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  #161  
Old 28.09.2010, 17:54
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

Overall, most people seem to answer the question in terms of salary and taxes. And if that's all you worry about, then def no place in the world will compare to Zurich and other places in CH. Transportation is also another category where CH will kick butt on Canada, Vancouver included.

But in terms of quality of life otherwise, Canada and Vancouver have much to offer: cosmopolitan, great dining scene, diversity, openness, wide-open spaces, etc.

On the other hand, CH does have a nice location advantage being in the middle of Europe. It's one of the ironies: Canada is much more diverse than CH, but it still doesnt have that cache of visiting a different state nearby with different mentality, language, traditions.
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  #162  
Old 28.09.2010, 18:03
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

Vancouver and Zürich both have dislikeable hockey teams! Oh well, at least the Lions have managed to win their Cup recently, unlike those choking 'Nucks
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  #163  
Old 28.09.2010, 18:23
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

I don't know where you were buying clothing and groceries, or what you're designating as trendy, but coming from a downtown-coal harbor-Vancouver life to Zürich has made little change to my standard living expenses. Granted, I'm trending to search out deals more here sure to running to school.

One of the few things that I really do miss though are the glass towers. Even though they're made to an incredibly low standard in contrast, they just made you feel better about the obscene price.

I do think restaurants are a bit more here, but the obligatory tipping and taxes not shown on menus in vancouver makes it hard to compare. I was spending the same 30 for a dinner out, both there and here.


And people compare wages and economic climate because no matter how pretty the city is, if you can't afford anything, it's not going to be a good time!




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East is cheaper, yes, but Vancouver is comparable, and for many things actually more expensive than Zürich - Especially when you take the dying indust
Salaries are lower in Vancouver than in Zurich, yes. Not true for the whole of Switzerland. Taxes are higher in Vancouver than in Zurich, yes, but not true for places like Geneva, Basel.

As for more expensive, yes Canada is the most expensive place in Canada for housing. But in Zurich, you can double the price of what a similar place would cost in Vancouver. For rent, Vancouver is 20% cheaper. My condo in Vancouver in trendy street with view of mountains, city rents for the same as my very average, old place here.

Eating out: Zurich is at minimum THREE times as expensive as Vancouver.

Groceries: Vancouver is much cheaper for meat and fish, and marginally cheaper for veggies.

Clothing, electronics: Vancouver MUCH cheaper.

So I would have to disagree.

As for jobs, yes it is difficult to find one in Vancouver; it does not have a diversified industry. Good industries are tourism, digital media and video games, mining.

As for 'Canadian experience', this should not be confused with the very bad issue of Canadian qualification that people in the medical profession suffer from sadly. When considering candidates, companies are looking for people who fit in. It's not always the lack of Canadian experience that is the problem. I worked in the high-tech field so it was never an issue as in this industry, we look for qualifications and skill set. But in other industries, it can be an issue. As mentioned above, there are too many PhDs and Medical Doctors doing jobs not worthy of their credentials. It is a very frustrating issue.

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  #164  
Old 28.09.2010, 18:41
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

Well comparing to the most expensive neighbourhood in Canada for groceries could be a problem. General groceries are comparable, but fish and meat a way cheaper there. I think you were getting ripped of by stores that sell to the urban super-rich if you didn't find this to be the case.

I am not sure where you are eating out for 30 chf here other than cheap holes in the walls. I mean at a typical italian, thai restaurant here, a main course already is above 30chf. Only the cheap Lanka joints and similar offer a meal for 15chf plus drinks. I think most people here would agree that if you go out to a typical restaurant (italian, thai, indian, swiss), the bill usually runs >60 whereas in Vancouver a typical bill is 20-30. In the high end, you would find it very hard to pay over a 100 in vancouver whereas here the same sort of restaurant would set you back to 200-300. At the cheap end, you can grab a quick meal from a food court or chinese for around 6 bucks there whereas here it's gonna be 20 at minimum.

To suggest one couldn't afford to live in Vancouver is a mighty exxageration. I lived as a grad student with an income <13k there and lived as a professional with a similar job to what I have here and there was never hardship. Taxes are about 40% lower in Zurich, but after health costs, at best 30-35% lower. But there is still more than enough money before this difference to live a good quality life.

I lived on 4th, Broadway, and most recently Commerical Dr to compare. The West End would also fit my comparisons. Coal Harbour is overpriced for sure, but to do grocery shopping there would be like doing all one's shopping at Globus here. Not a fair comparison.

