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Need help evaluating Germany Vs Singapore

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von-mises
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Need help evaluating Germany Vs Singapore

Postby von-mises » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 1:08 pm

Hi All
I have been following the forum for a while, as i am contemplating a move from chennai india to either Hamburg Germany or to singapore.

My name is ragha and i am a mechanical engineer by profession with 10 years of experience in stress analysis. I have an offer to work in Hamburg, germany for EADS and i am in the negotiation stage for an offer with a simulation software company as a technical specialist in singapore.

I am sure at least a few of you would have worked in germany, and would know the pros and cons of working germany Vs singapore. I plan on moving to either of these places with my family ( 2 year daughter and 6 year old son, wife). I plan on settling down (getting citizenship)at the place i would be going be it singapore or germany.

It would be really helpful if some of the experienced expats share their experiences on the quality of life, children's education, work life balance and any other things important for consideration before i make my move. The salary i expect in both the positions is almost identical, no big variance.

I wish to give my kids a better life hence this move. So your replies and constructive criticism will be appreciated also would give some food for my brain to keep thinking.

Rgds
Ragha Ganti
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Postby Callput » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 1:16 pm

Advantage of Singapore:
1) English
2) Indian Culture and food everywhere, so you wont really miss India for the good things yet you get away from all the bad things. :)
3) India like climate(actually more specifically Chennai like,lol)
4) Your kids can go to Indian intl schools so you can go back to India anytime and it wont hurt them schooling wise, not sure how it works in Germany.
5) If you wife is a housewife she wont get as bored as should would get in Germany, its easy to find so many Indians here and in general you see a lot of people around, whereas Germany or most of the EU countries, everything closes after 5 PM and then you are confined to your house unless you like outdoor sports and stuff.

Advantage of Germany:
1) I believe Germany is heaven for mechanical engineers
2) Awesome cars for cheap and awesome highways
3) Opportunity to explore the whole of Europe.
4) Fairy tale landscape and snow, skiing so much more outdoor fun

If I were you I would pick Germany, although its a big risk for the family to get used to it. Singapore is the low risk low fun option. So good luck with your choice :)

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 1:30 pm

Callput wrote:Advantage of Singapore:
1) English
2) Indian Culture and food everywhere, so you wont really miss India for the good things yet you get away from all the bad things. :)
3) India like climate(actually more specifically Chennai like,lol)
4) Your kids can go to Indian intl schools so you can go back to India anytime and it wont hurt them schooling wise, not sure how it works in Germany.
5) If you wife is a housewife she wont get as bored as should would get in Germany, its easy to find so many Indians here and in general you see a lot of people around, whereas Germany or most of the EU countries, everything closes after 5 PM and then you are confined to your house unless you like outdoor sports and stuff.

Advantage of Germany:
1) I believe Germany is heaven for mechanical engineers
2) Awesome cars for cheap and awesome highways
3) Opportunity to explore the whole of Europe.
4) Fairy tale landscape and snow, skiing so much more outdoor fun

If I were you I would pick Germany, although its a big risk for the family to get used to it. Singapore is the low risk low fun option. So good luck with your choice :)


You forgot the increasingly xenophobic sentiment of Singapura.

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Postby Callput » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 1:34 pm

nakatago wrote:
Callput wrote:Advantage of Singapore:
1) English
2) Indian Culture and food everywhere, so you wont really miss India for the good things yet you get away from all the bad things. :)
3) India like climate(actually more specifically Chennai like,lol)
4) Your kids can go to Indian intl schools so you can go back to India anytime and it wont hurt them schooling wise, not sure how it works in Germany.
5) If you wife is a housewife she wont get as bored as should would get in Germany, its easy to find so many Indians here and in general you see a lot of people around, whereas Germany or most of the EU countries, everything closes after 5 PM and then you are confined to your house unless you like outdoor sports and stuff.

Advantage of Germany:
1) I believe Germany is heaven for mechanical engineers
2) Awesome cars for cheap and awesome highways
3) Opportunity to explore the whole of Europe.
4) Fairy tale landscape and snow, skiing so much more outdoor fun

If I were you I would pick Germany, although its a big risk for the family to get used to it. Singapore is the low risk low fun option. So good luck with your choice :)


You forgot the increasingly xenophobic sentiment of Singapura.


