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  #21  
Old 12.08.2015, 12:45
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Re: Need to know so much!

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Go to (south-)western Austria then - you stay in EU and still keep the beatiful (and cheaper) skiing areas.
Life is good there too.


Except I can't believe they would be short of good wood workers / joiners / carpenters over there, whereas in Geneva, yes.
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  #22  
Old 12.08.2015, 13:32
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Re: Need to know so much!

Hello unsure
Well done for looking before you leap!


I'd go along with the suggestion above of not selling your home (since you like it) and, if possible, renting it out for a while, if you would like to try out living in Switzerland. Also, don't burn any bridges, especially not with all your husband's professional contacts/network.


If I were in your shoes, I think I would read a lot, and then come over to Switzerland alone. That is, if you can leave Hubby working and have someone who will help him take care of the children. By this, I mean a visit of a week or two, not just to do holiday things, but with a planned schedule, maybe meeting contacts in various regions, including anyone from this forum who might meet up with you, and your friend's (she with the ski holiday flat) friends, and perhaps some flat-viewing, etc. You can keep the costs very low by joining www.couchsurfing.com and then carefully select a mix of fully Swiss (not expat) hosts, so they can tell you the real deal from their local perspective, and some expats who could explain how immigrating and settling worked (or did not) for them.


Amongst the biggest issues seem to me to be learning a local language and accommodation.
If you can get your head around the fact that unless you strike it extremely lucky you will, most likely, be living in a much smaller home than you now have, then you'll most likely be happier.
And if you and your husband are willing to knuckle down and do the hard work of learning the language, every other step you take, every form you fill out, and all the organising of your children's and your own needs will be easier. Many expats, though, do get along fine without a local language, but they remain in a kind of un-integrat-able bubble. Within that, a lot can be done, and some feel happy there. For others, though, who want to participate, for example, in their children's local schooling, learning the language is essential.

Here's a thread about schooling
International school vs local: it's a question of lifestyle

and here a very long thread about lifestyle, with quite some controversy (goes wobbly in parts) which could, I think, quite useful for you as you're trying to see different perspectives.
What lifestyle will we have

Here's a milder, but factual thread
Budget For Family of 4 in Basel

and then there's Kiwi2Swiss's thread, which demonstrates a commendable pragmatism, and could be interesting for you, if you decided to work as well, even just part-time
where to look for jobs with no job qualifications

Last edited by doropfiz; 12.08.2015 at 13:51.
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  #23  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:01
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Re: Need to know so much!

McTavge thanks for your post. Yes you do understand where I am coming from about Britain. I've found it hard to explain as I don't want to offend but you hit the nail on the head. It is shocking. I went to a safari park at the weekend with the kids and was surrounded by morbidly obese adults and children. The adults couldn't be bothered engaging with the kids as they where too busy on their phones. There was hardly a person without some sugar laden crap being shoved in their mouth in between face booking their friends to tell them they were having a lovely family day out!!
Yes we have a great little place to live in Scotland. It is an affluent area and everyone here describes it as a bubble as the minute you step out it's like you've arrived in some apocalyptic scene in a different time zone! I think my husband and I have a great life but my kids futures aren't looking so bright. I don't want them brought up with British culture.
I also realise I won't get a vote with local issues. The point is that by asking the locals what works best you are going to get the better outcome. Unlike here it isn't a bunch of Elitist private school toffs shaking hands with other similar people to sell off all that we have to look after themselves. It is real people getting to have a say. I don't feel I need to move to Switzerland and start voting anyway. I wouldn't have a clue on what is best for years I would imagine. Someone said because the locals vote - nothing changes. That is music to my ears i am afraid. It preserves what is good and what works. There will be a reason they don't want change. I know some ski resorts would like to connect to others. It would make the ski resorts busier and more profitable. The locals keep voting against it as they don't want to spoil their area and so far it hasn't happened. Im sorry but that makes me smile. People before profit. Also, cheap food, cheap goods and cheap living comes at a massive cost to the environment and destroys communities. None of the 'bad' points are putting me off, quite the opposite! Of course, how the children would be received at International School does terrify me. It would be weird to find ourselves the unwanted foreigners and that is a huge worry.
You have all given good advice and I have alot to look into. I want to come over next summer for 6 weeks. We previously thought 3 months with a working permit but I think it would be a waste of time. Now to decide which 3 places to visit! We don't want to live in the heart of a city. Lusanne definitely appeals but obviously it is way too expensive. Id like to explore surrounding areas.
Last question When everyone is saying we should speak French or German - do you mean Swiss French or German or is French and German enough? It would be easy for us to start learning the latter but Swiss F or G would be pretty tough and possibly impossible to learn before we came.
Last question
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  #24  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:02
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Re: Need to know so much!

