Ekaterina Boltneva, 30 years old, hometown — Volgograd, housewife
About living conditions and housing
Singapore is one of the most modern and safe cities in the world. It perfectly combines the life of skyscrapers and green parks. After moving, your habits change completely. You do not have to worry about the little things, spend time and nerves on paperwork.
There are many foreigners in Singapore, therefore residents should know several languages at once. Foreigners are comfortable here because most people in the country speak English, and all the signs are also in English, which makes life much easier. We had no cultural shock after the move and quickly joined the team at work, understood the local culture.
There are many foreigners in Singapore, therefore residents should know several languages at once
Housing in Singapore is expensive. The entrance to the territory of some complexes works by electronic passes and the intercom is connected to a mobile phone. The utility bill can be sent to your e-mail address, and you can also pay online. The apartments have smart meters that monitor water and electricity consumption. Individual devices have the sockets with a switch. And everyone should know the index of your home because it is connected to your address. Garbage is usually sorted, so there is a garbage chute on the floor, and containers for paper, plastic and other waste are on the first floor. Special services clean air conditioners every three months.
Here everything switching to online, electronic format and the authorities monitors all the processes to improve the infrastructure of the city. There is a special program to prepare the city for the future, called a smart nation.
Many city apps are downloaded by almost every local. It can be an interactive map of the city, a map of the metro, buses, city taxis, many online stores. The police have a separate application where you can report crimes and incidents in the city.
Traffic is thought out to the smallest detail. Payment is carried out through the card, which calculates the distance you drove. And everywhere you can find elevators and pointers, which is convenient for navigation around the city. Transport interchanges are convenient, there are special lanes for buses. At traffic lights, there is a button for pedestrians.
On toll roads, your car or motorcycle will be automatically charged as they are equipped with electronic payment chips. Almost everywhere paid parking as well as high taxes on cars. Here, most people use the metro. In Singapore, there are underground and surface metros with about 135 stations. Inside everything is equipped with safety rules, and everything is modern and clean. The stations have charging stations and free Wi-Fi.
Traffic is thought out to the smallest detail
For cyclists there is a special rental service, payment takes place online through the downloaded application. And a lot of people move on electric scooters.
If you are a citizen of Singapore, you are allowed visa-free entry to almost 160 countries. Singaporeans are the owners of the most powerful passports.
Singapore has a good level of education. In the gardens, children learn Chinese and English. The gardens are divided by the system of teaching and by having a playground. If the level is higher, then the cost will increase. On average, you can find a good kindergarten from 700 to 1200 dollars.
The cost of medical services in comparison with other Asian countries is lower, treatment is available for any category of people.
There are special medical centres for foreigners in Singapore. Prices for treatment here are lower than in the US. And the level of medicine is one of the best in the world.
About the safety
Public places are strictly monitored for abidance for rules. There is a system of fines: the most frequent bans are that you can not smoke, drink and eat in public places and transport, you can not litter.
Singapore is also an incredibly clean city, in the centre located a botanical garden, recognized as a UNESCO site. It is clean here even after big events. There is a legislative ban on the sale of gum, as well as the highest fines for garbage. If you leave garbage on the beach, you will be sentenced to community service. Our family is comfortable here, and I would like everyone to visit this city at least once.
Anna Pavlichuk, 26 years old, hometown – St. Petersburg, fitness instructor
About living conditions and housing
We live in Singapore for the third year. And for us, the city has become home and comfortable. Singapore has been leading in the ranking of smart cities for several years. I think, due to the support of the government and communication with the citizens.
Here everyone respects each other and welcome different initiatives on how to improve the quality of life. The majority of the population are Chinese, then Malays, Indians and many foreigners. Here respect different culture and the city hosts many international festivals.
Singapore has a lot of American and European products, and the cost is higher than in other countries. A lot of inexpensive street food, people often eat on food courts. In restaurants, dinner is expensive but a variety of cuisine is surprising.
Here respect different culture and the city hosts many international festivals
The minimum rental period is one year. In Singapore, it is important to carefully approach the housing issue because the apartments are expensive. But a lot of accessible and understandable real-estate sites, as well as good realtors. During your stay in the apartment, no one will evict you, always written clear payment terms. This is a certain level of reliability for the landlord and tenant.
Building owners, builders can view and design the house online, check if everything is safe, and how to improve water and electricity consumption.
The city authorities launched the Smart Nation Singapore project, which supports several ideas from different areas — urban mobile applications, electronic payments.
