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Old 03.01.2007, 02:26
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London or Zurich

Hello everyone,

First let me wish all of you a wonderful year ahead! may it be the best that has ever been but the worst of years to come

Now, if you could help me with my dilemma. I have two job offers for same position and same gross salary. One is in London and the other in Zurich. If any one of you has had the experience of living in both these cities, which would you recommend and why? both financially and socially speaking.

Thanks
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Old 03.01.2007, 03:13
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Re: London or Zurich

London
Apparently my answer was too short. so, London Again.
That should do it
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Old 03.01.2007, 09:55
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Re: London or Zurich

As you are already in London and we know absolutely nothing about you, the answer to which is best 'financially and socially speaking' the obvious answer is stay where you are...
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Old 03.01.2007, 12:38
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Re: London or Zurich

This guy says it all:
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/...and_the_b.html
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Old 03.01.2007, 14:15
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Re: London or Zurich

I moved from London to Zurich for similar gross salary. Although I was given a decent rellocation allowance it's definitely been cheaper to live here than London.

Huge saving on income tax, no council tax, cheaper rent and transport costs. OK, you pay an extra tenner for your weekly shop and eating/drinking out costs a couple of quid more but so what?

Although I also like snowboarding and the outdoor lifestyle, and that was one of the main reasons for moving here, I don't think I would go back to London unless it was for a significant pay rise.
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Old 03.01.2007, 19:02
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
As you are already in London and we know absolutely nothing about you, the answer to which is best 'financially and socially speaking' the obvious answer is stay where you are...
Sorry about misleading you. I am actually an armenian from Beirut. Do not live in london and have no relatives or friends either in london or in zurich. I have been to canada and US and know more about living conditions there than in Europe. Of course London seems to be more cosmopolitan and lively but I have not heard bad things about zurich too. Since both cities are strangers to me, I thought I should get some expert opinion in which is better.

Thanks for any info or comparison you could make for me.
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Old 03.01.2007, 22:21
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Re: London or Zurich

I'd prefer Zurich. Ok, I grew up in Zurich and the longest time I've spent in London was only about one month. But besides the financial or tax reasons, there are several other good reasons why I'd prefer Zurich for living:

1. Zurich is not too small and not too big. That means you get everything you get in a larger city. Large choice of clubs, bars and restaurants, great shopping opportunities, wide choice of cultural activities. If you compare the choice that Zurich offers you with other cities, which have less than a million inhabitants, Zurich tops it all. But on the other hand, Zurich is not too big, so everything is near and you don't lose too much time by getting from place A to place B either.

2. The lifestile in Zurich is unique. Tell me a city where the river that flows throug it is clean enough to swim. (I wouldn't go for a swim in the Thames river, but you actually can do that in the Limmat). In addition to this, Zurich has a beautiful lake where you can spend your freetime in summer. Go swimming, waterskiing, go for a boat trip, just enjoy life.
In winter Zurich and London have about the same cold crap weather. But in Zurich you reach the mountains in less than 2 hours where you can go snowboarding, skiing or just enjoy the sun.

3. Of course London has much more inhabitants than Zurich, so the life in London is much more cosmopolitan and lively. But Zurich isn't too bad ether. I'd say Zurich is the only city in Switzerland, that actually deserves to be called a city. In other Swiss cities I thinks it's rather boring, but in Zurich I actually have the feeling to be in a city.

4. Zurich's location is also quite perfect. You don't live on an island, you live in the heart of Europe. Zurich airport has connections to all destinations you want. But you don't even have to fly to get around europe, going by train also takes you to many european destinations in a good time.

5. In the Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranking of the quality of life in cities around the world, Zurich is rated first place. This for example because of the quality of its banking services, internal stability, international relationships, low crime rate and good health facilities.

