top of page



It doesn't just have to be a fantasy or a holiday destination. It can be home. We'll tell you all about it on this page, as well as linking you to those in the know. You don't have to be stuck in the same old same old. 



Seventy miles from the equator, Singapore is an incredible cosmopolitan city, connected to the world in this high-tech tropical paradise. All your favourite Western comforts, with influences from all over the world, you'll never be short of things to do and places to explore. An English speaking country, Singapore regularly ranks at or near the top in many of the most important metrics, from education to crime, GDP to standard of living. Safe, clean, organised, football-crazy, the garden city of Singapore could be your home.


The facts...

Where is Singapore?

A small country on the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsular, the city state of Singapore is just shy of twice the size of the Isle of Wight. Singapore is an island connected to Malaysia by bridge, and a short ferry ride from the nearest Indonesian island.

Basic Facts

  • It takes around thirteen hours to arrive if flying direct from London..

  • Singapore is seven hours ahead of London.

  • It is legal to consume alcohol in certain bars and restaurants.

  • The currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD).

  • 1SGD is usually around £0.65p.

  • Most people speak English, and all signs and announcements are in English.

  • Other languages widely spoken are Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin Chinese.

More Facts

  • Singapore has a population of around five and a half million, with large groups of residents from Malaysia, China, and India.

  • It's a densely populated city, but it is incredibly green, with parks and gardens everywhere, and buildings and streets lined with green.

  • The plugs used there are British, so no need for converters.

  • The city is very well connected by an excellent metro system. It costs about 50p for one journey, anywhere on the island.

  • Changi Airport is regularly awarded as the best airport in the world, famous for its waterfall and slide in the terminal.

  • Singapore is a total of 64 four islands, with Sentosa being an incredible resort island with famous hotels, restaurants, excellent beaches, and a Universal Studios theme park.

  • Singaporeans are very healthy due to the great infrastructure, which allows for walking and cycling everywhere.

  • Life revolves around shopping malls, which aren't consumer goods, but act as community hubs similar to high streets in England.


The visas...


Singapore has a highly developed free-market economy and the Global Competitiveness Report in 2015 named it as the world’s second most prospering economy. With high salaries, great job opportunities, and a great tax system, Singapore attracts a substantial number of foreigners who apply for a Singapore work visa.

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM), there were over 1.3 million foreign workers in Singapore’s workforce in 2018 – that’s over 20% of the country’s overall population (5.6 million). In order to work in Singapore as a foreign worker, you will need to obtain a Singapore work visa. A Singapore work visa is known as a Pass. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they are subject to a Singapore Visa, has to obtain a work Pass to be allowed to work in Singapore.

Depending on the type of work you will do and your skill level, there are different types of Singapore visas you can apply for.

The Singapore work visas are divided into:

  • Singapore work visas for professionals.

  • Singapore work visas for skilled and semi-skilled workers.

  • Singapore work visas for trainees and students.

  • Short-term work passes.



Employment Pass: For foreign professionals, managers and executives. Candidates need to earn at least $5,000 a month.

EntrePass: For foreign entrepreneurs who are keen to start and operate a business in Singapore that is venture-backed or possesses innovative technologies.

Personalised Employment Pass: For high-earning existing Employment Pass holders or overseas foreign professionals. The PEP offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.

Overseas Networks & Expertise Pass: For top talent in business, arts and culture, sports, science and technology, and academia and research.


Skilled and semi-skilled workers

S Pass: For skilled workers. Candidates need to earn at least $3,000 a month.

Work Permit for migrant worker: For semi-skilled migrant workers in the construction, manufacturing, marine shipyard, process or services sector.

Work Permit for migrant domestic worker: For migrant domestic workers (MDWs) to work in Singapore.

Work Permit for confinement nanny: For Malaysian confinement nannies to work in Singapore for up to 16 weeks starting from the birth of the employer's child.

Work Permit for performing artiste: For foreign performers working in public entertainment outlets such as bars, hotels and nightclubs.


Trainees and students

Training Employment Pass: For foreign professionals undergoing practical training. Candidates must earn at least $3,000 a month.

Work Holiday Pass (under Work Holiday Programme): For students and graduates aged 18 to 25 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 6 months.

Work Holiday Pass (under Work and Holiday Visa Programme): For Australian students and graduates aged 18 to 30 who want to work and holiday in Singapore for 1 year.

Training Work Permit: For semi-skilled foreign trainees or students undergoing practical training in Singapore for up to 6 months.


How to Apply for a Singapore Work Visa?

You will first need to find a job in Singapore before you can apply for a work visa. That’s because it is your employer (or an Employment Agency) who is in charge of handling your Singapore work visa application.

