Singapore Expats

Long term plan to move to Singapore

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

Sponsored by:

Utrust Immigration
Post Reply
Luci@
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri, 15 May 2009 10:51 am

Long term plan to move to Singapore

Post by Luci@ » Sat, 16 May 2009 8:11 am

So, my plan is to move to Singapore although this will not be right away. I still have a couple of years until I finish my graduate degree. In the meantime, I would like to get information regarding the cost of living there. I visited Sg once and loved it!

1. How much is the rent per month? I would prefer an apartment (condo) with 2 rooms?
2. Is the food expensive? How much should I antipate paying on food per month?
3. Eating out looks quite attractive (i'm having in mind the hawker stalls here not expensive restaurants). Is this something that require a big budget or is it rather cheap to eat out? Do you cook your own food or eat out?
4. What other expenses should I anticipate?
5. I'll try getting a job ahead of moving, but if I will need to actually go to interviews and plan for jobs in person, where would you recommend that I stay? Hotels are expensive. Are there any short term rentals available?
6. How much money would I need to make the move?
7. What other expenses should i anticipate?


Thank you!

Myrona
Member
Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 2:45 pm

Re: Long term plan to move to Singapore

Post by Myrona » Sat, 16 May 2009 8:39 am

Don't know much about the answers to your other questions as I don't live in Singapore yet but my interview was done over the phone even though I lived in HK and flights over were pretty cheap. I think a lot of employers do telephone interviews these days because of the international interest of the position they offer.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40423
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: Long term plan to move to Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 16 May 2009 9:23 am

Luci@ wrote:So, my plan is to move to Singapore although this will not be right away. I still have a couple of years until I finish my graduate degree. In the meantime, I would like to get information regarding the cost of living there. I visited Sg once and loved it!

1. How much is the rent per month? I would prefer an apartment (condo) with 2 rooms?
2. Is the food expensive? How much should I antipate paying on food per month?
3. Eating out looks quite attractive (i'm having in mind the hawker stalls here not expensive restaurants). Is this something that require a big budget or is it rather cheap to eat out? Do you cook your own food or eat out?
4. What other expenses should I anticipate?
5. I'll try getting a job ahead of moving, but if I will need to actually go to interviews and plan for jobs in person, where would you recommend that I stay? Hotels are expensive. Are there any short term rentals available?
6. How much money would I need to make the move?
7. What other expenses should i anticipate?


Thank you!
1. 6 months ago it would have cost you 3-4K/month. Now 2-3.5K/month. Two years from now? How would anybody know? Do you know where the economy will be in two years?

2. Again, all food in imported. So any disruption in any part of the world will impact food prices here. Droughts or Floods destroy entire countries food production in bad years. Can you predict what the weather is going to be like in two years?

3. Some eat out. (cheap if you eat local - bloody expensive if you eat normal western fare and good restuarants). Others cook their own (or should I say the Maid does if you opt for that route).

5. Hotels (from reasonable to ridiculous) or dormitory type of backpacker lodgings (cheap but insecure) or Serviced Apartments (very, very expensive and only good for a month if you can get the employer to opt for it as part of the relocation expense). Unless you have a proper working permit as opposed to a visitors visa you cannot rent here.

6. My move here only cost me the airfare. I arrived with one suitcase and one diving helmet 26 years ago. Or you can bring everything you own (not advisable especially if you are thinking electronic equipment/TV's as so forth - unless your stuff if multi-voltage/phase it's better to just buy new here. What to bring will depend on how much relocation allowance you are given for shipping.

4 & 7. Same question but two years is a long time down the road and prices and infrastructure and economy and immigration policies can change dramatically. Wait until you are 6 months away. Then start doing the research.

sms
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

Stoven
Member
Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 9:14 am

Post by Stoven » Sun, 17 May 2009 12:43 am

My plan to move to Singapore has been in the making for over three years. I registered on this site three years ago and I still haven't made it to Singapore yet.

I've applied for expat jobs over the years for Singapore and Shanghai but never got past phone interviews due to lack of work experience. So I have been waiting patiently gaining work experience hoping to find something.