6. A bad thing is the high price you pay for quite everything in Zurich. But London isn't quite cheap either. And if you live in Zurich, drive 1 1/2 hours and go shoping in Germany, where you get a lot of things much cheaper than in Zurich... In London you manage to drive 1 1/2 hours, and haven't even left the city....
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Old 04.01.2007, 10:42
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Re: London or Zurich

I'd take Zürich over London anytime. The final straw came for me when someone nicked my beloved car from outside my UK house - OK crime is not unknown here but it's certainly lower that in the UK. Couple that with the drier climate, it's much less crowded, no Blair/Brown, public transport that works, lower taxes and I'm sold!

But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that I speak German well, have skills that are in great demand, am married to a Swiss and now have many Swiss friends. If you don't speak one of the languages or are from any thing other than a mainstream western country, things can be pretty isolated here. That's especially true if you bring your wife who may be stuck in the apartment all day. It can be difficult to "break in" to Swiss society.

RS
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Old 04.01.2007, 10:56
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that I speak German well, have skills that are in great demand, am married to a Swiss and now have many Swiss friends. If you don't speak one of the languages or are from any thing other than a mainstream western country, things can be pretty isolated here. That's especially true if you bring your wife who may be stuck in the apartment all day. It can be difficult to "break in" to Swiss society.
Or from a non-mainstream cultural group. Anyone who sticks out from the norm will have a more difficult time in Switzerland.
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Old 04.01.2007, 11:16
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
Hello everyone,

First let me wish all of you a wonderful year ahead! may it be the best that has ever been but the worst of years to come

Now, if you could help me with my dilemma. I have two job offers for same position and same gross salary. One is in London and the other in Zurich. If any one of you has had the experience of living in both these cities, which would you recommend and why? both financially and socially speaking.

Thanks
London is a lot livelier with many more employment possibities and is a world city. However, it has a lot more crime and is considerably more crowded with much poorer transport.

Zurich definitely has a higher 'quality of life' based on the sort of objective measures that typical surveys use. If you want low crime, clean streets, great public transport etc. then it would win hands down. But many expats find the place to be extremely boring.

If you're young and looking for fun and wanting to carve a career, London is going to be a much 'better' place to be subjectively. It all depends what you are looking for.


Gav
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Old 04.01.2007, 11:51
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Re: London or Zurich

Zurich or London... Pros and cons?
It all depends on what is more important to you and what you are exactly looking for. There is more "quality life" in Zurich as quoted previously but then again London is certainly the gateway for you to develop your career.
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Old 04.01.2007, 12:38
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
In London you manage to drive 1 1/2 hours, and haven't even left the city....
That's only true whilst you keep going round in circles. Eventually, you'll find the right road
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Old 04.01.2007, 17:42
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Re: London or Zurich

Choice is easy

Zurich has low tax and no crime, beautiful scenery, skiin gnearby and you can take a drive to france germany italy austria in under two hours.
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Old 04.01.2007, 17:47
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Re: London or Zurich

No comparison needed - Zurich for me every time.

London has too many people for my liking.
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Old 05.01.2007, 11:21
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
Choice is easy

Zurich has low tax and no crime, beautiful scenery, skiin gnearby and you can take a drive to france germany italy austria in under two hours.
Zuerich certainly DOES have crime - it's the only place where I've ever been a victim of theft (car stereo) but it is very low, especially compared to London. Certainly at a low enough level that most people wouldn't worry about it, unlike London where it's constantly niggling away at the back of your head.

Skiing is a VERY big plus for Zuerich. Anyone into snow sports would definitely have to take this into account when choosing where to live Mind you, if the recent trends to warmer winters continue you have to ask what's going to happen to the small resorts near to the city


Gav
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Old 05.01.2007, 11:57
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Re: London or Zurich

Hey guys,

Quite some interesting input and a variety of it too!! Made me more confused than I already was However, it seems to me that financially speaking, Zurich seems to top London while in the entertainment section London is the choice. Since at the moment, my career is a priority and add to that the company that I will be working in has a london branch too, so whenever I feel that zurich does not satisfy my personal likings, I can jump to London. Meanwhile, I hope in any case, it will not be so hard settling in zurich and making some new friends there.

thanks everyone
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Old 05.01.2007, 13:00
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
Hey guys,

