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Old 23.03.2015, 02:49
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Guidance needed- [Swiss citizen abroad considering moving to CH]

Guten tag meine freunde, ich bin Stephan.
I know my German is horrible but I'm working on it XD
I am swiss by my father side(he is from Solothurn), unfortunately I have never been to Switzerland,but I really wanna change that, actually I want/plan/desire to move to Switzerland, but it is very hard/confusing to get information, on certain topics.

My questions are as follow:
-What would the SVP think of me?(lol just joking!)
-Is there any assistance offered to someone on my situation?
-Can I do the military service?
-Do you have any opinion on which canton it would be better to start(I would love a German speaking one).
-Can I do vocational training if I am 25y/o?
-Were you on the same boat as me on any of this topics? If so,you can greatly assist me with any comment or response, and feel absolutely free to pm, if you don't feel comfortable replying publicly.

I am not very experienced with forums so I apologize if I don't seem friendly, but I assure you I am.
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Old 23.03.2015, 03:47
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Re: Guidance needed-

to the EF!

It is the middle of the night in Switzerland right now, so do not expect many replies before morning!

Your questions are all very reasonable, and I am sure you will get many answers. Until then I suggest that you browse the forum and use the search function ... you are certainly not the first Swiss abroad to be interested in returning home.
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Old 23.03.2015, 03:51
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After spending 40 minutes reading around the forum, I see how financial support seems distasteful, but I assure unless it is totally necessary I would never ask for it, but in the past I had been told, that this kind of assistance comes with the belief it will be paid back.

Before any welfare I would prefer to work, or even better to do an apprenticeship(my goal being IT related), I have saved money but coming from such a country, to one of the most expensive is no small feat(I wanna know what I'm getting into), also I forgot to ask if anyone knows of any website where room subletting can be obtained.

Thanks a lot for such a warm reply, and thanks for providing such insight xD , I was literally waiting for any answer, and I truly hope I grow integrate well into this forum.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.03.2015 at 14:20. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 23.03.2015, 09:04
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Re: Guidance needed-

Do you have tertiary qualifications and do you have family in Switzerland who might be willing to help you find a job?

If you finish university you could try for a post-graduate study with a scholarship... If not, then you need to find a job. Having a swiss passport would help, but the lack of language skills may be a substantial problem.

If you can afford to live for a year and do intensive language study, that may give you opportunities...but no guarantee...
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Old 23.03.2015, 09:21
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Re: Guidance needed-

Search for "Familie Feierabend". It's a documentary (3 parts) of a swiss farmer in Santo Domingo and his sons coming to Switzerland. It's in German and Swiss German but I guess it'll be helpful anyways.

http://www.srf.ch/sendungen/dok/lang...nen-feierabend
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Old 23.03.2015, 09:30
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Re: Guidance needed-

Welcome to the forum Stephan. Firstly, was your birth registered with a Swiss embassy and do you hold a Swiss passport? Because if not, that's the first thing you need to get sorted out. Embassy details here:

http://www.embassypages.com/missions/embassy7706/

Some links to help you get started:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa/living-abroad/returning-to-switzerland.html

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-to-switzerland

To answer some of your other questions:

No, if you don't speak a Swiss language you won't be able to do the compulsory military service.

IT jobs I think are mostly in Basel and Zurich areas so those cantons are the ones to look at. Both are German speaking.

Vocational training at 25? Not sure, but I don't think so as you're probably too old for an apprenticeship which is how most vocational training is done here. But hopefully someone else knows more and can confirm one way or another.

I have to warn you that many Swiss who are born abroad or even are born here and then move abroad find returning to Switzerland a difficult transition to make so keep this mind.

Have you even visited the country? It's all very well to have the dream, but the reality can be a shock for many people. If you haven't been here before then I suggest that first you spend time here on holiday, an extended one if you can manage it, to find out if it's really all you think it's going to be. This will give you the chance to research things like job opportunities, training, etc.

Finances-wise work to the figure of CHF100 per day so CHF36,500 for a year. You might get away with less, but this gives you a starting point.

Somewhere to live - well, try here to get an idea of what's available.

http://www.wgzimmer.ch/wgzimmer.html?wc_country=ch

You can check down in the Marketplace Section of the forum for property to rent.

Also get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after moving here. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the Internet.
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Old 23.03.2015, 09:32
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Re: Guidance needed-

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(my goal being IT related)
Just a note here:

Entry level IT jobs are fast disappearing in Switzerland - there is a push towards automation or outsourcing because the cost of Swiss labor is simply too high to justify keeping these kinds of jobs here. The industry is severely contracting at the moment, lots of IT folks have been laid off - or soon will be.

