• Breastfeeding a New Born in India

    The first few hours after your baby is born are the most joyous and thrilling. The journey of raising your baby commences. Being a mother, it is only natural that you will feel confident once you are equipped with all the necessary tips and information needed. New parents should give extra care and attention towards their baby at this moment. This is when your little one is at greatest risk of getting infected with unwanted diseases. Breastfeeding gives your baby the ideal food that is needed at this moment and protects your baby from illness. It gives your baby the much needed healthy start and keeps you worry-free.

    The deficiency of awareness on the advantages of breast feeding is a major concern and very prevalent in India. Along with that comes the availability of various substitutes of breast milk. These are the main reasons the newborn is deprived of the natural nourishment in India.

    The practice of breastfeeding the newborn is on a decline in India. Most modern mothers in India, due to lack of time and for keeping a good body shape, are eager to feed infant formula foods to their newborn. A majority of mothers in India are still unaware of the benefits of breastfeeding and the fact that apart from being the  most appropriate food for the newborn, it also bonds the mother and baby emotionally.

    People living in both the rural and urban areas in India follow ancestral superstitions and traditions of giving holy water from the shrines to babies. A lot of mothers believe and will actually advise you to avoid breastfeeding by saying that it is too complex and babies are unable to consume it. They rely on honey and holy water from temples for the first few days. Families in India are usually extended, with members staying under the same roof.  Family elders encourage new mothers to feed cow milk to babies, which is not suitable for infants and can lead to malnutrition and upset stomach.

    Breast milk, being the most appropriate food for the newborn, leaves no alternatives to breast feeding.  Busy mothers can use pumps to extract the breast milk and preserve it. It is a good practice to ease into a regular breast feeding schedule which will ultimately keep your baby strong, healthy and lively.

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  • Working in Malaysia as an Expat

    With its largely cosmopolitan and educated population, Malaysia is a well-developed nation with industrialized economy and flourishing sectors of manufacturing and international trade. Even with a fairly large Muslim population the women of Malaysia are liberal and work in its banking and education sectors. Its young education population is moving into services sector like finance, healthcare and telecom services.

    Finding work

    For expats in Malaysia, finding work will not be an easy task and it is advisable to first get a job and then work towards obtaining a work and stay permit for obtaining temporary stay in the nation. An expat in Malaysia would have to present details about his past activities and job profile in his home nation so he can get work permit, tax id and other required paperwork to work in Malaysia. The nation is ably connected internally and externally with trains, buses and airways making it an ideal destination to work and enjoy with family.

    Job opportunities

    There are a several job opportunities for people with experience in fields of engineering, education, banking, and tourism sectors along with oil and gas industries. If an expats in Malaysia know Malay or Mandarin besides English they will have an easier time working in Malaysia as these are the most frequently spoken languages. They also have to ensure that their work permit is current as Malaysian laws are very strict about illegal work permits which can lead to immediate deportation or imprisonment with fine.

    Work and play

    Local and international firms opening up offices in Malaysia can only hire limited number of foreign employees which restricts opportunities for expats in Malaysia seeking jobs. Being a politically and culturally stable country it attracts foreign businesses from across Asia, Europe and America which helps expats feel at home when they have to stay in Malaysia to work.

    Malaysia is an exciting place to work and enjoy with family as it offers a wide choice of cuisines from all over the world and has vibrant culture which is the right mix of modern and traditional to give the atmosphere of old world charm. It has equatorial climate and long monsoon seasons along with dry season between June and October which leads to bush fires causing heavy pollution and respiratory problems among people or expats in Malaysia not accustomed to the local climate.

    All large cities in Malaysia have shopping malls with western restaurants and foreign food brands which can help expats prepare their local cuisine. It is also recognized as a popular tourist destination in Asia with beautiful beaches, jungle resorts and vast tea plantations that have existed since British colonial times.

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  • Facts About Living in Singapore

    Singapore is among thebest cosmopolitan cities of Asia and still retains its old British colonial charm. Located on the southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore is a hub for the regional financial markets and is also ranked among top five foreign exchange trading centers of the world. Though the strict rules of living here are authoritarian, it helps to keep the city safe and clean despite having a large multi-cultured population of more than five million across various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Finding a job in Singapore is not easy as local residents are well educated and competition is tough if you do not know the local language.

