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Moving to Singapore in the summer - need to choose a date to go, what works best?

(21 Posts)
StealingSleep Mon 07-Dec-15 12:47:00

At the moment we have 1st August pencilled in, but it's a pretty arbitrary date. The dc's school finishes on 27th July and their new school will start on 1st September.

I can't decide whether the dc finishing school so close to the current move date is a good thing or a bad thing. It feels like it would be so rushed for them, and they'd be tired at the end of the school year, but it could also be useful for the last minute organising to have them at school.

There's also a balancing act at the other end - I've read that getting them into school soon after the move helps to get them settled and making friends, whereas with a month to ourselves in a new place without any structure could be hard. But could be good to give them some time to acclimatise without the added newness of a new school?

Dc are 7 and 5. DH will be able to take some time off before starting work whenever we go.

MissTeriName Mon 07-Dec-15 12:55:00

Nearer their new school starting date is much better.

Most other expats will have gone away for the summer, so you will be trying to do it ALL - unpacking, finding food, docs etc while entertaining the kids. With no toys. In a new country. Believe me, that is tough!

A couple of weeks should do it. Or even a week. I've arrived in countries and got DD into school the very next day. That's not totally ideal due to jetlag, but it works fine in the end.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 07-Dec-15 14:01:41

Couple of weeks before school, enough time to get uniforms and do a bit of PR on your new country for the kids (zoo, beach etc) so they are keen on staying! For the first few weeks there's not much you can do if you're in temp accommodation without your shipment. Save flat hunting til kids are in school if you can....

StealingSleep Mon 07-Dec-15 16:39:16

Thanks for your replies. Though it turns out I was wrong about how much flexibility there was on the date. They originally put 1st July and changed it to 1st August pretty easily so I thought it could be pushed back a further couple of weeks no problem, but nope.

So, facing a summer in Singapore just as you describe MissTeri! Eek.

Pupsiecola Mon 07-Dec-15 21:41:32

We had 6 weeks there before school started, but in hindsight it was too long (sorry, that doesn't help you!). BUT, why not look at getting away for a long weekend? There's National Day which is a public holiday - I just checked and it's Tuesday 9th August next year so whichever of you is working would need to take the Monday off. Singapore is a great based from which to explore the region. You could get away for a few days quite easily, and cheaply.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 08-Dec-15 01:54:34

Yes! Acclimatise fir a week a do touristy things, go away for a week and from 15th august settle and get into back to school mode.
A lot of schools resume pretty early in August so tgere will be lots if families around in the usual spots.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 08-Dec-15 01:57:13

Pupsiecola makes a good point, you could hit Bali for a week or get to Cambodia, Thailand etc (you'll probably run into half the expat population of Singapore too). There are loads of summer camps in Singapore which are pretty good, my kids used to gravitate towards arty stuff. We used to go home for a couple of weeks over the summer and then explore Asia a bit or enjoy Singapore with less traffic and shorter queues, not everyone leaves for the whole summer. You might also want to get in touch with your kids new school either by email or on facebook (or one of the many expat wives facebook groups) to see if anyone from their year will be in Singapore before school starts, you might find a playdate or afternoon at the pool. You won't be short of things to do, that's for sure.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 08-Dec-15 04:18:15

Yes the camps are a good idea.
Centre stage and all the sports clubs around turf city will have lots of kids going to your school i'm sure.
Early orientation for new families at your school provide a good opportunity to learn about all the ECAs.
You should receive a welcome email from your school end of June with lots of mundane info about this. Read through and explore the links attached.
Try the little steps asia and sassy mama singapore websites too for activities/sports/camps.

StealingSleep Tue 08-Dec-15 08:31:03

I love the idea of arriving in Singapore and immediately going on holiday smile We've only got two years to see as much of the area as possible, may as well strike out early.

Thanks for the tips on activities and camps etc.

