I am a student and have some urgent questions about living

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ShaneTheShaman
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I am a student and have some urgent questions about living

Post by ShaneTheShaman » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 11:20 am

Hello, I am an American guy in high school, and am looking to move to Singapore and live there for the rest of my life. I understand that it is difficult to get a PR in Singapore but if I get a student permit and study in Singapore for 4 years, should I have a better chance of successfully getting a PR?

So, here are my main questions and I will be so very thankful if you answer these:

1. I figure I will be in $80,000 debt when I graduate from a Singaporean university, due to student loans and such, though I will be a registered nurse, living on my own, and trying to be as cheap as possible, so those factors should help me pay it off. Should I rent an apartment during school or should I live on campus?

2. When school ends I won't be able to live on campus anymore, so how quickly can someone find and rent an apartment, and can they find apartments that are long term? (I want to be living in this apartment for a long time.)

3. I've googled around looking at apartment prices in Singapore, and they all seem 3,000 a month and up, (which I expected because Singapore is one of the most expensive places to live for expats) Are there cheap apartments that are just one bedroom and are more like 1,000/ month? I can't imagine every family in Singapore making atleast 60,000 a year.

Basically to sum up the 3 questions, I need advice on the best way to survive in Singapore being a student who is relying on loans and is trying to be cheap until I grab my PR and start working as a nurse.

Thank you so so so very much for anyone who replies. It means so much.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 3:10 pm

Not to blast your carefully thought out plans, but do you know how much a nurse makes in Singapore?

Hint: Most of them are imported here from the Philippines, and are not locals.


As for the rent prices, you can rent an HDB cheaper. If you want $1000/month price range, you'll be renting a room. You're correct that most Singaporeans don't make that much (or not much more than that). However the point of HDB (and partially CPF) is to assist Singaporeans on the path to home-ownership (or at least 99-yr lease). Most Singaporeans live at home with their parents until they marry and purchase their own HDB. They never rent.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 3:16 pm

To cheer you up though, on #1, are your grades good? You can potentially get huge subsidies if you commit to working in Singapore 3-5yrs after graduation. It's also a great path to EP and potential PR. A few of the wife's friends and cousins have done that, and they're Vietnamese. Much further down the flavor-of-the-month totem pole than an American :)

Or, just take your classes and earn all of the degrees you can in the US. Get the loans there, then just come here and forget your debt. Your US degrees and experience will make you more valuable here. Your credit rating won't follow you here. Plenty of our friends from the sub-continent do it, why not you?

Note: Do not construe this post as legal advise, or my cynicism as tacit endorsement of a potential crime :)

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Re: I am a student and have some urgent questions about livi

Post by beppi » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 8:13 pm

ShaneTheShaman wrote:Hello, I am an American guy in high school, and am looking to move to Singapore and live there for the rest of my life. I understand that it is difficult to get a PR in Singapore but if I get a student permit and study in Singapore for 4 years, should I have a better chance of successfully getting a PR?
You don't get a PR based on studies, but need to work for 3 years or so before applying. Then, having studied here is seen as a plus in your application.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:1. I figure I will be in $80,000 debt when I graduate from a Singaporean university, due to student loans and such, though I will be a registered nurse, living on my own, and trying to be as cheap as possible, so those factors should help me pay it off. Should I rent an apartment during school or should I live on campus?
I don't think you can get a student loan from Singapore, as a foreign student here. But I'm not an expert.
If you get a dormitory room on campus, take it! You can't live any cheaper than that!
Basically all nurses here are female, come from low-cost countries and are paid accordingly (you'll get S$1600/month if you're lucky).
ShaneTheShaman wrote:2. When school ends I won't be able to live on campus anymore, so how quickly can someone find and rent an apartment, and can they find apartments that are long term? (I want to be living in this apartment for a long time.)
Renting an apartment can be done within two weeks. Rental contracts are usually for 2 years. You can renew, but be prepared for a hefty rent increase (or to move elsewhere).
If you want to stay somewhere for longer, you need to buy, which would cost at least a million.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:3. I've googled around looking at apartment prices in Singapore, and they all seem 3,000 a month and up, (which I expected because Singapore is one of the most expensive places to live for expats) Are there cheap apartments that are just one bedroom and are more like 1,000/ month? I can't imagine every family in Singapore making atleast 60,000 a year.
The average household income here is S$5400/month and, as the previous poster pointed out, Singaporeans don't rent, but buy subsidised (HDB) apartments from the government. Foreigners can't buy these!
Rents start at S$2000/month for the most basic place, so that's out on your budget. Renting a sub-let room starts at S$800/month. Most nurses live in dormitories near their hospital (often several to a room), because they can't afford to rent their own place.

