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Old 30.03.2011, 17:53
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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I have just joined the forum as my husband is going to work just outside Zurich. I am trying to decide if and when I join him.

Having read your threads about daily life I have become very pessimistic.

I cannot find any comments that are positive about an expat life surely someone enjoys living in such a beautiful country.

My greatest concerns are:
1. Living in an appartment with no garden- (I have a 5 bedroom house here with an acre of garden)

2. I do not speak german at the moment -willing to learn

3. Would I be able to find work -I am a specialist nurse in child protection.

4. If I don't work will I have any social contact at all.

5. What will I do all day if no 3 applies?

Can anyone give me a more positive and optimistic view?


Start German TODAY full time and you'll save a little bit of time/frustration when you get here. Switzerland is amazing and once you've spent some time you appreciate it, especially when you return home.
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  #42  
Old 30.03.2011, 17:55
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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My greatest concerns are:
1. Living in an appartment with no garden- (I have a 5 bedroom house here with an acre of garden)

2. I do not speak german at the moment -willing to learn

3. Would I be able to find work -I am a specialist nurse in child protection.

4. If I don't work will I have any social contact at all.

5. What will I do all day if no 3 applies?

Can anyone give me a more positive and optimistic view?
1/ you do not have to live in a flat nor zurich.
Public transport is amazing and there is plenty of small village/town around.

2/ like so many of us. you won't have any problem.

3/ if it's not a financial issue, take advantage of the situation to do something you always dream of.

4/I think you already have the answer for this one

5/Having to discover Europe is not enough?
Well, Virgin is launching a charter to Mars soon.
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  #43  
Old 30.03.2011, 17:55
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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It's almost perfect here - if only I was able to mow my lawn on a Sunday [and be able to buy brown sugar].
But if you don't have a garden, then that's another problem already solved - see ... a land of solutions.
Why can't you buy brown sugar? It's in Migros.
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  #44  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:03
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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Why can't you buy brown sugar? It's in Migros.
[I know (and Coop) - but it's a long running, self perpetuating EF joke]
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  #45  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:15
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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It's almost perfect here - if only I was able to mow my lawn on a Sunday
Move to Ticino, lots of people do here.

Tom
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  #46  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:16
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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[I know (and Coop) - but it's a long running, self perpetuating EF joke]
That's not REAL brown sugar!

Tom
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  #47  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:24
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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That's not REAL brown sugar!

Tom
Alright, so what's the joke...and it tastes the same on my Swiss oatmeal. Although this oatmeal lacks the guy with the Quaker and the funny hat so maybe that's the problem?
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  #48  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:33
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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Move to Ticino, lots of people do here.

Tom
... and have to learn another language? I'm already painfully straddled between French and German as it is.

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That's not REAL brown sugar!

Tom
It's sugar, and it's brown. Wotza problemo?

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Alright, so what's the joke...and it tastes the same on my Swiss oatmeal. Although this oatmeal lacks the guy with the Quaker and the funny hat so maybe that's the problem?
I believe it was started in the annuls of time, by someone from the colonies, who couldn't find the type best suited for cooking - i.e. light/dark soft brown, demerara, muscavado, etc. - but just wrote that they couldn't find "brown" sugar, and not meaning the brown raw variety easily available in the stores.
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  #49  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:55
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

Not to be confused with this brown sugar.

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Old 30.03.2011, 20:47
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

Thank you all so much. You have raised my hopes no end.

Thanks especially for the very useful links and the positive threads. I haven't worked out how to acknowledge thanks to an individual post yet.

My husband's job offer came so quickly from first contact to interview to acceptance in 10 days and we had never considered living abroad before. Starting in May, he will be in Switzerland for at least four years, based in Dielsdorf. It is a very rural area 30 mins drive north of Zurich. I have always lived in the country so used to rural life and the big towns all seem to be in easy driving distance.

I cannot move immediately because I am head of service (one of those dreaded NHS managers. -3 months notice for resignation). My speciality is child protection but I am at stategic level. Although I am called a nurse I do not see children and I have not been in clinical nursing for 25 years so completely de-skilled.

