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What to do in Singapore?
Singapore is essentialy known for its mad number of commercial centers. Walking on Orchard Road, the main street of the country, you will have them everywhere, on your left as on your right. See also Suntec City, near the City Hall MRT. A few neighbourhoods are worth a visit, like Chinatown, Serangoon (the indian neighbourhood), or even the Malay Village located at Paya Lebar MRT. On the attraction side and monuments to visit, there are a lot of them but one visit should be enough to proove that Singapore is after all a quite new city, without a lot of history. Go to visit the island of Sentosa and the Mount Faber, Chinese Gardens, Japanese Gardens, Botanical gardens, Mandai Zoo (and its night safari), The Crocodile Farm, le Singapore Art Museum, walk on Boat Quay and also on Clarke Quay. Finally, get a drink at the 70th level of the highest hotel of the world, the Westin Stamford. The vue is beautiful by clear weather.
The expatriate's wife in Singapore:
Know it, Singapore is a paradise for an expatriate's woman. But on the surface only, because aftter having visited the largest commercial centers in town (and of south east Asia and elsewhere), they often feel that the time is long until their husband get back from work. Especcially if he is on a business trrip to Corea for example. They better find a job once on the spot or get in touch with other expatriate's wife to share common activities. The expatriate's wifes are numerous in Singapore.
DBS Bank, POS Bank, UOB Bank, OUB Bank. I think that they request a work contract copy to open an account. Cheking accounts are paid. Foreign currency deposits are available without limits, but foreign currency accounts are forbidden.
Visa cards aren't delivered anymore to foreigners by some banks because of the risk of seeing the expat leaving without paying its debts. But apparently, CHASE will accept even if your work contract is for one year only (and that you earn the minimum required). AMEX wants 2 years at least of working contract.
Lalliance Francaise : actively participate in the french culture in Singapore, and offers popular french courses
La French Business Associtation : it has a job service with a full time employee, who organize a weekly information meeting (monday 14h ), forwards CVs and job offers, most of them coming from french companies. It also has computers and local newspapers available. The best is to call them directly or to send them an email.
L'Association Francaise de Singapour (AFS)
It publishes a guide in french calledd "le Carnet" which is full of advices for setting down in Singapore and many addresses,
from doctors to restos and from plumbers to tailors. Very useful when arriving, you never get bored of it.
Singapore is very internet oriented. You can find all the necessary infos by using a good search engine (of the type www.google.com). For example, the Inland Revenue Department publishes all the Tax limits for employees and companies of all juridical types. The Immigration Department publishes all the infos relative to work permit. The Registry of Companies and Businesses publishes all the infos relative to establishing a company in Singapore.
Also, if you decide to bring your dog or cat with you, the Fishery and Agricultural Department publishes the paperwork process in a very explicit way (warning, Singapore always applies the quarantine regime to the animals coming from most countries of the world). In each cases, the email addresses are available upon request, and every request will be proceeded very quickly, and sometimes useful advices are also given on how to apply the laws (this was my own experience). Bu be careful, singapore people likes laws, and likes to remind them to those who don't follow them.
The singapore administrations are relatively wokring good and apparently don't suffer a lot of corruptions. They are organized like private companies with mission statements, precise and published goals, and the executive employees salary are indexed on the private sector which make the good people to stay.
You will find links to organisms related to Francec at : http://www.france.org.sg . The consulate, the Alliance Francaise, the French Business Association are listed there.
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