In retrospect, would you move again to Singapore?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Singapore, would you heartily say "let's do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Singapore so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!


I moved to Singapore four times and lived there for altogether 15 years, including courtship, marriage and birth of our first child.
The main advantage of life in Singapore is that everything is easy, services are well thought out and things generally work. This makes for a comfortable life free of worries and with a high living standard (IF you have the money for it - it's NO fun being poor in Singapore!).
Some people would call this boring, yet the country offers an amazing variety in terms of cultures, mentalities and (last not least) foods for the adventurous to venture out and explore - I seriously never had a boring moment in all these years!
In addition, the open-minded and friendly locals are a major plus (compared to many other places). I easily found wonderful friends, foreigners and locals, and felt at home so much that at some point I considered staying for the rest of my life - yet fortune had planned differently for me (life remains an adventure - and that is good!).

Our expectations weren't high when we moved to Singapore and the only reason was the job, knowing that we'd stay only for so long.

The Singapore experience is an immensely individual thing, which comes down to what your priorities are. We find the weather and cold aircon's hard to to get used to even after a year are are rather missing the seasons. Mosquitoes are an ongoing consideration and from our perspective also the so famous Singaporean food can hardly measure to the real deal (i.e. in Taiwan, Thailand or Malaysia). For families there is in my opinion not too much to do unless you like to be part of the shopping center culture. We are trying to travel as much as we can to the surrounding countries to reap some of the benefits of the location, but otherwise we just have the feeling that things are being overhyped, overpriced and overvaluated with little consideration of what is really important. Its the perfect consumer culture.

Taxation of course if superb, but beware of the pay for all system, especially for expats, which often cannot enjoy the same benefits as the locals, are to some extent restricted to international schools (local schools are usually full as it is and locals are served first - plus you still pay extra even if you get in) and health care can become quickly very expensive.

From our perspective this place is for us more about enduring our time here and getting the most out of it, but we will be happy to return to Europe with no plans to come back any time soon. In my opinion its a great place for singles. For families with school aged children - its a bit harder. Especially if you are not used to live in (hot) concrete jungles.

I think Singapore is wonderful place. I lived there initially as a child in the 1950's and later I worked there in the early 1980's. During my time working there, I lived life to it's fullest. I'd bought a Kawasaki z650 bike and often rode into Malaysia on weekends. Singapore in those days was much more wild. We had lots of curry parties, went to discos, spent the day at the beach, waterskied on weekends. and ate Chili /Crab at Ponggol. I even remember being chased for speeding by a police motorbike down East Coast Parkway from Bedok down to the city, and when the policeman caught up with me he said he really enjoyed the chase and let me go.

Since then I have seen Singapore change and change. But you know what...I still love it. Before it was a place to have fun and really enjoy life. Today it is a place where I can bring my family, have a great and safe time staying in nice hotels, shopping, eating and visit the sights. There is so much to do and see in Singapore and people are so friendly and polite and really down to earth.

So, would I do it allover again? Perhaps yes, but under different circumstances. In the 80's I had a full expatriate package. Today I am enjoying a more relaxed family life in Indonesia.  However, Singapore played an important part of my younger years and it will always be a place that I consider my home.

The way I see things these days are that it is good to live in many places in Asia, but it's good to know that I can come back to Singapore anytime for a break.

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