Your employer or an Employment Agency can apply to get your Singapore work visa issued via EP Online, the online application service found on the website of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

The application process for a work visa for Singapore is as follows:

  1. Find a job in Singapore.

  2. While you are still in your home country, your employer or an Employment Agency (EA) will submit a work visa application via EP Online. They will have to pay a processing fee.

    • If the application is accepted, your employer will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which you can use to enter Singapore.

    • If the application is rejected, your employer will receive an In-Principle Rejection letter instead. You won’t receive a work visa.

  3. Using your IPA letter, you can travel to Singapore.

  4. Once you are there, your employer or an EA applies via EP Online to get your Singapore work visa issued. Again, they will have to pay another fee, this time for the work Pass itself.

  5. If your work Pass is issued, you will receive a notification letter. This letter holds information about whether you need to get your photo and fingerprints taken. It also allows you to start working and leave and enter Singapore until you get your Employment Card.

  6. Within two weeks after your Pass is issued, you must register at the Employment Pass Services Centre (EPSC).

  7. After registering, you will get your Pass Card – usually within 4 working days.

Can You Bring Your Family Members With You With a Singapore Work Visa?

Yes, certain professional and skilled workers are allowed to bring close family members (married spouses and children under 21) to Singapore with them through the Dependent’s Pass.

Family members who do not qualify for the Dependent’s Pass can come live with their family members who are working in Singapore through the Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP).


In their own words...


Why did you choose Singapore?

  • It was the first overseas opportunity I was given.

  • Life experience.

  • I heard Singapore was an amazing place to live and I had visited their previously and loved it there. Also a good opportunity presented itself to me to work out there and be a head coach at an academy out there which I may not have had the opportunity to do in the UK.

  • The location intrigued me. I was sold on the idea of working somewhere tropical the other side of the world, close to lots of other countries to explore.

  • I was already living there for work

What is the best thing about living in Singapore?

  • The running and cycling routes.

  • Very comfortable place to live, safe and clean. Good money.

  • Convenience! It's honestly the most amazing place in terms of transport, ordering things online, banking and so many food places. After my sessions I'm often starving and the great thing about Singapore is that on every corner it seems there seems to be a hawker centre selling delicious food.

  • Likely the safety, the organisation, and how well structured and easy to get around it is. Everything you need is either close by or easy to get to.

  • It's clean, everything works and it's perfect for travelling to the rest of Asia.

What took some getting used to after moving to Singapore?

  • Their love of the EPL and not local football.

  • The level of football and the footballing culture.

  • I found Singapore very easy to settle into. I had lived in Beijing previously so found Singapore very easy to live. I think having a swimming pool in my accommodation took some getting used to as I'd never had anything like that! Overall, because everyone speaks English it makes it quite an easy place to settle.

  • The humidity can be difficult. Make sure to always have plenty to drink.

  • The humidity.

What is the standard of football like in Singapore?

  • Not very good.

  • Low.

  • There are some good players in Singapore. The Singapore premier league has turned a bit uncompetitive now with the emergence of Lion City Sailors and Albirex. Those two are streets ahead of everyone. Obviously the Sailors have had huge investment which I'm not sure helps Singapore football as a whole. I found that there were often some good players at aged 15/16 but there was no pathway for them really as even though Singaporeans love football, they don't consider being a footballer in Sinagpore as prestigious as we do in the UK. I think it's more to do with the salaries Singapore professional footballers get avoid, which can be on the low side so they look for other alternatives for work.

  • It's quite low. Good in places, but low overall.

  • The pro league is probably English League 2 at best.

What are some key cultural differences in Singapore that someone may need to beware of before moving?

  • They can be openly racist.

  • Everything is privatised, pay to play and owners are mainly interested in profit over quality development.

  • Singapore is a melting pot of cultures so people have to be aware of respecting all of them. Indian, Muslim, Malay, European, Chinese. There's so many cultures. People need to be open minded and embrace it!

  • The country is a mix of ethnicities, cultures, languages. It's not a car based society like we may be used to in the UK. You may initially feel like you're losing your freedom without a car, but actually you're gaining more because of how easy it is to get around and how well structured the city is.

  • They're more direct in the use of language, confrontation is not ideal. There's 4 main cultures in Singapore and they're all very different.


Have you been able to forge a social life in Singapore?

  • Yes.

  • Very much so.

  • I was there during covid so it was more difficult for me, but there's so many things to do and see there. Clarke Quay, Boat Quay are great spots for food and drinks. You can join a football team or do weekly men's training like I did to meet people. It's very easy to meet people in Singapore as it's so small and easy to get around.

