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Old 22.01.2015, 19:23
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US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

Hi, I recently visited Zurich and I felt for the city and the people. I am an American citizen and I would be graduating with a bachelors degree in Aviation Technology towards the end of June 2015. I am interest in living some time (18 months) in Zurich, perhaps find a job in the Aviation Industry that would sponsor a training visa for young Graduates. I was wondering if i could get some information, and/or some sort of guide in order to make this happen?

Danke,
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Old 22.01.2015, 19:58
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

Welcome to the Forum. Medea will be along shortly with some helpful links.

In the meantime, what Swiss languages do you speak (German, French, Italian, Romantsch)? Have you considered graduate studies (many Master's programs are taught in English)?

Approach this with your eyes wide open. Switzerland is a great place to visit and on the surface a lot of Americans think it would be fantastic to live here. I love it, btw. But it's not for everyone, particularly with language barriers and tax/banking headaches.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:12
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

I do not speak any of the Swiss languages yet, I am fluent in English and Spanish, and for the past months I have been studying German. I lived in Spain for almost 2 years, and I know the difference between the European standard of living vs the american standard of living. For the moment I am not planning to stay in Switzerland definitively, my idea is to grow as an individual by experiencing different cultures and customs, while also receiving work experience.
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Old 22.01.2015, 20:38
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

I suggest contacting the nearest Swiss embassy/consulate to you and ask if there are any exchange programmes which you might be able to apply for. This may help too:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...praktikum.html

As for getting hired here, well, sorry, but as a non-EU national you come last in the jobs queue. Any employer would have to prove to the Swiss authorities that they can't find a Swiss/EU national who could do the job and as a recent graduate you'd have nothing to make you "special" enough.

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home...zulassung.html

Also as an American abroad you're required to continue to file US tax returns wherever you live in the world and, as a consequence of the US's FATCA law, you will also be required to sign a W-9 form with any Swiss bank to allow them to pass your account details on to the IRS in case you're a US tax cheat.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:42
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

Wow!, you guys make it seem like it is impossible to make it in Switzerland, I have been doing extensive researches on the subject and for a recent graduate like me, I wouldn't need a working visa, but a visa for young workers and its categorized as training.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:47
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

The European aviation industry is mainly based in France,Germany and the UK, not so much in Switzerland.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:48
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

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Wow!, you guys make it seem like it is impossible to make it in Switzerland, I have been doing extensive researches on the subject and for a recent graduate like me, I wouldn't need a working visa, but a visa for young workers and its categorized as training.
It's not impossible but it can be a challenge. Check out the first link in Medea's post. The trainee program exists but not many employers know about it. We've had folks come on here before trying to use the program but they could not find an employer that was familiar enough with the program that they would do it.

You sound motivated, so give it a go! Start contacting potential employers and see if you can find one that will take you on.
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Old 22.01.2015, 21:58
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

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The European aviation industry is mainly based in France,Germany and the UK, not so much in Switzerland.
The only aviation industry I know of here is the Solar Impulse project.

http://www.solarimpulse.com/
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Old 22.01.2015, 22:01
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

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The only aviation industry I know of here is the Solar Impulse project.

http://www.solarimpulse.com/
There is Pilatus!
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Old 23.01.2015, 12:03
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

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Wow!, you guys make it seem like it is impossible to make it in Switzerland
That's because it IS close to impossible, at least when it comes to finding a job as a +/- 20-year old non-EU citizen.

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have been doing extensive researches on the subject and for a recent graduate like me, I wouldn't need a working visa, but a visa for young workers and its categorized as training.
And where did you do that research exactly? Cause the above is incorrect. You work in Switzerland - you need a work permit. Simple as that. Whether this is a "real" job or a traineeship doesn't matter. The conditions for application might be different, but you absolutely always do need a work permit.

In general, as a recent non-EU graduate you do not meet the criteria to obtain a work permit. To be eligible, you need to be highly qualified, a specialist or a seasoned manager. Also, any company interested in hiring you needs to provide proof that there are no Swiss or EU candidates who could do your job. Needless to say that is impossible to do for almost all jobs.

Medea has already provided the link to exchange programs. As pointed out by 3Wishes, not many employers know about this. However, another similar route is through a designated graduate rotation program, likely to be found in larger corporations. The above rules still apply, but the authorities tend to be a bit more flexible with the "no Swiss/EU candidate" rule. Of course rotation programs are fixed-term, 1-2 years probably, and you might well be facing the same permit issue again after finishing it, as chances are you'd still not be experienced enough to justify your employment. Since you are not interested in staying in Switzerland long-term anyway, I'd consider that route, provided there are even options like that for your field of expertise.

Note that Swiss university students typically study to degree level. Most rotation programs are therefore designed for MA/MS graduates, though you might find one that accepts undergrads as well.

Last edited by Samaire13; 23.01.2015 at 12:30.
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Old 23.01.2015, 12:20
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Re: US Graduate/Aviation/Looking for a training Job

You should probably explore doing a Masters and that you would have to pay for naturally, then if you are good enough, apply for a PhD that you should hopefully be paid to do.


Of course Switzerland has quite a high standard in regards to engineering and the sciences, and I believe the competition for places at UZH and the ETH is fierce.


Still no harm doing some research on the Internet, finding out about possibilities and even applying. Just don't expect a hugely enthusiastic response if you are not an EU or Schengen visa holder. Although you might be a genius on the other hand and everybody wants you. Never know until you try.
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