a problem. I think my financial package would be quite good as well.

Honest answers please! Would you recommend it?

Thanks.

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Thu, 14 Aug 2008 6:02 pm

Hi Rob and welcome to the forums.

You'll find your questions answered a lot, on and off. Have a search through using the field up on the top right, just under Singapore Expats Forum. Try a few different searches - bear in mind we're a bit of a funny bunch on occasion so come back and ask for anything specific!

For Mrs C and I - yes we love it. A few things to get used to, bit nothing difficult, as long as you have the right attitude - you're moving to a new culture and therefore adjustments have to be made. We haven't found anything "major" - but we've been around Asia a bit so I'm not sure how much that really helps!

Post back if you need any specifics - good bunch here.

HTH, P
[Edit: spelling]

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Re: Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Post by Levikane » Thu, 14 Aug 2008 6:42 pm

Hi Rob,

For context I am 25 moved here from Australia 8 months ago. Defacto with the missus who came with.

Are you glad you moved there? Absolutely. Haven't had a single regret.

Do you think you will stay there permanently, or at some point you will have had enough and move back home? Hard to say. I originally only planned to come here for a couple of years but I can't see myself leaving anytime soon.

Have you made new friends and have a good social life? Sure. There are hundrededs of people from all over who are in exactly the same boat, so making friends here is never hard. There are always regular

Are there some things that you can't do / can't get like you could at home and really miss them? Cooking a BBQ using gas, I hate the charcoal. I also miss my backward and cheap beer (seriously, beer is bloody expensive here!!!)

Most people here are pretty happy with their choice to come here, but dont get too carried away. For perspective there is a good thread on this forum "Looking for other unhappy expats" you might like to read:
http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum/ftopic50893.html

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Post by guitarnoise » Thu, 14 Aug 2008 10:11 pm

If you are enthusiastic about a move to Singapore than you'll probably like it quite a bit. Initially, at least. Homesickness is something that effects people at different times. Some don't get it at all. And if you're happy working for your current employer that's even better for you. It doesn't matter where you live, if you hate your job you're going to be miserable.

To add some personal stuff, I visited Singapore a few times before moving here. I've been living here less than a year now and I think it's falling a little short of my expectations. I lived in other Asian countries before coming here and I think Singapore might be a little overrated. I'll probably stay here a few more years and then shove off for somewhere else. I think I liked it better when I just visited for 2 weeks at a time.

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Post by Currymeister » Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:41 pm

Hi Robstar,

It's also relative. I think you'll love it compared with London. I'm also
from the UK, I graduated and then spent 10 years working in London. Every summer I vowed to emmigrate due to the weather. Every winter I vowed to emmigrate due to the weather and the commute.

I was forced to move here with my job. I do find that the lifestyle here is good, especially if you're earning well. But I also lived and worked in Istanbul and Bangkok and found them to be better too. So maybe I just didn't like London. That's something to ponder. Do you actually like London? If so, why move?

I don't miss anything, apart from friends and family, but family comes and visits often.

Beer is expensive here compared with Bangkok for example, but not central London. although if you buy a couple of bottles of wine per week - then think double at least. Everything else, price wise, is on a par with London, some thiungs cheaper, some things more expensive. The cost of buying a car and parking, ERP is high, but the upside is that the roads are fairly clear and enjoyable to drive on.

Getting around is a breeze, so you'd kiss goodbye to the horrid commute. I don't even live in the center of town, and it takes me less than 10 mins to drive to the office in the CBD.

The weather is fab, there's a lot to do, plenty of sports facilities, lots of great restuarants and travel to some wonderful places around the region is easy and not expensive.

I hope that my 2 cents worth is useful.

All the best with your decision.

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Re: Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Post by Biogentic » Fri, 15 Aug 2008 1:58 am

Robstar wrote:Hi,

I've looked throught a lot of threads in this forum and I can get an idea of life in Singapore from them. But nobody seems to have ever asked, are expats who have moved to Singapore happy with their decision?

Are you glad you moved there?
Do you think you will stay there permanently, or at some point you will have had enough and move back home?
Have you made new friends and have a good social life?
Are there some things that you can't do / can't get like you could at home and really miss them?

I'm mid thirties, divorced with no kids, live in London and I'm considering a move over to Singapore. I went there last year on a week's business trip and I liked it a lot. I think I can get a job over there working for the same company I do now, so that's not a problem. I think my financial package would be quite good as well.

Honest answers please! Would you recommend it?