However I am the expert specialist advisor for staff on management of cases. I teach child protection at undergraduate level, devise policy and I manage a team of 20 staff and a largeish budget.

CRUMBS - thank you very much for your link. I would not expect to work at the sort of level I have been but I had already wondered if they might want research assistants or possibly lecturers even voluntary or part time. I have national links in the field in the UK which might be useful to them.

I do love my garden at home in East Sussex but I certainly would not want a large garden in Switzerland just a bit to tend and sit in the sun. I will look out out for ground floor apartments. Are there any houses to rent?

I have found dancing venues in Zurich and some of you have given me ideas of other activities. I do sail a bit and like cycling. Once I arrive perhaps I will meet some of you.

Thanks again for the encouragement
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  #51  
Old 30.03.2011, 20:57
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

I was just looking at your profile and saw you can speak French.
This will help you a lot, especially wile doing groceries.
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  #52  
Old 30.03.2011, 22:06
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

i like it so far
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  #53  
Old 30.03.2011, 22:18
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

Hi!
I live in Zurich since 2007 and I just love it, it's such a nice, organized and lovely city! I find Switzerland in general a country that offers a very high quality of life. You just have to get along with the swiss mentality, that at a first look might seem a bit close and weird, but it gets better with time. My advice is to start soon with german, and as soon as you can say something in german, find some activity/hobby where there are actually swiss people - that's the best way to integrate rapidly! And don't get scared by the swiss german...
good luck!

v.
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Old 30.03.2011, 22:23
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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I have just joined the forum as my husband is going to work just outside Zurich. I am trying to decide if and when I join him.

Having read your threads about daily life I have become very pessimistic.

I cannot find any comments that are positive about an expat life surely someone enjoys living in such a beautiful country.

My greatest concerns are:
1. Living in an appartment with no garden- (I have a 5 bedroom house here with an acre of garden)

2. I do not speak german at the moment -willing to learn

3. Would I be able to find work -I am a specialist nurse in child protection.

4. If I don't work will I have any social contact at all.

5. What will I do all day if no 3 applies?

Can anyone give me a more positive and optimistic view?
Hi - I am a 57 year old South African, and lived in both Germany and Switzerland and again after living in India for 4 years will return to Zurich. I never experienced loneliness or not enjoyed a country - reach out , dont wait until the Swiss people reach out to you. Find a hobby or interest - life is great - not many people have expat oppurtunities - it is a great life out there... Switzerland life is of good quality
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  #55  
Old 30.03.2011, 22:53
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

I have been here since 1995 and, although I miss the wide open spaces of Canada (and my family!), have come to love Switzerland. Some of the things that bothered me the first couple of years are now actually things that I like about the country! I remember thinking the place was so backward for not having Sunday shopping (except for gas stations, airport, some train stations). But now I think it's great that Sunday is more of a family day and people are more inclined to go hiking, skiing, spend time together.

I still miss the vastness of Canada, but love that you are never far from a walking/hiking trail in Switzerland. I have a great running route here that takes me over fields, through small woods, along a lake - and all in an 8-km loop. The mountains are close by, public transit is incredible, there are lots of hiking and biking trails.

Before I came over, I remember reading about culture shock and that after the initial fascination and awe with a new place, you notice all the negatives and what you miss about your home country. After a while, though, you start to appreciate (again) what the new country has to offer - provided you stay long enough!

Come with an open mind, patience, realistic expectations and make a bit of an effort to get out and meet people and I am sure you'll enjoy the experience! I think you've made a great start by asking around and trying to gather as much info as you can before coming, but of course a lot will depend on where you live, who your neighbours are, what your first impressions are, etc.

Good luck!
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  #56  
Old 31.03.2011, 09:09
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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Alright, so what's the joke...and it tastes the same on my Swiss oatmeal. Although this oatmeal lacks the guy with the Quaker and the funny hat so maybe that's the problem?
'Real' brown sugar is damp because of the high molasses content.

It can be simulated here by using 2-3 parts normal sugar to one part molasses.

