Gateway Singapore http://www.gatewaysingapore.com Connect with Life in Singapore. Find cutting-edge info on Working in Singapore and a find a job. Learn about Moving to Singapore and the cost and amazing benefits of living in Singapore. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18:36:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 How to Move Your Family to Singapore Stress-Free http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/uncategorized/avoid-stress-moving-family-singapore/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/uncategorized/avoid-stress-moving-family-singapore/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 03:40:42 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6247 A useful to guide making the move to Singapore as pleasant as possible for your family.

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Moving your family overseas adds an entirely new dimension of challenges. Though, if approached the right way, these challenges can be easily overcome. Your family will never need you more, and you will never need your family more than when you begin your new expat adventure in Singapore. There are a number of ways that can help your and your family settle in better.

Organising their new life before it starts

Make sure that your new surroundings are organised before you move to Singapore. In many cases one of the partners could go to Singapore ahead of the family, in order to prepare everything for their arrival. Understanding your new locale will make your family feel more at ease, and more “at home” in Singapore.

Getting the compulsory things sorted, like your first accommodation in Singapore, as far in advance as possible will relieve a lot of stress for the move. This can be very expensive to get right. Companies like LMB Housing offer flexible, high-standard housing at a reasonable price.

Another important thing to get done early on is health insurance so that your family has peace of mind and is taken care of in worst case scenarios. Doing last second underwriting can really aggravate an already testing time for your family. It is important to not focus on price at this stage and make sure everything is as safe  and as comprehensive as possible. Companies like Cigna Insurance may not be the cheapest but they are far more likely to pay out if your or your family needs help. When it comes to an emergency, you want to make sure your family has the best cover possible.

Your family’s social life in Singapore
Social gatering among friends

The social lives of your children, your spouse and of yourself will change radically when living in Singapore. This can affect moods, self-confidence, and your family’s relationship with you – the initiator of the move to Singapore. Making the transition as seamless as possible may help this challenge significantly. Arranging daily activities for the children and your spouse will also help.

For the children it might be soccer practice, a barbeque at East Coast Parkway, or swimming classes. For your spouse it might be a social gathering people that share similar interests to him/her. Meetups.com is fantastic for this, and has a wide array of interesting groups and outings to suit most tastes in cities around the world.

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Avoiding hotel scams when travelling http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/avoiding-hotel-scams-travelling/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/avoiding-hotel-scams-travelling/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 02:25:36 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6613 Having a nice experience in the the accommodation you have chosen is central to the enjoyment of any trip as most people will spend a significant portion of their time there. Unfortunately, this is a primary target for con artists. While travellers are now wiser thanks to the rise of TripAdvisor and other travel-related forums […]

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Having a nice experience in the the accommodation you have chosen is central to the enjoyment of any trip as most people will spend a significant portion of their time there. Unfortunately, this is a primary target for con artists.

While travellers are now wiser thanks to the rise of TripAdvisor and other travel-related forums that point up the short falls of hotel descriptions and reality, they may not be so wise on the scams that hotels and their staff might pull. These tips are passed on by The Wise Traveller, an innovative membership program designed to upgrade your travel experience.

1. Overbooked

A very common scam, a hotel telling you they’re overbooked can be a lousy start to your trip. Normally, what they are doing is putting you in cheaper accommodation than their own, in order to widen their profit margin. In this case it is important to be adamant that you are staying at your original booking. If this doesn’t work, say you will call the authorities and/or publish a bad review of their accommodation.

2. The Wi-Fi Scam

Many people are drawn to the attraction of free Wi-Fi but are not aware of the risks that unsecured networks bring. Unsecured networks can give scammers access to your credit card details as well as personal information that could be used for ID fraud. Make sure you update computer security and malware protection, and keep your credit card credentials stored somewhere else, other than on your computer.

3. A Late Night Call

This stunt is simple. A scammer will call you late at night claiming that your credit card details have not been processed. Once you give them your details they are free to spend on your behalf until you finally realise. Never give details out over the phone. Only clear the information and your details in person at the front desk – even if it is in the middle of the night.

4. Room Maintenance

Here, a call my come from a person claiming to be part of hotel maintenance stating that something in your room needs fixing. Once in your room they may swap the door cards or worse just ransack the room as soon as you have left. Always check with reception that the call is legitimate.

