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Old 19.01.2008, 21:04
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How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

I am a US Citizen in my twenties. I am currently enrolled in my first year of university and with each ensuing day, I have an inexplicable desire to get out of America. I love Europe. I spent the summer living in Aix-en-Provence, France. Living in Switzerland seems perfect for me: close to everything I need and the Alps are in my backyard.

I spoke with the Swiss Consulate in NYC today and they told me I have three ways of getting into Switzerland:

1) Get accepted to any Swiss university.
2) Get married to a Swiss national (I can't believe she said this)
3) Find somebody to sponsor me to work in Switzerland and have them submit the paperwork.

1) may be difficult because I am already in university. The university I go to offers a legion of courses, and I can finish my degree online. I'm studying economics and am hoping to work in Zurich at an I-bank after my degree.

2) would be rather difficult and not something I am interested in.

3) I heard it is nigh impossible getting employment in Switzerland as a foreigner. Is this true?

Whatever route I take, I'd like to eventually be a permanent resident/citizen, whatever the equivalent is in Switzerland.

I wouldn't mind going to St. Gallen, but I heard it is extremely difficult to get into.

My German is sub-par. My French is okay. Italian - I can get by. I am working on my German now to become fluent in 12 or so months. My goal is to move to Switzerland in 16-18 months.

Can anybody offer some advice? Like I said, my goal is to live in Switzerland - and I'd redo all the classes I have already taken if I can get into a university offering a BS in economics - with the goal of staying there and working in Zurich in the financial industry once I graduate.
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Old 20.01.2008, 00:29
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

On 1): Have you checked if your university has a Swiss partner university? Not very likely but it would be helpful.
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Old 20.01.2008, 03:42
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

They don't, unfortunately. I don't mind redoing my education in Switzerland, but I heard it is quite hard to get accepted being a non-EU resident...
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Old 20.01.2008, 06:49
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

Perhaps you could finish your degree in the US and then apply for internships at the numerous international organizations or with pharmaceuticals that have large investor relations departments. Since you want to move here in approximately 18 months, start looking and applying for these positions now.

And then who knows, while you are doing your internship you might meet a Swiss lady/gentleman and the two of you might decide to marry...unless you are already married/taken.
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Old 20.01.2008, 08:17
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

I've heard that there are special permits / allowances for people who are doing work that is considered to be part of training/education for your future career, and an internship sounds like it would fit this criterion. Maybe someone else on the forum knows more about this, or you could contact the consulate again to ask. Also, instead of repeating your Bachelor's degree, why not try to get accepted into a Master's program here?

Best of luck, I hope you get to live the dream.
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Old 20.01.2008, 09:18
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

I think your best bet is to find an internship/Job in an American/English speaking company that also has an office in Switzerland. Google, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Anderson Consulting etc.

Finding an undergrad program here in English is difficult, Ph.d and post doc are different.

Good luck with the German stuff. Be prepared for the Swiss German shock if you finally do get the opportunity to come here, it is quite different from what you will be studying.

Good Luck,
Darkphoenix
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Old 20.01.2008, 09:44
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

Before making a wholesale move to Switzerland, why don't you do an exchange program for a semester or a year? That way you can decide if you really want to live here long-term. As long as you are at a full four-year university, you should be able to do a study abroad period either through your own university or through another American university.

As a semi-sidenote: while you're here, I would strongly urge you to INTEGRATE into SWISS culture. We (ie, the EF and other expats) are here to help each other, but there's not much point in planning a life in an other country if you spend all your time with other internationals. (That comment comes from watching international students both here and in the States do exactly that.)

Good luck! Erin
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Old 20.01.2008, 09:49
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

hi, my name is kevin and im willing to marry you and get you a swiss passport.



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Old 20.01.2008, 09:53
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

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hi, my name is kevin and im willing to marry you and get you a swiss passport.



Could you not marry my sister instead? I could supply you with free smarties for the rest of your life as compensation!
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Old 21.01.2008, 06:44
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Re: How to live in Switzerland, the easy way as an American

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I spoke with the Swiss Consulate in NYC today and they told me I have three ways of getting into Switzerland:

1) Get accepted to any Swiss university.
2) Get married to a Swiss national (I can't believe she said this)
3) Find somebody to sponsor me to work in Switzerland and have them submit the paperwork.
Option 3 is your only realistic option (unless you marry krlock3). It is not impossible to gte a job in Switzerland, just difficult. If you put in the effort and do your research properly you should be able to find something. The big issue is that the employer must do quite a lot of work on your behalf to obtain your permit. One alternative could be to start work for US IB and then relocate to their office in Switzerland.
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