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Old 07.03.2017, 11:59
alankbyo alankbyo is offline
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Location: Zurich
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Re: Moving to Zurich: where to live with kids, and intl schools

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My family is moving from San Francisco to Zurich for a year (possibly 2). We have two children aged 8. I'm very nervous because we've never been to Zurich. We only speak English unfortunately, being typical Americans.

Our job with be in Enge. What neighborhoods do you recommend that would be good for families and have an easy commute? We have two cats that go outdoors. I don't expect we'll get a single family home, but access to a garden will be nice. Is that possible close to Enge?

Schools... I would put them in the local schools, but because we won't be in Zurich for long, it would be least disruptive for them to go to an English-language school (or bilingual). I've read on this forum that the international schools are difficult to get into, with waiting lists. Is this true? What if they can't get in any of the few international schools?

Is there an ideal neighborhood close to center AND an international school with an easy commute? We will not have a car. We want a lifestyle similar to our current, where we walk everywhere and meet lots of people, go to cafes...
Hi Boodee, welcome to the forum and soon in Switzerland. I have been in Switzerland for almost 9 years (in and out, with a year in Palo Alto) and in Zurich for almost 3 years. I live in Wollishofen, which is about a 10min walk from Enge on the lake. We live in an apartment but we only need to cross two roads to reach the Landiwise park which is on the lake. We have a 2yr and a 3mo old and are very happy here. It´s a an area where you will either find old people and more recently international stroller moms. I hear two or three different languages on the tram every morning.
Regarding schools, depending on their age, there are a lot of private (non international) school options which you may want to consider. A few of them in this same area. I grew up moving around a lot and with my mother having to deal with school admin in different countries. Never missed a year, enjoyed each location, made friends from many different places and (not to toot my own horn) finished a PhD before 30. My younger brother would agree as well. Each kid is different of course, but I think it is more a matter of seeing the parents adapt and be positive. PhD is not in children psychology, so I will keep my parenting advice to that. Nobody ever really appreciates parenting advice anyway.
Feel free to send me a private message if there are any specifics I can help you with. But overall, you´re moving to a wonderful place and I can assure you it will be a great adventure for the whole family.
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