Tom
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Old 31.03.2011, 09:30
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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I have been here four months and I'm still in the up and down stage. Today is an up day I didn't choose Switzerland, it chose me with an offer I couldn't refuse - same as many people.

It is tough and - although I live in the french speaking part - I am finding the language tougher than I hoped I would (ironically, my German is better :/). Again, there's good days and bad days. But, if you do have French, don't forget it is an official language of Switzerland you can demand it as the language in which the official stuff is done and they have to provide it (just as they have to speak German to me in Swiss Romande if I ask them to). I met someone who has Italian and this is what he does too, demand an official language. English is spoken everywhere, though sometimes not willingly, and with a little bit of English, German, French, mime and a lot of good humor I have managed to get by thus far and learn a little French!

Anyway I say do it and enjoy the experience. This is the second time I have switched countries (though that pales in comparison to some expats) and it is always up and down; it's not the country it's the adjustment. Loneliness is always an issue - I am just starting to make friends and just starting to see things I like here and am grateful for. Oh and then there's the tax There is also a hugely supportive expat community which I have found welcoming and many women doing what you would be doing - I don't often meet another woman who has come here for work like I did.
Yeah I found that most of the time, the Swiss try to avoid using English, only because they believe that they cannot speak it very well, even though they are decent at it. I once tried to ask for some information about renting some snowboard boots and the lady said she didn't speak English, so when I tried to ask her in German and totally butchered it, she switched to English which was pretty decent and way better than my German.

You could probably live in Switzerland without learning German and do pretty decent, though learning German will make your life easier and the Swiss will accept you more (in that they will be more willing to communicate with you).
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Old 31.03.2011, 09:33
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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I haven't worked out how to acknowledge thanks to an individual post yet.
Min. 10 posts and 1 wks. membership will reveal thanks button option, bottom right of posts.

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Starting in May, he will be in Switzerland for at least four years, based in Dielsdorf. It is a very rural area 30 mins drive north of Zurich. I have always lived in the country so used to rural life and the big towns all seem to be in easy driving distance.
I would think you would have a better chance of finding somewhere with a garden, here or nearby, than in or closer to Zurich. Availability and choice may be more limited, but start looking straight away.
If able to, take some holiday days whilst working your notice and get out here, to familiarise and see what's available.

In the meantime use the forum search to find out about the best services and websites for finding accommodation and/or start a new thread for looking for accommodation in [area], to illicit help and advice from those familiar with the area and procedure.

Also use the resources of your husbands' future company and work colleagues. Personal experiences can be hugely beneficial.

As I'm sure you're aware, this is one of the (if not the) biggest issues you have initially to sort out.
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Old 31.03.2011, 13:03
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

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Yeah I found that most of the time, the Swiss try to avoid using English, only because they believe that they cannot speak it very well, even though they are decent at it. I once tried to ask for some information about renting some snowboard boots and the lady said she didn't speak English, so when I tried to ask her in German and totally butchered it, she switched to English which was pretty decent and way better than my German.

You could probably live in Switzerland without learning German and do pretty decent, though learning German will make your life easier and the Swiss will accept you more (in that they will be more willing to communicate with you).
Thats exactly my observations. I find it helpful to first attempt German.

If they have a confused look on their faces, I then apologise and say "mis düütsch ist nut guet" (sorry, dont know how to spell that in Swiss German) versus asking them outright if they speak English as most of them are very humble and either say no, or "a little bit" - but turn out fluent.

99% of the time after telling them that my German is not good, they'll smile and say "its ok, I speak English!". The remaining 1% say "BUT YOU SPEAK SWISS GERMAN!" and then proceed to rattle off to which I have to keep saying: "langsam bitte!!!" and struggle even more. I dont mind though - its like being thrown into the deep end of a pool to swim or sink. I have the patience if they do - which I find alot of them are very willing to slow down, and speak to me like I am a 5 year old.
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Old 31.03.2011, 16:16
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Re: Does anyone like living in Switzerland?

Count me in the ranks of those who love it here and don't intend to leave. Certainly not to go back to Britain.

Of course love isn't always easy. Hope you get settled in quickly when you arrive!
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