Kuriusoranj Thu 10-Dec-15 04:26:59

The other things to think about are your actual school dates for the new school. The International Schools tend to follow their 'home' country's schedule, but not rigidly. So - you may not end up at a British type school, I guess, and even if you do the school year may be slightly different. We're at a generally British school and the year starts at the very beginning of August.

People come and go here all the time - it's the nature of the beast, so don't worry about that too much. As a contrast to the PP, my child was off school for close to 3 months when we arrived - mostly, to be quite honest because of money - we had problems selling our UK house and came close to bankruptcy! There is a huge initial outlay for most things as there is with any move. We actually treasured the relaxed introduction to the new life, although we were all glad when the new normal started.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Thu 10-Dec-15 16:38:39

And bear in mind the dates your oh starts work.... you might be taking the kids away by yourself if he's just starting a new job. Plenty of us have done this though!

StealingSleep Thu 10-Dec-15 21:16:48

Yes, I realised it would have to be me taking them away by myself. I don't know how I feel about that! I guess it would depend where I took them. I could pick a nice easy all inclusive resort type place, but they're probably not cheap.

The school we've applied to starts on 1st September. We've got up to two months temporary accommodation before we have to have found somewhere to live. Maybe going on holiday in that period isn't the best idea. Are condos generally advertised available immediately or will we have to pick one pretty quickly to be able to move in in time?

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 11-Dec-15 03:42:57

You can start looking straight away and sign for a late september start. No pb at all.
Try propertyguru.com.sg to get a cleater idea of what you can get. You can filter by atea, size and budget. Remember school bus routes are very efficiently put together so keep an open mind re location. Many areas are now within easy access of mrt routes. I would think about choosing a condo with a bus stop nearby or shuttle unles you drive ir can rely on taxis. Walking 10mn to from an mtr is often crazy in the sealtering heat, humid and sudden violent downpours.

Most serviced appartments ate really nice and have resort like facilities. Just hang out by the pool and you will meet lots of families in your situation at that time of year.
Establish a little routine of activities/viewings in the morning, lunch in the many yummy foodcourts then crash by the pool.
That will be your baseline anyway for the next few months. All kids in singapore come home from scho, loose the clothes shoes and jump in the pool!
Once acclimatised to the heat, the kids will be happy, have no worries. Keep hydrated!

StealingSleep Fri 11-Dec-15 08:14:41

Hi Laptop, I've seen your posts about condos etc elsewhere - can I ask a very specific question? We've seen some cluster houses we like, they're a tiny bit out of our budget at the moment and an MRT is due to open 5 mins walk away - how much more expensive are they going to get when that happens? They seem the perfect place for us but don't want to get our hearts set on them if the rent is going to shoot up before we get there.

Actually, it was due to open this month so maybe the price has gone up already?

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 11-Dec-15 08:36:39

I expect prices have already been adjusted. Prices will only shoot up if they rent out quickly. Keep a tally of the current units available and check again closer to your move date. That can also be ammunition to begotiate further if there is still a lot if stock. Happy to put you in touch with my ex colleagues if you want eyes and ears on the ground? Which one is it? I can recommend similar. PM if you prefer?

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 11-Dec-15 08:38:14

Is the new condo already finished? Sometimes they advertise before TOP is even delivered. ( that means before units are actually released and authorised for occupation)

StealingSleep Fri 11-Dec-15 09:14:48

The cluster houses aren't new, it's the MRT that's new - Hillcrest Villa and Tan Kah Kee MRT. I think it might be open already.

StealingSleep Fri 11-Dec-15 09:16:23

In fact, found this which says it's opening on 27th December.

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 11-Dec-15 09:44:16

Oh great choice! budget and location. Nice village feel to the area and easy access everywhere. Fingers crossed!

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 11-Dec-15 09:53:36

So sorry for all the typos! Using small phone!

StealingSleep Fri 11-Dec-15 10:50:49

Thanks. When we looked at one we assumed the prices would be going right up once the MRT was open, but it doesn't look like it's going to be out of reach, which would be great.

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