So while your Swiss passport will be a help as you search for jobs, do keep an eye on Swiss employment trends as you decide on your educational route.
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Old 24.03.2015, 03:47
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Hello goodnight everyone, i am sorry for how much time it took me to reply.
Thanks everyone for the replies, I do have to admit I expected more fresh information, as those links are/were my first stop for research. Does anyone knows of or was in the same situation as I am?

1)Yes I am a swiss passport holder.
2)I did middle school, high school, and dropped out of university(was studying civil engineering).
3)I wouldn't mind at all working in a MacDonald, or working as a shelf stacker, hell I wouldn't even mind being a volunteer.
4)My true age is 23(fresh), I want to move as soon as possible as I want to move as young as I can be.
5)I hate to emphatize the need of knowledge in the topic of social assistance.
6) I understand how I could be socially devastated maybe, but I it could be fixed.
7)I do have an uncle in Switzerland but I don't really speak with him and asking for a favor like this seems abusive to me.

I really appreciate the replies, also if anyone has any experiance with the help that returning swiss get it would help, and also in what category do I stand as a swiss born abroad (non-EU)who wants to go to Switzerland?
I also want to say this is something that I have been thinking about for a really long time, so my mind pretty much is set,there are a couple of things holding me back from jumping at this time.
As for money, I believe I have enough for three months is it really that hard to get a job?(how much German do I need as a McDonald worker or a person working for public sanitation)?

IT jobs being taken out of Switzerland is a big hit, I really love computers and that's the route I would like to hit, be it software or on the hardware side.

By the way,has anyone ever encountered a person with no swiss languages skills being employed in a unskilled job?And also do you know anyone who started an apprenticeship with over 23 years?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.03.2015 at 14:23. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 24.03.2015, 09:06
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Re: Guidance needed-

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Hello goodnight everyone, i am sorry for how much time it took me to reply.
Thanks everyone for the replies, I do have to admit I expected more fresh information, as those links are/were my first stop for research. Does anyone knows of or was in the same situation as I am?

1)Yes I am a swiss passport holder.
2)I did middle school, high school, and dropped out of university(was studying civil engineering).
3)I wouldn't mind at all working in a MacDonald, or working as a shelf stacker, hell I wouldn't even mind being a volunteer.
4)My true age is 23(fresh), I want to move as soon as possible as I want to move as young as I can be.
5)I hate to emphatize the need of knowledge in the topic of social assistance.
6) I understand how I could be socially devastated maybe, but I it could be fixed.
7)I do have an uncle in Switzerland but I don't really speak with him and asking for a favor like this seems abusive to me.
Isn't this just a blatant contradiction of yourself? i.e. you say you don't want to ask your uncle for support because you feel it'd be improper, yet you'd be quite happy to accept state social assistance from a system into which you've never paid a penny?

In short, your ambitions to work in IT, given your present situation, though not impossible are highly unlikely. So in short ask yourself why would you want to fly half way around the world to end up working in Maccys? You'll probably have a better quality of life if you stay where you are. If you've got your heart set on it, get some qualifications and/or language skills and then look at moving over.
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Old 24.03.2015, 09:15
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Re: Guidance needed-

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Hello goodnight everyone, i am sorry for how much time it took me to reply.
Thanks everyone for the replies, I do have to admit I expected more fresh information, as those links are/were my first stop for research. Does anyone knows of or was in the same situation as I am?

1)Yes I am a swiss passport holder.
2)I did middle school, high school, and dropped out of university(was studying civil engineering).
3)I wouldn't mind at all working in a MacDonald, or working as a shelf stacker, hell I wouldn't even mind being a volunteer.
4)My true age is 23(fresh), I want to move as soon as possible as I want to move as young as I can be.
5)I hate to emphatize the need of knowledge in the topic of social assistance.
6) I understand how I could be socially devastated maybe, but I it could be fixed.
7)I do have an uncle in Switzerland but I don't really speak with him and asking for a favor like this seems abusive to me.

I really appreciate the replies, also if anyone has any experiance with the help that returning swiss get it would help, and also in what category do I stand as a swiss born abroad (non-EU)who wants to go to Switzerland?
I also want to say this is something that I have been thinking about for a really long time, so my mind pretty much is set,there are a couple of things holding me back from jumping at this time.
As for money, I believe I have enough for three months is it really that hard to get a job?(how much German do I need as a McDonald worker or a person working for public sanitation)?
You seem to expect that Switzerland will hold your hand, well it won't. There's no assistance apart from advice in the links I provided, it's up to you to make things work here. Why do you keep going on about financial support/social assistance? If you can't afford to live/work here then you shouldn't be thinking of moving here yet. Yes, I believe that whatever commune/gemeinde (city/town/village) you end up living in has a duty to provide for you if it's needed, but you shouldn't be thinking of this as part of your plans. There is no "category" of Swissness, you either are or you're not. Contact the embassy in Santo Domingo to see what info they have on assistance, they'll be able to tell you if there's anything else that hasn't already been mentioned.