5. Hotel Descriptions

Most have been subjected to this in one shape or form. The location, views and condition of the hotel can be portrayed in a very different state to what it is in reality. Make sure to do extra research, and do not just take your host’s word for it!

6. Car Valet

Make sure that your car valet is part of the hotel to avoid most of the problems associated with this scam. Also, hotel car parks are a favourite of thieves so make sure to take all valuables with you, where possible. Be certain to at least make sure that all valuables are out of sight.

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Finding a Job in Singapore as an Expat http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/working-in-singapore/finding-job/working-expat-singapore-guide/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/working-in-singapore/finding-job/working-expat-singapore-guide/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 01:42:07 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=5036 Looking at moving to Singapore to work? This guide addresses the market challenges for the expat working in Singapore- including visas, applications and job sector snapshots.

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Though 2013 saw a string of new restrictions coming in, Singapore continues to grow as a global hub for expats looking for jobs. Seven thousand multinational organisations now have regional bases in Singapore and the number is growing. Working in Singapore is becoming a challenge though, with growing restrictions on immigration policy because of the volumes of professionals looking to relocate to Singapore. That being said, it is still possible for most to find overseas jobs here with a bit of knowhow and perseverance.

Applying for a Job in Singapore

Getting work in Singapore as an expat is significantly more challenging than it was two or three years ago. There are two reasons for this: the significant increase in the number of expats looking for work in Singapore and the subsequent immigration restrictions that have been imposed on expats.

A lot of jobs in Singapore are advertised for ‘Singaporeans or PRs’ only. This means they’re only open to locals or those with Permanent Resident status, so it’s not worth applying. Where this isn’t mentioned it’s safe to assume foreigners are welcome to apply too.

Ensure that your resume is in the best condition possible when applying for work in Singapore. This is normally your first contact with your prospective employer so it may well set the tone for the rest of the application procedure. If you’re unsure about the quality of your resume, it may be worth using service providers like e-resume.net to ensure you are giving yourself the best possible chance.

The interview process in Singapore is much like anywhere else in the world. Shortlist – interview – second interview (occasionally third)  – offer.

raffles place for working in singapore

Where many expats will spend their time working – Raffles Place

Routes to finding work in Singapore

  • Browse some of the latest jobs in Singapore on Indeed Jobs.
  • Approach recruitment agencies in Singapore. You will probably need to have a meeting with a consultant so they can determine what line of work you will need.
  • Contact companies directly. Seek out people working in Singapore, in the company you’re interested in, whether it’s via Linked In, Twitter or personal contacts. Enquire with them about opportunities. Read our Industry Snapshots to help you connect with employers who are hiring in various sectors.
  • Networking. Finding work in Singapore can be made so much easier through networking.  Join your country’s Chamber of Commerce and any organisations that are relevant to your industry. Also, keep in touch with other expats moving to Singapore via our LinkedIn Group and on Facebook.

Accepting your job offer

Salaries are offered on a monthly basis to employees working in Singapore. When you review your package it is important to observe the tax rates in Singapore – the maximum rate of income tax is 15% but it is likely to be significantly less than that (see our tax section).

Once you’ve received the job offer, make sure that you are comfortable with the salary. If you believe that you deserve more, don’t be afraid to ask – it can’t do any harm and it may result in you getting more than you thought.

Getting a work visa for Singapore

Your acceptance still does not guarantee the job. You now must apply for a work visa, most likely to be the Employment Pass. This can take anything for a couple of days to a couple of months to come through. Ask your employer to do the application online and have all your education/identification documents ready to save time. Learn more about visas for Singapore.

Industries with plenty of work in Singapore

Digital Media, Recruitment, Engineering (especially with Oil & Gas), Banking and Finance are industries that flourish in Singapore, but as a global financial hub you’ll find work in most sectors here. For certain industries like healthcare, there are procedures to follow. Visit industry snapshots for a greater understanding of each industry.

Growing restrictions on expats working in Singapore

The Government of Singapore has announced a number of changes to the immigration policy in Singapore. This will mainly affect expats with less experience and lower salary ranges.

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The Cost of Living in Singapore in 2014 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/living-in-singapore/money-matters/cost-of-living-in-singapore-2/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/living-in-singapore/money-matters/cost-of-living-in-singapore-2/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:18:01 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=4755 Learn where your money will go as an expatriate here. The cost of living in Singapore is one of the highest of any expat hub. Understanding what is expensive before moving to Singapore will help you save significantly.

