Foreign Knowledge: How to Select an International School in Singapore


An international relocation, as is commonly remarked, can be both an opportunity and a trial. For those workers with young families, a huge part of the difficulties associated with such a move come from having to uproot not just your own life, but the lives of your loved ones, either by separating from each other for months and years at a time, or by moving them with you away from the life they’ve known.

While having your family with you during the tough early months of relocation to Singapore may help you adjust, you will have your hands more than full trying to ensure your family can find new friends, your partner can find new work, and most importantly that you can find a new school for any school-aged children. With that in mind, here are a few points for you to consider when choosing between Singapore’s huge array of international schools:

 

What’s on the curriculum – or curricula?

Clearly a huge part of any school’s identity and sales pitch, most parents “shopping” for schools in Singapore ask about this question as soon as a school’s name comes up for consideration. Most international schools fall into one of two categories – those with close ties to a specific nation (Singapore American School, German European School etc) offer the national curriculum of that nation, catering to expats. More internationally minded schools offer the International Baccalaureate curriculum, or offer it in combination with one or more national curricula.

 

How long will your children be studying in Singapore for?

This is the other big question, and reflects more on your family’s needs and circumstances. If you anticipate a short residence in Singapore (a couple of years or less) then your needs are different – it becomes more important to find a school which can continue the same education and curriculum your children came from and may return to. If you’re settling down for the long run, then continuity of learning becomes a factor. Some international schools offer classes from pre-kindergarten all the way through to senior high school level, and it may be beneficial to enrol children in those schools rather than try and find a new school with a similar curriculum every few years.

 

Would digital learning be better?

One more question worth asking is whether finding and enrolling in an expensive international school is worth it, especially if you’re only in Singapore for a matter of months. While some families simply need the help caring for their children, others can make do in the short term with home schooling or correspondence learning programs. Different schools have different enrolment fees and obligations, so make sure you consider all your options before making such an important choice as this.

Through our relocation arm SIRVA Relocation, Allied Pickfords can provide “School Search” options for you, before you even arrive in Singapore.  Call us to find out more.

 

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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How to Enjoy Chinese New Year as an Expat in Singapore

 

 

For many native Singaporean residents, the rapidly approaching Lunar New Year represents the single most important date of the year. Also known as Chinese New Year, the spring festival holiday is associated with traditions thousands of years old and is celebrated by communities the world over. Singapore marks the auspicious date with a public extravaganza of light and dance, getting fully into the festival spirit with food, fashion, and public events.
If you’re an expat currently living in Singapore, the advent of such a raucous and colourful holiday might be the perfect cultural experience, but it also could be a bewildering drain on your energy if you aren’t prepared. With that in mind, here’s a short guide to the key facets of Chinese New Year in Singapore.

Paint the town red
One of the most visible cultural foundations of the Spring Festival is the veneration of the colour red, which is simply everywhere in Singapore at this time. Seen to signify luck and prosperity, you will see people buying new clothes, cooking food, and daubing their homes in the colour. 
If you plan on celebrating or at least blending in during the festival, it’s a good idea to plan your best “red” look. Buying new clothes – especially ones which are red themselves – is considered good luck at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to splash out a bit in order to look the part.

It’s all about family
Togetherness and family unity are a huge cultural theme of the holiday. One of the central moments of the holiday season is Reunion Dinner, when scattered family members move hell and high water to get home for dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year. If you’re a lonesome single expat far from home on a night like this, it can be very easy to feel cut off from the celebration and sink into a melancholy homesickness.
Take the opportunity to match like with like; Allied Pickfords recommends looking into local expat bars and social media groups to see if anyone else is partying against the grain on reunion night.

It’s not just about the New Year
In Singapore, the Lunar New Year is traditionally marked by a 2-day public holiday, sometimes 3-day, and the revellers will make those days count. But if the holiday itself is too intense or just not your style, the festive season persists for a good month around this crimson crescendo. Featuring a range of mouth-watering seasonal food prepared only around the New Year, colourful public decorations and a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere, this could be the perfect antidote to frantic New Year’s Eve celebrations. Make sure to witness the legendary Chingay Parade, held 8 days after the Lunar New Year and one of Singapore’s most cherished public traditions.

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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