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I don't know where you were buying clothing and groceries, or what you're designating as trendy, but coming from a downtown-coal harbor-Vancouver life to Zürich has made little change to my standard living expenses. Granted, I'm trending to search out deals more here sure to running to school.

One of the few things that I really do miss though are the glass towers. Even though they're made to an incredibly low standard in contrast, they just made you feel better about the obscene price.

I do think restaurants are a bit more here, but the obligatory tipping and taxes not shown on menus in vancouver makes it hard to compare. I was spending the same 30 for a dinner out, both there and here.


And people compare wages and economic climate because no matter how pretty the city is, if you can't afford anything, it's not going to be a good time!







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  #165  
Old 28.09.2010, 19:25
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Well done, I didnt mean to say you didnt know what you wanted, but that you are not in a meaningful position to compare until you have been here for a while.

Have to disagree with the cost of living factor though. Going out etc is way more affordable in the cities of Canada.
Granted I haven't been here long enough to comment too much about the virtues of Switzerland. Can only give my first impression opinions and I love it here.

Cost of living wise I was speaking directly to the OP's comment indicating he was landing in Vancouver or Victoria where it is a higher cost of living. Most of the restaurants I frequented in Vancouver are easily on par price wise with here. The difference as I've experienced is in the quality of the food and often I don't find that the value is there although the service is usually better here.



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The point about going back to the homeland is not very valid either as many have actually come into Canada to get the quality of life. And its not as if taxes are 0 in the homeland either. And its not as if taxes is everything in life either.
Tell that to all the Chinese/Canadians that returned to Hong Kong when it appeared the dangers of Chinese rule from China was over. I believe that was also the time when Canada changed the tax laws to be payable on world wide income. There was a large exodus of the Hong Kong immigrants back to their little island, one of my best friends being one of them. Now its mostly the mainland Chinese buying up Vancouver real estate.

But I do agree with you that taxes are not everything. One needs to look for good balance in all quality of life issues. Paying ones taxes helps contributes to that goal doesn't it?

When you take everything into consideration, cost of living including housing, food, entertainment, transportation, taxes, crime, language, one ultimately has to decide what is best for oneself and family.

Part of me will always miss Canada as I was born and raised there. No one can ever take away the sense of pride we all felt during the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics. Many immigrants are very happy to become Canadian and I was never more proud than on the day I watched my husband that the oath to become a citizen. I think all Canadians should attend a citizenship ceremony to remind them of how lucky we all are. But enough of my flag waving, I digress.

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  #166  
Old 28.09.2010, 23:06
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

I didn't shop at capers or urban fare, only those that are independently wealthy or just stupid shop there. I was mostly at costco, IGA, etc. where the prices are normally set accross the city. But, I fully agree with you on the cheap (and cheap quality) food option. The pricing of something as low as McDonalds here is just insane.

And the key detail for you there was "grad student". of course you can live off of nothing, students don't have time for anything!

Oh, and 30 was no drinks, just a main course. I've been to places in Vancouver that have charged well over 900 for a night, but I'm sure you can find that in any city if you look. I've had no trouble keeping a meal to under 50 with drinks here, so I would consider that close enough.

I do think Vancouver is too expensive to be livable actually. I worked in a credit related field under the attorney general, and directly saw the financial failure rates for both personal and commercial worlds. I'm sorry, but the sheer volume of home, vehicle and commercial asset seizures along with insolvency filings was way above a healthy level for a city of that size. Of course there are several contributing factors, and the credit-mentality doesn't exactly help.


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Well comparing to the most expensive neighbourhood in Canada for groceries could be a problem. General groceries are comparable, but fish and meat a way cheaper there. I think you were getting ripped of by stores that sell to the urban super-rich if you didn't find this to be the case.

I am not sure where you are eating out for 30 chf here other than cheap holes in the walls. I mean at a typical italian, thai restaurant here, a main course already is above 30chf. Only the cheap Lanka joints and similar offer a meal for 15chf plus drinks. I think most people here would agree that if you go out to a typical restaurant (italian, thai, indian, swiss), the bill usually runs >60 whereas in Vancouver a typical bill is 20-30. In the high end, you would find it very hard to pay over a 100 in vancouver whereas here the same sort of restaurant would set you back to 200-300. At the cheap end, you can grab a quick meal from a food court or chinese for around 6 bucks there whereas here it's gonna be 20 at minimum.

To suggest one couldn't afford to live in Vancouver is a mighty exxageration. I lived as a grad student with an income <13k there and lived as a professional with a similar job to what I have here and there was never hardship. Taxes are about 40% lower in Zurich, but after health costs, at best 30-35% lower. But there is still more than enough money before this difference to live a good quality life.

