“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” –Michael Jordan

We are thrilled to announce our newest team member to join Australian Expatriate Group at Global Financial Consultants, Alethea Cridland. Get to know Alethea and her Aussie Expat journey in our interview below, as well as the tips she shares for new expats or those considering making the move:

Q. Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in a small country town in Biloela, Central Queensland.  But I consider my Australian home, where I’ve spent most of my adult life, to be Brisbane, Queensland.

Q. When did you arrive in Singapore?

I arrived in Singapore in February 2017.

Q. What originally brought you to Singapore?

My husband was offered a role here in Singapore, so we jumped at the chance to experience life abroad.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your social life in Singapore?

There are so many great restaurants, bars, beach clubs and brunches to try. I have been fortunate enough to make some great friends from all over the world and it’s exciting to try new experiences and to learn about different cultures.

Q. What do you enjoy most about working life in Singapore?

It’s easy to experience the best of both worlds here in Singapore. To work hard during the week and still be able to travel a short distance on the weekends to experience what Asia has to offer.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your current role?

The role is extremely diverse, and this is a new industry for me, so I am learning a lot and no two days are the same which is enjoyable.  I am also fortunate that the majority of our clients are fellow Australian expats.

Q. What do you miss about home?

I would have to say family, a great affordable steak and less humidity!

Q. What were the biggest ‘culture shocks’ or changes you experienced when you first arrived?

I wouldn’t say I really experienced culture shock.  I think the most difficult thing was working out where to go grocery shopping!  I certainly struggled for the first few months as most people do when you have left close family and a great network of friends and colleagues.  But with all the online resources and groups available to give advice it didn’t take too long to settle in.

Q. How did you find meeting new people and making new friends in Singapore?

With my husband starting work the day after we arrived in Singapore, I made a point of putting myself out there and joining forums and groups to find new connections.  It didn’t take too long at all before I had met a great group of ladies who I now consider to be life-long friends, wherever we may be. 

Q. What advice would you offer new Australian expats moving to Singapore?

Do your research and talk with fellow expats about their experience (whether you meet them online or in person).  I find the expat community is invaluable and most of us are going through the same issues and struggles trying to find our feet.  Don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Q. What’s your favourite thing about living in Singapore?

The public transport is great and the ‘summer’ weather all year round.  I’m not a huge fan of the cold, not that we had too much of it in Brisbane.

Q. What has been the biggest challenge for you so far in your move to Singapore?

The biggest challenge I faced was trying to find suitable work on a DP.  I’m also now finding that all of the close friends I have made are now moving onto their next expat adventure or repatriating to their home country.

Q. Would you recommend Singapore to other Australians considering opportunities abroad?

Absolutely, without a doubt.  It has its challenges, like most things, but it certainly is an opportunity of a lifetime.

Q. How do you find the local Singapore cuisine?

I don’t mind it, but I must say I prefer Western style cuisine.  I do enjoy shopping at the wet markets for all of the fresh and affordable produce though.

Q. In reflecting on your move to Singapore, is there anything you would do differently?

I just wish we had of made the move earlier!