  • Technology and social media makes it easy to find people with similar interests. There are large ex-pat groups, and football supporters groups for many clubs back home..

How safe and welcome do you feel in Singapore?

  • Very.

  • Safe yes, welcome no.

  • I felt as safe as I've ever been and I made amazing friends both on and off the field who I still talk too today. I can't wait to go back there and visit again.

  • The safest. Genuinely saw a guy find a wallet on the train, and then plan with others the best way to keep it safe and return to the owner.

What changes do you see happening in the future of Singapore football?

  • None while the FAS members remain the same.

  • Not much as there are constant changes of technical directors and plans at the FAS.

  • I see some changes with regards to investment in youth football and obviously Lion City Sailors are making big waves. They have a lot of money and are investing in new training grounds and getting high calibre staff so it'll be interesting to see if this develops Singaporean football further. Singapore is so small its very hard for them to be competitive on the world stage.

  • More private academies with affiliate links to European clubs.

  • Unless more money goes into it enabling players to really make a career out of it it will never get any stronger. Plus, the locals are more interested in watching PL, Bundesliga and La Liga more than local football and that needs to change.

If you had to convince someone to come to Singapore, what would you tell them?

  • That it's one of the best places on Earth. Brilliant weather and things work.

  • Great life experience, good opportunities to travel.

  • Go! No doubt about it you won't regret it. Its an amazing part of the world and if you're nervous about going abroad then Singapore is a good place to start as it's so easy to get around and live in. It's a bit like the UK of Asia.

  • Singapore as a country ranks top or near the top on so many of the most important metrics.

  • It's clean, safe and easy to live there.

What are some of the misconceptions you have been presented with in regards to Singapore?

  • People think its' boring and expensive. This is not true if you know what to do.

  • That it's very rules based. Yes there are certain rules, but they are more common sense rules like not littering etc. People also can cross the road when the red man is showing. I did this numerous times and nothing is said. Singapore is certainly a place you should live in if presented with an opportunity.

  • That it is overly strict. I'd say it's more sensible than strict. People care about others and the community.


The jobs...

Academies/Soccer Schools

The vast majority of footballing opportunities for young players comes in the form of soccer schools. Many of those have European affiliates, with lots of top European clubs having a presence in Singapore, from Real Madrid to Blackburn Rovers. The Singaporean clientele are made of parents from higher income categories, meaning that there is often enough disposable income to pay higher fees. This allows some organisations to recruit foreign coaches. With little input from the governing bodies, expertise regularly has to be imported. With strong British links and English being the main language, coaches from the UK and Ireland are highly regarded, and will find plenty of opportunities to coach. However, salary and other benefits can vary widely from one company to another, which is what makes PE teaching jobs more attractive.

Pro Clubs

Singapore is a football mad country, yet little attention is paid to their own domestic league. The Singapore Premier League is an eight team league, with one team operating as a Singapore U23 team, Young Lions. The quality is low, and the attendances are counted in the low hundreds. It's comparatively easier for qualified and experienced coaches from Europe to progress up the ladder, because the ladder is significantly shorter, and poses far less competition. There are enough coaching courses in the area for coaches to continue their education and progression. While a coach may lose much in the form of quality of play, the reward is excellent facilities, and a life in one of the best countries in the world.

PE Teaching

With large groups of Westerners living in Singapore, there are lots of international schools, and as such, there is a demand for PE teachers. The private schools have great facilities, and the Singapore lifestyle allows for lots of outdoor activity. Kids will walk, bike, swim, and play fairly regularly, yet the regard in which organised, competitive sport is held, relative to the UK, is still quite low. Westerners may still value school sport, but you have to remember that these private schools are incredibly successful academically, which is often to the detriment of PE, sport, and other physical activity. The pay is good, and the tax is high. However, the standard of living is exceptional, so many see the taxes as being worthwhile, because the benefits are clear to see in day to day life. The excellent public transport and walkable city mean there is no need to own a car. You'll be fitter and healthier than back home, and find yourself being happier, walking or cycling back to your employer provided apartment, which will likely have a pool and fitness suite, in addition to a balcony of rooftop terrace.


Example of a youth coaching role at a soccer school:

TITLE: Senior Coach


Off pitch responsibilities

• Course program design and preparation – Senior coach to support in the design and delivery of the ESPZEN technical program appropriate to the specified region, market and business model.

• Establishment, maintenance and growth of partner relations – Senior coach to provide support and guidance to local partners. Senior coach to provide a link between ESPZEN and its local partners through regular communication to both partners and the ESPZEN office. Senior coach, in liaison with Program Manager, is to formulate proposals and methods to develop new partnerships within Singapore and South East Asia.

• Support of current program – Senior coach to support the delivery of the ESPZEN program (Soccer School, Academy, parent sessions, presentations, schools provision) to ensure the long term development of ESPZEN within the region.

• Reporting – Senior coach to ensure task statuses are reported during team meetings and in accordance with the Program Manager.

On pitch responsibilities

Course set-up and preparation

• Session plans and pitch layout – Soccer coach to plan and deliver each coaching session in accordance with ESPZEN Coaching Syllabus. Session plan to fit within the technical program and be appropriate to the coaching groups’ age and ability. Pitch layouts to be designed for each session and shown to coaching team and ground staff (where applicable) prior to the start of the session.

• Health and safety – Soccer coach to ensure that all aspects of the coaching environment are safe for both staff and participants. Special attention to be taken on the playing surface and the anchorage of equipment

• Equipment – Soccer coach to ensure that all equipment is in good working order, maintained, clean and ready for use

• Course registration – Soccer coach to meet and greet all participants as they arrive prior to each and every coaching session. Soccer coach to support the registration process so that registration is quick and efficient.

Delivery of sessions

• Coaching staff support - Soccer coach to provide support for the local coaching team during the session in the form of guidance and advice where deemed necessary.

• Session delivery - Soccer coach to take a coaching group and coach them through the planned session. It is the responsibility of all coaching staff to ensure that sessions are well planned, fun, and informative and pitched at an appropriate level for the particular group. Taking note to keep tasks at achievable levels dependent on the group’s age and ability

• Session evaluation - Soccer coach to evaluate his/her sessions and the evaluations to be recorded in the individual’s coach reflection log book.

Customer Relations

• Children - Soccer coach to ensure that all participants are informed about course rules, content and timetable on an ongoing basis

• Parents - Soccer coach to ensure that all parents are informed about course rules, content and timetable on an ongoing basis. Soccer coach to work with ESPZEN marketing department on content for regular newsletter and ensure parents are kept updated on all relevant information.

• Evaluation - Soccer coach is responsible for distributing, collecting and evaluating exit feedback forms for each course


Work-related behaviours (job-specific: technical and universal) required most to achieve the core accountabilities for the position (the ‘how’). Encompasses the key dimensions of an overall competency model that collectively distinguishes superior from less than superior job performance: knowledge, skills, self-image, values, traits and motives. For appraisal purposes, this is the shortlist of differentiating competencies. For career development applications, assessment against a larger dictionary of competencies is important, given that each position has a unique set of core competencies.

Effective Communications Relates well to all kinds of people both outside and within the organisation, capable of building appropriate rapport - a good listener, uses diplomacy and tact. Holds strong relationships with team members and customers.

Results Orientation. Must be self-motivated, keen to gain results and capable of working well under pressure to achieve goals and targets. Must be capable of working alone confidently. Capable of using common sense and initiative to solve problems and work effectively.

Team Player Ability to recognize and respect the interdependent layers within ESPZEN. They are inclusive by nature, and know that a well-managed team can be more effective than people working independently. They intuitively learn and grow from other people.

Resource Efficiency and Multi-tasking Ability to recognise the financial value of ESPZEN resources and are skilled at allocating them for optimum profitability. Organised to make the best use of time, effectively handling a number of competing priorities.


Essential UEFA B License Certificate Youth Coaching Certificate Experience of coaching and working within a high performance professional academy Experience of working with young players between the age of 4 and 16 years Experience of planning and organizing soccer sessions Experience of team based coaching (5-a-side / 7-a-side / 9-a-side / 11-a-side) Excellent communication skills with children, parents, coaches, stakeholders Confident delivery Outgoing, fun personality Fit, motivated, appropriate role model for young children A passion for educating and working with children Excellent level of English First Aid Qualified Keeping abreast of the latest coaching techniques and principles Reliable, organised and punctual

Desirable Minimum of five years coaching experience Experience of organising tournaments and leagues Experience of developing talent Experience of coaching adults Knowledge of Dartfish software Managed influencers (parents, teachers), sponsors and business partners Strong Man-management skills

To learn more about ESPZEN Soccer School please visit


Articles and interviews...


Read about and listen to those who have been there and done it. Learn from their successes and failures. The best coaches are often the most happy to share and empower others. Here are a handful who know Dubai well.

Why It Didn't Work Out in Singapore - Will Wilson

ESPZEN Coaches Needed!

A Better Life Awaits - Will Wilson

bottom of page