Quite some interesting input and a variety of it too!! Made me more confused than I already was However, it seems to me that financially speaking, Zurich seems to top London while in the entertainment section London is the choice. Since at the moment, my career is a priority and add to that the company that I will be working in has a london branch too, so whenever I feel that zurich does not satisfy my personal likings, I can jump to London. Meanwhile, I hope in any case, it will not be so hard settling in zurich and making some new friends there.

thanks everyone
If your career is really priority then go to where the headquarters is, simple as that. Also note that jumping to the other city will require a work permit of some type which might not be as easy to get as you think and certainly will be more difficult than the first jump ie now. If neither Zurich or London is corporate or regional headquarters and you would want to be persuing career opportunities then London is going to give you more but it will hit your pocket more too. Accommodation in London, however, is horribly expensive. In Zurich it is just very difficult to find...

Socially it is all about you not the city as both cities have a life...
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Old 05.01.2007, 14:22
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Re: London or Zurich

I moved to Zurich/Zug about 2 months ago from London. As has already been pointed out, I would say that knowing the local language makes a big difference as to how you will fit in and enjoy where you stay. I speak no German. The working language at the bank I work at is English but I find some people to be obstructive when I ask them for something in English. When a colleague asks them in Swiss German, they couldn't be more helpful. If you only speak English, I would say life is easier in London.

London is also better to start your career IMO. The guy who hired me here told me after I started that he was suspicious of why anyone would move to Zurich from London considering the current pay levels for people in London (in IT). He is Swiss. He was only convinced by the fact that I had a girlfriend in Switzerland. There is a difference in working culture. In London, you will, generally, work longer hours. However, this is not exclusively the case, as I'm working harder in Zurich. In my case, I got about the same as I was getting in London, but the fall in the Swiss Franc recently means that I'm a little bit behind what I got in London.

I paid about the same tax in the UK as I do in Zurich as I could operate through an offshore company in the UK. I'm going to move to Zug, which should mean I'll pay a little less.

London is more culturally diverse. You are more likely to find other Armenians in London than in Zurich. I've met a huge number of people from Beirut in London. I notice that Zurich is lacking in this regard. Shopping is way better in London, if you know where to look.

Note that these observations are only based on 2 months of living in Zurich and 5 years of living in London, so perhaps I'm a little biased. All in all, I'm missing London but I'll stick it out a bit longer here due to the specific nature of the job I have which could lead to big things. I'll reassess in 3 months time when my contract is up.

Cheers
Flash
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Old 05.01.2007, 16:05
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
Note that these observations are only based on 2 months of living in Zurich and 5 years of living in London, so perhaps I'm a little biased. All in all, I'm missing London but I'll stick it out a bit longer here due to the specific nature of the job I have which could lead to big things. I'll reassess in 3 months time when my contract is up.
If you're into skiing/boarding, things have just got a whole lot better for you in Switzerland

You really came over at the worst time of year, IME Switzerland is at its worst in late Autumn/early Winter. Cold, wet and grey but not cold enough to ski. The Ski season is fantastic .. so good to be able to just jump in a car on Saturday morning, on a whim, and hit the pistes before lunch. I'm missing that already

Once the ski season is over, the hiking season begins. A great time to get out and about and see some stunning scenery.

However, the social possibilities are definitely lacking compared to London and don't really get any better. That said, with time you'll meet more and more people which will help.


Gav
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Old 05.01.2007, 16:39
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Re: London or Zurich

Quote:
If your career is really priority then go to where the headquarters is, simple as that. Also note that jumping to the other city will require a work permit of some type which might not be as easy to get as you think and certainly will be more difficult than the first jump ie now. If neither Zurich or London is corporate or regional headquarters and you would want to be persuing career opportunities then London is going to give you more but it will hit your pocket more too. Accommodation in London, however, is horribly expensive. In Zurich it is just very difficult to find...

Socially it is all about you not the city as both cities have a life...
the job in zurich is at the headquarters while that of london is a branch office to a company whose headquarters are in germany
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