The best events and activities for expat families in Singapore

Moving to Singapore with your family is a chance to truly immerse yourself in a culture that is vibrant, ever-changing and brilliantly unique. There is so much to see, do and learn, making the city a popular choice for expats. And for good reason: Singapore ranks second in the Safe Cities Index 2017 (beaten only by Tokyo). In 2014, Bloomberg highlighted its healthcare system as the most efficient in the world, citing it as the place that healthcare costs go furthest (most expats choose to take out global health insurance). Here are a few of the incredible events and activities that expat families can visit and take part. We hope this inspires you to make the most of your new home.

Delicious events for food lovers

The annual Singapore Food Festival is a must for expat families. Since 1994, the Singapore Tourism Board has held the festival to show off the city’s diverse culinary culture. Entry is free, which is ideal for large families with lots of hungry mouths to feed! It is a great chance to sample local delights and multicultural cuisines – from abacus seed (yam gnocchi) and kimchi popiah (spring rolls) to rojak (a local salad with fruits and vegetables). If your kids are finding it hard to settle into their new home, or you just want to keep them engaged with the local culture, then exploring the different stalls and dishes of the Singapore Food Festival might bring back their appetite for the city.

Festivities that show off Singapore’s multicultural character

Chinese New Year is an annual celebration that you absolutely must experience in Singapore. From bright red lanterns and gold money cats lining the streets, to spectacular dragon processions and delectable smells of oriental spices wafting from the city’s restaurants, Chinese New Year is a treat for the senses. It’s also an important part of Singapore’s culture, as the Chinese community makes up more than half of the city’s population. Singapore does not do the celebration by halves: the annual River Hongboa takes place on board a floating platform with colourful fireworks and Chinese zodiac lanterns. The Chingay Parade involves sparkling dancers, wondrous dragons, magnificent stilt walkers and vibrantly decorated parade floats.

The Hindu festival Thaipusam is also an important date in Singapore’s cultural calendar, and is a spectacle for people of all ages. It’s a two-day festival that begins at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and finishes at the Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple. The colourful procession travels just under three miles and is an amazing glimpse into the traditions of the Hindus, who prepare spiritually for one month on a strict vegetarian diet. The most committed devotees put skewers through their tongues (which can only be done once the mind is free from material longing and the body is exempt from physical pleasures) and carry spiked kavadis (altars). Others balance wooden kavadis on their shoulders with flowers and peacock feathers, and some simply carry a jug of milk.

Colour, sound and sensation!

Whether you’re living in Singapore with your baby, toddler or teenager (or family members of all ages), you might also enjoy a trip to Sentosa to see the Wings Of Time performance. This is an outdoor night show set against the backdrop of the sea that features lasers, water displays and music. While little ones will no doubt be mesmerised by the bright colours and dancing lights, older children may enjoy the magical story. It is popular with tourists and expats alike who want to escape to a fantasy world for the night.

Staying healthy

There are many ways to have fun and stay healthy in Singapore. From yoga and meditation classes to jogging and going to the gym, there are a lot of widely available fitness options. For kids, there are plenty of swimming pools to splash around in and parks where they can let off steam. As a treat, attractions like the water park Wild Wild Wet are popular for families that want a fun day out that involves lots of exercise and fresh air. Combined with a healthy diet – high-protein, low-fat foods with lots of fibre are widely available in Singapore – it’s possible for all the family to stay fit and healthy while living in the so-called ‘garden city’.

Fun family learning

While you’re getting settled into your new lives in Singapore, consider educational trips to boost your children’s confidence about going to school in a new country. The Science Centre is a popular trip for expats as there are lots of interactive exhibits to inspire budding young scientists.

For parents who want to teach their children about the local culture, the Singapore Discovery Centre could also be worth a visit. It has information about the birth and development of the city, galleries that highlight unique Singaporean quirks and an exhibition that explains the vision for the city’s future. All this makes the Discovery Centre a truly educational experience that could help expat families to feel more in tune with their new home.

These are just some of the exciting events and activities in Singapore that you and your family can explore. From food and culture to science, history and entertainment, you should be able to find activities to inspire family members of all ages and help everyone settle into their new life abroad.

10 Benefits of Being a Travel Registered Nurse

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There are a lot of reasons as to why people choose travel nurse careers. So many, in fact, that it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who graduate with a nursing degree. If you are an RN (Registered Nurse), then here are 10 reasons why you may want to consider travel nursing.

  1. You Get to See the Country, or Even the World

If you have always wondered what the weather is like in New England, or whether it is true that nobody is obese in California, then you can find out as a travel nurse. You can often choose the destinations that you are interested in, so you can truly see the country.

  1. The Pay Is Really Good

There is a massive demand for travel nurses, so you will be royally compensated. You can expect to earn around $40 an hour, and you will get travel, housing, and even a food allowance.

  1. Your Resume Will Look Fantastic

As a travel nurse, you will be able to work in various health clinics, performing different roles. This will build a very impressive resume should you ever want to settle down in just one location.

  1. You Get to Choose Where You Work

Your travel nursing agency will contact you with a list of assignments, and you can decide which one to go for. Perhaps you like the idea of a rural physician’s office, helping with house calls. Or maybe you like the challenge of living in a massive city like Seattle and see what that is all about.

  1. You Control Your Career

If you have saved up a bit of money from your previous assignments, you can take a month off. You don’t have to accept any new assignments if you don’t want to, so you can have as much time off as you want.

  1. You Can Earn Great Bonuses

Just for signing on, you could receive a $6,000 bonus. And you can also earn referral bonuses. Further, you may receive a bonus on successful completion of your assignment.

  1. You Can Travel with People You Like

It is likely that you will start to get to know other travel nurses and build friendships with them. You can then decide to take on assignments together, since it is common for assignments to require more than one person.

  1. You Get to Live in Great Accommodation – For Free

Housing is provided for travel nurses when on assignment. These houses are modern and well-equipped. In fact, some even have swimming pools and gyms! All homes will be fully furnished, so you only have to bring your clothes and toiletries.

  1. You Will Make Lots of New Friends

You can make friends among other travel nurses or among the staff at the clinic you go to. Further, you can build social contacts with members of the community in which you work. And with the advent of social media, you don’t really need to see people in real life all that often anymore.

  1. You Can Visit Locations Before Moving

Many travel nurses are sent on assignments and absolutely love or hate the place they are sent to. This will give you a good idea of where to go once you feel like settling down somewhere.