The Ups And Downs Of Expatriate Life In Singapore

Relocating to a new city or country is one decision you cannot take lightly. Usually, people assume that life abroad would be more comfortable than what they currently have. Sometimes it turns out the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There are so many things to consider, from finances and accommodation to family, education, health care, and many more. This may be true when moving to Singapore too.

Singapore, also well-known as the lion city, is located in Southeast Asia. It is a modern and affluent island city with a multicultural population and tropical climate. If you are looking to move over to Singapore here are some of the ups and down you should know about expatriate life in Singapore:


When it comes to the choice of a home in Singapore, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from, whether you want to rent a government-owned flat or a privately owned condo or apartment. But you should know that renting a house in Singapore can be quite expensive, especially if you wish to live in the city.


Singapore has functional road networks, and you can move around effortlessly. Moving around by train, bus or MRT is a cheap option and easily accessible. You can also easily afford to take taxis or Uber to your destination. But owning a car in Singapore cannot be said to be cheap. The cost of owning a car in Singapore is on the high side. You might want to consider factors like insurance fees and taxes, certificate of entitlement, parking fees and price of tolls before getting yourself a car in this island city. This city is ranked as one of the most expensive countries to own a car.


The weather in Singapore is relatively warm all year round so you might need to save those jackets and coats for when you visit Antarctica. The weather rarely falls below 30 degrees Celsius. The only problem you might be facing in Singapore, regarding the weather, is the regular rainfalls. Come with your umbrella! You might need it to protect yourself from the sun rays too.


One comforting aspect of living in this island city is the fact that you can walk on the streets without looking over your shoulders and go to bed with you two eyes closed. This city has been ranked as one of the top safest places to live in. You can comfortably leave your laptop on your table while paying for your coffee. You will still find it there when you return.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in this city is quite expensive. From buying groceries to renting an apartment, to even paying medical bills. A popular joke among the locals says, “It’s cheaper to die than to fall ill in Singapore.” You should keep that in mind if you’re planning to visit or live there.


As an expat, you need a valid work permit if you want to continue living in this city and don’t want to lose your job because you had to leave the country. Once you lose your job, you have only four weeks to find another job, or you’d be asked to leave the country. The only way you’d genuinely be stable here is to become a permanent resident.

Social Life

If you can speak English, you’d have no problem enjoying yourself with the locals – they are not very friendly though – on this island city-state. Making friends with other expats is equally effortless, and you can also join the expat community on Facebook or other social media platforms.  But I’d warn you, the alcohol in this city is costly!

While it may be more challenging to live in Singapore than you would have thought, there are equally some beauties to living there. If you have decided to relocate there, get involved in various activities, don’t just work. Learn to live in your new city like the locals (participate in the Singaporean culture), volunteer with a local charity, join clubs, travel, be a tourist and enjoy the city!

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