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The cost of living in Singapore is the highest of any city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. But  this really depends a lot on the lifestyle you choose to adopt. Knowing what the big costs are, and how you can save, will make a significant difference and can leave you with  significant savings at the end of the month.

cost of living in singapore expat

Rental costs make living in Singapore expensive, but there are ways to save.

What is the cost of renting?

Rental prices in Singapore for expats are as high as the world’s top global hubs. Before we discuss rental costs in Singapore it is important to note that the standard of accommodation for the average expat in Singapore is significantly higher than many other cities. Most expat accommodation comes with full condominium facilities, including a pool and a gym.

How do I save on rent costs?

  • To save on rental costs it is common for expats to move slightly further out. Living in the likes of Clementi, Toa Payoh or Bedok (a couple of stops further out on the MRT: 20-25 minutes to the CBD) can be significantly cheaper – 20% – 30% cheaper. Remember that Singapore is incredibly safe, no matter where you decide to live.
  • Living in HDB (Housing Development Board) flats will reduce costs significantly. HDB accommodation is almost always of a decent standard – just make sure you have a look before accepting the rental terms.
  • Using a flatshare site like EasyRoomMate can save you a significant amount of time and money when looking for your first home in Singapore. This is also a great way to make new friends when moving to Singapore.

A condo within a 15-minute MRT ride to the CBD will cost around $4,000 in Singapore. If you move closer to the more novel expatriate hubs like around Orchard Road and River Valley, the price for a similar facility will climb 25% or more.

A landed property (with e.g. four bedrooms) will cost you $8,000+. For more on the various areas to live and costs, visit our accommodation guide.

Many expatriates begin their life in Singapore living in short term accommodation. The cost of this is significantly higher – expect to pay $6,000 to $8,000 for a studio apartment.  Some providers, such as Move and Stay, offer more affordable short term accommodation options.

cost of living in singapore expats

Places like Lantern overlooking Marina Bay will set you back $20-$30 per drink

What is the cost of my social life in Singapore?

One of the great things about Singapore is the vibrant social life that you are likely to have.

Going out for a drink in Singapore can be very expensive. A reasonable bar will set you back $12 for a pint of lager or beer and $14 for a glass of wine. Watch out for ‘One for One’ offers: this actually means ‘Two for the price of One’! Knowing happy hours can save you a lot. Check out our nightlife section for more.

Dining in Singapore can be extremely good value, especially if you go for the local food. Check out our dining guide for eating ideas to suit all budgets.

How much does the transport cost?

The Singapore transportation infrastructure is great value, even with recent price increases. Buy an EZ links card at any MRT station and you’ll save hugely on bus and MRT travel. Five stops will cost around $1.50.

Taxis are also extremely good value- a 10 minute trip will set you back around $6. Getting to work has never been so straight-forward. For more on transport in Singapore please visit our guide.

The cost of driving in Singapore can be extremely expensive, costing as much as $100,000 for the license to put a car on the road. Many expats opt for car leasing as this can avoid the large lump sum payment. Visit Avis’ useful driving guide to learn more about driving in Singapore.

What’s the cost of healthcare?

Healthcare in Singapore can be prohibitively expensive for the expat so you need to make sure that you are well-covered insurance-wise when you arrive here. Check out our healthcare section for more.

How much will utilities cost me?

Electricity & Water costs are relatively expensive. For a two-bed apartment you should expect to pay around S$150-200 per month on electricity and water depending on usage of course. Don’t forget to switch off the air-con when you don’t need it- it’ll save you a lot. A good fan can have a similar effect. This option costs less and can avoid some of the physiological effects that air conditioning can have.

How much will my children’s education cost?

The cost of living in Singapore can be relatively high when it comes to your children’s education. International schools’ tuition fees can range from $6,000 to $20,000 per year. Visit our education section for more.

What is the cost of groceries in Singapore?

Grocery Shopping in Singapore is expensive as almost everything is imported. Here is a list of prices to give you an idea (estimated): Bag of Ground Coffee: $8 Minced meat (250g): $7 Butter (250g): S$4.70 Fresh Milk (1L): $2.50 Loaf of Sliced Bread: $2. Cold storage is more costly but has the widest selection of western goods for expats.

Remember – the tax is lower than almost anywhere

One thing to consider is that the tax rate in Singapore is one of the lowest in the world, so you will have a significantly larger monthly sum at your disposal than you might think. So remember to consider the cost of living in Singapore relative to your NET income each month of work. For a more detailed look, please visit our income tax page.