Really! How long to do you think would take to get a job, any job, when you can't speak the language of the country you're living in? Even a McD worker or cleaner needs a certain level of German/French/Italian, depending on which part of the country they're in. Volunteer work will not pay so that's no good to you and still needs the language skills. Apprenticeships will also need a good level of a Swiss language, assuming you're not too old to apply. Even skilled people with the language skills are finding it hard to get a job within your timescale so it would be even more difficult for you. Remember too, that all the contracts you sign are going to be in a Swiss language: employment, rental, health, etc. You'll need to understand what you're signing up to.

My advice - which you probably won't want to hear or like - is to go back to uni and get your civil engineering degree (the Swiss like degrees), work on your German at the same time, save up more money and then consider moving here. Your chances of success will be much higher than what you plan now. Expecting to just turn up with no skills or even qualifications in the field you want to work in (IT), no language proficiency, little money and believe you'll find a job within 3 months is a recipe for failure and heartbreak.
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  #11  
Old 24.03.2015, 12:05
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Re: Guidance needed-

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1)Yes I am a swiss passport holder.
2)I did middle school, high school, and dropped out of university(was studying civil engineering).
3)I wouldn't mind at all working in a MacDonald, or working as a shelf stacker, hell I wouldn't even mind being a volunteer.
4)My true age is 23(fresh), I want to move as soon as possible as I want to move as young as I can be.
5)I hate to emphatize the need of knowledge in the topic of social assistance.
6) I understand how I could be socially devastated maybe, but I it could be fixed.
7)I do have an uncle in Switzerland but I don't really speak with him and asking for a favor like this seems abusive to me.

I really appreciate the replies, also if anyone has any experiance with the help that returning swiss get it would help, and also in what category do I stand as a swiss born abroad (non-EU)who wants to go to Switzerland?

I think what you really need is to put your feet on the ground and stop thinking that being a Swiss passport holder gives you the right to claim any money, just because you are Swiss, that by the way has never ever contributed a penny towards the swiss system???

what makes you think that this is the right thing to do? you are just 23 and you're already thinking that Swiss tax payers money should finance your "new life" in CH? I can’t belive that a 23 y.o. is considering taking that road and even worse seeking advise from people that for any reason have it harder to accomplish and make a life in Switzerland!!

For people like you, is that the current social system is failing and most probably people that really need help will be punished in the near future by the system…
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  #12  
Old 24.03.2015, 13:39
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You do have to understand I dont have it as easy as most of you, my salary is around 490US, per month and I have to pay rent(200+/-) food(150+/-) transportation(60+/-), what does that leave me to save money????, Yes I want access to a better life, is it bad? Am I a leech? Because I will end up working sooner or later and pay a lot of pennies into the system.

Language skill yes it is my most obvious problem, but also gathering information is too as most is in German and what I am able to find in English barely scratches the surface, and BTW having a title of civil engineering here wouldn't work over there, it is kind of a regional title(Tropical country construction is too different or so I heard).

Even if those weren't the most humble replies I am still grateful for them.

People like me? What do you mean.
People like really need help? Don't I really need help, or whom would you say needs help?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.03.2015 at 14:24. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 24.03.2015, 13:50
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Re: Guidance needed-

Accessing tertiary studies in Switzerland will be very difficult if you are not fluent in German, French or Italian - you at least need a bachelor's degree in your mother-tongue - I am assuming you did your schooling in English, and obviously had the grades to get into university...

Switzerland is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. I feel sorry for anyone who is 'scraping by' and not earning well above the minimum salary, because the cost of living is extremely high and it's pretty hard to live more simply. The 'cheap options' are very limited...

Once over here, it will take years to get access to tertiary studies (because your German or French won't be good enough)... and then to pay for your living costs when studying (it's normal here for kids to live with their parents until they are finished their degree or apprenticeship and are earning a 'full wage'.

If you can enter the job marketplace with a degree, you have the possibility of getting a local and well-paid job - the question is 'what do you actually want to do with life?'...

Even better, have a go at getting a job before you arrive in Switzerland - it is only marginally easier once you get here... !
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Old 24.03.2015, 14:43
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Re: Guidance needed-

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You do have to understand I dont have it as easy as most of you, my salary is around 490US, per month and I have to pay rent(200+/-) food(150+/-) transportation(60+/-), what does that leave me to save money????, Yes I want access to a better life, is it bad? Am I a leech? Because I will end up working sooner or later and pay a lot of pennies into the system.

Language skill yes it is my most obvious problem, but also gathering information is too as most is in German and what I am able to find in English barely scratches the surface, and BTW having a title of civil engineering here wouldn't work over there, it is kind of a regional title(Tropical country construction is too different or so I heard).