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 15 Jan 2012 9:29 pm

Can I ask why you want to spend the rest of your life in Singapore? Is it a country that you have ties with? I'm just asking as for one so young it seems like you're on quite an 'ardent mission'.

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Post by ShaneTheShaman » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 12:31 am

"To cheer you up though, on #1, are your grades good? You can potentially get huge subsidies if you commit to working in Singapore 3-5yrs after graduation. It's also a great path to EP and potential PR. A few of the wife's friends and cousins have done that, and they're Vietnamese. Much further down the flavor-of-the-month totem pole than an American :)

Or, just take your classes and earn all of the degrees you can in the US. Get the loans there, then just come here and forget your debt. Your US degrees and experience will make you more valuable here. Your credit rating won't follow you here. Plenty of our friends from the sub-continent do it, why not you?
"

Thanks for the reply, I realize how naive I sound about all this, I've been studying immigration laws from 3 other countries and understand that Singapore is much different. As for the reply, I should end high school with a 3.7 gpa ( I wanted it to be higher). I always thought that if I was going to live in a country for the rest of my life, then I should get a degree in that country. I thought about getting a degree in the US, but doesnt that ruin my plan (for any country) to study there, then get one of those permits that allow international graduates to work for 3 years after graduation and THEN I would easily be qualified for a PR? Isn't it more difficult to apply for a PR with a foreign degree and foreign work experience?

As for beppi, thanks for replying, for the loans, I was going to get the loans from the US, having my father co sign it. You said that these nurses come from low cost countries so how can they (and other immigrants from low cost countries) survive in Singapore? I'm sure not every Fillipino can afford to buy a place for a million. Where do they live and how? Do they just rent for two years then move again?

And JR8, I was born in California and lived many years in San Francisco, Santa Monico, Chicago, Seattle, and New York. I get America. So, in the name of learning in growing, I want to move out of America and live in another country (and probably for the rest of my life). I've done ALOT of reading and had many choices such as Australia, NZ, and Sweden. But my 1# place I would like to live would be Singapore. Theres so much going on in Asia, so exciting, so much to learn, and Singapore is right in the middle of it. So, to sum it all up, Singapore is my dream place to live.

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Post by beppi » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 1:21 am

ShaneTheShaman wrote:As for beppi, thanks for replying, for the loans, I was going to get the loans from the US, having my father co sign it. You said that these nurses come from low cost countries so how can they (and other immigrants from low cost countries) survive in Singapore? I'm sure not every Fillipino can afford to buy a place for a million. Where do they live and how? Do they just rent for two years then move again?
As I said, most of the foreign nurses live in dormitories provided by the hospitals. They manage not only to survive, but also to save a bit that allows them a better live back home afterwards.
Others are married to a husband who is the main breadwinner and nurse only as a side-income.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:I want to move out of America and live in another country (and probably for the rest of my life). I've done ALOT of reading and had many choices such as Australia, NZ, and Sweden. But my 1# place I would like to live would be Singapore. Theres so much going on in Asia, so exciting, so much to learn, and Singapore is right in the middle of it. So, to sum it all up, Singapore is my dream place to live.
Yes, Singapore is an interesting place. But you are naive in thinking that any amount of reading will give you a clear idea of what life abroad is like. You should come for a visit before you decide - and even then be prepared that your first impression is wrong and you'll be disappointed and leave again, as many others have done before you.

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Post by ShaneTheShaman » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 2:58 am

Well, I mean an unhealthy amount of reading, I'm niave in the sense that I don't know every inch about Singpore Immigration, but I'm not just some kid that thought Singapore looked fun and want to live there forever...I've been researching about my move for the last 4 years and understand the consequences and the reality of how life is like in these places.

But what I don't understand is that is there only a few options for someone who wants to move to Singapore? I either have to marry a man, (I'll pass), be rich, have a PhD, or move back to my country? Can someone just study there, work there, then live there successfully by being a smart, thrifty, and a hard working individual?

