Two of the most preferred options for relocation are Australia and Singapore due to how geographically close they are to the Philippines. There are considerable similarities and differences between these two, which is why you must do your research and weigh each area wisely.
Weather And Climate
Australia has distinct and diverse seasons while Singapore has none.
Australia experiences summer from December-February, autumn from March-May, winter from June-August, and spring from September-November. So you can choose to migrate in a typically cool or warm area. For example, Tasmania is typically cool as it receives the icy breeze from Antarctica.
On the flipside, Singapore’s weather is generally warm, which means that you can sport your favorite sundresses or sandos (sleeveless undershirts) as much as you want. When it is not incredibly hot outside, it is heavily raining due to the monsoons. You must know that hailing a taxi during a rainstorm is very challenging! Thankfully, you can always tap for Uber or Grab taxi.
My Personal Winner: Australia – I want to experience the changing seasons!
Singapore’s public healthcare coverage has a notion of individual responsibility while Australia has a notion of collective responsibility.
In 2012, research showed that Singapore spends about 4.7% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on health compared to the 9.1% in Australia. As you can see, most of Australia’s healthcare spending comes from the collective purse of its residents.
To be completely honest, Singapore and Australia have some of the world’s best healthcare systems. Both their public and private hospitals are well-equipped and provide excellent services from qualified professionals. What draws the line between these two are their policies for public healthcare coverage.
Australia’s Medicare covers a wide array of medical services and expenses (e.g., low cost medicines) for Australian citizens and to non-citizens (to a certain extent). While Singapore’s Medisave are exclusively for its citizens and permanent residents. This is because the Medisave account is embedded in the individual contributions of Singaporeans (as per Central Provident Fund).
Apart from the general pool of taxation revenue, individuals and their employers are mandated to contribute to 3 accounts including the Medisave account. The money on the Medisave account is used to pay for personal medical expenses for oneself and immediate family members.
As you may have expected, their healthcare systems are far more advanced than ours.
My Personal Winner: Australia – I prefer a universal healthcare system that does not “discriminate” against the non-citizens.
Duration of the work permits in Australia lasts longer than in Singapore.
Singapore is actively searching for workers for the insurance, service, healthcare, transport, education, aerospace, biomedical, and construction industry. However, as a nation known for disciplined residents, Singapore’s strict laws extend to the work culture.
If you want to work in Singapore, you must get a Work Permit (for semi-skilled skills such as construction and babysitting), an S Pass (for mid-level skills), or an Employment Pass (for qualified professionals). These passes must be renewed within 1-2 years and you cannot guarantee that your renewal will be approved.
Based on personal experience, getting a pass in Singapore is not an easy task! It takes knowledge, determination, and luck.
On the other hand, Australia’s work permit schemes are more welcoming not only to the foreign workers but also to their families. The Employer Nomination Scheme lets you and your family enjoy an indefinite stay to work and study in Australia. While the Long-stay Working Visa (Temporary Business) allows you to work for up to 4 years.
My Personal Winner: Australia – I would love to have more stability at work.
Education in Singapore usually takes more time than that of Australia.
Comparing the education system of these two countries is important if you are going to move with your children or if you are migrating as a student. These two countries are good options for education as they are both globally recognized. Their governments emphasize on diversity in teaching, excellence in research, and quality in academic curriculum. However, studying in Singapore usually takes more time than if you study in Australia.
Education in Singapore includes Preschool (2 or more years), Primary School (6 years), Secondary School (4 years), Polytechnic or Junior College (2 or more years), and Tertiary Education (3 or more years). What is nice about Singapore’s education is the integration of multiple languages such as English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay.
Education in Australia includes Kindergarten to Year 6 (7 years), Secondary School (6 years), and optional Tertiary Education (3 or more years).
My Personal Winner: Singapore as they globally rank as #1 in Mathematics and Science.
Accomodation in Singapore is about 40% more expensive than Sydney.
Both countries have a myriad of options when it comes to accommodation. Due to the larger land area in Australia, purchasing landed properties in the outskirts are common while renting is more popular in the cities. And since land is scarce in Singapore, rent can get really expensive.
According to the 2013 Cost of Living survey by Mercer, Singapore ranked as 5th most expensive expat destination while Sydney ranked 9th. To illustrate this, a luxury unfurnished 2-bedroom apartment will cost you about Php 175,021/month in Singapore compared to Php 117,649/month in Sydney. So consider renting in the Singapore government-owned buildings called HDBs instead.
My Personal Winner: Australia as rent is more affordable.
Singapore’s Internet connection is cheaper and faster than Australia.
Connectivity is very important to us not only because we want to communicate with our loved ones back home but also because we want to know what is happening in our country. Hence, we take advantage of the Internet accessibility no matter where we are.
If you decide to relocate in Singapore, you are in luck as they allow you to get up to 100 mbps for about Php 1696/month. While in Australia, this amount can only get you a 5 mbps line.
My Personal Winner: Singapore, of course. Imagine what you can do with 100mbps!
There are some areas where one country shines over the other. The best thing that you must do is to examine each area in light of your personality, needs, and desires. If possible, spend some time in your ideal location first before moving permanently.