Coming to Brunei in 2015 - any advice appreciated

Hello all,
I have been offered a teaching position in Brunei to begin 2015 (no exact start yet).
I'm coming out with my wife and 3 young children from the Uk and would appreciate any advice/tips.
Particularly concerning:
1: what to bring / what to leave at home? We would like to bring furniture/ kids games/ garden furniture etc as its all pretty new. Any recommendations on shipping firms/costs?
2: Should we bring a car or buy one there? I see its a lot to buy a car in Brunei and wondered whether the hassle of shipping import etc will outweigh it?
3: Schools/Nurseries - m 5 year old will have the choice of the international schools - any better than others?
4: Areas to live with a family? We'd like to be close to simple things like parks/forests/beaches but also within reach of shops/clubs/school etc.
Many thanks
Paul

Hi Paul,

We moved here from the UK with our two children 5 years ago so hopefully I can offer some advice.  Most houses come furnished although getting unfurnished is possible just not the norm.  Unless you are attached to the furniture I would leave it at home.  Shipping costs varies but we just phoned around a few companies in the UK and got the best quote.  Either way it wasn't cheap so be careful what you bring.  Certainly bring all the kids toys and games you can.  The quality of what you can buy here is limited although we now have a Toyrus so things are improving.

We did think about shipping our car too but were advised against it and I am glad we didn't. Getting it changed over to be registered here is likely to be a headache.  There are a lot of second hand cars here and it is often easy enough to find one that has been expat owned or you can get one fairly new and being sold due to the owner not keeping up repayments.  Alternatively if you think you are going to be here for a few years buy a new one.  This might seem crazy but they tent to hold their value and the bank loans have low interest rates so if you can pay it back reasonably quickly it's very affordable and you get piece of mind

Schools, there are two major international schools.  ISB  and Jerudong International School.  Both are good although I beleive JIS is slightly more expensive. 

Location, probably in the Bandar/ Muara end of Brunei.  You can live down in Kuala  Belait but some might argue that there is slightly less to do.  In Brunei you are always near the beach and a jungle and parks are common but are less usable than in the UK.  It gets very hot and there is almost no shade in the parks.

Feel free to mail me back if you want to know more

Neale

Thank you for your detailed response Neale. I will email you again if that's okay?
Regards
Paul

Hello Neale

I'll be moving to Brunei soon to start teaching.

How's life there?  Are you in the teaching sector? If so,  is it stressful like it can get here in the UK at times.?

How many hours do you work and is there a lot of paperwork?

Thanks
Abid

Guys,
There is a tendency today to be secure than sorry. Unless you stay in an apartment, get a motion detector/window & door security system from eBay/Amazon. Always lock the gates & doors too.

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