Who Would Ever Move Their Family to Asia During a Global Pandemic?
Earlier this year my family was given an opportunity to be located to Asia for my husband’s job. We were asked to give our list of cities which we would consider moving to. This was in Spring 2020 when Covid-19 was raging across American, most everything was shut down in our community, and we knew that life wasn’t getting back to normal anytime soon. After being asked this question, and a week of hysteria, my husband and I came back to his company with our lengthy list of cities we would consider, thinking…who would ever relocate a family of five across the world during a global pandemic.
Well, his company would, and has, and we found out in August 2020 that we were to move to Singapore. While this was completely mind blowing, it was also extremely exciting. I mean, we all have watched Crazy Rich Asian, right??? Kidding aside, we knew we had been given a gift to be assigned to a country that is extremely multi-cultural, safe, clean, English speaking and very easy to acclimate to. And, while I will expand on this later….they have handed the Covid-19 pandemic extremely well so that while they remain extremely vigilant on restrictions, after an initial lockdown (which they referred to a “circuit breaker”) life here is as close to normal as you can get.
Meaning my 14, 12 and 6 year old will finally go back to school full time in nearly a year.
Singapore is considered the gateway to Asia so once travel resumes, the travel opportunities are infinite and for my profession and my passion…this is everything and as I sit here in Central Singapore, I can spend hours just staring at a map imagining all the places we can go…hopefully soon.
But for now, we are here in Singapore serving its mandatory 14 day quarantine at a government selected hotel (they call it SHN, Stay Home Notice) and counting the seconds until we get out to explore all of the many things this small country offers while also starting to plan for our life here. Click here for more information on travel to Singapore during Covid-19 and tips to survive a quarantine with kids.
As an American, there are numerous schools to choose from. We were going the private school route, and because we were unsure of how long we were going to be here, we wanted to choose a school that offered an American curriculum so that it would be an easy transition back and forth for the kids. We decided to focus on Singapore American School (SAS) and Stamford American International School (SAIS) – there may have been more choices but in the time that we had, I didn’t want to consider more than two.
SAS quickly seemed to be most American family’s first choice, it’s one of the oldest international American schools, has a great reputation and legacy, and boasts a traditional American school experience while taking advantage of the diversity of its community and its foothold in Asia. SAIS also has the latter and is 65% non American, however in comparison to SAS, it is a relatively newer school. Both of these schools are in high demand and pre-covid would have had a waitlist. SAS still had one when we went to apply this fall so I laser focused in on SAIS and we are very happy with our decision and the families we have talked to. Will keep anyone interested posted about our experiences once we start, the onboarding process and orientations have been top notch though.
My sons will start 8th, 7th and Kindergarten there next week, and we have them enrolled in tennis and soccer afterschool. This is going to be a major adjustment after being home pretty much non-stop since March 2020. I am nervous for them and praying that they will find that awesome friend on their first day and love all of the amazing offerings that SAIS provides.
While they are starting school, I will begin my immersion into the neighborhoods of Singapore to find us a place to live. It’s a small country, and we’ve been told even living on the outskirts of city center, 30 min is the most my husband would need to commute. But after living in NYC for most of my adult life, and living in Fairfield County, CT for the past 6 years…I am excited to have the complete urban experience while we are here. I promise to report back on our house hunting experience and update you on where we land.
I look forward to you all following along with us on our adventure, and I aspire for this blog to help other families who are facing a quarantine upon arrival in Singapore in the near future, other expat families, and hopefully one day soon…to future travelers to Singapore and SE Asia.
Back to you soon,