Singapore Expats Forum

Teaching and Living in Singapore

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

kuchizuke
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Teaching and Living in Singapore

Postby kuchizuke » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 6:22 am

Hello everyone,

I know there might have already been a few posts on a similar topic, but basically I have finished my PGCE (trained in the UK) and was offered a secondary teaching job (for History and English) by the Ministry of Education for 2012. I have accepted the contract and sent the documents (this was a few months ago now).

Recently, I have been reading a few threads on this forum by people in the same situation, and was disappointed at the types of responses which were given (e.g. low pay, high cost of housing). The gross monthly salary for me will be S$3493.... bear in mind I don't have any experience (am fresh graduate). The MOE did not mention a housing package either and I will be moving over on my own. Apparently the price of rental is exorbitant in Singapore and I could only be able to afford a room (a lot of rooms have a 'no cooking' policy) :'(

As a young, single female I wanted to rent a single apartment for the sake of privacy but clearly that seems out of reach for me (I know I can't compare rental prices to the UK). I should add that I'm not planning to own a car (going to use the public transport).

I think it's also the first time for me moving abroad on my own so the prospects scares me a little. If anyone on here is a UK teacher in Singapore, your views and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers! ^_^

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Postby beppi » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 5:18 pm

You MIGHT be able to afford a private space (which starts at S$1500-1800) on that salary if you pinch on everything else.
But why would you?
Finding a shared apartment with like-minded people is possible, costs less than half and will give you an instant circle of friends which you'll be glad for in the initial confusing and lonely time.
And for privacy, you can still close the door and make it known that you don't want to be disturbed ...

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Postby kuchizuke » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 6:48 pm

Hey thanks for your reply.
Yeah I considered sharing as it would definately save a lot of money in the long term. I'm just curious about how there's a lot of ads with 'no cooking' in the description. Like here in UK you can rent a room in a house/flat and still cook using the kitchen. I've heard food is cheaper in Singapore but personally I don't fancy eating out all the time.
Also, as a teacher, I tend to do quite a bit of my planning at home, so want to make sure I live with quiet sensible people (...I think I'm comparing it my experiences as student in a shared flat haha). What is a good website to find flatmates?

xxx

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Postby beppi » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 7:03 pm

Those landlords who disallow cooking are usually families who live in the flat themselves and don't want to share the kitchen.
There are also others (e.g. we rent out a room and say "you can cook if you let us try!") and non-owner-occupied flats are usually free-for-all (and thus sometimes messy).
In addition, you'll find that with the abundance of wonderful and cheap (cooking yourself costs more!) food here, you'll cook less often than you imagine.

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Postby ksbat » Mon, 04 Apr 2011 7:06 pm

If you got yourself some teaching experience in UK/Aust/NZ etc you will have a good chance of getting a job in an International School with a much bigger pay packet plus housing, relocation costs etc

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Postby kuchizuke » Tue, 05 Apr 2011 1:18 am

Thanks for the info, guys.

I don't have experience which is why I'm not applying for International Schools. I'm still young and want to see this as an opportunity of getting at least a year's experience. If the job is rubbish then I'll return to UK afterwards (though at the moment the job market here is not great either, even for teachers).

Hope I get used to living in Singapore... the apartments look very small... I'll miss my parents' house haha

xxx

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Postby vozzie » Tue, 05 Apr 2011 8:17 am

Kuchizuke,

Now that you have made your decision to move to Singapore, it will be best if you embrace this new chapter in your life, treat it as an adventure and, as you say, participate in the chance to get some more experience.

You will probably find that your greatest growth will be more evident in your personal development, than your teaching skills.

Yes, it will be scary. Yes it will be all new and yes, you may have to pinch for pennies on occasions. That's all part of the Singapore experience. Accept it and learn from it.

As others have said, your greatest asset in the early stages, when you are a long way from home, lonely and lost amongst the masses ... will be friends, so a ready made supply of that in a share house might be the way to go.

I can't vouch for any of these, but they came up in a google search:

http://www.share-accommodation.sg

http://www...com.sg

http://www.share-accommodation.sg/flats ... gapore.htm

Solving problems like how or where to eat and how to get around will solve themselves in due course. You just have to suck it and see.

