Year in and year out, expatriates and their families flock to the city of Singapore from all over the world. In fact, for more than 15 years running, Singapore has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world for expats. A host of factors contribute to making the island city-state a highly attractive destination for professionals from overseas, including its outstandingly low crime rates, well-developed infrastructure, and inclusive, multicultural population.
If the idea of living in Singapore feels like adream come true for you, you’re far from the only one. However, actually making the move can be challenging if you have a family to look after, particularly if you’ll be moving to the island from halfway around the world. Between finding an American school in Singapore for your kids, choosing the perfect family home, and settling your affairs in order in your country of origin, it can be difficult to figure out what to start worrying about first, but fret not. These helpful tips can help you achieve a smooth, stress-free home relocation experience. 😉
Break the News to Your Children in Advance
Moving to a new home, especially one so distant and different from the place where they were born, is likely to be a stressful, disorienting experience for any child. It’s important to give your kids time to adjust by telling them about your intended move well in advance, say three months ahead at the minimum. Having time to process the move will help them come to terms with their feelings about it and prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for major changes.
Breaking the news to your children early will also give you time to address whatever fears, concerns, or expectations they might have about relocating to another country. Once you’ve given them a clear sense of what to expect when you all arrive in Singapore, they’ll likely feel less stressed out about moving than before.
Find a Comfortable Home
Nothing will ease your transition into life in Singapore more than finding the perfect family home. Be sure to choose a family-friendly neighborhood that’s located close to your place of work, your children’s future school, and other essential conveniences. You’ll also want to settle on a property type that’s well-suited for your family’s needs, whether this is a serviced apartment, a condominium unit, or a full-sized landed house.
One of the advantages to Singapore’s tiny size is that transport and connectivity are never a problem for residents. The country’s relatively small land area and efficient public transport systems ensure that you won’t have to travel for hours to get to anywhere you need to go. That having been said, there are certain neighborhoods that are more likely to be favored by expat families for their proximity to the city center, including the Holland Village, Tanjong Pagar, and Bukit Timah areas.
Research Potential Schools Thoroughly
The high quality of Singaporean education is without question one of the biggest and most well-known benefits of relocating to the country. Expat parents looking to raise their families in Singapore can safely expect academic excellence, exemplary teaching, and high levels of student achievement from any school they choose, whether public or private. International students may, for instance, seek admission to mainstream schools at the primary, secondary, and junior college levels.
Furthermore, many international schools maintain a strong presence in Singapore. These institutions have, in large part, designed their pedagogical methods, culture, and values toward serving the needs of the expatriate community. If an international education is what you want most for your children once you’ve arrived in your new home, you’ll definitely find yourself spoiled for choice.
One great way to help children build confidence in a new foreign environment would be to encourage them to pick up a local language such as Mandarin if it’s not their mother tongue. Parents can do so by engaging a Singapore tuition agency to recommend suitable private tutors or classes. With that, your children would be able to expand their knowledge and also better experience the local culture.
Connect with Expat Groups
If you or your family members are at all worried about being lonely and isolated when you move to a new country, don’t be. Singapore is home to a thriving population of expats from all over the world, and the community only grows with each passing year. Fellow expats are always eager to connect and support each other, so consider joining an association like the American Club or the Tanglin Club to begin making those essential connections. You can even join country-specific groups on your favorite social media platform to start making friends and getting helpful tips before you fly.
Get Familiar with the Local Culture
It will be good for you and your family to immerse yourselves in the culture of the place you’ll be calling home, so do take some time to explore and experience the city. Singaporean culture is a unique blend of numerous cultural influences from all over the Asian region, and you won’t lack opportunities to learn about and interact with people from a vast variety of backgrounds. Singapore’s many museums, libraries, and parks, for instance, are welcoming to visitors of all ages. The whole family is sure to enjoy sampling the local cuisine at Singapore’s world-famous hawker centers as well.
Relocating to a new country can be a big adjustment for the entire family, but don’t forget that it can be exciting too. Knowing your priorities and taking a systematic approach to your move will surely make the relocation process a breeze. And once you and your family have settled into life in Singapore, you’re sure to discover no end of wonderful things about your new home.