With over 30,000 members, InterNations is a way to network and meet new people in Singapore. We chat with two Singapore-based ambassadors for global networking organisation InterNations who explain the benefits of joining.
Day job: Heads up the Regional Business Development team for APAC American Express Business Travel
Ambassador since: 2013
Expat trail: Australia, then Singapore
Day job: Runs an entertainment company organising public and corporate events
Ambassador since: 2012
From: Grew up as an expat child in UAE, moved to India for further education, and then migrated to Australia
Expat trail: Lived and worked in China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and India before moving to Singapore four-and-a-half years ago
What do you do as an InterNations ambassador?
Adi: Our team of four ambassadors, including Catarina Longman from Brazil and Barbara Moss from the UK, organises up to four events a month; each is attended by around 250 to 400 members. Events are an opportunity for members to network as well as explore new venues around town. Our role includes answering daily queries from our members, welcoming new members and providing tips on settling into their new home. We encourage them to join interest-based activity groups, such as travelling, nightlife, running and scuba diving, to name a few.
How can InterNations help expats?
Neera: The InterNations website has helpful forums which connect members not only in the same city but globally to 1.6 million members. As well as assisting people who live here, or plan on moving here, with queries related to jobs, housing, entertainment and more, InterNations helps visitors to Singapore discover what to do and where to eat, providing travel advice and more. Our more than 30,000 members in Singapore ranges from those who have been here for more than 12 years to those who have literally stepped off the plane this morning. InterNations caters to all expats.
What was your own experience with settling in Singapore?
Adi: My experience was smooth. I was blown away by the efficiency; from clearing immigration, to hailing a taxi and finding a house, it’s one of the easiest places to live as an expat, with the added advantage that everyone speaks and understands English.
Neera: Singapore, or “Asia for beginners” as it’s fondly called, was an easy place to settle into. Thanks to InterNations I made many friends, some of whom remain my closest pals, and I continue to stay in touch with those who have relocated.
Tell us about your favourite InterNations events and activities.
Adi: Apart from the three big monthly events, I enjoy the running group and circuit-training group events, which we call Sexier By Friday.
Neera: Unlike Adi, who is a fitness freak, I prefer more chilled-out activities. As the Consul for Socialites Group and the Evening Cocktail and Nightlife Group, I like hanging out with a small bunch of our members over a drink or two.
The InterNations 2014 Expat Insider survey found that:
- nine out of ten expats feel extremely safe in Singapore; a feeling just 46 percent of global respondents share;
- more than three out of four expats describe the quality of medical care in Singapore as good or very good – considerably higher than the global average (53 percent);
- respondents seem to have little trouble getting used to life in Singapore; one in three completely agrees that settling down in Singapore is easy, which is almost double the global average (17 percent).