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:05 am

ShaneTheShaman wrote:Well, I mean an unhealthy amount of reading, I'm niave in the sense that I don't know every inch about Singpore Immigration, but I'm not just some kid that thought Singapore looked fun and want to live there forever...I've been researching about my move for the last 4 years and understand the consequences and the reality of how life is like in these places.
You are naive in that sense that you have no idea what is living abroad in a country of a very different culture. Do you have such hands on experience? You even failed to explain why do you want to settle down here. Don't get it too personal but you still sound just like a kid, not the fun seeking type but one full of hopes and dreams that hardly translate to reality. You will likely get very disappointed at a very high cost.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:But what I don't understand is that is there only a few options for someone who wants to move to Singapore? I either have to marry a man, (I'll pass), be rich, have a PhD, or move back to my country? Can someone just study there, work there, then live there successfully by being a smart, thrifty, and a hard working individual?
My advise:
- start studying in your country.
- chose the study field wisely (why nursery, why not to be a doctor? Singapore welcomes doctors, same for any bio-sciences)
- get yourself an internship here
- if you still after it in your more senior academic years, look for some scholarships - there are plenty of them around allowing you to do PhD or even Masters here within collaborative projects between an overseas and the local universities.

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Post by nutnut » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:14 am

Even if you don't have the grades to go for a medical degree, you could think about some primary care fields other than Nursing too!

They don't teach Podiatry or osteopathy here (probably other lines too) and as such they are keen to get FT in the door for these, as the previous posters have said, it's possible to work and live here if you are thrifty, but you'd be paid 3-4 times more for something in another field, it's about supply and demand.
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Post by the lynx » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:17 am

x9200 wrote:My advise:
- start studying in your country.
- chose the study field wisely (why nursery, why not to be a doctor? Singapore welcomes doctors, same for any bio-sciences)
- get yourself an internship here
- if you still after it in your more senior academic years, look for some scholarships - there are plenty of them around allowing you to do PhD or even Masters here within collaborative projects between an overseas and the local universities.
I'd echo what x92 said.

Another point to note that in a class-obsessed city like Singapore, nurses here are, sadly, deemed of a low profession befitting foreigners and cheap labour (fortunately not as cheap as other jobs here). They do not get the respect they deserve like the doctors (and other practitioners of bio-sciences) do.

So follow what x92 said and you'll be able to foolproof your plan.

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Post by ShaneTheShaman » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:25 am

x9200 wrote:
ShaneTheShaman wrote:Well, I mean an unhealthy amount of reading, I'm niave in the sense that I don't know every inch about Singpore Immigration, but I'm not just some kid that thought Singapore looked fun and want to live there forever...I've been researching about my move for the last 4 years and understand the consequences and the reality of how life is like in these places.
You are naive in that sense that you have no idea what is living abroad in a country of a very different culture. Do you have such hands on experience? You even failed to explain why do you want to settle down here. Don't get it too personal but you still sound just like a kid, not the fun seeking type but one full of hopes and dreams that hardly translate to reality. You will likely get very disappointed at a very high cost.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:But what I don't understand is that is there only a few options for someone who wants to move to Singapore? I either have to marry a man, (I'll pass), be rich, have a PhD, or move back to my country? Can someone just study there, work there, then live there successfully by being a smart, thrifty, and a hard working individual?
My advise:
- start studying in your country.
- chose the study field wisely (why nursery, why not to be a doctor? Singapore welcomes doctors, same for any bio-sciences)
- get yourself an internship here
- if you still after it in your more senior academic years, look for some scholarships - there are plenty of them around allowing you to do PhD or even Masters here within collaborative projects between an overseas and the local universities.
OK, I appreciate everyone's help, but all the other forums had attack me because of my age, too. I've been to most of these places I want to live. I have spent 3 weeks in Sydney, I've been to Sweden, and have to been to Asia, I just haven't been to Singapore yet. Everyone always wants to know why I want to move and tell me that I don't know the reality of these places...I've traveled so much in my life already that I wouldn't even know where to call home. I am consciously aware of every decision I make, why does every forum care more about telling me that I'm in over my head rather than anything else.

But seriously thanks for all your help, I'm just one of those few kids that actually has alot of experience because my fathers business.

