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Old 14.07.2015, 20:00
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Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

Hi All,

I'm new to this forum. Hoping to get some insights here.

My husband is German living in Canada now. He has been offered a job for CHF115K, with accommodation possibly paid for. First of all, is that a good salary? We have a 3 year old daughter to consider as well if we were to move.

Secondly, I live in Canada and have been in the pharma industry for over 10 year. I am a clinical site monitor here and I know I won't get the same job in Switzerland without speaking either French or German. Would it be very difficult to find an English speaking Job in Switzerland with a pharma company?

This is a really big dilemma for me right now because our marriage is kind of on the line if we don't make the right decision that suits us both.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 14.07.2015, 20:43
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

What will your husband be doing? Salary depends on what he will be doing.
Most Pharma companies here are English speaking primarily. You would probably have no issues finding work as long as opportunity presents itself, as long as that Pharma office has clinical expertise in Switzerland. Why not check out the job boards and see if there is a fit with your skills? www.jobs.ch to start.
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Old 14.07.2015, 20:55
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

My husband is a chef and has worked in many Michelin starred restaurant in Europe. CHF115 sounds like a lot when you convert to CND but I know the cost of living is like double to what we have in Toronto.

I will definitely look at the job board. Thank you. Not sure how easy it would be for me to get a work permit. I hear that's also a major barrier. I just know that I'm not the stay at home mom type and having a job is important to me.
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Old 14.07.2015, 20:59
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

Without considering the details of the job, CHF 115'000 per year is probably in the top 15% of salaries in Switzerland (top 10% of monthly salaries in Switzerland is: CHF 11'512). See the presentation linked to this Swiss government web page for more details on salaries in Switzerland:

http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...l?pressID=9415

If the offer includes a housing allowance (and possibly health insurance), this should also be considered.

This Swiss government website "Salarium" can be used to determine whether the salary is appropriate for the job requirements:

http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/e.../salarium.html
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Old 14.07.2015, 21:03
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

As a Chef it is probably a decent salary, but i am not sure, i do not know what Chefs earn in large companies. In terms of living standards, you will definitely get by on 115 K on moderate lifestyle.
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Old 14.07.2015, 21:08
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

The poverty line in this forum is 120K, so with the house paid, you just make it. Congratulation, you can move.
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Old 14.07.2015, 21:53
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

There's the question of whether your residency permit will allow you to work.
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Old 14.07.2015, 23:23
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

Your husband, as an EU citizen, has a right to work in Switzerland due to a bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland. He would normally be issued a B permit.

Considering his earnings and assuming that the accommodations are of sufficient size, you, as a non-EU citizen, should be able to join him under an exception clause granted by the cantonal authorities.

However, as I understand it, you, as a Canadian citizen, would not normally have the right to work here. You would be allowed to live in Switzerland as a dependent under his B permit.

If you also have or can claim EU citizenship, this would be a benefit to you in obtaining a work permit for Switzerland.

If you additionally have American citizenship or a claim on it, e.g., a parent has US citizenship, you should plan to be silent about it to avoid difficulties obtaining banking services. Obama and company launched a worldwide manhunt for US citizens living outside the US through foreign banks under a law called Fatca. If you're not American in any way, it won't concern you.
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Old 15.07.2015, 01:45
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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Hi All,

This is a really big dilemma for me right now because our marriage is kind of on the line if we don't make the right decision that suits us both.
!
Hi,
It is really hard here as the foreign Frau. I had every advantage (swiss hubby, very generous relocation package, good income, ready made friends from his group) and I still freaked out. I mean, REALLY freaked out when I got here. We have never had so much drama in 20 years.

I also was a happy working mum with it all going on back home. I don't think the roads are paved with gold here, I had to learn to accept the things I cannot change. it is hard not being able to do the simplest of things without your husband and I resented him big time for a long while as he had the keys (ie language).

I got a job easily due to a lifetime of study but compared to what I used to earn....... But I do enjoy the Birkenstock brigade and get a lot of satisfaction contributing to this country. I always knew though I simply could not work in my field here......I also doubt it would have happened so fast if I didn't have all the permits already done by his company.