    Cost of living and local climate – As Singapore lies close to the equator the weather is warm and humid all around the year with heavy rainfall during Monsoon. The level of humidity rises with rainfall and is usually between 22-34°C making the months between November and December wet and humid. The high standards of living in this city are expensive making Singapore one among top 10 most expensive destinations in the world. Expats moving in from low inexpensive locations in Asia and Europe find property prices exorbitant in Singapore. Taxes in this city on entertainment like dining and dining in restaurants is very expensive, making it difficult for people coming from pub cultures to socialize with friends. People who wish to own a television have to pay license fee. You can only drive a right hand drive car in Singapore and have to convert existing driving license to a Singapore one within one year of your stay.

    Job and career opportunities – As a technically qualified professional you can get a job in Singapore easily as it the hub for the region’s financial markets. Besides jobs in banking sector, experienced people can apply for opportunities in shipping, IT, electronics and education. The job market in this city has been relatively buoyant despite of the international recession forcing talented people across to world to seek career opportunities here. The best bet would be look for friends and acquaintances in Singapore that can refer your name for job opportunities and it may help you get a job easily. Spouses cannot work in with expatriates unless they own a valid employment pass and a job offer.

    The Expatriate Information Desk has an online city guide which can help potential expats understand all details about residential communities close to schools and other educational institutions.

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  • What to Expect when you Are Expecting in Vietnam

    Pregnant women world over have interesting tales of strange customs, rituals and behaviors that you have to endure from strangers feeling your stomach to being force to wear a radiation proof apron. If you are living in Vietnam or moving to Vietnam when you are expecting you are fairly luckily, the country does not have strange pregnancy customs or traditions, however they do have rigid post pregnancy confinement rituals.

    During your pregnancy all you might have to deal with is unusual or superstitious advice mixed with typical pregnancy advice from strangers.

    Here are a few examples of advice you might receive whether you are an expat, a tourist or non-resident Vietnamese:

    Unusual Reaction 1: Be prepared for random strangers being thrilled about your pregnancy.

    Vietnam is a family centric society where large families are the norm. So, if you are pregnant and showing while in Vietnam be prepared for people to express their delight. They will be even more delighted if you are expecting a boy. (Patriarchal society)

    Unusual Reaction 2: Be prepared to be encouraged or discouraged from eating certain food

    In Vietnam, the three trimesters are divided into hot and cold stages. The first and third are hot stages while the second trimester is neutral. During this time you may receive advice on which foods to eat or avoid.

    Unusual Advice 1: Don’t eat too much nourishing food

    Vietnamese believe that by overeating nourishing food during pregnancy the baby will grow too big.

    Unusual Advice 2: Walking over Hammocks is a big No No

    Vietnamese believe that if you walk over a hammock when you are pregnant you risk turning your baby into a lazy person.

    Unusual Advice 3: Don’t go to weddings or funerals

    Pregnant Vietnamese women are not confinement during pregnancy but they are strongly discouraged from attending weddings or funerals as it is believed they will bring bad luck. If you have been invited to a wedding pre-pregnancy be prepared for negative reactions to your presence especially if you are showing.

    Unusual Advice 4: Don’t buy or dress your newborn in new clothes

    Vietnamese believe that by dressing your newborn in new clothes you will attract evil spirits who will make the baby ill.

    P.S. You might also be encouraged to follow the stringent post delivery Vietnamese traditions that recommend that to ensure good health of mother and child, you should not leave the house for a month and eat bland or traditional Vietnamese meals like pork leg porridge.

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  • Top Four Picks for Expats in Thailand

    What if you could lead a life as comfortable as in your country, but only at lesser costs? Well, living in Thailand is as good as residing in your home country, that too without extra expenses. Of course, life will be a little different, but that is what will make it exciting! Living in Thailand can be a breeze if you select the right place to stay at. Affordable living, low healthcare cost, yet a comfortable standard of living, why wouldn’t expats in Thailand want it? Here we give you four options that you should totally consider, if you plan to have an extended stay in Thailand.


    Would you believe us if we told you that on a budget of $1800 per month, you and your partner could stay comfortably anywhere in the country? Yes, it is possible, even if you decide to stay in one of the most invigorating capitals of the world – Bangkok. In spite of being lined with dizzying high-rises and the luxurious of hotels, this cosmo offers an indulgent lifestyle while being lenient on your budget. The excellent network of public transport in the city is another aspect that makes living here a delight. Expats in Thailand are a lucky lot.


    If you thought Phuket could only be on your visitor’s itinerary, you will be pleasantly proved wrong by the city. You get everything here that you would associate with an ideal lifestyle – delectable food, picturesque locales, basic amenities and affordable living. If you enjoy ending your day with a walk down the beach, while the cool breeze blows on your face softly, look no further than Phuket. It also makes a safe option if you as an expat in Thailand are planning on having a baby in the country.

    Chiang Rai and Rayong

    Moving over to the lesser know places, we have Chiang Rai and Rayong for you. As an expat in Thailand, you may not have heard more about these hidden gems. If your idea of the perfect life revolves around peaceful lifestyle in the countryside, you will find unending options in these two areas. It’s nature at its best in Chiang Rai and Rayong – there are rivers, mountains and forests to create that perfect backdrop for your countryside life.

    Hua Hin

    Another option for laid-back expats in Thailand, wanting to taste the good life while staying away from the hustle-bustle of the metros, Hua Hin is a paradise offering a relaxed lifestyle. If you plan on raising children in Thailand, you should can consider staying in Hua Hin.

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The Best Places to Study in India for International Students

Increasingly, students from around the world are flocking to India to study. In the past few years, campuses and universities in India have attracted growing interest from foreign students because of the quality of education being offered and the fact that education in India is very affordable compared to the costs in the West.

Indian universities and educational institutions are climbing up the ladder of success and being ranked higher in global ranking surveys. Moreover, Indian universities are gradually beginning to embrace international curriculum and credit rating systems to ensure that their degrees are in no way lesser to those being offered around the world.

Recent surveys point out that India is a preferred destination for students from parts of Africa, South East Asian and the Middle East. Here are some of the top rated institutes and universities they are heading to.


The IT hub of India, has the biggest population of international students in the country. Bangalore is a youthful city is brimming with international schools that are thronged by expats. For your undergraduate degree, you can head to top class, autonomous colleges that are affiliated to Bangalore University. Apart from this, you can also enroll in leading institutions like the Indian Institute of Bangalore (IIM), Indian Institute of Information Technology and also the National Centre for Biological Sciences. With its cool climate and laid back pub culture, Bangalore is a student’s haven.


Every year, India’s most populous city, Mumbai, attracts hundreds of students from across the globe. In the last few years, Mumbai has made large strides in providing world-class infrastructure and education to overseas students. The Mumbai University, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), and The National Institute of Industrial Engineering offer an array of exciting and compelling courses that have found favor with a host of students. Moreover, Mumbai is India’s glamorous city and can offer students a variety of experiences that are suited to student life.


India’s capital, Delhi, is the perfect blend of the old and the new. Its hallowed universities – like St. Stephen’s, the University of Delhi and the Jawaharlal University – have produced leading lights in the field of politics, the sciences and the arts. For many years now, Delhi has worked on providing competent facilities to its international student population and has gone out of its way to make them feel welcome.


Having a Baby in Thailand: Good Facilities at Reasonable Rates

The joys of expectant motherhood come bundled with indescribable insecurities and worries. If you happen to be in a foreign country and are generally unaware of what to expect, the experience can be downright harrowing. Fortunately, Thailand has plenty of hospitals that can look after you and your baby. Unless you find yourself in a particularly rural area, most hospitals tend to have modern equipment and trained doctors. Nurses are trained in midwifery, although it is the doctor who normally handles the whole procedure.