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:31 am

ShaneTheShaman wrote: I always thought that if I was going to live in a country for the rest of my life, then I should get a degree in that country.
Should read some more ;) In most of the rest of the world, degrees from the US are highly valued, more so than their own. While getting a degree in a specific place may assist in getting a visa and work permit there later, the US Degree (from a good institution) will be more valuable overall internationally if you want to move somewhere else later.

As someone else asked, why a nurse? I realize nurses make a lot of money in the US, and that the income vs "break even" for student loans makes more advanced nursing degrees much more lucrative than a lot of MDs. However, that's not true in most of the rest of the world.

To sum up my tangent: Do a lot more research on what field you want to get into.
You are naive in that sense that you have no idea what is living abroad in a country of a very different culture. Do you have such hands on experience? You even failed to explain why do you want to settle down here. Don't get it too personal but you still sound just like a kid, not the fun seeking type but one full of hopes and dreams that hardly translate to reality. You will likely get very disappointed at a very high cost.
I'll have to agree with this. Sorry, Singapore isn't the place to come for hopes and dreams. They'll be smashed and ground under the heel of boredom and tedium.
But what I don't understand is that is there only a few options for someone who wants to move to Singapore? I either have to marry a man, (I'll pass), be rich, have a PhD, or move back to my country? Can someone just study there, work there, then live there successfully by being a smart, thrifty, and a hard working individual?
You can marry a local girl, not just a man. A lot of local girls tend to like foreigners (and not just the vapid materialistic ditzes from the clubs).

Or, you can find a job with a big MNC. They tend to be easier to relocate with. But I'd suggest ditching nursing if that's the route you want to go.

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:32 am

ShaneTheShaman wrote:
x9200 wrote:
ShaneTheShaman wrote:Well, I mean an unhealthy amount of reading, I'm niave in the sense that I don't know every inch about Singpore Immigration, but I'm not just some kid that thought Singapore looked fun and want to live there forever...I've been researching about my move for the last 4 years and understand the consequences and the reality of how life is like in these places.
You are naive in that sense that you have no idea what is living abroad in a country of a very different culture. Do you have such hands on experience? You even failed to explain why do you want to settle down here. Don't get it too personal but you still sound just like a kid, not the fun seeking type but one full of hopes and dreams that hardly translate to reality. You will likely get very disappointed at a very high cost.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:But what I don't understand is that is there only a few options for someone who wants to move to Singapore? I either have to marry a man, (I'll pass), be rich, have a PhD, or move back to my country? Can someone just study there, work there, then live there successfully by being a smart, thrifty, and a hard working individual?
My advise:
- start studying in your country.
- chose the study field wisely (why nursery, why not to be a doctor? Singapore welcomes doctors, same for any bio-sciences)
- get yourself an internship here
- if you still after it in your more senior academic years, look for some scholarships - there are plenty of them around allowing you to do PhD or even Masters here within collaborative projects between an overseas and the local universities.
OK, I appreciate everyone's help, but all the other forums had attack me because of my age, too. I've been to most of these places I want to live. I have spent 3 weeks in Sydney, I've been to Sweden, and have to been to Asia, I just haven't been to Singapore yet. Everyone always wants to know why I want to move and tell me that I don't know the reality of these places...I've traveled so much in my life already that I wouldn't even know where to call home. I am consciously aware of every decision I make, why does every forum care more about telling me that I'm in over my head rather than anything else.

But seriously thanks for all your help, I'm just one of those few kids that actually has alot of experience because my fathers business.
Visiting somewhere is *nothing* like living there. Trust me.

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 16 Jan 2012 9:37 am

ShaneTheShaman wrote: OK, I appreciate everyone's help, but all the other forums had attack me because of my age, too. I've been to most of these places I want to live. I have spent 3 weeks in Sydney, I've been to Sweden, and have to been to
So you have no experience living abroad.
ShaneTheShaman wrote: Asia, I just haven't been to Singapore yet. Everyone always wants to know why I want to move
This is because people try to understand your motives so they can help you better. You have some expectations of Singapore and they can be right but also wrong.
ShaneTheShaman wrote:and tell me that I don't know the reality of these places...I've traveled so much in my life already that I wouldn't even know where to call home. I am consciously aware of every decision I make, why does every forum care more about telling me that I'm in over my head rather than anything else.
Probably because you send some very clear signals that everybody who is more experience see but yourself are oblivious to it. Of course everybody can be wrong and you can be right and eventually successful. This is you taking the risk and your life. Good luck.

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