Over a year ago I finally decided to stop waiting and just make the move with or without a job. I chose Singapore since my wife is Singaporean and has family there. I applied for Permanent Resident status last may and after waiting months I finally flew to Singapore last November to finalize the paperwork and receive my NRIC card.

My wife stayed in Singapore while I returned to the US to finalize things here like getting rid of all my stuff, renting out my house, and all I have left is to sell my car. I've been applying for jobs consistently for the past three months with not much luck due to the recession.

My wife will be starting her teaching job in July and I have enough savings to last me awhile. I plan to start out by renting a room in a flat or condo and living cheap until I get on my feet. I'm expecting to have to take a 30-50% pay cut since local wages are much lower than the US. If all things go smoothly and we can live comfortably off our future salaries I plan on selling our house in the US for a down payment on an HDB flat or Condo and use our CPF funds to cover the mortgage.

I should finally be in Singapore in July. The only thing I'm not prepared for is the heat and humidity.

Steve

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5989
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by ksl » Mon, 18 May 2009 1:01 am

Stoven wrote:My plan to move to Singapore has been in the making for over three years. I registered on this site three years ago and I still haven't made it to Singapore yet.

I've applied for expat jobs over the years for Singapore and Shanghai but never got past phone interviews due to lack of work experience. So I have been waiting patiently gaining work experience hoping to find something.

Over a year ago I finally decided to stop waiting and just make the move with or without a job. I chose Singapore since my wife is Singaporean and has family there. I applied for Permanent Resident status last may and after waiting months I finally flew to Singapore last November to finalize the paperwork and receive my NRIC card.

My wife stayed in Singapore while I returned to the US to finalize things here like getting rid of all my stuff, renting out my house, and all I have left is to sell my car. I've been applying for jobs consistently for the past three months with not much luck due to the recession.

My wife will be starting her teaching job in July and I have enough savings to last me awhile. I plan to start out by renting a room in a flat or condo and living cheap until I get on my feet. I'm expecting to have to take a 30-50% pay cut since local wages are much lower than the US. If all things go smoothly and we can live comfortably off our future salaries I plan on selling our house in the US for a down payment on an HDB flat or Condo and use our CPF funds to cover the mortgage.

I should finally be in Singapore in July. The only thing I'm not prepared for is the heat and humidity.

Steve
You are going to find it quite tough, however you do have many advantages in my opinion, logical and practical experience, although most wouldn't recognise it here anyway. what kind of experience do you have to offer?

Luci@
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri, 15 May 2009 10:51 am

Post by Luci@ » Mon, 18 May 2009 4:11 am

Hello!

I am following up with some details about my experience. It mostly entails working on federally funded grants in the domain of Psychology. There aren't my grants, but it certainly entails great experience-for example, conducting interviews with children suffering from anxiety disorders. Based on these interviews we determine whether children are eligible for treatment (cognitive-behavioral therapy). I am currently getting trained to conduct treatment and I should start doing the actual treatment starting in fall. Aside from this, I am trained in research - writing articles related to above. My internship alone will be worth 4000 hours of clinical work, although my actual experience would be much greater since the program I'm in is 5 years long. I have related experience working in different labs prior to graduate schoool, and limited experience as a social worker (which I'd rather not do).

Is my area of expertise something that is needed in Sg? I noticed that it is mostly the IT people that are most successful there, but you never know. So, it's mostly research experience (in the context of clinical trials - testing out how treatments work - can be applied to other areas not only anxiety) and clinical experience. Most students when they finish the degree go for a post-doctoral assignment or straight into academia. Any comments would be appreciate it. Thanks!

Stoven
Member
Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon, 05 Jun 2006 9:14 am

Post by Stoven » Mon, 18 May 2009 3:39 pm

I've already run into experience not being recognized in Singapore. It seems that all that matters is if I have an honors degree or what University I graduated from. I've already been told "I can hire a phD from a top university in China for less than you".

It didn't matter that I had over five years of engineering experience in consumer products and have been working with Taiwanese and Chinese factories for those five years and have traveled overseas multiple times.

It's like a complete opposite of the U.S. I do have my B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and have been told at interviews in the U.S. that my education means nothing compared to work experience.