Good luck and enjoy the ride ...

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Postby k1w1 » Thu, 07 Apr 2011 1:02 pm

Have you signed the contract yet?

You should really reconsider doing this... You will have an dismal time in Singapore in those conditions.

PM me and I can put you in touch with a few tuition centres who will hire a fresh grad - you will at least some semblance of a life.

Living with a local family who do not allow you to cook, while pinching every penny and sticking it out at an incredibly stressful job is not "an adventure".

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Postby ksl » Thu, 07 Apr 2011 1:36 pm

Dont accept anything until you have 5 posts and can communicate with other people here. People are not really allowed to discuss property on this forum as it is against the rules.

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Postby kuchizuke » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 5:41 pm

@k1w1:
Yes I have already signed the contract (because there was a deadline and it was a few months ago). I'm thinking if I do end up having a horrible time, the contract is only for a year and I can always return to the UK afterwards. I'm doing a MA in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) so if the mainstream teaching job turns out to be awful I can always find another career. I know this sounds crazy but at the moment, because of my lack of experience in mainstream secondary, I think it'd still be useful to do at least a year and then it's something on my CV. I can always switch career paths later (I mean, I'm only 22 right now... still got my life ahead!). I probably won't live with a local family, maybe just flatshare with other young professionals.

@Ksl:
Sorry I didn't realise you couldn't discuss property on this forum.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:42 pm

ksl wrote:Dont accept anything until you have 5 posts and can communicate with other people here. People are not really allowed to discuss property on this forum as it is against the rules.


What is this nonsense? People are not allowed to post properties for rent. People can post rooms for rent in the classifieds.

But not discuss? Wrongo, bongo!

Talk about whatever your want... prices, locations, options.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:51 pm

Just don't recommend agents or other agencies. Just a small blip on the radar, considering most aren't worth recommending anyway.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:51 pm

kuchizuke wrote:@k1w1:
Yes I have already signed the contract (because there was a deadline and it was a few months ago). I'm thinking if I do end up having a horrible time, the contract is only for a year and I can always return to the UK afterwards. I'm doing a MA in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) so if the mainstream teaching job turns out to be awful I can always find another career. I know this sounds crazy but at the moment, because of my lack of experience in mainstream secondary, I think it'd still be useful to do at least a year and then it's something on my CV. I can always switch career paths later (I mean, I'm only 22 right now... still got my life ahead!). I probably won't live with a local family, maybe just flatshare with other young professionals.

@Ksl:
Sorry I didn't realise you couldn't discuss property on this forum.


One way or another, you will be fine... and don't need to by stuck in the kind of horror show envisioned by k1kw1 who says, "Living with a local family who do not allow you to cook, while pinching every penny and sticking it out at an incredibly stressful job is not "an adventure".".

Seriously, look at http://www...com.sg/, I am not affiliated. But I do know that my expat neighbor, an older guy rents a room to a younger woman (no hanky panky), used this service, and she gets the use of a very nice semi-detached, kitchen privileges, washer and dryer, TV room. He gets a young vivacious and interesting person to talk to. This costs her $1000 per month. Take a look at the listings. Contact me offline. Hell, my wife and I might consider it ourselves... depending upon when you might arrive.

Bottom line is that at your salary, you are not going to be wining and dining at the premiere establishments... which I don't like anyway... and with a bit of searching, you'll find good accommodations, and new friends in the same boat as you. I envy you for stepping out early in life... I made the jump to expat life at age 55.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 6:58 pm

Rent a flat for 15-1800, then sub-let a room.

Half the price, and you choose your flatmate.

Double bonus.

kuchizuke
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Postby kuchizuke » Sat, 09 Apr 2011 8:52 pm

[quote]
Bottom line is that at your salary, you are not going to be wining and dining at the premiere establishments...[/quote]


Of course I don't actually expect to be living in the lap of luxury at this stage haha... I'm excited about coming to Singapore despite the potential hardships. After all, if I don't try it I might live to regret it. I'm originally from Hong Kong (even though I have lived in England for most of my life), so hopefully I'll acclimatise a bit quicker given that it has a (somewhat) similar culture to HK.

Thanks to everyone for their advice.


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