Even if those weren't the most humble replies I am still grateful for them.
Not saying that you do, but you also have to realise that while any salary here may be higher than what you get now, so will the costs be. Taking Zurich for an example, here's what ETHZ gives as monthly figures.

https://www.ethz.ch/en/the-eth-zuric...of-living.html

So they reckon CHF2,250 in expenses. Say McD's pay you CHF18 gross per hour and you work 7 hours a day that's CHF126 a day, CHF630 for a 5 day week and CHF2,520 a month. So a monthly gross surplus of CHF270, but that's before the necessary taxes and insurances are deducted so you'd probably break even or more likely spend more than you earn. Remember too that McD's pays hourly so you wouldn't get any pay for the days you don't work. Tell me honestly, do you really think you going to be better off?
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Old 24.03.2015, 14:48
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Re: Guidance needed-

Stefan, you might find some useful information here, from the Organization of Swiss Abroad website:
http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-to-switzerland

Are you involved with any Swiss Abroad type groups in your home country?
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Old 24.03.2015, 14:50
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Re: Guidance needed-

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...yet you'd be quite happy to accept state social assistance from a system into which you've never paid a penny?
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...just because you are Swiss, that by the way has never ever contributed a penny towards the swiss system???

what makes you think that this is the right thing to do?
If he's really Swiss, and the law allows for it, then it is a privilege of his Swiss citizenship. Full stop.

etefan, your best answers would come from the Swiss embassy. I remember a long time ago, perhaps more than 10 years ago, the Swiss government offered repatriation help to Swiss citizens living elsewhere, some of whom have never even been to Switzerland. They offered moving, travel and even start up assistance. I don't know, and I even doubt they still offer repatriation packages, but you should ask the Swiss embassy in your country.

If the Swiss allow it, and even helps, then congratulations and enjoy the privileges of being Swiss!
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Old 24.03.2015, 15:00
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Re: Guidance needed-

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If he's really Swiss, and the law allows for it, then it is a privilege of his Swiss citizenship. Full stop.

etefan, your best answers would come from the Swiss embassy. I remember a long time ago, perhaps more than 10 years ago, the Swiss government offered repatriation help to Swiss citizens living elsewhere, some of whom have never even been to Switzerland. They offered moving, travel and even start up assistance. I don't know, and I even doubt they still offer repatriation packages, but you should ask the Swiss embassy in your country.

If the Swiss allow it, and even helps, then congratulations and enjoy the privileges of being Swiss!
I don't doubt that he can't do it, I just questioned his moral reasoning behind it. And let's face it, being on social welfare here is probably worse off than the OP's current standard of living.
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Old 24.03.2015, 15:54
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Re: Guidance needed-

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I don't doubt that he can't do it, I just questioned his moral reasoning behind it. And let's face it, being on social welfare here is probably worse off than the OP's current standard of living.
He says....

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Yes I want access to a better life, is it bad?
Good enough for me.

I've seen asylum seekers provided apartments, an allowance and job placement. Somewhat absurd if the Swiss government could not provide the same for its citizens.
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Old 24.03.2015, 17:20
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Re: Guidance needed-

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You do have to understand I dont have it as easy as most of you, my salary is around 490US, per month and I have to pay rent(200+/-) food(150+/-) transportation(60+/-), what does that leave me to save money????
Do you think live in CH is easier just because you have "high" salaries? with the market being so competitive employers expect employees to work extended hours during the week and even weekends, rent and household expenses are quite high specially in big cities: ZH, LZ, ZG... you'll be definitely shocked to see the prices of meat, veggies in supermarkets....so yes, if you will compare your potential salary in Ch based on your current qualifications then i'd tell you you might not be better off aftert all...

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....BTW having a title of civil engineering here wouldn't work over there, it is kind of a regional title(Tropical country construction is too different or so I heard).


have you already made some serious research in CH universities to validate your title ? it doesn't sound like that.... you should go to your Swiss Embassy and do a proper research, write to Universities, etc...

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People like me? What do you mean.
People like really need help? Don't I really need help, or whom would you say needs help?
I simply do not agree that a 23 y.o. should base their life project in moving to another country to life on benefits... but this is just my oppinion.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.03.2015 at 19:13. Reason: fixed quoting
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Old 24.03.2015, 18:47
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Re: Guidance needed-

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I simply do not agree that a 23 y.o. should base their life project in moving to another country to life on benefits... but this is just my oppinion.

It would be ironic if here you are chastising a Swiss for wanting to come to Switzerland, and you turn out to be on an Auslanderausweis.

Oh, I don't know. Maybe you think its cool to be the moral judge of random people on the Internet. But carry on.... keep projecting.
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