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Old 15.05.2011, 22:33
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Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Hi, I'll try and keep it concise, family w boys 8 & 11 (older kids 18,21,23 flown nest)...opportunity to relocate to Switzerland (Bern, Zurich or Zug [tax])...have lived in New Zealand as a family previously, so have experienced of overseas as a family before. Questions/concerns - schooling?, cost of living (however potential offset if correct tax rate is considered), housing (cost) and general intergration...(seems like a long list).
We currently live in SW London - so nice part of town, but the alur of Switzerland, experience, opportunity, cleanliness, family life etc is a big (potential) draw...
Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
Schooling i suspect would be our biggest concern...
Regards
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:37
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Hi, I'll try and keep it concise, family w boys 8 & 11 (older kids 18,21,23 flown nest)...opportunity to relocate to Switzerland (Bern, Zurich or Zug [tax])...have lived in New Zealand as a family previously, so have experienced of overseas as a family before. Questions/concerns - schooling?, cost of living (however potential offset if correct tax rate is considered), housing (cost) and general intergration...(seems like a long list).
We currently live in SW London - so nice part of town, but the alur of Switzerland, experience, opportunity, cleanliness, family life etc is a big (potential) draw...
Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
Schooling i suspect would be our biggest concern...
Regards
I was so confused reading your post
Anyways Welcome to Switzerland and the EF
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:40
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Welcome to the forum, and hopefully to Switzerland where you will likely find it as if being on holiday perpetually - with easy access to lots of other countries nearby for a taste in variety if not exploring other cantons within CH in your own time and pace.

I anticipate teething problems with language, and perhaps more for your older kids as they might find it a little too slow perhaps boring ( until they can converse in the local language with teens their age ).
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:41
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Opps sorry - wasnt meant to confuse...
Wanted to explain our circumstances as a family (ages etc) - and share the opportunity to move to either Zurich (could live in Zug) or Bern...
Wife and I concerned - or seeking advice/solicit information - on other English who have made the move - our concerns would be around Schooling, cost of living, housing and intergration...so any advice or experiences would be appreciated before we progress with a move...
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:41
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

We moved from SW19 to Zug over 8 years ago and don't plan on heading back We have a much better quality of life here.
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:49
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Hi, I'll try and keep it concise, family w boys 8 & 11 (older kids 18,21,23 flown nest)...opportunity to relocate to Switzerland (Bern, Zurich or Zug [tax])...have lived in New Zealand as a family previously, so have experienced of overseas as a family before. Questions/concerns - schooling?, cost of living (however potential offset if correct tax rate is considered), housing (cost) and general intergration...(seems like a long list).
We currently live in SW London - so nice part of town, but the alur of Switzerland, experience, opportunity, cleanliness, family life etc is a big (potential) draw...
Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
Schooling i suspect would be our biggest concern...
Regards
Aloha !

I have lived in various places, and visited NZ, and find Switzerland to be one of the best (clean, modern, safe, lots of outdoors stuff to do, not that many people). It is especially good with families - skiing in Winter, and hiking/biking in Summer.

Re Schooling - I presume you guys don't speak German, so you are probably looking at international schools which have a very good reputation (probably better than England, but I don't know what type of school you use now).
Re cost of living and housing, difficult to say, but some things more expensive and some cheaper (can't thing of anything in the latter category off the top of my head though). Of course, it depends how much you get paid..
Integration is generally reasonably simple.

The above is quick answer, if you need any more details, post some more specific questions. But at the end of the day, you have to trust your instincts, and if it feels right, then go for it.

Enjoy...
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Old 15.05.2011, 22:50
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Hi Twickers, welcome to EF and possibly to Switzerland.

I'm unsure if you may have noticed already, the sticky on the top of this particular forum that has some links to threads with answers to some of the questions you've asked.

Meanwhile, one of the things I can remember folks from elsewhere (+ myself too!) remarking on is the SIZE of apartments here in Switzerland. This is something I actually still am a bit aggravated by with some frequency... Small apartments for some "over the top" rental fees is the norm, particularly in the cities so with your boys (plus the ones out of nest already, if they visit much), to get good space, you may be happier living a bit out of the city, pretty much no matter which city.


With boys those ages you'll likely want three bedrooms (which means you'll be looking for "vier zimmer wonung" (living room and 3 bedrooms) + one more if other kiddos visit... at least here in Basel, you'd probably be looking upward of 3kchf per month rent on that alone. I believe Zurich is slightly higher and Zug more yet due to the supply / demand situation there.

The further out of the city you live, for the most part, the more likely you will be to find dwellings with some garden (yard) space, with fewer same-building neighbors (which means fewer people to share laundry facilities if you don't have your own) and lower rent. The trade off is that a vehicle is more necessary as the public transport has a much reduced frequency.
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Old 15.05.2011, 23:15
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

I lived in SW6 for two years, and I have to say I enjoy living in Zurich much more. But maybe you should give more information more about the lifestyle you want, then people can give you the best advice. Switzerland is a great place, but it's not for everyone.

Just a little info on housing, it's hard to find and it's expensive. As are general living costs. I was shocked at the higher cost of living when I moved from up North to London 4 years ago. And I was shocked again when I moved here.

Good luck whatever you decide
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Old 16.05.2011, 08:02
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Another Londoner here and living in Zug. We have a 3 bed garden apartment inc, dining room, living room, 2 bathrooms for around the 3k mark.

I think there are two international schools in Zug.

I love it here and will stay as long as poss
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Old 16.05.2011, 08:51
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Hi, I'll try and keep it concise, family w boys 8 & 11 (older kids 18,21,23 flown nest)...opportunity to relocate to Switzerland (Bern, Zurich or Zug [tax])...have lived in New Zealand as a family previously, so have experienced of overseas as a family before. Questions/concerns - schooling?, cost of living (however potential offset if correct tax rate is considered), housing (cost) and general intergration...(seems like a long list).
We currently live in SW London - so nice part of town, but the alur of Switzerland, experience, opportunity, cleanliness, family life etc is a big (potential) draw...
Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
Schooling i suspect would be our biggest concern...
Regards
Ok I'm gonna take a different approach to answering your question and maybe it will answer it better than just saying "Yes! Life is great here get on the first plane!", "Stay where you are! It's not really that great..." or the traditional "There are some bad points but you can do it if you really really want to".

So let's start with the "why nots", you first of all need to consider your time horizon, so how long are you planning on being in Switzerland for? If less than 3 years I would say straight away don't bother, you ask me why? Your move might just unsettle your kids schooling (speaking from no experience at all but rather from some aquaintance's experience where he ended up sending the missus and kids back to london as they just couldn't hack it here) Since you consider this to be the most important thing then this is really the bit that's gonna come back to haunt you in my opinion. The other issues are secondary in my opinion and you will find plenty of threads discussing them with the general themes of "Expensive Housing" which is usually less than 33% of gross salary, "High cost of living" - Typical Mc Meal will set you back CHF13, Meat is expensive with a tiny chicken costing CHF10.- with a family of four you're gonna have to consider weekly shops of around CHF150.- to CHF200.- I'd say, adding to that is the integration issue so you will have many problems specially in the german speaking part of the country, and German is not easy to learn specially not so in Switzerland where you will be sucked into a game of catch 22 (you can not integrate properly until you speak german and you can not speak german properly because every ****** out there speaks english to a very good level! and not only that but even the german speakers from germany have problems integrating but that's because they're german), you will also find some swiss people who regard "Auslanders" as akin to invaders with above average salaries they take over the local facilities and houses and send prices through the roof and force the locals out to the suburbs (Search for the thread about gentrification).

Well I guess this is enough to put anyone off If you could live with that the first complimentary drink in Pickwicks (Zug) is on me when you get here! After that you're on your own my friend

One after thought, why don't you visit for a few days check it out for yourself?

Cheers

TLD
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Old 16.05.2011, 08:55
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Well I guess this is enough to put anyone off If you could live with that I'll buy you a beer myself in Pickwicks (Zug) when you get here

One after thought, why don't you visit for a few days check it out for yourself?

Cheers

TLD
Hmm Free Beer.. Where's mine?

Go for it move to CH, you won't look back
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Old 16.05.2011, 09:45
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

for schooling, check out the International school at Zug and Luzern, which is really greatly recommended! Good luck with the move

http://www.iszl.ch/
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Old 16.05.2011, 09:47
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
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Old 16.05.2011, 09:53
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Hmm Free Beer.. Where's mine?

Go for it move to CH, you won't look back
Right here!
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Old 16.05.2011, 09:57
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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Hi, I'll try and keep it concise, family w boys 8 & 11 (older kids 18,21,23 flown nest)...opportunity to relocate to Switzerland (Bern, Zurich or Zug [tax])...have lived in New Zealand as a family previously, so have experienced of overseas as a family before. Questions/concerns - schooling?, cost of living (however potential offset if correct tax rate is considered), housing (cost) and general intergration...(seems like a long list).
We currently live in SW London - so nice part of town, but the alur of Switzerland, experience, opportunity, cleanliness, family life etc is a big (potential) draw...
Any thoughts, ideas, experiences and advice appreciated...
Schooling i suspect would be our biggest concern...
Regards
Hi

Those who are here came for a good reason and will encourage you to come. Those who left probably dit it for a good reason: check the "Leaving Switzerland" thread and ask for advice.

