Talk

Advanced search

Moving to Singapore - Help!

(32 Posts)
awayfromhome Wed 02-Jul-08 11:00:38

We are considering a move to Singapore and I would really appreciate some advice regarding schools. We are interested in Chatsworth International - Orchard campus and Eton House. Waitlists at Tanglin and Dover court prep are currently too long.

I would love some feedback on these schools, good places to live and any other snippets about life in Singapore etc.

Thanks

oldnewmummy Wed 02-Jul-08 14:24:34

Hi

If you look at expatsingapore.com.sg you can ask the question and search the archives. There's also another site called singaporeexpats.com.sg.

Waiting lists are a real problem at the moment.

awayfromhome Wed 02-Jul-08 17:02:49

Thanks, I have looked at singaporeexpats.com, was hoping to tap into singapore mumsnet as well

Alexa808 Thu 03-Jul-08 03:51:45

Good morning AFH, I am currently in Singapore and pregnant with our first baby. I haven't ooked at schools too much as it's rather early, but from what I've heard Tanglin Trust and United World College are quite popular. Tanglin follows the English school system and is stricter on guidelines. UWC is very internationally minded and has strong ethical guidelines on charity work and interracial relations.

I'm sure some Mums will be around soon, to explain more.

egypt Thu 03-Jul-08 04:31:03

hellloooo, my dd is at Tanglin, but she got in no probs at Nursery level. How old are your dc/s? Unless your company is prepared to pay you onto the top of the list you prob will not get a place at any year higher than nursery. Yes Chatsworth ok, but a high number of Japanese students, hence a lot of teacher's efforts go into helping them because of the poor English - so I have been told. A neighbour of mine isn't too happy with it because of this reason. I don't know about Dover Court, but basically those 2 are the second best to tanglin as far as british schooling goes. DD went to Eton House before she started Tanglin, aged 2-3. It was ok, q structured, but not so sure about it for older children. Seems fine, general british curriculum. The Canadian School is lovely. I wouldn't hesitate to send dd there if tanglin had no places. Maybe check it out.

As for where to live, anywhere you can afford!!! Prices are rocketting at the moment. You should take a look around at a mix of landed houses, condos - where you have facilities such as gym, playground and pool or more on some larger ones. Prices are more expensive around the orchard road area up to Bukit Timah and down to Alexandra. Cheaper outside of the central area. Much cheaper over East coast and out west. Everywhere is so easy to commute to, by mrt, taxi (cheap) or car. even bus, never done it myself though.

check these out for houses. not great sites - hardly updated, but give you some idea.

maps.google.com/

www.propertyguru.com.sg/listings/rent/1

www.singaporeexpats.com/housing-in-singapore/search/singapore-apartment-rent.htm

www.expatchoice.com/property_for_rent.htm

i can honestly say this is possibly the easiest place to live in the world! i love it. been here just over a year. email me on simcla2000 at hotmail dot com if you want.

awayfromhome Thu 03-Jul-08 09:19:16

Thanks everyone for the responses.

Egypt, which Eton house was your dd at? We are looking at the one in Orchard currently. We have looked at Dover Court - but it is on waitlist. I really want to secure her a place before we leave the UK especially as she has a place at a good prep school here.

Egypt, does getting your dd into Tanglin at nursery level, guarantee her a place for the infant school?

I had heard from looking at the expat forums that Chatsworth was a bit run down... but student mix info is very interesting.

Alexa808 - we have also looked at UWC, but again it has a considerable waitlist, Tanglin told me that they weren't accepting applications for my dd's year group until 2010!

Thanks for the info and links re accomodation. I am hoping to get a house as we have also been given membership of the British club.. so hoping that will be the social aspect rather than a condo.

Is there anything that I should bring or stock up on which I won't be able to get easily in Singapore?

Final question I promise! - is it possible to make do without a car? As they seem to be incredibly expensive, both to purchase and run.

Alexa808 Thu 03-Jul-08 09:32:27

AFH, Novena, Bukit Timah is high on expats, Chancery also very lovely and nice greenery (reservoirs) close by yet only minutes into Orchard Rd.

Tanglin Mall supermkts, Swiss Bakery, German butcher, ... they stock most european items you could want for (at a price, but hey, at least you can get them should you need.

It's quite possible to live without a car. I've lived here twice before and have never had one, but now, with a baby on the way I guess I have to re-jigg things. It'll be easier if you had one, so you can swish around faster, but it's not mandatory IMO.

Ask, ask...we're all hear smile

egypt Thu 03-Jul-08 13:57:49

yes, easy without a car, but with more than one child, i would say easier with. by no means impossible.

how old is your lo? just the one?

yes nursery guarantees place in school. dd went to eton house at whitley road, but it's closed now. was v small and friendly. orchard branch is new.

we live on chancery lane. nice. but kind of want a house now - ours is cluster house. nice socially and pool/gym, but a bit too social. like butlins grin

nothing you cannot get here. walkers crisps are a rarity!

sorry for lack of caps. tired and lazy!

awayfromhome Thu 03-Jul-08 15:16:10

Thanks egypt and Alexa808.

