Expat Blogs | 8 Things You Need to Consider Before Moving to Singapore

In this expat blog, we look at what you need to consider before moving to Singapore, including the job market, accommodation, travel, climate and language.

Expats Moving to Singapore

Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It is known as a global financial centre and its multicultural population. Singapore is one of the most impressive cities in the world with its remarkable skyscrapers and the picturesque Marina Bay.

With everything that the city has to offer, it is hardly surprising that thousands of expats are packing up their lives at home and relocating to Singapore. However, if you are considering moving to Singapore then there a few things you should consider before you do. Relocating to any country is a big decision, especially if you will be uprooting your family as well. So if you have been offered a new position in the amazing city of Singapore, or are just considering moving there for a new beginning, then here are eight things you need to consider before going ahead with the big move.

You Can Live Cheaply in Singapore

Singapore has been named the world’s most expensive city a few times, but if you know how and where to spend your money then there is no reason why you can’t live in Singapore on a budget. If you can’t live without three-course dinners in high-end restaurants, then you will find the cost of living expensive, but by knowing where to shop you should be able to stay within budget.

For your grocery shopping, expats recommend going to the local markets and NTUC FairPrice stores, as you will get better deals that are aimed at locals, instead of the more well-off Singaporean society figures that supermarket chain Cold Storage is aimed at. Living in Singapore on a budget is all about knowing what and where to buy things, and you will find that it is no more expensive than living in another major city such as New York or London.

Job Market

If you were planning to move to Singapore and then start looking for employment, then you may find this difficult. Singapore has strict employment laws which demand that those who come to live in the country already have an ‘offer in principle’ before they move. You will likely need to be able to show proof that you have already been offered a job in the city before your visa will be confirmed and you are authorised an employment pass by the Ministry of Manpower.

Singapore officials tend to not accept foreigners that move to the city and then start to look for work, so if you haven’t already secured yourself a job then it may be worth looking into this before you organise the move.

Food, Glorious Food

The food in Singapore is amazing. As the city’s population is so multicultural, so is its food! Therefore, if you are a food lover then you won’t be short of food to enjoy in Singapore. The authentic street food is delicious and can’t be found anywhere else in the world. However, you can also treat yourself to quality food in the cuisine offered by the many Michelin star restaurants you will find scattered across Singapore. From fish head curry to moussaka, there is something for every eater, whether you are adventurous or like to stick to what you know.

Moving Your Belongings

One of the biggest things you need to consider before moving to Singapore is how you are going to get your belongings moved across the world and how much it will cost you. Getting your things shipped to Singapore can end up being quite expensive, so you will need to make sure that you do your research and budget enough for the move. For example, shipping containers from New York to Singapore can cost around $1,500, so you may consider using Bonsai Finance to get a quick and easy payday loan to help you pay for the upfront costs. These loans are available to people with poor credit, even those with a prepaid debit card.

The Language

You shouldn’t worry too much about learning the language before you arrive in Singapore, although it can put you at an advantage. 43 percent of Singapore’s population was born abroad, so it is no surprise that the multicultural population speaks many different languages. English is the predominantly used language for business in the city, but most people also speak Mandarin Chinese, Malay or Tamil.


You should consider where you are going to live well before you move to Singapore, but don’t worry, the accommodation options available will suit people of all ages. Most expats that move to Singapore live in apartments, and many start their trip by getting a short-term lease before they move.

When looking for somewhere to live you should look at how close the accommodation is to MRT stations and bus stops, as these will be essential if you want to get around. You don’t want to be walking too far in the hot temperatures.

The Climate

Singapore is only one degree north of the equator, so as you would expect it is a very humid and tropical city. Temperatures are usually around 30 degrees, if not higher, and often the city is described as a sauna. The heat should be something you consider carefully before you move, as for some people it is too much. However, by wearing shorts and light clothing you will soon get used to the tropical weather after a while, even though it can be a shock at first!

Getting Around

Singapore has invested in its public transport in recent years and MRT lines are how most people get around the city. The trains are efficient and cheaply priced, and any delay can come as a shock to the locals! Buying a car to get around Singapore is an expensive transport option as the popular car models are more expensive than in parts of Europe and you will have to pay an additional fee to the government as well.

Moving to any country is a big decision that you should consider carefully before going ahead with any arrangements, but following this guide on Singapore will help you be more prepared if you decide to go ahead with the move.

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