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Flocking Kiwis Singapore - Melanie Edmonds

Friday 1st April 2016

Flocking Kiwis is a series about young New Zealanders living abroad and how they transition into life away from home.

We’re a population known for our love of leaving the nest and while Kiwis have long been flocking to the UK, Asia is not as common a destination for OEs.

In this instalment, we visit young New Zealanders who’ve made the move to Singapore – a country roughly the size of Lake Taupo with a population of 5.4 million.

Melanie Edmonds loved her life in Auckland but after four years of working in the city, she needed a change.

“I just felt like it was very, very comfortable. It was a little bit too easy.”

Melanie, who works in marketing, approached her boss to see if there were any positions with the company overseas. Her ultimate dream was New York but her boss offered Singapore instead.

“I’d never been to Singapore but I thought ‘why not?’”

The 26-year-old has been living in Singapore for about a year and is still getting used to some of the big differences like the formal work culture, strict rules, and living cost disparities. 

“The thing with Singapore is that some things are super expensive and some things are really cheap; it’s quite bizarre. With food, you can eat easily an awesome meal for $3. Accommodation, rent, alcohol are ridiculously expensive. You could pay $20 for one beer.”

Being in Singapore reminds Melanie how much she misses home. She says the locals generally love New Zealand, whether they’ve been there or not.

“Usually people are super happy when they find out you’re not Australian. People like kiwis. They like that we’re laid back and easy going.”

This content is brought to you with funding support from Asia New Zealand Foundation and NZ On Air.

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Julian Vares is a film-maker based in Christchurch. When he's not selling his soul making corporate videos he can usually be found out and about shooting music videos and short films. Failing that, he's probably at home making burritos.
Mava is an award-winning journalist, formally with The Wireless.
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