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another one bits the dust

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Joined: Wed, 24 Aug 2011
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another one bits the dust

Postby Dalia » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 6:10 pm

First,before anyone starts trowing rocks at me I have to tell you that A JOB is better than NO JOB. (yes, there is no expat money, how did you guess?)

And second, somebody please tell me we'll survive this. :???: I spent some time going through this forum and all I want to do is scream.

We are family of four, currently living in East Europe (our home country, so small I'm sure nobody ever heard of it). We spent last 10 years waiting for a green card in the USA, got tired of paying the fees and being dragged through the mud, so here we are. I never worked (never got the green card) and my husband can't find a job that could support all of us (living on my mom's retirement money is not very cool).

Anyway, my husband applied for a local job in SG and his visa got approved this morning (for one year only, is this the norm? I don't know if the company asked for one year or the government didn't like his resume?). He has 3 weeks to move, not much time to do enough research on all the things we would like to know.

My biggest concern are my kids, or at least my 7 year old son who is in 2nd grade. I don't know what to do. He can't go to private school, that's for sure, and it looks like it's super hard to get non Asian international students into local schools. I feel like crying from the stress. I know there is a test for International students taking place on October 12, but I'm not sure we'll have the address/condo by that time and we would have to pay close to SGD$700 by Sept 13th for it.

And another thing is finding a condo. Our budget is very small and we can't afford to live close to the city center (and it looks like center has expended to half the island). I would like to find a nicer HDB but I'm afraid we'll not have time to search for it (we have 2 weeks to find us a place). So at the beginning we have decided to take a smaller condo.

My husband job will be at the Ruffles place so he'll have to commute. I was looking at the Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang on one side and Tampines and Pasir Ris on the other side (liked the And Mo Kio but it's pricey). Can anyone tell me anything about this districts? I'm not afraid of living with locals, since we decided to move into SG we would like to think of it as our new home and one can't hate it's neighbors. If I have survived living on the 89 street/1st ave on Manhattan I can do anything.

I have to unpack all the boxes we shipped out of the USA, decide what to take and then pack again. I won't have much time to do any research before moving. Should I take any long sleeves? Do I need any bedding or is a bed sheet enough? Is there a list of available schools? I would like to know where I could place my son before deciding on a district. Like, we sign up for a condo in Bukit Panjang and only available school is in Bedok (KWIM?).

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 8:32 pm

Blimey, sounds like you've lined up one hell of challenge for yourself.

I think you just have to keep reading and learn what you can, you're not likely to find someone here that will give you tailored 'concierge advice' (although Tigerslayer was offering unlimited advice last time I noticed him).

Your questions are asked very often, and people tire of users (in all senses) coming here expecting or demanding personal service.

Anyway. 3 weeks. Phew. Good luck!

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Re: another one bits the dust

Postby beppi » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 8:54 pm

Dalia wrote:If I have survived living on the 89 street/1st ave on Manhattan I can do anything.

I am sure with that spirit, you'll not only succeed, but actually enjoy your stay in Singapore!

Many things that worry you now will be easier than expected once you're in Singapore. Despite what many Expats think, it's easier to have a decent life on limited budget here than in Europe (West) or USA.

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Postby vozzie » Thu, 25 Aug 2011 9:07 am

Step1: Take one step at a time ..

2: Get yourself here
3: If you can afford it, get yourself into a furnished, Short Term Accommodation (serviced apartment) until you can decide where to live
4: Get your husband off to work
5: Don't bring too much with you ... you can buy most things cheaply here
6: Start looking for long term accommodation
7: Explore schooling options for your children
8: Enjoy

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Location: Clementi all the way baby!

Postby boffenl » Fri, 26 Aug 2011 3:54 pm

Very good advice so far--it took me three weeks to find my HDB apartment and we have never moved since we love the neighbors and neighborhood. You can find an HDB in the paper--if you send your husband to work, it leave you and the kids something to do your first few weeks in SG--looking for an awesome new apartment. You can certainly do it in two or three weeks, days if you find an agent that can help you.

There is a vibrant homeschooling community here in SG as well as help available for the exam you son will need to take for local school. But you'll have some time since local schools don't start new term until January. Settle in, get aquainted with the local library and your kids will be happy to head to shcool!

Good luck!

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Joined: Wed, 24 Aug 2011
Location: Jurong East

Postby Dalia » Mon, 29 Aug 2011 1:51 am

Thank you all for posting, I have found some great info here.

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