I have two children, a dd 4 years old and a ds 1.5 years old. I can't get dd into Tanglin until 2010, so was thinking of sending her to Eton House in Orchard, I will try and apply for the place at nursery level for my ds.

Housing wise, what is the best way to go about looking at them, do you need to go to one agent or a load of different estate agents like the UK?

I have dreams of a nice house with a pool, probably totally unrealistic grin- do you have any idea of the average cost of a house with 4 beds district 10 in the current market? I only ask because egypt said that the websites weren't updated very frequently and was wondering how out of date the prices listed on it were. My dreams will proabaly be shattered when I arrive anyway

Regarding hiring a maid, is the best way to go through personal recommendation or by agency?

Thanks so much for putting up with all these questions it is really helpful to get first hand info.

egypt Fri 04-Jul-08 00:46:50

Hi
I need to get dd2 onro tanglin list too! She is also 1.5, but as a sibling will get more priority

It's easy to look for a house. Contact one agency and they do the looking for you, then take you around stuff they fing that meets your criteria. I can give you the details of ours, we used a sweet Singaporean man called gregory Sim at Frank Knight, You can prob google it.

Hmm, thats my ideal house too - you've prob be looking anywhere from 12+K a month. yes, really really expensive! Our house is amongst 30 others. We rented it 16 months ago for 5.5k pcm. Others the same as ours are now being renewed at around 12. One next to the pool are 15-17k!!!!!! We are lucky to have a pool, although shared. There are a few places available on our condo by the way. look for chancery grove on sites i gave you. although, they are 4 beds there is no maids room, so people use their 4th bedroom - which is a basement room, for the maid. we use ours for guests.

we want to move to a house with 4 beds plus maids room with a bit of a garden and a pool and are prepared to move out. west where dd's school and dh's work is, is a bit cheaper........the company will pay if our rent goes up to whatever to allow us to stay in the same house, so we are hoping the landlords quote us something ridiculous so we can find a house for the same or less!

egypt Fri 04-Jul-08 00:48:23

honestly, dont worry about the district. sg is so small. we realise this now. wouldnt have worried so much about area if we had known. there are malls all over the place and i hardly ever shop on orchard - unless i am childless - just go to local malls instead.

egypt Fri 04-Jul-08 01:08:45

we should meet when you come - dd1 is also 4.

excuse my awful spelling and grammar today. also shift key not working, am tired - have 2 ill kids and peeeved...

slim22 Fri 04-Jul-08 02:33:47

Hello ladies,

Have not been on here much because of very needy baby vampire last 48h.

I think Egypt has given a clear picture of current local conditions.

My twopence worth:

Chatsworth school, very hmm impression. Completely run down, borderline dirty + what Egypt said about english as a second language.
Eaton House has a good reputation for nursery. The Orchard campus is just down the road from me. Lovely setting in old colonial house.

I second Egypt's opinion on the canadian school. It has a very good reputation for early years.

I would not worry too much about sticking to district 10 either. Singapore is quite compact.
A car would certainly be a plus with 2 little DC, but taxis are cheap.
You can get a decent car, but if your DH is a car fanatic like mine he'll have to start mourning now!

iro property price, a realistic price for a well maintained 4 beds with pool in districts 9-10-11 is 20 000 - 25 000.

But there is also a wide range of property in the 10 000 - 20 000 bracket.

If you can delay things a bit, prices are expected to drop by up to 25% in the next 3-6 months due to influx of new developments.

iro maids, you need to go through an agency as the work contract and registration with authorities follows strict rules.
There are numerous agencies geared up for expats. When you get here, pick up a copy of "expat living" magazine. It has pages and pages of ads for all things practical.

Alexa, hi!
Glad to hear things are settling.
As it happens, one of the maids from our condo has just left the family she was working for. I asked Marilou to text her, maybe you want to meet her.
All I can say is that she looks like a very decent hard working girl. VERY discreet and was taking care of a 2 year old since his birth.
Saw your e-mail but busy and have to go out all day again. Will call you some point later today.

Expectant Fri 04-Jul-08 04:24:31

Hi

Would ditto what Slim & egypt say. There is also an expat living website which has a link to expat rentals which is quite up to date so might be worth a look www.expatlivingsingapore.com/.

We are in a condo now and have to renegotiate in January so am hoping that prices come down a bit as DH also has to renegotiate his contract soon too. I am giving up work at the end of this month as we are expecting our first DC next month.