I thought it would be an adventure but the shine wears off pretty fast I can tell you.. I have the utmost respect for people who have to move countries and felt like a fool because we didn't have to.

if things are shaky now be ready for the earthquake here unless you drop down your expectations and accept you could end up being a highly qualified housewife. You may have to treat it as a holiday from working so you don't freak out and don't feel like a failure if you don't get a great job at the level your working at now.

This first year has been the hardest of our married life. my 8 year old used to talk to himself in the mirror because he was so lonely for the first 4 months. Things are great for them now but it has been crushing for me to see what I have done to them. Mind you we live in the sticks and are the only English speakers in the entire school. This however has made them fluent in record time and I am the one left behind now. Bless them though, they now do all the talking for mum!! Ever seen a 7 year old organize and negotiate with tradesmen ? it's hilarious.

Throwing money at lots of situations has worked for me, if pennies were tight I would have killed him.

Good luck. I truly hope it works out for the best. You do feel a real sense of accomplishment though when the shock wears off after the first 6 months.
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Old 15.07.2015, 05:03
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

OP,

115K for a chef is indeed a high salary! That's not the issue here, at all.

BUT your concern about a trailing wife even more. The renown (almost only english-speaking?) depressed expat wife already became a literal proverb among the entire Switzerland!

From time to time they even make it to the major nation-wide news broadcast shows during the best broadcasting time on Swiss television.

Some other very widespread and recent examples:

- http://www.schweizamsonntag.ch/resso...n_expat-blues/

- http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/exp...id3733317.html ... this one is especially ironic, since fully misconceived from both sides, from the queasy tabloid BLICK (the Swiss version of USA Today) as well as from the referred trailing wife!

I just wonder why there aren't any depressed trailing house men??? Especially given that northern America (and even more so USA) claims to have such high penetration of women in highly prestigious jobs. Why do not these supposedly liberated ("emanzipiert") women accept a job abroad in first hand and take their husbands with them, I often ask myself when I read just another story about just another depressed expat wife?! You hardly ever read about male examples. In fact I never have. Some profound contradiction in my mind.

Besides, the problems and challenges (not necessarily positively connotated) of a move to a different culture (with a different language) is generally, overly, and totally underestimated; and even more than they anticipate them by almost all newbies!!! Consider this thoroughly!

So yes, you are totally right to take your reservation very seriously.
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Last edited by Sublime; 15.07.2015 at 05:47. Reason: liberated
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Old 15.07.2015, 08:49
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

First link of previous post should read: http://www.srf.ch/play/tv/10vor10/vi...5-e854eac27df3
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Old 15.07.2015, 09:18
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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There's the question of whether your residency permit will allow you to work.
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Your husband, as an EU citizen, has a right to work in Switzerland due to a bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland. He would normally be issued a B permit.

Considering his earnings and assuming that the accommodations are of sufficient size, you, as a non-EU citizen, should be able to join him under an exception clause granted by the cantonal authorities.

However, as I understand it, you, as a Canadian citizen, would not normally have the right to work here. You would be allowed to live in Switzerland as a dependent under his B permit.

If you also have or can claim EU citizenship, this would be a benefit to you in obtaining a work permit for Switzerland.

If you additionally have American citizenship or a claim on it, e.g., a parent has US citizenship, you should plan to be silent about it to avoid difficulties obtaining banking services. Obama and company launched a worldwide manhunt for US citizens living outside the US through foreign banks under a law called Fatca. If you're not American in any way, it won't concern you.
There is no question guys. As the spouse of an EU national she'll get the same permit as her husband. All she needs do is present an employment contract with a Swiss employer and that's it.

"Are family members allowed to work in Switzerland?

Spouses and children of EU-EFTA nationals who are admitted to Switzerland under family reunification are legally entitled to work regardless of their nationality. However, they have to inform the appropriate cantonal migration authorities before doing so. Spouses and children of EU2 nationals who have a short-term (L) permit are subject to systematic controls by the cantonal migration authorities to ensure wage and working conditions are correspond to the particular region and sector."

