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Old 22.02.2015, 04:11
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Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

Hey I am 29-year old danish guy that would like to move to Switzerland (Bern preferably), it just seems a little daunting because I do not speak German. I have the option to spend 3 months living in Switzerland on the very high danish unemployment benefits and look for work during those 3 months but is it realistic that I find a job in that time period when I cannot speak German? I would also need somewhere to live in those 3 months and I am not sure how that would be arranged with living accommodations, is there some sort of cheap way to live while I try and find a job so I can move permanently?

If any of you know a place that might be looking then I would appreciate the tip also, I am a blacksmith by trade but I have worked with industrial work the last 4 years, I am a very intelligent guy that has also studied economics, typically the "star" in the factories where I worked because I learn quickly and know how to make machines/production run well. In my free time I love playing football. I want to move because Denmark seems to be pretty hopeless these days in terms of economic activity and general wage levels, I also very much prefer the swiss federal political system and low taxes so yeah I hope one of you people here on this forum can help me fulfill my dream of moving to Switzerland!
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Old 22.02.2015, 07:48
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

You'll need local language and you'll need local qualifications - for blacksmith I expect that includes having completed a Swiss apprenticeship in smithying.

Unless there's a shortage of blacksmiths in Switzerland (which for all I know there may be), I don't think you have a realistic chance.
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Old 22.02.2015, 09:36
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

I just did a search for "Schmied" on jobs.ch - maybe the wrong place - but not much came up.

But maybe with luck the OP could forge an existence.

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Old 22.02.2015, 12:30
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

As you can see from searching the EF, 3 months is not a very long time for a successful job search in CH. It would generally take much longer. So if you only have 3 months your chances are slim, even less without the language skills.

However, if you are really keen on CH, I would recommend taking a year in Denmark and working towards this goal, I.e. save up money so you can support yourself here for a minimum of 6 moths or more for job searching, take language classes in Denmark now so when you move you have language skills, and do your homework and get your qualifications recognised in CH or take the necessary courses.
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Old 22.02.2015, 12:48
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

Not sure if they can help, but try contacting the Swiss Veterinary Office to see if they can tell you who you'd need to contact about getting any blacksmithing skills recognised.

http://www.blv.admin.ch/kontakt/index.html?lang=en

But I'm afraid I agree with NotAllThere, you need to speak German to a good level to be employable. How would you expect to communicate with clients if you don't speak the language?
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Old 22.02.2015, 13:02
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

If you're doing horsey-type smithying, then the normal German word is Hufschmied. Might help with googling.

Why don't you contact a real live Hufschmied and ask them what's best to do? They will surely know whether there's a demand for your skills. I somehow doubt whether you need good German to do good blacksmith work, so your lack of German may not be a big handicap.

Here's someone in Basel who describes himself as a "modern blacksmith". Send him an email.

Also, please come back to the forum and let us know how you get on.
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Old 22.02.2015, 17:31
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

Hej dansk mand
I have a lot of friends in DK, and would advise you to come here for 3 months to see what life is like here. Although high wages and low taxes seems like a very nice combo, life here is extremely expensive (especially with the current Euro/Kroner exchange on your unemployment benefits). Because of the low taxes a lot of things here are privatized, e.g. healthcare can ring up around CHF 300/month. Rent is high, eating out forget about and you can't vacuum on a Sunday.
I don't want to discourage you, I love it here in CH, but just want to make you aware of the drawbacks.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 22.02.2015, 17:57
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

What I don't get is why you don't go to Norway. Skying is wilder than in Switzerland. Jobs are waiting and if you don't mind learning to understand a couple of dialects, they'll love you because you're a Dane. The summer is spectacular and the winter is cosy. Pricewise, Norway and Switzerland are on the same level. Money is good. Pork is cheaper in CH, fish is cheaper in NO.
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:17
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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I just did a search for "Schmied" on jobs.ch - maybe the wrong place - but not much came up.
And of those, some or looking for a "Goldschmied", a goldsmith.

Don't know if a blacksmith can apply for a job as a goldsmith....
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:22
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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they'll love you because you're a Dane.
Having lived in Norway for a couple of years, I can assure you that this is not true. While they certainly do not hate the Danes, there is little love for them.

Something to do with being "occupied" by them for a period of time.

In the Western part of Norway (where I lived), they even have their own dialect (Nynorsk) to differentiate it from the Danish influenced Bokmål.
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Old 22.02.2015, 19:15
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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Having lived in Norway for a couple of years, I can assure you that this is not true.
I lived in Norway 5 years. Speaking Danish with an accent to die for (yea, me not modest), they really had a totally different attitude with me than to other Germans or European foreigners. Totally. But I was in Oslo. One can't compare with the crazy (but sweet) westerners.
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Old 25.02.2015, 09:35
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Hej dansk mand
I have a lot of friends in DK, and would advise you to come here for 3 months to see what life is like here. Although high wages and low taxes seems like a very nice combo, life here is extremely expensive (especially with the current Euro/Kroner exchange on your unemployment benefits). Because of the low taxes a lot of things here are privatized, e.g. healthcare can ring up around CHF 300/month. Rent is high, eating out forget about and you can't vacuum on a Sunday.
I don't want to discourage you, I love it here in CH, but just want to make you aware of the drawbacks.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
I dunno, the people I have talked with said their standard of living was much higher in Switzerland, in Denmark you can barely afford a 2-bedroom apartment, food and a crappy car like a Toyota Aygo without going broke, I havent been on a holiday in many years because there is almost no extra money left after bills are paid (electricity and water bills for example are insanely high), I seriously doubt things are that bad in Switzerland, even with your 300CH healthcare bill per month. I also dont see why food should be extra expensive in Switzerland, you have taxes on the food or what? I cant see why it would be so expensive to drive food items from Germany into Switzerland and food is cheap in Germany I have heard, it is not like Switzerland food has to be ferried a long way like it occurs on the island of Hawaii for example or in Alaska.

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What I don't get is why you don't go to Norway. Skying is wilder than in Switzerland. Jobs are waiting and if you don't mind learning to understand a couple of dialects, they'll love you because you're a Dane. The summer is spectacular and the winter is cosy. Pricewise, Norway and Switzerland are on the same level. Money is good. Pork is cheaper in CH, fish is cheaper in NO.
Well I am moving partly for ideological reasons also, I am an auto-didact economist and I like freedom and Switzerland is one of the few quasi-free countries left on the planet, Norway is not free, it is a very socialist country that is wealthy solely because it is swimming in oil, if Norway didnt have oil the norwegians would be as dirt poor as danes are these days. I dont really feel like playing life with hax on which is basically what Norway is, they circumvent their inefficiency with oil money plus I wouldnt want to depend on oil wealth for me and my hopefully future kids future.

Switzerland has the political system which I very much prefer as an economist which is a system with a highly decentralised political structure with a very weak central government, the currency policy your central bank is doing is also one of the most sane in the world, they recently stopped their currency peg which is very good according to the theory textbooks I read. Plus you have low taxes which is another thing I despise about Denmark, the high taxes (55% to like 70%) ruin the division of labor which means being a carpenter is hard because it is generally much cheaper for people to not buy specialized labor since the taxes up the costs of that by a factor of atleast 2 in comparison with Switzerland. So yeah Switzerland is my ideal country, it isnt perfect, I know that, I would prefer even more freedom but it is very close to my paradise so I want to start a new life there.

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Old 25.02.2015, 10:31
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

The only places that could have a demand for smiths are Landmaschinen or farm implement repair workshops, almost every village will have one, however they are almost always family run and won't take kindly to outsiders perhaps you could try the larger villages where you may find open positions.
But, the job of smith no longer exists in CH, these days it is the title "Maschinenbauer/in" and you have to have a four year apprenticeship before you can call yourself a "Machinenbauer" and find a job in that field http://www.berufsberatung.ch/dyn/1199.aspx?id=7082
Another place to consider is the medieval/artistic/sword/knife/armor kind of thing, but Germany and Italy and France are the places for that, anywhere except Switzerland, and since Polish and Czeckolovakian smiths have flooded the market with cheap stuff it's gonna be tough making a living.
(yes I know it's Czeck republic and Slovakia, but for pete's sake)
As for the Swiss paradise, well I found Denmark (Århus) to be very near the ideal place, thing is what I want to say is that if you go elsewhere looking for paradise you will be disappointed, the grass sure ain't greener on the other side, if you leave because you can't quite cut it in your own country you will be disappointed, if you fail in Denmark you will fail in Switzerland, however if you go for adventure or out of curiosity or simple wanderlust or if have the kind of career where companies open the coffers and pour money over you then go for it.
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Old 25.02.2015, 10:32
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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Well I am moving partly for ideological reasons also, I am an auto-didact economist and I like freedom and Switzerland is one of the few quasi-free countries left on the planet,
Does the UK not meet your criteria? You already speak the language....
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Old 25.02.2015, 11:06
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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Well I am moving partly for ideological reasons also, I am an auto-didact economist and I like freedom and Switzerland is one of the few quasi-free countries left on the planet, Norway is not free, it is a very socialist country that is wealthy solely because it is swimming in oil, if Norway didnt have oil the norwegians would be as dirt poor as danes are these days. I dont really feel like playing life with hax on which is basically what Norway is, they circumvent their inefficiency with oil money plus I wouldnt want to depend on oil wealth for me and my hopefully future kids future.
Beware of confusing highly-decentralized government with personal liberty. Here are a few threads from fellow freedom-seekers - the replies to them might make interesting reading for you:
http://www.englishforum.ch/tags.php?...arian+paradise


On a different note, you mention wanting kids. Switzerland is a great place to raise a family. How close are you timewise to starting one, do you think - are you already with a partner, or hoping to meet someone nice when you get here? If you've got a partner, what is his/her line of work?

Reason I ask is that blacksmith is not a particularly well-paid job here; the salary ranges a lot of finance-and-IT crowd on here consider normal are way way high for you. If your partner isn't able to work here too, or not right away... well, you can probably support a (small) family on one income, but you'll need to live out in the sticks and not have expensive taste.