To do this, they collect a lot of data from public and private institutions. Create digital areas based only on intelligent technologies. First of all, for the authorities was important to explain this initiative to people, to form a mentality that everyone will understand and accept. And when local people began to see the result of the use of technology, even the older generation began to understand. They know how to use apps and counters in smart homes.
Travel tickets can be purchased at the airport, there are special rates for tourists. A ticket for the monorail to Sentosa Island will be paid separately. Taxis are inexpensive, and the centre can be reached for $12.
There are several systems to monitor the movement of cyclists and motorists. All of it is controlled via GPS, on the basis of which problems with traffic jams are solved.
Motorists here do not have to think about how to pay for parking. It happens online. Here is the strict policy of reducing the number of car owners.
It is easy and inexpensive to travel from Singapore to other destinations in Asia.
It is easy and inexpensive to travel from Singapore to other destinations in Asia
The advantage, for us, is the British education system in Singapore. Children begin their studies at the age of three and receive education in two languages. The cost of training is high, but quality is one of the best in the world.
I like the level of medicine and health care. In Singapore, there are different technologies and a special digital platform for the provision of services. There are some benefits for the elderly population, where their health is monitored.
After arrival in Singapore, it is better to obtain medical insurance immediately. So you will have access to hospitals and services at lower prices as an immigrant.
About the safety
In Singapore is used intelligent video monitoring to ensure security that is how crime is monitored in the city.
I think other cities, and governments should follow the example of Singapore. Here smart technologies and this is not just a beautiful word, but a really proven and working system.
Olga Novikova, 23 years old, hometown — Tomsk, manager
About living conditions and housing
We moved to Singapore last year and noticed changes in everyday life. We chose this city after several trips and business trips here. The city impressed us so much that we decided it is a city for our future family. Here we can live in peace and not worry about safety, comfort. Here everything will be done for you, just use this opportunity. Here you almost do not feel the change of seasons, wet even the heat is pleasant and portable. The cost of living here is high because it is one of the richest countries in the world.
Here it is prohibited by law to rent an apartment through Airbnb. Because in Singapore is an only long-term rental.
Singapore is a gourmet paradise with a wide range of dishes, fresh fruits, berries and seafood. It may seem that there are more restaurants than shops in shopping centres.
In many ways, the leading role in the construction of a smart city played by the government of Singapore. They actively use technology to improve social services for citizens, improve communication between citizens and encourage innovation.
There is a business support system, for example, the simple introduction of online registration of licenses, documents for the design of the restaurant. They want to completely change the idea of public services.
There is a platform where all citizens are automatically registered. And on this platform, you can fill out applications for opening a bank account or apply for housing.
We often use electronic payments, there is a high percentage of non-cash payment. Citizens actively use all the available services on the Internet. It is convenient, reliable and reduces time.
Here, unmanned buses and electric cars. There are many stationary bikes, and the city authorities strictly monitor the city taxi. There is no need to worry about how to quickly get to some point in the city. There is an unmanned metro Mass Rapid Transit, and through the application, you can find out the arrival time of the bus and the number of seats available in it.
Making friends with other expats in this country is easy, especially if you have school-age children who attend one of the international schools. And a lot of expat groups available on Facebook.
For immigrants, the only real problem with raising children in Singapore is finding the perfect school. Places in local schools are usually reserved for permanent residents, so as an expat you need to enter one of the available international private schools. Education in such schools is quite expensive. But the good news is it is a great way to get to know other foreigners.
For immigrants, the only real problem with raising children in Singapore is finding the perfect school
The coolest project is an application that informs about nearby citizens who are trained to provide first aid. If a person becomes ill, then through the mobile application you can find someone who can quickly provide assistance before the ambulance arrives. Such people are notified immediately on the phone, and if they are close they will help. Rooms with elderly people are equipped with sensors: if the sensors stop recording movement, the warning signal is sent to relatives or social services.
About the safety
The city has a system that receives and stores data from all sensors and cameras. And based on this information, the government provides many services. They react to public transport traffic and can even predict catastrophes, accidents or mass epidemics. All this contributes to improving the quality of life. Local people here are calm about the fact that the authorities control them, collect data. People agreed with it because they see the result.
It is a country with one of the lowest crime rates. You can leave your belongings unattended and be sure that they would be unstolen.
We plan to live in Singapore and want to get citizenship, and we are sure that here everything will be fine.