Steve

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40423
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 May 2009 3:56 pm

Stoven, you can imagine the adjustment I had to make then. I was a recruiter here for 14 years with a US mindset trying to place individuals in Singapore Positions! Another one is the local employer who calls you up and asks you to find a Mechanical Engineer. You quickly learn that most here when they do that and you ask them what qualifications they need they tell you a Polytechnic Diploma is okay!?!

So you then ask them again what they are looking for, they tell you they want a mechanical engineer. Finally, I ask them, can this person sign off on the job? No? Then what you are looking for is a technician, correct? Yes, but we call them engineers! ](*,)

And no, experience doesn't make the grade as much as a piece of paper that only says theoretically this person 'should' be able to do the job. However, it's funny when it come to major construction projects. They will hire a project management team that has a 70 years old project manager from the US that has never set foot into a university but came up through the ranks with 430 or 40 years of experience. So it depends on the size of the project. The small fishes want the bragging right of having people with papers. The big boys are more concerned with performance.

sms
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

User avatar
Asian_Geekette
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 4:07 pm
Location: Still based in Singapore but wanders around...

Post by Asian_Geekette » Mon, 18 May 2009 4:09 pm

Luci@ wrote:Hello!

It mostly entails working on federally funded grants in the domain of Psychology. There aren't my grants, but it certainly entails great experience-for example, conducting interviews with children suffering from anxiety disorders. Based on these interviews we determine whether children are eligible for treatment (cognitive-behavioral therapy). I am currently getting trained to conduct treatment and I should start doing the actual treatment starting in fall. Aside from this, I am trained in research - writing articles related to above. <snip>

Is my area of expertise something that is needed in Sg? <snip>
How about if you take a look at getting even a short stint fellowship before you decide to move to Singapore? Psychology is one of the fields covered by the IMM Fellowship. For more information, check the following link: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/research/immf.html

Cheers,
A_G :)
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

User avatar
littlegreenman
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 8:32 pm
Location: London/Singapore

Post by littlegreenman » Mon, 18 May 2009 4:13 pm

I totally agree with Stoven and SMS.

When I did my undergraduate degree, people were looking down at me in Singapore that I am doing my degree in the external program of the LSE. "Local uni is better" they said. After graduating with my BSc Hons from LSE employers in Singapore couldn't offer me the money I wanted telling me about the local unis being better pretty much implying I had an inferior degree. When I told them about my 5 years experience in private wealth management and then Hybrid Risk Modelling they didn't bother even a bit to listen... so I left for Britain where I got a job in 2007 within 2 weeks with excellent pay and benefits thanks to my highly regarded LSE degree, the fact that I self studied and my experience.

Bottom line: it is the extreme opposite of what you are used to. I am now doing a one year MSc in Economics at Birkbeck. As I am considering going back I did some research and called some friends working in HR in Singapore. They told me: "See last time different one: you self study and this one very cheap. Now this one you do is expensive one and you do it in the UK so is very good one."

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40423
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 May 2009 6:34 pm

I hear you & ain't it the truth! :o
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

Luci@
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri, 15 May 2009 10:51 am

Post by Luci@ » Tue, 19 May 2009 6:49 am

Hi!

Well, it is interesting to hear your experiences. I graduated with Magna Cum Laude and Honors from a top uni here in the States (this was my BA in Psych). Now I'm doing a Phd in Psych. as well and I'm specializing in child anxiety. At the end of the day, I'll be done with my dissertation and get my PhD. So, I'll have the paper to prove that I have a doctoral degree.
Honestly, I don't think this alone is sufficient, but from what you are saying in Sg is different. Do you know how things are with Psych. jobs (I would like to work in university as a professor conducting research and teaching).

Thanks!!

Luci@
Member
Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri, 15 May 2009 10:51 am

Post by Luci@ » Tue, 19 May 2009 6:53 am

How about if you take a look at getting even a short stint fellowship before you decide to move to Singapore? Psychology is one of the fields covered by the IMM Fellowship. For more information, check the following link: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/research/immf.html

Cheers,
A_G :)[/quote]


Hi! Thanks for the link! What surprises me is that the fellowship is good for one month only. I say it surprises me because the expectation is that a fellow engages in research with a faculty. It normally takes longer than a month to even come up with a research proposal. Do you know more about this program?

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests