Expat Views: On Working And Living in Singapore




Expat views on working and living in Singapore have one sentence in common: Singapore is easy when it comes to adjust to a foreign country. Expatriates say it is Asia in a nutshell as it introduces you to the many cultures in a safe and modern environment. Consider Singapore as being Asia for beginners as you learn what you need to adjust to other less developed countries in Asia in no time.

Young expatriates often see Singapore as a professional launch pad and often remain in the region. The huge melting pot of international companies generates a mood of tolerance in terms of multi-ethnicity and young professionals in their 20s and 30s like the variety of cross-cultural experiences. Interracial partnerships are more frequent than in other global cities.

Singapore is rated the top Asian city for expatriates (ECA International) with the wide use of English a a key factor for the top billing. Other factors were the high quality of transport, communications and health facilities, the low health risks and low crime rate and its excellent infrastructure in a cosmopolitan environment. Consequently hardship allowances for expatriates assigned to Singapore are a thing of the past!

Bringing up children in Singapore is often easier than at home. Parents appreciate the ease of employing extra help, security is high and international schools provide a very high standard of education which is paid for by the employer. Mind the usual pitfalls of teenagers getting too much used to having a maid and a mobile phone and make sure they stay away from drugs of any kind!

And indeed, expat views on working and living in Singapore stress the fact that Singapore has a very low crime rate and the streets are safe during day and at night. Sport, travel and entertainment opportunities are very good and the food is a dream!

A slight minus: information via TV and media is restricted due to Government control. Foreign magazines and newspapers are very expensive. But with its fast, reliable and inexpensive broadband services Singapore's reach out to the world of information is no longer limited at all.


Chat Rooms


So often health care is well down on the list of ‘things to do’ when moving overseas.  You probably make sure you have insurance, but you don’t worry too much about the health services you will need until you settle into your new destination.  But maintaining well being is essential if you are to enjoy your new environment, and knowing where you can get help when you do need assistance will be one less thing to worry about. 

Expats in Singapore recommend the services of our anchor partner Smilefocus - a dental clinic established in Singapore by the Australian dentist, Dr Marcus Cooney, over 15 years ago.

Find out more about their dentists and services….

Expat Publications on Singapore

Most International Women's Clubs have their one monthly publication you are entitled to receive with your membership. They offer information on expatriate life in Singapore and on events of special groups within their associations.

See also Foreign Media for Magazines of International Clubs and Associations.


International Associations/Clubs with Facilities

The following clubs have their own facilities:


International Clubs


International Women's Associations

Same Sex Partners

Homosexual sex continues to be illegal and gay culture remains underground. The government believes that the majority of Singaporean are not ready for homosexuality to enter mainstream culture, because there are still very different views amongst Singaporeans on whether homosexuality is acceptable or morally right.

To view the relevant section of Singapore's Penal Code scroll down to Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal and visit the section laws on this website.

For further reading we suggest you visit the website of Oogachaga, a counselling and personal development non-profit organization founded in 1999, with a vision to develop fulfilling life experiences between individuals and communities of all sexual orientations and genders.

The website offers a resource page with links to recommended counsellors and a forum.



expat Treff: Harry's  Bar SingaporeSingle men are rarely lonely in Singapore. Many Asian women still strive for befriending a Westerner and one rarely comes across a lone white man anywhere in Singapore. The formerly called Suzie Wongs or Sarong Party Girls who are keen on Caucasian wallets still exist. But the new independent well-educated Asian Women clearly know what they want and the choice is theirs.

However, with such good "hunting grounds", Caucasian men rarely undergo the stress and demands of befriending female Western expatriates, who have entered Singapore on their own.


But instead of sulking and moaning those emancipated Western ladies date typically younger Asian man and love what they get. Those self-confessed new breed of Sarong Party Guys abound at certain places in town. Emancipation clearly has come a long way!

See alsoBusiness Clubs and Entertainment for places to meet other expatriates.

Relationship Problems

Yes, they exist. The Pinkerton Syndrome - Asian women thinking of Caucasian men as superior and more appealing - is partly to blame. The average expat executive travels quite a bit and this also takes a strain on the marriage.

We therefore list addresses for counselling and assistance.

When an expatriate couple wants to split up there are a number of problems which needs to be solved in accordance with Singapore laws. Marriages can be dissolved in Singapore if couples have lived here fro three years. As expatriate women often have given up their jobs at home to follow their spouses, they are financially very dependent on the alimony. As it is difficult for expat women to find a job here, many Caucasian women therefore return to their homelands once they have custody of their children.



Singapore's seniors Seniors in Asia are highly respected and generally very welcome in all Asia. Some expatriate families take along their aged relatives others are regularly visited in Singapore for a couple of weeks.

It is also possible to get a social visa for a short term stay when your relatives want to stay longer or a need long-term medical help all of a sudden when they are visiting.
See immigration

With full-time maids in your home seniors often get more attention than in their home countries and enjoy quality time with their children and grandchildren.

Senior expatriates rather do not mix with same age locals so much as many older Singaporean do not speak English too well. But there is a large group of expat retirees in Singapore mainly gathering at the clubs.

Photo: enterAsiaArt

Long-time expatriates often choose Singapore for retirement with their Asian spouses. Others feel much too young to retire and take advantage of Singapore's Global Investors Program, which gets you a Permant Residence status by investing SGD 1 million in a business or other investment vehicles that focus on economic development.

Other reasons to feel safe as a senior are Singapore's above average health services. Despite the relatively high living cost there is a financial balance due to a reasonable tax regime and lower death duties than those in the UK.



Singapore's international clubs open their doors to a vibrant social life for all expatriates in Singapore and all nationalities are welcome. With more than 100,000 professional expatriates working and living in Singapore there is a large number of opportunities for memberships and integration.

You should consider joining clubs and associations as soon as possible to find new friends and experience a feeling of belonging.

Photo: Cityscoops Media

Apparently most expatriates join their own national clubs and associations but we highly recommend to experience other cultures as well. See also Career for Business Associations

There are a number of groups within the clubs/associations who specialize on certain aspects of interest or on special age groups. Visit or call the associations or view their Web Sites for an overview of groups on offer.



Teenager's Life In Singapore

A Teenager's viewpoint and advice by Julia, High School student at UWC

Hello to all you teens out there! I know exactly what you are thinking right now. What on earth am I going to do in this strange "fine city" ? How am I going to ever find my way around? How will I ever have fun and make new friends in a boring city such as Singapore? Well my dear lads and ladies, let me just give you a little tour of all the interesting and exciting things to do and the right places to go, where all of us expat teenagers spend our time and energy.

Due to the fact that Singapore is a 24 hour city, you will find it very easy to move around from place to place day and night through means of open transportation such as MRT, Bus and Taxi, all of which are cheap and very convenient…and no need to fear about getting lost, Singapore is such a small, well organized city that you will always find your way again.

Singapore NightlifeThe two most popular meeting places for young people such as you and I are Holland Village and Orchard Road, which both offer a great variety of different activates.

For those of you who love to waste their time, money and energy in endlessly cheap shopping malls and centers, Orchard Road is the perfect place to go to shop till you drop. You will find it difficult to decide where to start, because Singapore has simply everything, and when I say everything I really do mean EVERYTHING!

Photo: enterAsiaArt

After having shopped all day long you may find yourself struck by sudden hunger and thirst. No worries, Singapore is filled with plenty of cheap cafes, restaurants and food courts which offer a great variety of different foods and beverages. You will be most surprised and delighted to find that all your home favorites can be easily found at almost every street corner.

For those of you who still find themselves restless and dissatisfied, Sentosa Island is the place to go for loads of wild rides and theme park action.

If you are more of a calm and quiet person you might prefer the peaceful tranquility of the Botanical Gardens or the Orchard Gardens.

Then there are probably some of you who just want to chill out am I correct? One of the best places to do this is the cinema, and you will be happy to hear that Singapore is absolutely filled with these.

Still haven't had enough?
For all you party animals who love to roam the city at night dancing and clubbing, the most popular nightclubs and pubs can be found at the riversides, Boat Quay and Clark Quay. See here for suggestions

Just a warning: You may be confronted with alcohol and age entry restrictions…..and no use trying to fake your age, because they usually ALWAYS check ID! See also Laws/Crime and Sentencing

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