Singapore is one of the prime destinations for families looking to move abroad, and the reasons are crystal-clear. Worldwide, Singapore is ranked as the 7th safest country and the 15th best country to live in. Not to mention, 43% of Singapore’s population happens to be transplanted from other countries, placing it within the top 10 countries with the most foreign-born citizens – hence making it a multicultural hub. However, as welcoming as Singapore may be, successfully moving an entire family requires plenty of proper planning and research. Start with some basic checklists to prepare for your move and get your financial plans in order.
Feel Safe & Secure
Safety is of greatest concern who are moving to a new environment, especially if they are unfamiliar with their new surroundings. The good news is that Singapore happens to be the safest country in Asia and among the safest in the world. It also prides itself on having a very low crime rate. Women can move around the city without fear, even late at night. This is reassuring for those who work late hours, enjoy the nightlife, or are relocating with young daughters. On the flip side to this is, of course, the laws are very strict. However, it is the stringent implementation of these laws that keeps the city safe for everybody.
Stay Financially Protected
Although the main attractions for families deliberating the move to Singapore are the exceptionally high standard of living, quality education, and a low crime rate, it comes at a slight cost. Singapore is one of the most expensive countries to live in. The costs of owning property and automobiles are considerably high, which is the reason you must be prepared and research the various avenues available for financial assistance in case the need arises. Knowledge is power and you want to avoid the risk of fraud in any way when moving to a new city. Other factors to consider are the cost of moving your entire family and the affordability of housing once you have settled in. This will more than likely be your most substantial expense, but the good news is benefits that include lower taxes, reasonable costs of groceries and public transportation will offset the cost of living. However, don’t neglect to factor in extra expenses like visa fees.
Emotional & Religious Preparation
The great news for Muslim families is that with 15% of the population practicing the Islam faith; there is a vast and comprehensive selection of Madrasahs available. There are many organizations and groups that can assist you with becoming acclimated to your new environment, including the YWMA and the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore. In fact, there is a generous scattering of 75 Mosques conveniently scattered across the city to help you feel even more at home. Other support groups for wives and mothers that might prove helpful are the New Mothers Support Group (for parents with little ones up to age 5) and the Singapore Expat Wives (SEW) Facebook group. There is absolutely no shortage of expat groups and clubs throughout the city, so no matter what your nationality or religion may be, you can be assured of finding plenty of support and new friends to help you adjust.
When you prepare for your relocation to Singapore, don’t forget to get the required vaccinations for you and your family. All health advisories concerning travel health in Singapore list booster shots for standard immunizations. These include DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), polio, influenza, and bacterial pneumonia. Other recommended vaccinations for Singapore are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and rabies.
You may also need a vaccination against yellow fever to enter Singapore. However, keep in mind that this is only necessary if you arrive from an officially designated high-risk region. Make sure to also book your doctor’s appointments at least four to six weeks before the date of your departure to give ample time for your immunizations to take effect.
Enjoy The Holidays
The two major Muslim public holidays, Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Aidilfitri, are joyously celebrated annually in Singapore. The latter, of course, commemorates the end of Ramadan and is celebrated on a grandiose scale. After the preceding 30 days devoted to deep worship, acts of compassion, and practicing abstinence, it is time for the big festivities to kick in. The most important aspect of Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the feast. A variety of spiced meals, such as vegetable curry, Malay spice cakes, and spicy beef, are served during the three days of celebration.
Hari Raya Haji, the holiday also known as the “festival of sacrifice” is another 3-day event to take the time to pray, reflect, and share one’s wealth and meat with the less fortunate. In the areas of Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam, you can partake in the festivities, visit the bazaars, eat tasty food, and enjoy the beautiful decorations. The holidays are another fantastic way to bond with fellow Muslims and meet new friends and families living in Singapore.
Stay Strong and Optimistic
Taking on such a drastic life-altering transition like relocating your family to a different country can be a daunting and overwhelming experience, but it can also be extremely rewarding. After all, you are transferring to a country where the standard of living is notoriously high, and the healthcare facilities are second to none. Where the crime rate is so low, and the streets are so safe, many businesses do not even have to lock up their establishments at night. The educational institutions are some of the best in the world, there is plenty for the kids to do, and you are welcome and free to follow Islam and worship Allah.
The best overall advice is to be confident and optimistic. Follow these tips to help make your transition to Singapore as stress-free as possible, and start looking forward to a brighter, more prosperous future living in one of the family-friendliest cities in the world.