7 Things Australian Expats Hate About Living In Singapore

Singapore is one of the top destinations for Australian expatriates, thanks to the many corporate giants that use the island nation as a regional hub.

According to government-supported expatriate community Advance, Singapore accounted for some 9.4% of Australian emigration in 2010/11. DIAC said most Australian-born departures were for work reasons.

There’s plenty to like about living and working in Singapore but expatriates have plenty of complaints too.

Here are some issues you should be aware of before making the leap:

1. Housing costs are outrageous.

Housing development flats

Singapore is one of the world's most expensive cities to live well in, according to Mercer's 2013 Cost of Living survey, which ranked Singapore as the 5th most expensive expatriate destination and Sydney 9th.

According to Mercer, housing tends to cost 40% more in Singapore than Sydney. A luxury, unfurnished two-bedroom apartment will put you back $US3,795 a month in Singapore, compared to $US2,551 in Sydney.

And if you aren't into high-density living, housing gets even more expensive. An unfurnished three-bedroom house costs $US7,267 a month in Singapore, compared to $US5,164 in Sydney.

3. It's hard to make local friends.

St Patricks Day in Singapore

Singapore has a huge expatriate population, accounting for about a quarter of people in the country, and the government wants the figure to grow.

Expatriates tend to converge in country clubs - the American Club and Tanglin Club are centrally located and popular. But befriending Singaporean natives can be more difficult.

'My biggest frustration being an expat in Singapore is the separation between expats and Singaporeans,' says Kelly Jackson-Nash, a Melburnian who has lived in Singapore since May 2011.

'Many Singaporeans are naturally wary of making friends with expats, which is completely understandable given the turnover of expats here.'

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