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Helpful Tips for Expats Moving to Singapore

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When moving abroad, it’s easy to assume that life will be better in your new home. However, as many serial expats can attest, all places have their own ups and downs – expenditures, weather, the environment, or even the culture of the people who both work and live there.

For those expats who need to make a decision about moving to the Lion City, here is a list of helpful tips made just for you:

Living and Transportation
There are many options for living, since more high-rise buildings are sprouting all over Singapore. However, because land and space are rare, rent is high especially in areas that are closer to the city center, as well as other good neighborhoods. Landed homes are just as expensive, if not more. Good deals might be in reach for expats willing to wait a while to get to the city center.

However, living far from the party shouldn’t be a cause for worry. Most Singaporeans don’t own cars because the convenience of owning them costs a fortune. They instead opt for the MRT or taxis, both of which are cheaper. This makes getting around in Singapore much easier, with more train lines expected to be built sometime within the next decade.

Weather
Dress lightly: compared to other colder tourist destinations, Singapore is consistently humid year round. Since the country is close to the equator, this means that temperatures can be from 22 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius. Haze from bush fires from neighboring Indonesia, usually Sumatra Island, can be experienced between July and October.
Instead of observing daylight saving time, its time zone adds an extra hour (GMT +8) for the typical zone for its geographical location.

Don’t forget to pack sunscreen – just in case.

Culture
Adjusting to any place’s culture will always take time. This is especially so if you’re seriously considering moving to Singapore, as Singaporeans use gesture and tone to communicate their feelings, rather than words. They would rather suggest than say something outright.

Silence is an important part of communication in Singapore. Quietness among Singaporeans is usually seen as shyness or being reserved, rather than being rude. When answering questions, pause for a moment as if you were considering the question.

As many citizens are of Chinese descent, there is a distinct emphasis on respecting elders, often called “uncle” or “auntie” despite them being strangers. Silence among them is considered a form of respect.
And of course, laws are strict, especially on littering.

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