Learn more about how you can manage your money well in Singapore, in our online guide.

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Life in Singapore Caught on Camera: 5 Spectacular Images http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/living-in-singapore/life-singapore-caught-camera-5-spectacular-images/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/living-in-singapore/life-singapore-caught-camera-5-spectacular-images/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 08:24:15 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6490 Five spectacular images from daily living in Singapore

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living in singapore photographed by expats

A majestic view from Marina bay on to the Central Business District

spending life on henderson way in Singapore

Henderson’s Way cutting through Rainforest in Singapore

work then gardens by bay singapore

Nature and the future in collaboration: Gardens by the Bay

living in singapore and check out the museum

Marina Bay Sands and Art Science Museum

life in marina bay

Astonishing views aren’t just outdoors, when you living amongst superstructures… Marina Bay Sands Shoppes

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Airport Scams Exposed http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/uncategorized/airport-scams-exposed/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/uncategorized/airport-scams-exposed/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 09:35:32 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6502 Airports are on of the most active places for scam artists to work, as every day brings a large new batch of potential victims to exploit. Many scams may seem completely legitimate, with the tourist completely unaware they are getting ripped off. Here, the Wise Traveller exposes some of the top scams active at airports. These […]

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Airports are on of the most active places for scam artists to work, as every day brings a large new batch of potential victims to exploit. Many scams may seem completely legitimate, with the tourist completely unaware they are getting ripped off. Here, the Wise Traveller exposes some of the top scams active at airports. These tips are passed on by The Wise Traveller, an innovative membership program designed to upgrade your travel experience.

Money Exchanges can be one of the more legitimate rip-off sources that one may come across at an airport. These outlets often offer ludicrous Buy and Sell rates to tourists who need local currency. Understand the current exchange rates with your home currency to avoid exploitation.Travel insurance for expat in Asia

Scams surrounding phones and mobile phones are numerous and can lead to enormous expense for the tourist. Firstly, phone booths may seem like a handy spot to make a quick call. But caution. These devices normally require credit cards and may charge you exorbitant rates. Ask so that you understand the cost structure before potentially throwing away a lot of cash.
Another prominent, phone-related scam is the rent-a-phone promotion. This may seem like a useful deal, but many-a-time will come with a handful of fees, add-ons and call charges. The best thing to do is think in advance and talk to your home provider about roaming packages. Alternatively, you can buy a prepaid local sim very easily in most countries these days.

Airports, full of fresh and wealthy tourists, is a haven for pickpockets. Un-watched bags can be quickly snatched, or valuables taken from unlocked pockets on the outside of bags. Always padlock external compartments and keep your bags close to avoid trouble. Separating cash and valuables can mitigate damage if your bags are compromised.

A more commonplace scam at airports can be the Trolley Porter. Someone may offer to take your bags as a kind gesture, taking bags to the exit point or check-in desk. Beware. Before you know it you can have this ‘porter’ demanding a heavy fee in return for your valuable baggage.

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Be a Wise Traveller: Make travel insurance work for you http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/wise-traveller-make-travel-insurance-work/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/wise-traveller-make-travel-insurance-work/#comments Mon, 23 Dec 2013 16:26:13 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6473 Insurance is usually the last aspect of a holiday to consider before you jet off around Asia. If you follow these top ten tips from The Wise Traveller, you can get the best travel protection and stay secure with peace of mind on your trip: 1. Where are you flying to? Don’t take it as read that […]

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Insurance is usually the last aspect of a holiday to consider before you jet off around Asia. If you follow these top ten tips from The Wise Traveller, you can get the best travel protection and stay secure with peace of mind on your trip:

1. Where are you flying to?

Don’t take it as read that your destination is covered as some politically unstable countries are not included. If in doubt, double-check with your insurer that you are covered and be specific as to where you are flying to. Some insurers vary their definition of Europe: are you going to the European Union or a country on the European continental shelf?

2. Thieving hands

Being the victim of theft is no laughing matter and even less so if your items are not covered by your insurance. Did you know some cover excludes items stolen while they’re going through the hold?

3. Delays and cancellations

Ensure your insurer covers you for delays/cancellations, and what you’re entitled to. Check the fine print as some budget airlines are excluded, as delays are common, leaving you potentially stranded and out of pocket.

