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Old 24.09.2011, 06:40
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Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Hi everyone,

I'm in a bit of a quandary and I was hoping to get some opinions online. Here's the gist of the issue:

Me: A Canadian substitute teacher who can work in Switzerland without a visa (but with an 'easily' obtainable work permit, due to my French citizenship).

Him: A Canadian student who will be accompanying his professor to Lausanne for six months.

Should I follow him there for the whole six months, work hard to try and find a place for us to live, meanwhile looking for part-time work? I could get a full-time job for 6 months, but then I wouldn't have any time to travel and learn French. I dabbled with the idea of being an au pair or nanny, but I much rather live with my boyfriend and not have split shifts of work for little pay.

From my research I figure that an furnished apartment will make a 2000CHF/month hole in our pockets. Plus, I'd have to pay for any apartment insurance and the mandatory health insurance too, a metro pass, groceries, and other fun stuff on the side.

Is it fair to estimate that I'll spend about 2000 CHF/month to live comfortably? I worry about the strain that may be placed on the relationship if we're living in a studio apartment, or if my bf is too busy (with school) to spend much time exploring with me, while I have ample free time (although I would like to work and take French courses).

My concerns:
- Switzerland seems so damn expensive...
- I need to get a job to help support myself, seeing as how I don't want to eat into all of my savings
-- With a full-time job I won't have time to travel to France to visit relatives, or travel elsewhere for pleasure
- Getting a flexible job is difficult
- Finding a reasonably-priced, 1-bedroom, furnished apartment near EPFL (from what I read) seems to be a formidable task
- Where the heck would I live while I'm looking for this apartment? If I commit to something online before I leave, I might be falling into a scam

The questions:
Should I officially reside in Lausanne for 6 months (find a place to live, a job... etc.) or should I just go visit my boyfriend while he's there?

Which option would put the least amount of strain on us, while still making us individually happy? I've already invested so much research and emotional attachment to the idea of living there with him, experiencing the Swizz lifestyle, improving my French, exploring the country... etc.

Please help by giving me your opinions
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Old 24.09.2011, 11:36
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

buff...lots of questions that could be answered in a few lines:

Switzerland is dead expensive. More than you can imagine. Its not only food, its social life, lots of different types of bills (tv, health insurance and a long etc...) If you want a straight answer, dont bother comming. You probably wont find a job (or at least within various months) and you will just dig yourself into a financial hole which will take a long time to get out of. Just chill in Canada for six months, let your boyfriend do what he has to do, and then decide. I've only been here a couple of months and met loads of girls who followed their boyfriend and is either stuck at home board stiff or separated...

Dont come if your worried about money, because its even more expensive than you calculate a priori...

sorry to be blunt, but its the plain truth.
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Old 24.09.2011, 11:45
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Don't understand.... where will your boyfriend be living ?

Forget the expenses (they are a problem but a job can be found) it does seems like you're doing this all on your own ?
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Old 24.09.2011, 11:48
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

What does your boyfriend think about this? With his professor being around it`s expected that he works a lot to make the trip worth it and there would`t be a lot of time for you.

6 months is a very short stay and by the time you start to feel comfortable in Lausanne you`ll have to leave again.
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Old 24.09.2011, 12:01
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

perhaps i've been over pessimistic, but its just a personal opinion...i wish you good luck in any case....
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Old 24.09.2011, 12:16
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Living as a couple is much cheaper than a single x 2. For a flat or for food/cooking. In fact, if one of you is going to cook from fresh- loads cheaper if you choose ingredients carefully, then eating in restaus or ready made meals ŕ la 'bachelor'. Maybe send a pm to Kristanez - also Canadian and I believe in a similar situation.

