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Old 04.01.2011, 17:47
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After the excitement - settling in

I moved here (Lausanne) in December to take up my job at EPFL which has now started. Aside of EPFL not being the most organized place on the planet, or at least not this week, the excitement of the new has started to wear off and the need to start building a life is sinking in. I have done this before, I moved from the UK to the US two years ago and now I have moved here for a three year contract (I very much hope to go back to the US after this). This has always been about the job, which is a great opportunity for me, and never about the country. I was headhunted, effectively, so Switzerland wasn't necessarily a place to which I would have applied.

But nevertheless, I am here and determined to enjoy my time so, where do I begin? I am financially challenged until I get paid (still don't know when that will be) after two years of unpaid post-doc work; thank God EPFL are paying me. I am starting to think I will remain somewhat financially challenged though! So far Lausanne seems to be either very expensive (michelin 3 stars) or somewhat non-existent (save for a jazz club a forum member was kind enough to pm me about).

I am more than aware that shifting countries has ups and downs, any advice on getting through the downs en Suisse?
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Old 04.01.2011, 18:01
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Re: After the excitement - settling in

1. invest in a train pass.
2. discover denner, your nearest asian/turkish grocery (often cheaper than migros or coop)
3. travel on the trains, buses, tran, ferries...take a picnic...
4. browse the EF for social options.
5. travel somewhere different each week.

it took about 5 weeks for the 'holiday' feeling to wear off when we arrived, and another 3 weeks to wonder if it would ever feel like home....then we went for the weekend to the UK for a wedding, and the return did feel like 'home'...

Oh yeah, and that first month waiting for the first month's pay really hurts...but necessity will force you to find the cheapest potatoes, mince meat, milk, bread, porridge...
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Old 04.01.2011, 18:12
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Re: After the excitement - settling in

I found it really helps if you can meet others who have been through similar changes

The forums are great for meeting up with people at events and there are other websites purely for expat meetups.

If you're interested, I hold a stitch-n-bitch in Lausanne on Wednesday evenings that you're more than welcome to attend, that is free other than the cost of a coffee. So far we've had between 3 and 9 ladies turn up each week (various nationalities and levels of skill) for a chat.

Lausanne Stitch-n-bitch
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