4. Know your limits

Check your policy’s cover limits and any excess you have to pay. If you are taking valuables, you could end up with a fraction of their value if they are lost or stolen.

5. Keep safe

Take all necessary steps to stay safe and your valuables secure. Lock doors and close windows because any opening could give an insurer the sniff of negligence and cancel your claim.

6. Fancy danger or sports?

If you are intending to go for more than a casual beach stroll, then be covered for it. Activities such as skiing, mountaineering and even scuba diving could cost you extra cover.

7. Report it

If you’ve suffered a theft or an accident, then get a police report. Having one will strengthen your claim.

8. Medical treatment

Your health is valuable, so clarify what medical care you are entitled to. Declare any pre-existing medical conditions and check the insurer’s limits: low ones may only cover minor injuries.

9. Copy that

Get copies of your passport and flight tickets; document and photograph your valuables. Reference serial numbers of electrical items. Being doubly sure reduces the risk of a claim going astray.

10. Never assume

If the price of cover is too good to be true, then probably is. If in doubt, ask: from travel dates to the kind of cover you require. Staying secure in that knowledge is the key to a great holiday.

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10 Important Points to Keeping Healthy While Travelling http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/10-important-points-keeping-healthy-travelling/ http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/travel/10-important-points-keeping-healthy-travelling/#comments Sun, 01 Dec 2013 13:53:36 +0000 http://www.gatewaysingapore.com/?p=6402 Having an illness on holiday can really ruin a holiday. Taking some steps to maintain health prior to and during your holiday can prevent this. These tips are passed on by The Wise Traveller, an innovative membership program designed to upgrade your travel experience. They have 10 actions that can help: Drink plenty of water Even […]

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Having an illness on holiday can really ruin a holiday. Taking some steps to maintain health prior to and during your holiday can prevent this. These tips are passed on by The Wise Traveller, an innovative membership program designed to upgrade your travel experience. They have 10 actions that can help:

Drink plenty of waterHealth tips for expats going travelling

Even prior to getting on your flight, drinking enough water is crucial. It’s not just the increased level of activity you have to worry about – the flight to and from your holiday destination can also leave you dehydrated and deflated.

Take care of water intake when in your new destination. Even if the water is drinkable, your body might take some time to adjust to the varying levels of bacteria in the water. Avoiding ice is also important in some countries.

Keep your hands clean

Your hands are the most likely part of you to transfer an illness so keeping them clean is very important. Using a hand sanitiser kills bacteria and viruses, reducing your chances of getting ill.

Take more Vitamin C

In the case that bacteria and viruses enter your body, you want your immune system to working at 100%. Vitamin C works as a fuel for your body, keeping your immune system working efficiently.

Get some good sleep

10 Important Points to Keeping Healthy While Travelling

All that activity means that your body needs time to refuel and recover for the day after. It is important to get a decent amount of sleep to avoid sickness and be as able to enjoy the next day as possible.

Bring suitable clothing

Bringing the right clothes to shelter you from the sun, protect you from rain or insulate from the cold will make the holiday experience so much more pleasant.

Wear sunscreen

Overexposure to the sun can leave you burnt, and also physically drained. If going out in the sun always apply sunscreen and reapply after swims.

Healthy eating

Maintaining a healthy diet will avoid that lethargic feeling you may have experienced on holiday. Because of the increase in activity, your body needs energy and nutrients more than ever. To avoid upset stomachs in third-world countries, try to go for freshly-cooked food that hasn’t been sitting out, and avoid raw meat and seafood where possible.

Boost your Magnesium intake

Increasing Magnesium in your diet can help mitigate the risk of cramps and gassiness while on your trip. Magnesium naturally relaxes the stomach muscles. Suitable foods include nuts and whole-wheat products.

Drink in moderation

Alcohol dehydrates the body and can enhance already upset stomachs. Make sure to always drink plenty of water along with any alcohol and try not to mix your drinks. This will reduce the risk of a hangover as well.

Have a medical check-up

If you have any ongoing ailments, be sure to have them checked out by your doctor before you leave to go travelling. Following that, make sure that any prescriptions you need are replenished. It may be more difficult than you think to refill overseas.Health check before you going travelling

While living in Singapore requires relatively few vaccinations, the rest of Asia may require more. Check with your doctor prior to leaving. Some require a course of injections so leave a minimum of three months before travelling for a medical consultation.

 

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