Have you recently moved to the sunny island of Singapore? If you are here for work and have had no time to explore the city, read on to find out some hacks and important information from the School of Language International you will definitely appreciate while living in Singapore.
1. Nail Down Your Route to Work
Your company would probably have set you up with a local real estate agent or found you suitable accommodation. Once you have that all settled, one of the first things you should do is to figure out a perfect route for your daily commute. In a country that is interconnected via multiple MRT lines and buses, there would definitely be more than one way to get to the office.
One method to figure out the quickest route would be to key in the postal code of your home address and destination on Google Maps. The application will direct you to the nearest bus stop or MRT station and tell you exactly where and when to alight if you have to switch between MRT lines or to another bus. However, technology isn’t always 100% reliable. Do a trial run by yourself to find out exactly how long your commute will be, then add some buffer time for peak hour traffic.
2. Dress for the Weather
Other than getting your circadian rhythm adjusted to our timezone, make sure your body is acclimatised to the warm climate of Singapore. There are no four seasons here beside the equator, so brace yourself for an all-year summer and some tropical showers in between while living here.
Due to the warm nature of the weather in Singapore, most locals dress casually almost all the time. Get out on the streets and find out for yourself what is considered appropriate dressing for dinners or the workplace to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb in the company of your new colleagues. You might be surprised to find out that polo-tees and linen shirts might just be allowed as workwear in your new office.
3. Visit Local Haunts
To quickly assimilate to Singapore, you can immerse yourself in culture-rich local haunts in the country such as Kampong Glam, Chinatown and Little India, instead of visiting the usual touristy spots. Take some time to learn about Singapore’s multicultural history and give local food a shot while you are at these places. Reading the local newspaper can also be a good way to find out the latest happenings in the country and to make conversations with locals.
4. Learn Our Unique Language
Singapore might be a multi-racial city, but there is one language that connects us all – Singlish, which basically means Singapore English. In Singapore, there are hundreds of colloquial phrases and slangs that are used exclusively in the country, which have evolved from the usage of multiple languages between Singaporeans. Don’t be afraid to ask what a word means whenever you hear something you don’t understand, and put in some effort to pick up some useful terms that can help you communicate with food vendors or other Singaporeans.
If your first language is English, you might want to consider enrolling in a Chinese class to better assimilate yourself into the country by learning basic Chinese. This way, you will be able to order Chinese food from the local hawker centre with no problems and also avoid being ripped off at bazaars or the market by sounding like a foreigner. Who knows, you might even meet other like-minded expats in your language class!
Assimilate Better with SLI
SLI provides expats with a range of Mandarin and English classes online and offline to help them communicate better with locals and their colleagues in Singapore. Learn to communicate in local languages with SLI today. Click to view our range of language classes and course catalogue.