Unfortunately life in the sticks is not particularly welcoming to entrepreneurs from outside (and "outside" in this context doesn't just mean foreign, it means anybody from the next valley). Even once your language skills are up to scratch, you'll still be trying to compete with the local smith who has been doing it for 50 years and is related to half the village as well.

Don't get me wrong, I love rural Switzerland, but it's going to be a tough market to crack if you want to set up shop on your own.

Factory work may be easier to find but again, jobs are limited and local qualifications (i.e. a completed apprenticeship) are usually required. Maybe you can talk your way into a one- or two-week trial period, work for free to show them what you're made of, but you'll have to do some talking - and I dunno about you, but I always find it's harder to be persuasive in languages I don't speak.

Sorry for the cold water but I don't want you to be stranded over here chasing a dream which is not terribly realistic, and which may or may not give you what you want even when you get it. Stay where you are and take some German classes, that's the first step. Once you speak German you'll be able to communicate with people in your desired industry, and maybe convince them to take a chance on you.
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Old 25.02.2015, 11:17
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

Food is expensive for several reasons. One of them that you will here on the forum is the Swiss are just willing to pay more. That I don't believe is a real reason. But ok.

Costs are higher here, labor costs, rent, etc. So that will make the costs of doing business higher and the price of goods higher.

Also, certain products such as dairy and meat are protected. Local products are expensive because the small scale Swiss farming is inefficient and expensive and imports are highly taxed.

Going across the border to shop is not free. It can add up unless you live right near the border. I live an hour from France (which is not as cheap as German). Plus there are import limits. So unless you are a family it doesn't always make sense from certain parts of the country to shop outside of Switzerland for single people or couples.

Labor is expensive here so many trades are disappearing and I imagine your trade is one of those. I just had a quote to fix a wooden balcony. Two Swiss carpenters quoted 15K while the one from France quoted 8K. Now with the exchange rate, I'll bet more and more people will be asking quotes from outside of Switzerland for this type of work.

And I will second MN's point above, that even though the quality of life here is said to be high people do still struggle. Single people with a the average salary are not exactly living the high life. They do better as a couple with both working. Families where one parent stays home with the children struggle if the working parent works in trade. Rent prices are going up and people who used to live in the "cities" are being pushed out further into the country, which isn't bad in and of itself. It's just that they don't have a choice.

Finally, since Switzerland is open to all of the EU competition for jobs is fierce. I'm not joking about this. It's a jungle out there!
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Old 25.02.2015, 11:32
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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Switzerland has the political system which I very much prefer as an economist which is a system with a highly decentralised political structure with a very weak central government, the currency policy your central bank is doing is also one of the most sane in the world, they recently stopped their currency peg which is very good according to the theory textbooks I read.
It's good that you read theory textbooks. Now, in the practical world, I will sum up that for people that make things in Switzerland (as you wish to become) the abandoment of the peg has been an unmitigated disaster. You don't need to take my word, take that of SWISSMEM (the manufacturer's trade association)

http://www.swissmem.ch/en/news-medie...-erwartet.html

For someone that wants to get a job making things, this is a terrible, terrible time to be looking to get hired in Switzerland.

But, getting back to your original topic, based on the strategy you are described, I fully expect you to bounce out of Switzerland like a racquetball. Not speaking a Swiss language is going to be a MASSIVE obstacle, and your skill set is very niche. This gives you a very, very small target to aim for - companies that need blacksmiths that can tolerate not speaking their own language. The other point is that companies here tend to hire in a very small geographic radius, so if you move to Zurich, an employer in Sankt Gallen likely won't consider you very seriously.

As others said - work on the language skills. That is the best thing you can do to help yourself. The coming immigration quotas are not going to help your cause, but that is beyond your control. Developing another professional skill set will also help expand your options. What you need to is give yourself the biggest possible range of employers that could use you.
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Old 25.02.2015, 11:56
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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It's a jungle out there!
It's what he wants, he doesn't want a socialist society.
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Old 25.02.2015, 12:33
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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It's what he wants, he doesn't want a socialist society.
Let's hope for his sake that he is the cream that will float to the top.
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Old 25.02.2015, 13:25
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Re: Danish guy that wants to move to Switzerland

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Let's hope for his sake that he is the cream that will float to the top.
I don't judge. I can understand that some Scandinavians get fed up with the social pressure and conformity expectations there. The question is to what extent are they absent or just take another shape in liberal societies like Switzerland. Yea, Swiss are expected to pay for everyhing so it's empowering to decide what you pay for, but you can still only pay for what is on offer. Controling he offer is the key in neoliberal societies, sothat the individual freedom does not contradict the commom interest of the community. And we are right back at square one where we left scandinavian society. The controle is the same, or at least the same level, just not with the same tools. As aforeigner, even a blond one, OP will discover that for himself But it might be wonderful for him to have built up his life in the meantime and find his own place. Even if he ends up at the exact same one in Switzerland as he was in Danmark, it might be considered a huge difference for oneself that one was not given this place but went there on one's own. Some would say it is a waste of time but I'd say, a man gotta doo whatta man gotta doo, result's secundary.
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