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...hweiz/faq.html

"Access to the labour market

Regardless of their nationality, persons who come to Switzerland by virtue of family reunification have the right to seek employment anywhere in Switzerland and in the branch of their choice. They may also work in a self-employed capacity. If the spouse and children of Romanian or Bulgarian nationals hold a Swiss short-stay permit, then their right to take up employment in Switzerland is contingent upon prior approval by the cantonal authorities."

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/dam...nnachzug-e.pdf
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Old 15.07.2015, 09:33
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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The poverty line in this forum is 120K, so with the house paid, you just make it. Congratulation, you can move.
No the poverty line is a black audi with lots of red badges plastered all over it. Even the families living in shoe box appartments at busy round-a-bouts have these cars. They must all pitch in to pay for the lease.
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Last edited by Jack of all trades.; 15.07.2015 at 09:37. Reason: Lest we forget...
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Old 15.07.2015, 09:49
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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Hi All,


Secondly, I live in Canada and have been in the pharma industry for over 10 year. I am a clinical site monitor here and I know I won't get the same job in Switzerland without speaking either French or German. Would it be very difficult to find an English speaking Job in Switzerland with a pharma company?
I have a similar job here in Switzerland. When I first got it I only spoke English. I often get contacted by recruiters via Linkedin looking for candidates for CRA and senior CRA jobs in Switzerland. WIth 10 years experience you should not have a problem. There are several big Pharma companies and many CROs in Switzerland.
Lack of french and german will exclude you from some positions but many (maybe most) it is not an issue.
If you like, send me a PM and we can connect on Linkedin, I can pass on your details whenever I hear about new posts.
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Old 15.07.2015, 13:15
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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He has been offered a job for CHF115K, with accommodation possibly paid for.
Where is the location?
It's pointless discussing you getting a job in Pharma if you'll be a 2 hour commute from the office.
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Old 15.07.2015, 13:33
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

I would say you could probably find a suitable Pharma job with only English in just about any decent-sized pharma company, especially in R&D. We have several at my company.
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Old 15.07.2015, 14:43
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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Hi All,

I'm new to this forum. Hoping to get some insights here.

My husband is German living in Canada now. He has been offered a job for CHF115K, with accommodation possibly paid for. First of all, is that a good salary? We have a 3 year old daughter to consider as well if we were to move.

Secondly, I live in Canada and have been in the pharma industry for over 10 year. I am a clinical site monitor here and I know I won't get the same job in Switzerland without speaking either French or German. Would it be very difficult to find an English speaking Job in Switzerland with a pharma company?

This is a really big dilemma for me right now because our marriage is kind of on the line if we don't make the right decision that suits us both.

Thanks for reading!
Hi,
Accommodation is worth 25,000 to 50,000 (and upwards) a year depending on location and expectations, so this is a big deal.
I just got back from six weeks in Montreal. The french/english divide there is very tame compared to the swiss german/french divide here. It is much easier to learn french in the french speaking part of Switzerland than to learn german in a swiss-german speaking part of the country (East of, and including Basel).
School starts at 7yrs and preschool/kindergarden possibilities depend very much on locality. Working mothers are still discouraged, so even with school aged kids, both parents working can be difficult/expensive to organise.
As an experience, Switzerland is great, to put roots down??
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Old 16.07.2015, 02:19
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

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Where is the location?
It's pointless discussing you getting a job in Pharma if you'll be a 2 hour commute from the office.
His job is located in Schmerikon. Is that anywhere near the pharma hub (if there is such thing)?

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If you like, send me a PM and we can connect on Linkedin, I can pass on your details whenever I hear about new posts.
Thank you so much, I will definitely PM you.
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Old 16.07.2015, 02:24
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

Ok, so I'm only allowed to send 4 private messages in 1440 minutes?

And how do I thank someone for a post?

Sorry, newbie to forum!
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Old 16.07.2015, 02:24
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Re: Pharma jobs in Switzerland language requirements

Its not very close to Basel. It is however not that far to Zug where there are a few Pharma HQs such as Biogen, Shire etc.
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