It just depends on YOU, and what you want. For me, the opportunity to see a new country, discover towns, people, mountains- is irresistible and would make up for anything else - I wouldn't hesitate for a minute. And being with my man to do so would also make it all worthwhile. Only YOU know how you feel. 6 months is long enough to learn a language and explore a small country. Yes, Switzerland is expensive - but if you use a bit of common sense, and adapt to local produce, really not that bad. Lots of great B&Bs and small hotels which are much much cheaper than in the UK for instance, where hotels are ridiculously expensive. And with a train/bus combined pass you can travel all over the place, take boats all over the lakes- and have a ball.
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Old 24.09.2011, 12:28
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

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The questions:
Should I officially reside in Lausanne for 6 months (find a place to live, a job... etc.) or should I just go visit my boyfriend while he's there?

Which option would put the least amount of strain on us, while still making us individually happy?

Please help by giving me your opinions
I think your eyes are wide open regarding the obstacles. You need to make the best decision for yourself. What do you want individually? What do you want as a couple? And most importantly... what happens IF you break up?

If you're only wanting to come over and follow him just to be closer together, that's probably the wrong reason. Does he want you to follow him? You talk about him, and what he's doing, but you only talk about what you want to do to be closer to him while he's abroad, not what he wants to do, and not what you want as a couple. This leads me to believe that you are the only one thinking about this idea. Will your boyfriend support you in any fashion if you follow him over here?

Frankly, the option I think you should go with is periodic visits. I think the lowered expectations will prove beneficial for you. Also, you won't have to uproot your life and to try and make a new one.
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Old 24.09.2011, 12:32
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

two very reasonable remarks...
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Old 24.09.2011, 16:46
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Thanks so much for your help! I was shocked by some of the prices... And I know the financially sensible thing to do would be to visit rather than live there.
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Old 24.09.2011, 17:35
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Quote:
Living as a couple is much cheaper than a single x 2. For a flat or for food/cooking. In fact, if one of you is going to cook from fresh- loads cheaper if you choose ingredients carefully, then eating in restaus or ready made meals ŕ la 'bachelor'. Maybe send a pm to Kristanez - also Canadian and I believe in a similar situation.

It just depends on YOU, and what you want. For me, the opportunity to see a new country, discover towns, people, mountains- is irresistible and would make up for anything else - I wouldn't hesitate for a minute. And being with my man to do so would also make it all worthwhile. Only YOU know how you feel. 6 months is long enough to learn a language and explore a small country. Yes, Switzerland is expensive - but if you use a bit of common sense, and adapt to local produce, really not that bad. Lots of great B&Bs and small hotels which are much much cheaper than in the UK for instance, where hotels are ridiculously expensive. And with a train/bus combined pass you can travel all over the place, take boats all over the lakes- and have a ball.
Hey fellow Canadian,

The issue with travel is that my boyfriend may not have time to do so. Yes, the idea of travelling around Switzerland or Europe with him is very romantic and elicits excitement, but it may add stress or resentment to the relationship if I have tonnes of free time on my hands to explore and travel, while he is busy working...
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Old 24.09.2011, 17:41
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

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I think your eyes are wide open regarding the obstacles. You need to make the best decision for yourself. What do you want individually? What do you want as a couple? And most importantly... what happens IF you break up?

If you're only wanting to come over and follow him just to be closer together, that's probably the wrong reason. Does he want you to follow him? You talk about him, and what he's doing, but you only talk about what you want to do to be closer to him while he's abroad, not what he wants to do, and not what you want as a couple. This leads me to believe that you are the only one thinking about this idea. Will your boyfriend support you in any fashion if you follow him over here?

Frankly, the option I think you should go with is periodic visits. I think the lowered expectations will prove beneficial for you. Also, you won't have to uproot your life and to try and make a new one.
If we break up, which I doubt would happen seeing as how we care deeply for each other and are both mature people, that would be bad.

He will be happy as long as I am, but he is concerned that the stresses of high expenditures and finding a place to live will take its toll on me and I may in fact have a bad time in Switzerland. He does want me to come, but under the right circumstances. He'd be happy to have me there as long as I am happy being there. He'd help me as much as he could financially (not that I need it), and elsewhere. He's incredibly caring and considerate.

