Fast-paced and cosmopolitan, Singapore is an exciting city in which to work and raise children. Many modern Indian families relish Singapore's thriving cultural milieu and robust economic scene. But as with any change, relocating to Singapore can prove stressful for children and teens unless everyone knows how to blend in.
With a little preparation, though, you can make your new expat life in Singapore easier for yourself and your children. Here are the top ten things to know about life in Singapore.
- Culture - Although Singapore draws many values from traditional Indian culture, the city grew up populated by Malays, Chinese and Indians. Today, Europeans, North Americans and Filipinos also call the city home. Singapore has adapted to this east-meets-west culture by emphasising common standards of behaviour. For example, expect the noise decibels to be much lower than at home since drivers here do not honk their horns. And while you'll want to introduce the children to Singapore's diverse food culture, make sure to prep them on the local expectations regarding table manners.
- Singapore is a nation of rules.
The nation expects everyone to abide by meticulous laws. Singapore's no-littering, no-spitting and no-jaywalking policies are part-and-parcel of the keeping the clean streets, elegant gardens and safe traffic patterns that generate worldwide acclaim.
The whole social order here is a great opportunity for parents to inculcate discipline and respect in their children.
- The city holds a lot of fun, too.
With 18 million tourists in 2017, Singapore is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia (Singapore tourism board). The Singapore Zoo, Chinatown and Sentosa - a magical island resort kingdom even your teenager will love - should be at the top of any family fun-day list, however the list is much longer than you can imagine. See the list of 20 Must-Visit Attractions in Singapore.
You can also find plenty of good Indian cinemas for when you need a Bollywood fix.
- Get ready for the weather.
You'll need to plan those family outings around Singapore's weather. The monsoon season lasts from November through January, which is followed by the city's hottest month, February.
Actually, Singapore is hot almost all the time. So between the rain and the heat, you'll want to invest in a sturdy umbrella to keep dry and cool. Make sure the kids have rain and sun protection, too.
- Singapore's work week helps foster family time.
No matter the weather, you'll have a chance to experience much of Singapore's fun side since the work week here tops out at 44 hours. Most businesses require employees to work from 9 am to 1 pm and again from 2 pm to 5 pm during the week with a half day on Saturdays. Plus, you can enjoy 11 public holidays and eight major festivals, including Deepavali.
- Choose the right bank for your family.
Protecting your money is critical to starting a safe and enjoyable life in Singapore. Opening a bank account as a foreigner is easy. But as an Indian, you may be able to keep your money in one of the many Indian banks that maintain a branch in Singapore, making trade and remittances easy.
- Beat homesickness by finding other Indian families to connect with.
Singapore is home to a robust Indian community where you can meet Tamils, Malayalis, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Maharashtrians, Biharis, Bengalis and Sindhis. Plenty of Indian food - and potential friends - can be had in or around Little India. Also, try joining a club like the Indian Women's Association of Singapore, or get involved in your child's school community.
- Take advantage of Singapore's commitment to education.
Maximise your children's student passes to get amazing discounts on MRT and buses along with special deals on films, festivals and airline tickets.
- Expats have a plethora of choices in the international school community.
High-quality schools dot every corner, so select your children's education wisely. At Global Indian International School, you can expect a well-rounded education emphasising academic excellence on vibrant school campuses. Our curriculum draws from the Montessori, CBSE, Cambridge IGCSE, CLS and International Baccalaureate (IBDP) educational traditions.
Visit us for a tour to find out if our school is right for your family.
- Look into permanent residence options. Certain categories of expatriates can apply for permanent resident status in Singapore after two years.
With this information in mind, your transition to Singapore can be easy and enjoyable for the whole family. Do you have more questions about moving from India to Singapore with children? Contact our Admissions office, and we would be happy to help.