What’s it like to live and teach in Singapore?
This month, we’re focusing on one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world – Singapore! Geographically Singapore is small, but the island provides a wealth of offerings, as well as having a very high standard of living. TIC Director Andrew Wigford recently moved to Singapore and below he shares his knowledge for teachers interested in moving to the city state:
International Schools in Singapore
There are many opportunities for teachers wishing to teach in Singapore but it’s important to only apply if you are experienced. Singapore is a popular destination for teachers and international schools often receive hundreds of job applications per advert. Typically, international schools require two to three years of teaching experience, plus experience in the curriculum being offered at the school. It’s important for teachers to spend time identifying the right job, and salary package.
Several of the international schools in Singapore are very large. The largest, United World College of South East Asia, has over 5,000 students and a Senior Leadership team of over 40 people! The Australian International School in Singapore (AIS) has over 2,500 students, Dulwich College Singapore has more than 2,000 students, and Dover Court International School Singapore has 1,600. These large K-12 schools are very well resourced and have amazing facilities which are constantly improving. For example, AIS recently spent an incredibly large sum of money on their brand-new state of the art Early Years centre, and Dover Court just opened their new Secondary school building.
New international schools are still being built in Singapore. North London Collegiate School are currently building a new school and Brighton College is coming to Singapore in 2020.
Singapore has a rich culture, with influences from China, Malaysia, and the Western world. This makes for a very interesting city state, with lots to see including many coastal attractions, parks, and open spaces. If you want to escape city life, why not take a ferry to some of the beautiful surrounding islands, like Pulau Ubin. Here you can explore the traditional kampongs (villages) and do a variety of outdoor activities, including cycling and kayaking.
The cuisine in Singapore is diverse; it has a melting pot of influences from China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The city is especially renowned for its seafood – try the speciality dish of chili crab! You might also want to visit some of the Hawker stands (street food). This is a great way to eat with the locals and the food is often cheap, as well as tasty.
Singapore is a tropical country. Its climate is hot for most of the year, and it can be humid. If you decide to teach here, make sure you bring lots of cool, loose clothing.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Singapore is relatively high and renting is expensive. A single person living in a one or two-bed apartment can expect to pay anything from £1,800 - £2,500 per month, depending on location and facilities on offer. However, food and public transport are very cheap; it's possible to get a great meal at a local hawker centre for less than the equivalent of £5.
Moving with a family to Singapore
Singapore has a low crime rate, making it especially attractive to those relocating with a family. The city is also safe, clean and has great public transport. Children of teachers can receive a world class education, as many of the schools offer free places for their teachers' children.
If you’d like to find out more about teaching in South East Asia, why not read some of our TIC teacher stories here.