Alexa808 Fri 04-Jul-08 04:24:35

Yes, do not worry about the district too much as others said before. That said, I wouldn't want to be too far away from other expat families. My dh and I will be on Bukit Timah as we've just found a condo. I can also give you some details for agents, I used a very experienced lady called Robyn Shuttleworth at Coventry & Seah. See if you can google her. Remember that old in Europe is lovely, old in the Tropics is just old. My DH and I have decided to go for a condo for the next 2 yrs as we're expecting our first babe and I'd like the amenities (gym, pool, underground car park) close by for convenience (read laziness).

I am actually just in the midst of looking for a maid and I will keep you in mind once I've found mine and come across nice ones. (see my thread further down)

Slim, hey, you've been up all night, yes? Oh dear. I'm interviewing 2 today but am interested to hear about the one you've mentioned. Yes please, would like to see more girls. I've been plastering search warrants across cold storages but have not yet been to see an agency. Am looking forward to hear from you later.

Alexa808 Fri 04-Jul-08 04:24:39

Yes, do not worry about the district too much as others said before. That said, I wouldn't want to be too far away from other expat families. My dh and I will be on Bukit Timah as we've just found a condo. I can also give you some details for agents, I used a very experienced lady called Robyn Shuttleworth at Coventry & Seah. See if you can google her. Remember that old in Europe is lovely, old in the Tropics is just old. My DH and I have decided to go for a condo for the next 2 yrs as we're expecting our first babe and I'd like the amenities (gym, pool, underground car park) close by for convenience (read laziness).

I am actually just in the midst of looking for a maid and I will keep you in mind once I've found mine and come across nice ones. (see my thread further down)

Slim, hey, you've been up all night, yes? Oh dear. I'm interviewing 2 today but am interested to hear about the one you've mentioned. Yes please, would like to see more girls. I've been plastering search warrants across cold storages but have not yet been to see an agency. Am looking forward to hear from you later.

Expectant Fri 04-Jul-08 05:11:12

Hi

Would ditto what Slim & egypt say. There is also an expat living website which has a link to expat rentals which is quite up to date so might be worth a look www.expatlivingsingapore.com/.

We are in a condo now and have to renegotiate in January so am hoping that prices come down a bit as DH also has to renegotiate his contract soon too. I am giving up work at the end of this month as we are expecting our first DC next month.

Expectant Fri 04-Jul-08 05:47:08

Sorry post appears twice. Dodgy internet connection or something blush

Alexa agree with you on the amenities - also lazy and the 15 minute walk back from work has been heaven compared to the commute in London wink

Alexa808 Fri 04-Jul-08 06:35:12

expectant, I've just emailed you, hope it went through smile

Expectant Fri 04-Jul-08 07:12:23

Hi Alexa will have to check tonight as can't access hotmail from work - what I am supposedly doing now although more MN than work over the last few days grin

slim22 Fri 04-Jul-08 07:29:39

Expectant, congratulations on your pregnancy, somehow, I had not registered your previous posts.....

Alexa, will call you later, happy you were please with Coventry and Seah. I just recomended them to someone else. They are very good. Awayfromhome, I do vouch for this piece of advice too.

Egypt. Are the girls OK?
Baby had diarrhea sad yesterday but no fever. They all seem to have caught something at school this week!

Expectant Fri 04-Jul-08 07:47:43

Thanks Slim - thought the unimaginative name might give it away smile

Sorry to hear about your LO hope you manage to catch up on some sleep - what fun I have to look forward to!

awayfromhome Fri 04-Jul-08 08:34:23

Thanks for all the information, it is really appreciated.

Egypt would love to meet up when we get out there Looking forward to all the sunshine!

egypt Fri 04-Jul-08 09:22:57

great! slim and alexa are alright gals too wink we'll have to have a coffee morning.

Poor little M, slim. Bless her. DH has the stomach bug too, although his came on in Shanghai so can't blame the kids for that one.

girls both had this mild fever thing. N didn't go to school today after coming home yesterday and flaking out on the sofa, falling asleep and then going to bed for 730 shock. of course she was as bright as a button today and both are driving me mad. c fine now too, although she was awake lots last night and has refused to sleep more than half an hour today.......<sigh>

sorry for hijack xx

Alexa808 Fri 04-Jul-08 12:58:46

Well, expectant, I'm not working apart from on my tan and trying to reach my toe nails without keeling over in yoga... grin

Poor little baby vampire, slim, I hope it'll get better soon.

And egypt, what's going on at your end? Sorry to hear your dds have been ill, too. Is something going around again?

The cats are coming on the 11th!!!!! Keep your fingers crossed for my little fluffs.

AFH, yes, please keep in touch. When are you arriving? I can give you a wole info pack from my agent so you and your DH can familiarize yourselves a bit with the city and its people. Will you be in a serviced apartment first?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: