Rather than find a house or apartment, software engineer Madhusudhan Guniganti and his family opted for serviced accommodation when they relocated to Singapore from India in October 2016. He shares their experiences of moving to Singapore, with advice for other expats who are relocating to the island.
From Warangal to West Coast
Madhusudhan and his family have made their Singapore home at the Oasia Residence.
Originally from Warangal, about 150 kilometres from Hyderabad, Madhusudhan Guniganti was transferred to Singapore on a two-year contract. “It was my first relocation experience,” he explains.
“The tickets, everything was arranged by my company and it was all very easy.” Choosing where to live was made even easier with some inside knowledge: the Oasia Residence on West Coast came highly recommended by a friend and colleague who was already living there with his own family. “We just came with our luggage. We didn’t need to bring furniture as we knew everything we’d need was already here. We haven’t really bought anything apart from a few clothes and things for my daughter.”
One of the few items they did make a point of bringing was spices. “We do our own cooking. That is very important for us as Indians. We do eat outside but mostly we cook at home.” They soon realised that even their favourite spices could be found locally. “There are many Indian shops in Singapore and West Coast Market is only about 500 metres away.”
Choosing where to live
The earth-toned 2-bedroom apartment is decked with a spacious kitchenette and living room.
Location was also important when choosing their new home. “I wanted our home, my daughter’s school and my office to all be within a 10-kilometre circle. I did initially have some concerns about schooling but we found this apartment. My office is 5 kilometres away and the Yuvabharati Indian International School about 7 kilometres. There is another Indian school, GIIS (Global Indian International School), but it is in Punggol, which was just too far.”
Getting around is also easy and Madhusudhan and his family all travel by public transport. There is a bus stop nearby and the residence also has a shuttle bus service to Clementi MRT. “We mainly take the bus and the MRT for longer distances. The transport system is very good here; you walk 500 metres and you find a bus stop. It’s also very affordable compared to many countries.”
The Spa Pavilion is the great spot for a massage or to refresh and recharge.
All Oasia Hotels and Residences cater to wellness-conscious guests and aim to refresh, refuel and recharge. The sports facilities were certainly a big draw for Madhusudhan, and the multiple swimming pools and Jacuzzis are a big hit with his eight-and-a-half year-old daughter, Shrestra. “There is also a gym and a tennis court, so you can do something different every evening,” says Madhusudhan, who, along with his wife, only learned to play tennis when they first moved to Singapore. “They also do breakfast five days a week which saves us a lot of time.”
The experience so far
The Living Room for guests to unwind and enjoy complimentary light continental breakfast.
Overall, it seems they’ve had a very smooth relocation experience. “Our two-bedroom apartment is modern and clean, it’s serviced three times a week, and the staff are very friendly.” As far as everyday life is concerned, it has also been plain sailing. “It’s very clean, very safe. We’ve never had any issues; not even language problems. Even in my home country when I go to a neighbouring state I sometimes have trouble communicating. Everywhere you go here, people speak English.”
Tips for newbies
So, what advice would he give to newcomers to Singapore? “Make sure your offer letter includes housing, schooling and medical insurance or at least plan and budget these things into your salary. Someone in India cannot imagine the cost of medical care or housing here. Schooling is also important. It’s very hard for expats to get admission to local school unless you are a PR, so that is another big expense.”
Once all that is taken care of however, newcomers should also enjoy discovering Singapore. “Everyone should go to Marina Bay and see the Merlion,” says Madhusudhan, “also Jurong Bird Park, Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa. And everyone should ride the MRT; it’s a great experience!”
Article written by www.expatliving.sg
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