Welcome anyway
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Old 16.05.2011, 09:59
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

schooling isnt too bad out here, there are loads of international schools. my wife is a teacher out here which might help.
as far as moving make sure you have enough money saved for hotels etc to start off with and go for zug.
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Old 16.05.2011, 10:20
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

oh and if you need any help with rental companies or any language barriers just send me a PM and would be happy to help
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Old 16.05.2011, 12:46
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Hello Twickers. I'm Swiss but I went to work for Beecham's on the Great West Road Brentford a looong time ago. Used to share a flat with nurses above the launderette in Isleworth - so Twickers I know well. Surprise... Switzerland is VERY different (you've guessed that !). But even Switzerland varies a lot. Life in Zurich is very different to life in Zug- or Geneva- or indeed where I live now, up in the Neuchatel Jura. (stayed in UK 40 years in various locations, ending up in East Mids- now been back with Brit OH for 2 years).

School-wise I'd say if you are going to move DO IT NOW - it's very important for your eldest language-wise, so s/he has time to learn the language and adapt before the selection process for different types of schools. Are your kids in private education now, or State? Do you intend to send your kids to bi-lingual international (private) schools or State/public? If you intend to come and really give it a chance, eg long-term - I'd say go to the state school for full immersion (making sure you keep up their English including reading and writing at home, with or without tuition) But if you think you might return to UK within a few years- with GCSE's and A'Levels in mind, go for private international. For your 11 year old, it is imho, right on the line for a move for this September entrance- try to make sure he is here at the beginning of the school year- it will make life easier. And start him/her with some German tuition NOW - so s/he is not totally lost. Bear in mind that some international schools do have waiting lists- so you'd have to make enquiries and put name down asap for Sept. entrance.

So difficult to advise somebody - we are all different, so it's horses for courses. Some love it here and never look back. Some can never adapt and 'fit in'. I know this might infuriate some, but I'd say the French speaking part is easier to adapt to imho. do you love nature, mountains, hiking, skiing or snowboarding- the great outdoors? Is it more imortant to you then Sunday or late night shopping (some Brits/ex-pats find it very difficult not to have this facility here). Are you prepared to throw yourself into it, learn the language with the kids? Whatever you decide- hope it all works out. if you own a house in UK, any chance of renting it for a year- so you don't burn your bridges in case you don't find it easy? Viel Gluck dabei (good Luck [with that])!
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:12
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

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schooling isnt too bad out here, there are loads of international schools. my wife is a teacher out here which might help.
as far as moving make sure you have enough money saved for hotels etc to start off with and go for zug.
You mean there are loads of exceedingly expensive international schools out there, don't you? And what do they prepare your children for? Only to return to their home country - not a chance of using the IB to get into a Swiss univeristy unless they have excellent language skills whcih they won't get at an English speaking school.

OP, send them to state school - we moved in very similar circumstances, the 10 year olds picked up German and Swiss German in 6 months and now have French on top - the level of French in schools here is way above what we got back in the UK.
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Old 16.05.2011, 13:12
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Re: Should we or shouldnt we...move to Switzerland

Welcome Twickers!

As mentioned ina post above there's a great sticky with loads of info, and lots more to be found on the forum too. Having EF was a godsend when I moved to CH almost 4 years ago. I am on the "I love Switzerland" side of the fence, and moving here was the best thing I ever did.

If you want to get an idea of housing costs, have a search on here.. http://www.homegate.ch/en?a=default&l=default

I would highly recommend learning the language, particularly for the kids. Most kids pick up German in no time at all, so be prepared for them to be whizzing ahead of you. I would ask your company if they would pay for your german lessons as part of your relocation. Many firms are prepared to do this, both large and small.

You also need to consider health insurance. Basic cover is mandatory in CH, so it'll be another cost to factor in. http://en.comparis.ch/ will give you an idea of how much you are talking.

I don't drive here, but use the public transport - which is fantastic. If you were to move to a city and have a car, you will need to make sure the apartment you choose has a parking space.

I don't have any kids yet, but am much happier at the thought of them going to school in CH than the UK.

Ultimately it's your choice. If you decide to come and don't like it, you can always go back home.

Good luck.

N
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