I lived on 4th, Broadway, and most recently Commerical Dr to compare. The West End would also fit my comparisons. Coal Harbour is overpriced for sure, but to do grocery shopping there would be like doing all one's shopping at Globus here. Not a fair comparison.
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  #167  
Old 28.09.2010, 23:36
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

Good point about the the credit mentality in Canada...the first to go down in my old neighborhood were those who were driving the ubber expensive fancy cars and living the ultra luxurious lifestyles. Beyond credit I always wondered where they got their money. When the cops busted a few grow-ops in the BP's it finally sunk in. Call me slow...
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Old 30.09.2010, 15:04
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

Being a Canadian living in Switzerland off and on for the past 10 years, I can def say that both countries have pros and cons. Many have already been addressed in this thread by others.

What I can say is that if the material aspects of life are more important to you (high salary, low taxes, lots of paid vacation time, more income to spend on yourself) then Switzerland is better on that end. But if you want to go primarily to Canada for the lifestyle change, then the material aspects begin to fade. Canadians have to work harder for their standard of living (lower salaries, less paid vacation, higher taxes) but the way of life there is so much more easy-going. People are generally more friendly, open-minded to new things, and multi-cultural than here in Switzerland.

I actually want to move back there. Especially if you're thinking about moving to the West-coast, you'll see that people just have a totally different mentality there about life.


Oh and if you are thinking of moving to Vancouver, don't expect much lower living costs than Switzerland. I have just been back this summer for 3 weeks, also my sister there bought a condo, and the cost of living in Vancouver has gone up incredibly in the past several years. Food, clothing, transportation and housing prices are all very similar to what you pay here. However, if you move to the suburbs or to other places in Canada, living costs are somewhat lower (but also salaries). I think you have higher purchasing power parity in Switzerland for sure.
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  #169  
Old 05.10.2010, 16:41
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

In the Globe & Mail today.

"The employment gap between newcomers and people born in Canada is greatest among those with the highest credentials and educational backgrounds, according to a Community Foundations of Canada report to be released on Tuesday."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...cmpid=nl-news1
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Old 05.10.2010, 17:18
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

There is no arguing Vancouver is expensive, due to lower salaries and higher housing costs. I will also agree that Vancouver has suffered some major inflation in the past 3 years. But I still disagree that eating out here can be compared to there. I used to eat out every night there at good restaurants, spending not more than 40 bucks including drinks. No way you can do that here at comparable restaurants, if you can even find such things. I think we will have to disagree. You are the first person I have encountered who would disagree on eating out. It's the first thing Vancouverites and Canadians mention when visiting here/moving here. My parents had a shock at the bills here. For example, at a Thai place in YVR, a typical seafood dish will be 13+tax+ tip. Here, it will be 26 at absolute minumum, but typically > 30. Sure you can find a few places to keep it low, but in Vancouver you don't have to search it out.

You can even go to the Irish Heather, a great gastro pub, and get a fancy meal + pint for under 20. Impossible here. Even at a crappy pub here, a club sandwich is > 20.

(The grad student was just an example for the low end. I lived as a professional too equivalent to here.)

Ditto for clothing. Sure, H&M can match the cheaper end. But mid-end, it is MUCH more expensive here. The easiest proof of that is look at the price tags on internartional labels, where you will see the CH price is 50% more than the CDN price. Again, this is the view of most I have encountered, and hence why people shop in Germany to save.

The lower taxes do compensate.
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Old 05.10.2010, 17:49
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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In the Globe & Mail today.

"The employment gap between newcomers and people born in Canada is greatest among those with the highest credentials and educational backgrounds, according to a Community Foundations of Canada report to be released on Tuesday."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...cmpid=nl-news1
You have to get local credentials in North America if you want to make it there. Just coming into Canada and expecting to continue is not the way, especially in medicine.
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  #172  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:52
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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I

And the key detail for you there was "grad student". of course you can live off of nothing, students don't have time for anything!

Oh, and 30 was no drinks, just a main course. I've been to places in Vancouver that have charged well over 900 for a night, but I'm sure you can find that in any city if you look. I've had no trouble keeping a meal to under 50 with drinks here, so I would consider that close enough.

I do think Vancouver is too expensive to be livable actually.
I think real estate is crazy in Vancouver but I've got to disagree with eating out being the same here and in Vancouver/Canada. Been there, done that. Students to have time for many things (and not anything) ! Even that is more expensive here.
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  #173  
Old 05.10.2010, 17:58
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Yes some things are changing slowly...but very very slowly.

