Updated: Mar 25
These days, our minds only revolve around one question. Should I go back to Singapore, or should I stay in Australia? There are so many factors to consider, and when you think that you've already made up your mind to stay, you somehow end up searching for flight tickets again. Well, SOV is here to help you put things into perspective. Here is a list of things to consider when deciding if you should stay or go.
1. Are you ok with deferring your studies?
As of 22 March 2020, Australia's travel ban has been put in place and is likely to put in place for the next six months. This means that short term visa holders (international students are under this category) are unable to reenter Australia if we leave.
Australia's Home Affair mentioned that students unable to return to Australia to continue their studies might need to have their study deferred. However, it will not affect their visa status. Where a student requires additional time to complete their studies (beyond their visa expiry date) they will with have to apply for a new student visa and will require a new Confirmation of Enrolment. Student visas can't be extended so they will need to apply for a new visa that meets their current needs. Click here to read the full government statement.
As for your University's perspective, you should check with your University and your course coordinator on the implications of your offshore learning. Will all classes be brought online? Will all exams be brought online? Will next semester be brought online as well? Most universities are already transferring all materials online for this semester, however, things are uncertain for next semester. There might be a possibility that you would have to defer your studies if semester 2 isn't available online. We prompt you to clarify with your school to attain the most accurate information.
2. What happens to your Australia accommodation?
Does your lease end in the next few months, or does it still have a long way ahead? Are you able to terminate your lease and what are the financial implications if you do? Do you have to give up your bond, or pay two weeks of reletting fees? Does your landlord impose exiting cleaning fees? Do check out your terms and conditions with your landlord as it could be a huge deciding factor.
3. Are you able to self-isolate at home?
This might not be the main concern for most, but for those that have vulnerable family members (elderly or people with underlying health conditions) back home, it could be holding you back. Thankfully, the Singapore Global Network has partnered with a list of great accommodations for Singaporeans to serve out their Stay-Home Notice. Click here for the list.
Prices range from SGD75 to SGD175 per night and accommodations range from affordable stays to 5-star luxury hotels. Do quote SGN when booking to enjoy these preferential rates.
4. How are you feeling?
In times of distress, it is normal for us to want to be home and be around our loved ones, but rationally, is it better for us to be home or stay? To assist you in your decision-making process, SOV came up with a template for a simple Cost-Benefit Analysis to analyse your financial prospects if you decide to stay or leave. Also, we have come up with a template for a Relative Importance Analysis for you to weigh the various factors in both Australia and Singapore.
For both analysis, download the excel file, change your factors according to your situation and punch in the numbers. Some cells are already formatted to calculate, total and average the scores for you. Click here for the template.
Most of us are separated from our families and loves ones back in Singapore, so SOV is here to help you feel reassured with informational articles and have a community for support.
If you have already decided to stay in Australia, click here to find out everything you should know as a Singaporean living in Victoria amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, make sure you have already registered with the MFA to enable MFA to contact you should the need arise. If you do not have access to your SingPass, click here to find out how else you can register.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to us on our Facebook or Instagram, and we would love to chat with you. There are several groups that we recommend you to join for the latest updates regarding Covid-19.
Telegram channel: https://t.me/SGNchannel
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/629980491125896/?ref=share
Do take care of yourselves and stay in the pink of health fellow Singaporeans!
Note: SOV does not represent MFA, and we do not act solely on behalf of the Singapore government.
Update 24 March 2020: As of 23 March 2020, airlines have cut 96% of all flights out of Australia. If you do wish to return to Singapore from Australia, the last known flight is on the 28th of March. Do make up your mind before then!
by LINDA LEE
Currently pursuing her Masters of Marketing Communications, Linda is the Executive Director of Marketing and Design at Singaporeans of Victoria. In her free time (which she doesn't have much of), she likes to create cute Instagram filters and edit silly videos.