Singapore is ranked as a top location for young professionals, especially those involved in the finance and banking sectors. In the same tier as Hong Kong, New York, and London, nearly 40 percent of Singapore’s population is made up of foreign-born professionals or students. There are many factors that contribute to Singapore’s popularity. Leading the way are its temperate weather, ease of living, diverse expat population, and the fact that everyone speaks English, making expat life easy and enjoyable.
This little island is ranked the best Asian country to work in, according to the Global Competitiveness Report, and its universities, namely the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University, are ranked among the world’s top educational institutions. The country’s pro-business government, modern infrastructure, and political stability has made it a top destination for many of the world’s largest companies, especially in the banking, IT, engineering, and shipping sectors. While the cost of living is high, salaries are competitive. Cultural perks include inexpensive local food and easy travel to many of Asia’s top vacation destination, making life in Singapore exciting and fun.
While modern Singapore was founded in 1819, when Stamford Raffles established the island as an outpost of the East India Company, Singapore’s history dates back much farther. Third century Chinese accounts refer to to Pu-luo-chung, or “the island at the end of a peninsula.” Legend has it that the country’s name came about when an Indonesian prince from Palembang was out on a hunting trip and saw a lion for the first time. Taking the sighting as a good omen, he decided to found a city at that location and named it Singapura, using the Sanskrit words simha,or “lion,” and pura, which means “city.”
Strategically located between the Straits of Johor to the north and the Singapore Strait to the south, Singapore has been, and continues to this day, to be an important hub for trade and commerce. It is not uncommon to hear any number of languages spoken when walking through Singapore’s streets— English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are all official languages.