Delivery in Thailand

Generally cheaper than many Western countries, prices can range from 13,000 Baht ($383) in lower range hospitals to over 60,000 Baht ($1769) in private hospitals. Packages are available that take care of all your needs through your pregnancy term, right from your pre-natal and post-natal care to the delivery itself. Women in Thailand tend to stay in the hospital for two or three days after giving birth. Depending on your budget, and your preferred choice of hospital, finding professionals to help you care for yourself and your baby should not be a problem.

Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital is generally the preferred choice for expatriates. It is the only hospital in Thailand that offers a water birth option. Plenty of doctors have been trained abroad and carry international accreditations, and finding someone that speaks English should not be a problem.


Pre-natal classes called ‘doulas’ are offered by private institutions. Home births, something that was once traditional in Thailand is now slowly being replaced with hospital alternatives. Thai hospitals tend to disagree with the option of home births, and as such, many health insurance companies do not provide coverage for home births. They will also not cover prenatal care and visits. If required, international health insurance can be purchased in Thailand that covers most of the basic needs and expenses.

Health certificate

After your child is born, you will be presented with a health certificate. This certificate, provided you continue to live in Thailand, becomes very important for your child. Up to the age of eighteen, your child would need to carry this health certificate each time they go to visit a doctor. Unless at least one of the parents is a Thai national, it is impossible for the person to obtain a Thai citizenship. The couple must report to their local embassy to obtain citizenship for the child. Until this is done, the child will be listed as illegal or stateless in the registration birth certificate. Having a baby can be trying, but with expert healthcare advice available at reasonable prices, Thailand is one of the best destination to have your baby.

Pregnancy in Vietnam

Geography and population

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with an estimated population of about 90.5 million as per census of 2014. It is a part of the Indochina peninsula. Amongst the most populated countries’ in the world it ranks as 13th and as 8th amongst the most populated in all of Asia.

In Vietnamese culture it is preferred that they have large families, although with time this thought process has evolved, but mostly it is still remains a part of their tradition. As per a general Vietnamese belief an expecting mother mostly desires for a son more than a daughter because of the fact that a son supposedly carries on the family lineage.


Vietnamese women follow certain sets of rituals and customs when they are pregnant.

  • They are strictly prohibited to attend any sort of funeral or wedding.
  • It is imperative that the ‘would be mother’ counsels her unborn child by talking to it as though the child is in her company all the time.
  • Women are provided with nutritious food during pregnancy but care the unborn child does not grow too big before it is born.
  • Any person who is about to travel should refrain meeting a pregnant woman before the journey. It is believed to bring bad luck to that person.
  • During the pregnancy the mother should not be stepping on a hammock. If this happens then is believed that her new born child would become lazy.


As mentioned earlier, though Vietnamese culture encourages couple to have a large family, still currently a lot of families opt for abortion. Abortion at any stage is legal in Vietnam and women can make use of this service from any government facility as well. There are majorly two reasons for the ever growing rate of abortion in Vietnam.

Unplanned pregnancy followed by premarital sex without any contraception. Couples want to delay starting a family due to a lot of reasons such as jobs, studies; financial conditions as well the unborn child’s sex. Compared to other Asian countries Vietnam leads the list when it comes to abortion and it is rated amongst the top five in the world. One million cases of abortion are reported every year on an average, in Vietnam. About eighty percent of these cases were from the southeastern part of Vietnam.

The above data was released in Vietnam-France Obstetric and Gynecological Conference.


Having a Baby in KL, Malaysia as an Expat

Having a baby in Malaysia may not be exactly the same thing as having a baby in your home nation particularly if you are originally a resident of any of the countries in West. But, having said so, there are several merits of giving birth to your baby in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Some of them include modern amenities, trained doctors from western countries, low cost of delivery and other medical expenses; several support groups and many more. The Malaysian Government as well as the medical community has been putting in all possible efforts to offer top-class medical facilities with a perfectly balanced blend of progressively thinking mindset and traditional but natural medicines. All the mentioned facilities are easily available within a contemporary medical environment in Malaysia. Thus, it is actually a win-win situation for all those expats who are giving birth in KL.