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2. The Swiss may (regularly) vote on what happens in the country/canton... but you yourself will get no say at all.
Depending on where you live, there are certain democratic rights -> Ausländerstimmrecht (german, french, italian). (map)
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  #25  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:16
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Re: Need to know so much!

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I want to come over next summer for 6 weeks. We previously thought 3 months with a working permit but I think it would be a waste of time. Now to decide which 3 places to visit! .... Id like to explore surrounding areas.
That sounds good!


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When everyone is saying we should speak French or German - do you mean Swiss French or German or is French and German enough? It would be easy for us to start learning the latter but Swiss F or G would be pretty tough and possibly impossible to learn before we came.
Definitely not Swiss German to start with. It is quite different from High German, and things are also written in High German (sometimes therefore also called Schriftdeutch = written German).
The difference between Swiss French and High French is much smaller.


In any event, you it is the High German or French that you need.
Or Italian, if you'd consider living in the Ticino.
And yes, learn as much as you can before you immigrate.


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Of course, how the children would be received at International School does terrify me. It would be weird to find ourselves the unwanted foreigners and that is a huge worry.
Depending on their ages, intellectual ability and flexibility of personality, it might be a good idea to send them to the local (= government) schools. Especially as you are hoping they will settle down here, they need to be building their local social circle from the start, and the international children often leave, or do not learn the local language enough for full integration.
Apart from that, the schoolfees at the international school are an arm and a leg, which money might be better invested in some extra language lessons for your children, and for yourselves.


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Last question
Naaah, don't make it your last. Keep them rolling in. You ask good questions.
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  #26  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:19
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Re: Need to know so much!

If you are looking at around Lausanne/Geneva you do not need to speak Swiss German as this is a French speaking part of Switzerland.
Also I see you mention the International schools - no need for that at all - the state education is excellent and of course your children integrate much better with local friends.
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  #27  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:21
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Re: Need to know so much!

Good point, smackerjack.
Here's a map of the language distribution:
https://www.google.ch/search?q=langu...MRnOITRjLRM%3A
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  #28  
Old 12.08.2015, 14:53
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Re: Need to know so much!

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McTavge thanks for your post. Yes you do understand where I am coming from about Britain. I've found it hard to explain as I don't want to offend but you hit the nail on the head. It is shocking. I went to a safari park at the weekend with the kids and was surrounded by morbidly obese adults and children. The adults couldn't be bothered engaging with the kids as they where too busy on their phones. There was hardly a person without some sugar laden crap being shoved in their mouth in between face booking their friends to tell them they were having a lovely family day out!!
Yes we have a great little place to live in Scotland. It is an affluent area and everyone here describes it as a bubble as the minute you step out it's like you've arrived in some apocalyptic scene in a different time zone! I think my husband and I have a great life but my kids futures aren't looking so bright. I don't want them brought up with British culture.
I also realise I won't get a vote with local issues. The point is that by asking the locals what works best you are going to get the better outcome. Unlike here it isn't a bunch of Elitist private school toffs shaking hands with other similar people to sell off all that we have to look after themselves. It is real people getting to have a say. I don't feel I need to move to Switzerland and start voting anyway. I wouldn't have a clue on what is best for years I would imagine. Someone said because the locals vote - nothing changes. That is music to my ears i am afraid. It preserves what is good and what works. There will be a reason they don't want change. I know some ski resorts would like to connect to others. It would make the ski resorts busier and more profitable. The locals keep voting against it as they don't want to spoil their area and so far it hasn't happened. Im sorry but that makes me smile. People before profit. Also, cheap food, cheap goods and cheap living comes at a massive cost to the environment and destroys communities. None of the 'bad' points are putting me off, quite the opposite! Of course, how the children would be received at International School does terrify me. It would be weird to find ourselves the unwanted foreigners and that is a huge worry.
You have all given good advice and I have alot to look into. I want to come over next summer for 6 weeks. We previously thought 3 months with a working permit but I think it would be a waste of time. Now to decide which 3 places to visit! We don't want to live in the heart of a city. Lusanne definitely appeals but obviously it is way too expensive. Id like to explore surrounding areas.
Last question When everyone is saying we should speak French or German - do you mean Swiss French or German or is French and German enough? It would be easy for us to start learning the latter but Swiss F or G would be pretty tough and possibly impossible to learn before we came.
Last question

Feel free to ask more questions and we'd be quite happy to meet up with you (come over for a meal to meet our family) if you settled for Geneva.


Regarding state vs international schools, don't let anyone pressurise or judge you. We've had experience of both and depending on the age of your children, your and their circumstances (learning styles, learning needs, exam years), this choice can only be informed by visiting a range of schools with them and make up your own mind. Have a list of "the right questions" to ask. As a teacher and parent, I need 10 minutes to know the true picture of the school and not just to rely on what is being said to me to promote the school. Either way, your children will integrate much faster and much more easily than you or your partner will! And coming from Scotland is always viewed on as exotic and exciting on the Continent, play that card along!
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