Well, I didnt want to bring that into the comparison, because I dont know how Germany fares in that regard, I would be very surprised if the Germans are any more friendlier towards Asian or Indians in particular :-|

Atleast in Singapore, Indians are major race and if you make the effort towards integration, it cant be that bad

If you behave courteously with your neighbors or when you travel in MRT without appearing snobbish and loud mouthed, believe me the locals here will be friendly with you.
On the other hand if you look down upon them and act as if you are a smart ass who has come here to take their job due to their incapablility, then they will retaliate.
Atleast in Singapore the retaliation so far is only on the web, but do that in any other country and you will be bashed up and the law wont do much either.

Another thing, there are so many foreigners here that its hard to get in contact with the locals. My neighbours are Taiwanese on right and Filipinos on the left and we get along very well with both of them.
At workplace too its all foreigners. So its hard to really get into a confrontation with a local here. Now compare that with Germany :)

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Postby von-mises » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 2:10 pm

Hi Callput
Thanks for the reply. I am more concerned about the education part of kids. Heard not so good things about the german education system so was a bit worried on that front. And precisely it is for my kids education that i want to move out of here. So i can atleast guarantee them a better quality of life. My intention is not to move back to India at later point of time but to stay at the place that gives me an opportunity and serve it back.

I have lived in NYC and Texas for a while during and post my basic education, so i believe that i can behave my self quite well, just the same way i would want others to treat me. I can certainly understand the reason for you to mention about the loud mouthiness of certain folks.

Look forward to hearing more views
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Postby Callput » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 2:25 pm

von-mises wrote:Hi Callput
Thanks for the reply. I am more concerned about the education part of kids. Heard not so good things about the german education system so was a bit worried on that front. And precisely it is for my kids education that i want to move out of here. So i can atleast guarantee them a better quality of life. My intention is not to move back to India at later point of time but to stay at the place that gives me an opportunity and serve it back.

I have lived in NYC and Texas for a while during and post my basic education, so i believe that i can behave my self quite well, just the same way i would want others to treat me. I can certainly understand the reason for you to mention about the loud mouthiness of certain folks.

Look forward to hearing more views


I am not so sure about German education system, except that I had heard that it is free, haha.

In Singapore, the local schools are good, but they are very tough for foreigner kids to cope up and also to get into. Another thing is there is too much of bifurcation(I dont know the term used) at multiple levels in schooling and if you dont do well in the earlier stages of your academic life, you wont get a chance to get into your choice of career, for example you need to be creme de la creme to get into medical or engineering or else you end up in arts even though academically you would be good enough in your own country but for Singapore local school standards you are too low.

But then you have lots of choices of Indian and American International Schools to get away from the rat race, so no worries there.

Again as far as higher education is concerned, Singapore has very few choices, Germany will surely be better in that regard and cheaper as well and you have a big EU market for jobs etc.

I dont understand why you say you want your kids to get better education and hence want to make the move.
As far as I know, the Indian education system is very good at the school levels, although there isnt much stress on extra curriculars but its changing now.
I agree that higher education isnt that great in India, but then you could always send them abroad for higher studies.
You are not going to get any better education in Singapore compared to India, that is for sure.

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Postby von-mises » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 2:56 pm

The reason why i say that indian education system is not as great as singapore or EU is primarily because of the facts that

No matter how well you do in your primary schooling you can be denied a seat in higher education due to faulty constitutional rulings

No emphasis on practical training

Only emphasis on technical education not based on ones interests, forced to be a doctor or engineer not an astronomer or a biologist or where my interest takes me with good opportunity after i complete my degree.

These are just a few but apart from education, want to give them a quality life and better opportunities which i did not have.
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Postby Callput » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 3:25 pm

von-mises wrote:The reason why i say that indian education system is not as great as singapore or EU is primarily because of the facts that

No matter how well you do in your primary schooling you can be denied a seat in higher education due to faulty constitutional rulings

No emphasis on practical training

Only emphasis on technical education not based on ones interests, forced to be a doctor or engineer not an astronomer or a biologist or where my interest takes me with good opportunity after i complete my degree.

