If you’re a newcomer, joining one of the expat associations is a great idea. They’re ideal for meeting like-minded people or getting involved in a hobby or sports group. But, even if you’re a long-term expat like me (22 years now!), friends leave regularly and sometimes you just need to boost your social network.
Life stages also change. If the kids have flown the nest, it might be time to find some new interests; or, if they’re going to school, you might want to get back into the job market. Expat Associations in Singapore can help in many ways.
There are a few good associations for expats in Singapore. We talk to the team from the American Association of Singapore (AAS). They’ve been active in Singapore for over a century – obviously with a few changes to the team!
Why join the American Association of Singapore?
The main differences between AAS and other associations for expats
Aside from being one of the island’s oldest associations, at over 100 years old, a uniqueness we have is our family tree. We actually chartered quite a few of the American organisations in Singapore that grew organically as the need arose; following AAS came the American Women’s Association (AWA), then The American Club, Singapore American School (SAS), AmCham, SACAC for counselling and youth sports, Boy Scouts of America Troop 7 and the American Dragons Dragon Boat Team. We also have close ties with the US Marines and US Navy League, as well as the US Embassy.
What’s great about the solid relationships we have with these organisations is that we not only offer a fantastic pillar of support to our collective community, we have opportunities to collaborate on a huge number of events.
The main aim of the association
AAS is all about celebrating American culture through our events, and this revolves around our motto, “Have Fun, Give Back, Be Involved”. The AAS team genuinely loves getting members together and helping them get the best out of Singapore. We do this through our events – including our American heritage major events and smaller Connexions events, the most recent of which have been a huge hit online – along with our Careers Resource Centre for Excellence (CRCE) service, volunteering at charitable organisations we support, and staying connected with our publications, Living in Singapore magazine and the Living in Singapore Reference Guidebook.
We can’t wait to start ramping up our major events soon – we’ve got the 87th George Washington Ball on our calendar for 27 February next year already!
The demographics of your members
We’re mostly made up of US citizens, but we are very much a “come one, come all” organisation, with members of all ages from all over the world. Our members hold a “family membership” and we look to cater for all in our membership base.
The most popular activities or groups that members can get involved in?
Our “At The Table” women’s career and networking and Metworks men’s networking and Coffee Connexions meet-up groups are our monthly event staples. Plus, once the current restrictions are lifted, we’ll be reintroducing our Burger Crawl, Quiz Night, Newbie Night events and the Living in Singapore Talk, based on our guidebook.
Our major events, such as Toys for Tots at Christmas-time, Thanksgiving Picnic and our Fourth of July Celebration, are fabulous fun for all the family and very much at the heart of what we do. As too are our long-standing annual George Washington Ball and Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament.
How much does it cost to join, and roughly how many events do you have a year in “normal” times?
AAS Membership is $120, and AAS and CRCE Membership, including our career service, is $220 – and that’s for all the family. This is great value in view of the fact that we have at least two smaller events per week and five major events each year.
Like many organisations at the moment, we’ve been agile in how we can best serve our community. Our virtual events have been highly successful and we foresee a demand for this in the future. We recently held a very well-received At the Table event online, and our Career Counsellors have been hosting virtual one-on-one sessions with those who need some career advice. We’ve also begun collaborating with partner groups, such as The Growth Faculty, to bring big names in online events to our members’ screens, which is exciting.
To find out more about the AAS, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 6738 0371