Thanks.
staying here forever? i am dying to get out of here if not of my parent and friends... but anyway i am thinking of renouncing my citizenship when i am nearer to my retirement age. i prefered to stay in bangkok.

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Re: Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Post by andy21 » Fri, 15 Aug 2008 5:26 pm

Biogentic wrote:staying here forever? i am dying to get out of here if not of my parent and friends... but anyway i am thinking of renouncing my citizenship when i am nearer to my retirement age. i prefered to stay in bangkok.
The OP made it quite clear he is seeking the opinion of expats here actually.

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Post by HunBunny80 » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 2:19 pm

My husband and I came from London. He is a true Londoner and I am a local who lived there for a decade. It was his idea to migrate to Singapore and now he is loving it so much that he wants to stay here as long as he could.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 Aug 2008 11:36 pm

It was my idea to stay here 20 years ago after being here for 6 years and having the 2nd child being born. My local wife was ready to go to the US and we already had her Green Card. We gave it up years ago. Now I can't wait to get away from here. I've had it up to here with this place. Now if I can oly find a way to get rid of my MiL and get my son out of school & NS over with...... Those are the only two things keeping me here.....
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by zoed123 » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 8:39 pm

Hi

I've been here 8 months now and so far so good. have two young kids and defo a good place to be with children. However after coming from small town in north uk , find you have to put in a lot of effort to make friends ( although think probably same in London). If you add up all the parts ie good weather , good standard of living, loads of stuff to do etc etc then you should be happy here .BUT.... there does seem to be a lot of very miserable hard to please expats here.

Good point made on the job front, if you have a good package and enjoy your job can't see where you can go wrong.

On that note however I won't be staying for good, still miss home even though good place to be, i miss my mates humour. Bit lacking here. )

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Post by Currymeister » Wed, 20 Aug 2008 2:29 pm

you're just mixing with the wrong people :) I think humour is only understood by people with the similar roots, hence why it's good to meet other expats even those from where you're from, just to have a few real laughs.
Last edited by Currymeister on Mon, 25 Aug 2008 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by boffenl » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 1:40 pm

We've been here about a year and a half from the US. We're loving it! I echo what's already been said re: income, coming with children. I'd like to point out there are tons of ways to make new friends here (outside of work) via amazing non-profits who are always seeking expats to sit on their boards. Find something you're interested in and give them a call--great way to meet locals too!

We also miss our BBQ and private backyard (we live in an HDB apt.). Plus with kids certain things seem VERY expensive compared to the US--weird things like drink mix and soda. But if you're coming from Europe these might seem like ordinary prices. Come for a visit and check it out!

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Post by ching » Tue, 26 Aug 2008 8:58 pm

We're from the Philippines - been here a few years now and we like it so far. I don't know whether we'd consider staying here permanently though... we're still open to trying new places.

No problem at all making friends and building our social circle. Maybe sign up for a few classes or join a sports team if you want to kick-start your social life :)

As for what we miss most -- being able to drive out to the mountains or to the beach without having to leave the country!
Tips from expats living in Singapore - http://www.livinginsingapore.org

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Re: Expats in Singapore - are you happy?

Post by maneo » Wed, 27 Aug 2008 6:33 am

Agree with or at least understand the various other replies above.
Robstar wrote:Are you glad you moved there?
Definitely.
More so, since we came as parents with a 7 year-old daughter.
Do you think you will stay there permanently, or at some point you will have had enough and move back home?
Let's see -- bought another home here last year (just came back from China).
After retirement, I expect to move around amongst various places.
Don't know which one will call "home base."

Have you made new friends and have a good social life?
Have made friends, but we tend to be homebodies.
Younger, single friends we know seem to know how to party.

Are there some things that you can't do / can't get like you could at home and really miss them?
Goes without saying.
Occasional trips "home" will help.
You should also be able to find things here you'd never be able to find back "home."
Would you recommend it?
Yes, if you're open, flexible, adaptable and looking for something new and different.

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Post by quidsin » Mon, 01 Sep 2008 10:41 pm

Currymeister wrote:Hi Robstar,

The weather is fab, there's a lot to do, plenty of sports facilities, lots of great restuarants and travel to some wonderful places around the region is easy and not expensive.

Weather is fab? When was the last time you looked up in the sky?

Not a day goes by without it raining in Singapore...and when it's not raining, there is constand cloud cover. What makes me laugh is the whole afternoon sun thing here when you go view apartments...a unit which is west facing is less attractive than one which is east, apparently because of the afternoon sun, but what they're forgetting is the sun rarley comes out... :evil:

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