These are just a few but apart from education, want to give them a quality life and better opportunities which i did not have.


IC. In that case, Singapore is not going to be any better. You must look at Germany more seriously.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 4:12 pm

I'm afraid I'd have to agree with Callput's assessment as well, then.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 6:16 pm

This morning in Germany it was 1C with a pea-soup fog, and the sun will set today at 4pm. It's going to get worse for the next two months and won't start to feel better until at least February.

Funnily enough yesterday I was chatting with my doctor. He said he thought this weather just fine 'But I was born in Hamburg where it is routinely -20c in winter!'

Do you think you and the family would be ready for the life-change these conditions would require of you (socially, practically, and perhaps most importantly psychologically)?

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Postby von-mises » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 7:04 pm

JR8 wrote:
Do you think you and the family would be ready for the life-change these conditions would require of you (socially, practically, and perhaps most importantly psychologically)?


Hi JR8
I have lived in NY and the mid west US, and do know of the cold there, but i haven't had the European cold experience. I haven't felt a bit of difference for the nice winters in the south texas to the bitter cold of chicago. I guess it is a learning experience but then i was single back then and now i aint.

I guess if it is the only cold part it should not be too tough to manage guess it will need some time to adjust. Will that be a big factor, as my family has never been exposed to extreme cold till now.

My feeling is if one cant adjust or adapt then one is bound to fail.
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Postby beppi » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 7:06 pm

I have worked and lived in Singapore and Germany, together with my Singaporean wife. Although our daughter is yet too young for school, we have discussed the topic. So here's our take:

The German education system focusses on teaching independent thinking and problem solving (that is an euphemism for basically letting the kids figure out themselves how things work), Singapore's schools concentrate on spoon-feeding and memorizing. That is the stereotype, and it is still true to some degree. But in fact Singapore puts a lot of effort into the education system and it is constantly improving - Germany's, on the other hand, is underfunded and in decline.
I still prefer the German system right now (my wife doesn't), but it is only a question of time until the balance tilts.

Other aspects are:
In Singapore, it's difficult to get a foreign kid into public school. Most likely yours will end up in (expensive and not necessarily better) private or International Schools.
In Germany, all schooling is in German language. At least your 6-years-old will probably lose a year until he can catch up with lessons in German.
Also, despite all the recent anti-foreigner rhetorics and measures in Singapore, it is still much easier (and faster) to become citizen there than in Germany, where you can basically forget about that option.
Work life balance and quality of life are better in Germany (in my opinion), but Germans are very difficult to work with compared to Asians (again my opinion) - and, unless you are in a very big city and limit yourself to foreigner circles, you'll have to learn German to have any social life.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 7:25 pm

beppi wrote: - and, unless you are in a very big city and limit yourself to foreigner circles, you'll have to learn German to have any social life.


And to me that means Berlin, Frankfurt and perhaps Munich.

The other matter that has not been raised is racism. Germany never succeeded in gaining an empire, despite trying. As a result you will find a great deal fewer 'colonials' in even Berlin, than by means of comparison you would in just about any UK city. There is a Turkish community in Berlin, but any others that might exist are invisible. I do not recall the last time that I saw a 'coloured person', at least 6 months. And it's ignorance that breeds prejudice.

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Postby Callput » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 7:38 pm

JR8 wrote:
beppi wrote: - and, unless you are in a very big city and limit yourself to foreigner circles, you'll have to learn German to have any social life.


And to me that means Berlin, Frankfurt and perhaps Munich.

The other matter that has not been raised is racism. Germany never succeeded in gaining an empire, despite trying. As a result you will find a great deal fewer 'colonials' in even Berlin, than by means of comparison you would in just about any UK city. There is a Turkish community in Berlin, but any others that might exist are invisible. I do not recall the last time that I saw a 'coloured person', at least 6 months. And it's ignorance that breeds prejudice.


Interesting point you made there, so there are very less immigrants in Germany compared to uk, France, Spain, holland and Portugal as all the later 5 had many colonies.

Yet Germany is the best economy in Europe, so wondering if immigrants really contribute or not, haha.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 7:46 pm

Germany. No question about it. They are well on their way to a Fabulous Fourth Reich whereas here the Medicis are fiddling while Venice sinks into the sea.
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