Hospitals and medical facilities in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the home for some good government as well as private hospitals. There are three very good private hospitals within the Kuala Lumpur metro area. However, there are other private facilities too but you need to check them out properly depending on your exact needs and the location convenience. Private nursing homes like Pantai Hospital, Gleneagles and Prince Court Medical Centre boast of excellent maternal facilities that have both shared and private rooms for the would-be moms with different options for delivery such as surgical, assisted and natural. Since traffic congestion is a common phenomenon in KL, most of the expats prefer to visit those hospitals that are located at close proximity to their homes. Such a decision is usually taken by the expats to avoid getting stuck in an insane traffic jam in the peak hours.

Kuala Lumpur’s ante & post natal services

Since Kuala Lumpur has a somewhat balanced mix of locals and expats, there are a large variety of medical assistance, practices and services to choose from. Malaysia enjoys a location advantage within the South-East Asia region unlike several western nations that qualifies it as an ideal place to try out both western and eastern style of medicine. Expats have the best options to choose from while having a baby in KL. Some of the popular service providers in the city are MyBidan, Hampden Wellness and Jenlia Maternal Services. These groups have been formed with an aim of providing ante natal and post natal services to the expats who are having their babies in Malaysia. They also help the expat couples to prepare for the childbirth and educate them about how their new life may be after the baby is born.




Raising a Child in Singapore

Singapore has always been a popular choice for parents all over the globe to raise their children. The country is culturally diverse, boasts of a very good education system and is a clean, safe city. These characteristics are enough to put Singapore as the second best country in the world with the best environment for children. Singapore has a close knit, diverse community with families from several ethnic backgrounds. Such an environment is certainly beneficial for the physical as well as mental well-being of your child.

Listed below are some reasons why you should choose to raise a child in Singapore:

1. Singapore is a safe city. Families who have moved to Singapore from Australia or the United Kingdom have said that the security offered in Singapore puts them at ease as parents. This will be a most common concern among parents when raising a child anywhere.

2. Singapore has a higher quality of life than a lot of places around the world. You can avail your children to the best healthcare and facilities.

3. Singapore is one of the cleanest places in the world and this can positively affect the growth of your child.

4. Singapore has one of the best education systems, and annually we see a lot of parents moving to Singapore to give quality education to their children. Your children will be encouraged to participate in a lot of extracurricular and co-curricular activities, and thus will ensure that they have an all-round development.

5. In Singapore your children will be brought in a multi-cultured and multi-lingual environment. Their peers will be from different nationalities and your children will learn to get along with everyone. Additionally, most children that are brought up in Singapore are bilingual – they speak at least two languages.

6. There are several activities that your children can enjoy during their weekends in Singapore. They can help in their education, like science fairs, or they can be for leisure, like amusement parks and zoos. Either way, there are a whole range of fun activities to choose from, and as a parent, you can have a pick at them according to the needs of your child.

7. These days, in most households, both parents will have to work. Singapore has several safe and reliable facilities for daycare as well nannies to help you raise your children. There are several agencies that specifically cater to live-in nanny employments for expats.

Place in Singapore your Kids will Love

If you’re living in a city with your kids, it is important that this city has a lot of activities that ca be done over the weekends or on holidays. Children get bored easily and it is imperative that they are involved in activities or go to different places for their overall development. Here are the top ten best attractions in Singapore that you can go to with your children:

1. Night safari at the zoo

Kids are always excited at the prospective of going to the zoo. While you can take your kids to the zoo during the day, the night safari at around 7 pm will be both new and exciting.

2. Singapore Flyer

The Singapore version of the Ferris wheel, it gives breathtaking views of the city, and is a gentle ride that lasts for half an hour.

3. Sentosa

Sentosa is an artificially made island off the mainland that consists of a lot of attractions that will be a source of attraction to your kids. It had the Universal Studio theme park and the Underwater World Aquarium.

4. The City

An interactive playground that resembles a city, it has supermarkets and police stations. The children can dress up and role play and learn a lot in the process.

5. Palawan beach

At Palawan beach there is an activity called Sandy Good Times, when on school holidays, sand sculptors will be present at the beach with shovels to help your little ones build the sand castle they want to.

6. Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink

If your children like skating, this might just be just the right place to take them. The rink is modelled in such a way that it looks like a real ice skating rink.

7. The Mall X-ploring robot zoo

This is an exhibit of robotic animals made entirely of junk and scrap metal. These models are large and lifelike and will certainly delight your children.

8. Enrichment Programs

Singapore has a lot of enrichment programs to develop skills of a child outside his/her academic curriculum. By enrolling your child into one of these programs, they can learn to play instruments or dance, depending on their interests.

10. The Lion King Musical

A childhood classic animated film turned into a musical, your child will definitely be raptured by this act. It is performed regularly at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands.

11. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

This activity allows your child to know more about botanical plants. It allows them to interact closely with nature.

Education System in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most popular countries in the world where parents want to raise their children. One of the primary reasons for this is the excellent education that children receive there. Singapore has a lot of top notch international schools with a wide array of students from all over the globe. The learning is not restricted only to the curriculum, but a lot of other enriching activities as well. Most of the children who have been educated there are fluent in more than one language.

How does it work?

Education anywhere begins with kindergarten and pre-school. In Singapore, kindergartens are not run by the State, but they have to be registered at the Council for Primary Education. The next years of education is the primary education. It is compulsory for all children who are 6 years old or older and lasts for 6 years. During these initial years, the main focus is on English, Math and one language of the students’ choice – among Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Children of foreigners or expats who are not familiar with these languages, can be exempted from learning it.

At the end of their primary education, the students write the PSLE – Primary School Leaving Examination – and based on the scores they are divided into academic groups. These groups are special, express, normal academic and normal technical. At the end of secondary school, the students write the GCE exams and proceed to either junior college, which lasts for two years, or a three year course that prepares them for university.

Education for international students

International students can be admitted to schools in two different ways. If they’re beginning the first year of primary education or the first year of junior college, the admission is directly done through the school of their choice. They are given a place in the school only if a seat is available. But if they’re joining during any other year, the admissions have to be done by the Ministry of Education. They will have to write an examination in September or October to begin classes in January of the following year. The test tests the skills of the students in English and Math. While expats can send their children to State schools, they prefer International schools instead. There are plenty of such schools in Singapore that an expat parent can choose.

Kid-friendly Places in Major Cities in Singapore

The tiny island country of Singapore is one of the most family friendly destinations in Asia. The country setup has wide pavements that great to push around babies in strollers or buggies. It has many kid friendly places to visit. Some of these places will also enchant and delight adults. Here are five must see children attractions in Singapore:

Night Safari

Go on a night safari through the park that has no cages. Animals roam around freely in their natural habitats. The tram ride takes you through three different habitats rainforest, savannah and jungle. It is a chance to see nocturnal animals that are hidden or asleep during the day. This safari is also a chance to get a glimpse at some endangered exotic species. It is an attraction that is sure to delights both children and adults.


This tropical island is an entertainment playground. The island has an Underwater World with a Dolphin Lagoon where kids can play with pink dolphins. There is an amusement park Fantasy Land that has a variety of water based rides that will thrill and cool you simultaneously. For movie buff teenagers, make sure to stop off at Universal Studios. They might also get a thrill out of experience an erupting volcano at Volcano Land.

Science Center

Singapore’s Science Center is a museum with interactive exhibits that will educate and entertain kids of all ages.

Jurong Bird Park

This bird sanctuary is home to over 8,000 birds and over 600 species. Kids can get up close and personal to many bird species. It is a chance to learn about different birds while getting fresh air and exercise.

Singapore Discovery Center

The discovery center is Singapore is an interactive museum. This museum is a chance to teach your kids about Singapore. The museum contains interactive exhibits of the past, present and future. They can also play on simulators, which offer great experiences such as helicopters to fly, recording news broadcasts and life as an astronaut.

Snow City

On a hot, sticky day, get your children away from the heat by visiting snow world. This indoor snow center is a great place for older children or teenagers to go snowboarding, skiing and tubing. If you are traveling with younger children visit the igloo section and let kids explore these stunning ice homes and participate in snow fights.

These are just some of the many child friendly attractions to visit when traveling to Singapore with children.