Some provincial governments are trying to speed up the recognition of professional qualifications for foreigners but it's not just the governments that are at play here. There are also the professional bodies that control the certification/licensing process such as the various provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. It's no wonder Canada has a doctors shortage. Unless they come from a commonwealth country there isn't a hope in hell that they will ever work in Canada. Of course if they want to redo all their medical exams again they might, just might give that fully qualified doctor one of the very few annual residency spots available for foreign doctors.

IIt is very important for anyone who thinks about moving there to verify what credentials will be recognized and don't just take the governments word for it. Canada has many great things to offer new immigrants but finding an employer who doesn't look for "Canadian Experience" is tough.
Doctors do well wherever they are. Why would a doctor immigrate to a country where he has no credentials ? It is the most regulated area in the world even.
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Old 05.10.2010, 18:55
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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You have to get local credentials in North America if you want to make it there. Just coming into Canada and expecting to continue is not the way, especially in medicine.
Agreed, it's not easy for many without Canadian credentials. I posted this article because it highlights many of those challenges that well educated immigrants face, it doesn't mention medicine. I don't think anyone goes there thinking life will be handed to them on a silver plater. That said it is a shame that many educated minds are not used to their highest potential. That's the problem with the immigration point system, it encourages those with a high education to immigrate but it doesn't address job shortages or employment gaps. All you have to do is read the comments following the article to see that many people are frustrated, both immigrants and natural born Canadians.

Regarding prices in restaurants, personally I prefer to go to places where the reputation for food and service is exceptional. There are many different categories of dining choices to suit everyones tastes and budgets. I'm sure I could eat out on a budget but I'm not interested in paying top prices for a mediocre experience so I simply try to avoid those places as best as I can.

Still there is a wide spectrum of choices for those on the run and a budget. On the fast food side of things I had a quick bite at the Migros in Zug, it was a hot sandwich with apples, pesto and and brie cheese for around 7.50CF quite delicious. If I was eating out everyday I'd probably find restaurants here expensive but since I don't perhaps my experience is a bit different from yours.

Vancouver has become a little hub of mediocre high end establishments all queuing up to have you part with your money. I learned to be quite selective there. You have to pay for top quality no matter where it is in the world. I'd rather go to a stellar 5 Star restaurant for special occasions and eat at home the rest of the of the time anyway. Luckily I'm a damn good chef.

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Old 05.10.2010, 19:11
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Agreed, it's not easy for many without Canadian credentials. I posted this article because it highlights many of those challenges that well educated immigrants face, it doesn't mention medicine. I don't think anyone goes there thinking life will be handed to them on a silver plater. That said it is a shame that many educated minds are not used to their highest potential. That's the problem with the immigration point system, it encourages those with a high education to immigrate but it doesn't address job shortages or employment gaps. All you have to do is read the comments following the article to see that many people are frustrated, both immigrants and natural born Canadians.
Nope it does address employment gaps. The problem is with the credentials of the immigrants which, if not from North America, then you can't get in easily like you said your husband could'nt get in. That's the reason.
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:13
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Doctors do well wherever they are. Why would a doctor immigrate to a country where he has no credentials ? It is the most regulated area in the world even.
It's not such a huge stretch...actually there is quite a large German immigration population in Canada, my friend has family there, it's as simple as that. This was just one example I used perhaps not the most common of immigrant experience but one I thought was rather surprising considering the fact that Canada needs doctors so desperately.

Have you queued up there for medical services lately?
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:15
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Doctors do well wherever they are. Why would a doctor immigrate to a country where he has no credentials ? It is the most regulated area in the world even.
I used to work with some doctors and engineers from Africa... in a factory.

Depressing, but true.
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:18
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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It's not such a huge stretch...actually there is quite a large German immigration population in Canada, my friend has family there, it's as simple as that. This was just one example I used perhaps not the most common of immigrant experience but one I thought was rather surprising considering the fact that Canada needs doctors so desperately.

Have you queued up there for medical services lately?
They do need a lot of doctors and others but prefer those who have studied in Canada or USA.
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:26
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They do need a lot of doctors and others but prefer those who have studied in Canada or USA.
Their loss!
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Old 05.10.2010, 19:28
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Re: Canada vs. Switzerland

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Nope it does address employment gaps. The problem is with the credentials of the immigrants which, if not from North America, then you can't get in easily like you said your husband could'nt get in. That's the reason.
Not quite sure what bee is in your bonnet but it seems that you don't like Foreign doctors who are not trained in North America. My husband has nothing to do with this thread.
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