More and more people are choosing to move to Singapore. Some do it for great business opportunities, others do it for the weather. Whatever the reason, there are a few important things you need to know if you’re planning to move to Singapore no matter how long. You’ll be pleased to know that English is one of the official languages and that it’s much easier to find an apartment. Let’s dig in.
English is the official language
Singapore has many official languages – Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, and English. Having English as one of the official languages is a big relief for English-speakers (and the majority of the western world) when they consider traveling to Singapore.
However, there is a mixed language called “Singlish” which is the country’s unofficial dialect. It’s also the neutral verbal point of contact between the many different ethnic groups. Singlish is a result of more than 100 years of influence from other official languages on the English language and there are even dictionaries that list numerous words and phrases in Singlish. However, English is still the official language of business, which makes things much easier if you’re moving for a job. There really shouldn’t be any problems in communication with the locals, and it will make it much easier to get around and adapt to new surroundings.
Ultimately, you will be able to figure out Singlish in no time.
It has universal healthcare
Another important thing you should know about Singapore is how universal healthcare works. It’s good to note that Singapore has universal healthcare since it is financed by a public statutory insurance system, as well as government subsidies.
However, it might be tricky for ex-pats and other temporary residents to gain access to these systems. In other words, this means that you will probably need international health insurance to gain access to Singapore’s healthcare. Healthcare itself is at an outstanding level. Singapore has dozens of private hospitals, as many as 10 government hospitals, and even a few specialistic clinics.
Ultimately, you can register in person or at a public or private clinic with a general practitioner if you have any medical needs. It’s also important to note that you will need to get certain vaccines before you travel to Singapore including shots for yellow fever, typhoid, and hepatitis B. The vaccination recommendations may vary during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another important thing you need to know if you’re planning to move to Singapore is how the housing and rental markets work. Firstly it’s important to note that almost 80% of the market are HDB rental flats (Housing and Development Board). HDB is Singapore’s public housing authority under the Ministry of National Development. If you’re renting a whole flat, you need to make sure your landlord has HDB approval because HDB provides good assurances both for tenants and landlords.
Once you’ve found a place (which is easy because there are many listings) your landlord and you will need to sign a Letter of Intent. This document needs to have deposit details, furniture arrangements. In addition to this, you also need to put down a deposit and sign a Tenancy Agreement. Finding an apartment is easy because there are many HDB listings and the process is well protected and guided.
Prepare for heat
Singapore is located one degree north of the equator making it about as tropical as it gets. The temperatures are constantly above 30 degrees C which can make Singapore feel like a living sauna. The heat will significantly impact the clothes you wear and shorts and flip flops will become a staple in your wardrobe. In addition to this, you should wear light colors as dark clothes will lead to a heat stroke during the daytime.
Moreover, because of this high heat, the air conditioners are found at every corner, and all indoor spaces are fully air conned. This makes matters much easier. Aside from the heat, Singapore is also very humid because it has two monsoon seasons. You should always be prepared for the weather with a small fold-up umbrella, of course – sunscreen and a hat. The humidity is also likely to make food spoil much faster if you leave it out so be wary of that.
These were the four most important things anyone who is planning to move to Singapore needs to know. From rental opportunities to healthcare, Singapore offers commodities and safety a few countries do. Be sure to remember these four things if you are considering moving to Singapore.