I think our main concern is that I'll have tonnes of free time and he will probably have to work. On top of that, my financial situation will suffer as a result of this trip.
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Old 24.09.2011, 17:58
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

then why not get married and live together?
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Old 24.09.2011, 19:50
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

How about staying in Canada - I am presuming that you are working there as a teacher - and coming over when you have holidays? That gives you the time to save extra for the holidays, gives time for you bf to arrange to have at least some of that time off to be with you and do some travel/exploring together, and also gives you a little time to visit relations in France.

Six months may sound like a long time to be apart, but if you came over even once, then that breaks it into only two times twelve week periods of being apart. And it means that you are not disrupting your own career and income earning path.
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Old 24.09.2011, 20:26
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

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Hey fellow Canadian,

The issue with travel is that my boyfriend may not have time to do so. Yes, the idea of travelling around Switzerland or Europe with him is very romantic and elicits excitement, but it may add stress or resentment to the relationship if I have tonnes of free time on my hands to explore and travel, while he is busy working...
I followed my husband to Switzerland and was unemployed whilst he was crazy busy with work. The first 6 to 9 months were hell. Stress related to money (we lost my salary and were adjusting to the Swiss cost of living) did make things a bit worse. Although knowing it's only for 6 months would make things easier I'd have to say it puts a lot of pressure on a relationship and you need to be sure that your relationship will be able to handle it.

It's a romantic idea. But you can't guarantee that you will find work (many go months without finding work and part time is hard to get as many mothers who are available permanently are going to be competing with you), you will have added stress on the relationship, it will be more expensive than you expect, your parter will be working a lot and it can get lonely (although you can meet lots of lovely ladies through the local stitch 'n' bitch) and the expenses of a move are huge (eg. just getting your internet turned on will cost you at least 200chfs).

Honestly, I'd suggest coming over for visits. You'll get to experience the city, travel and enjoy Europe without giving up everything back home. He'll get to focus on his work when you're not there and maybe be able to ease up a little when you come to visit. 6 months is just not worth uprooting your life for permanently. Or be prepared to come over for 6 months, live with your boyfriend and enroll in French lessons whilst exploring. It'll be costly but there are many ways to reduce your expenses and enjoy the experience for what it is.

When you do come, visit us at the Stitch 'n' Bitch we'd love to see you.
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Old 24.09.2011, 20:47
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Pam, perhaps it's not that way, but the way you describe the situation there appears to be a gap between him living here and you living here, almost like separate households. Have you been living together with a common household before? Could there be some unspoken factor that your presence here could be a distraction for him from what he will be here for?

It also sounds like you are constructing a mental picture that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps it would be better to first establish with clarity what your legal residency and work permit options are, definitely, and then see what you can realistically build on that.

Six months is a pretty short time to establish anything, so, as already suggested, maybe the first best is to visit at the outset, check things out on the ground and take it from there.
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Old 24.09.2011, 23:27
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Everyone, thank you so so much for all of your feedback! I appreciate it so much.

Nic, I'd love to meet you and the other ladies at Stitch n' Bitch! hahah.. what a clever name. I'm guessing you're all knitters? I'm a knitter!

I suppose I could clarify my situation a bit. In Canada I'm a supply teacher, so I have no permanent position. If I were ever to travel for a long period of time (apart from July and August), this would be when I should do it. I have this amazing opportunity to leave and still have my job upon return, so I'm not exactly 'uprooting' my life.

I do expect that I'll be able to make a bit of money from teaching language courses, tutoring, or babysitting.

I am working very hard now, as a supply teacher and tutoring a lot in order to save up for Switzerland. I'm currently living with the parents (*gasp!*) so I have almost no expenses right now, making it that much easier to save money!

I do intend to take French courses while I'm living in or near Lausanne. That should take up some time. Plus, as long as I make friends or am okay with exploring on my own, I think I'll be okay. You'll notice a much more optimistic tone to my messages because I'm hopeful about finding an apartment now. I have been scouring the ads online and found some reasonably priced places. As long as housing (and housing cost) is not an issue, I will feel a whole lot better. If housing can't be arranged before I leave, then I think it would be best to visit.

So the decision essentially boils down to: save for the future or spend and travel while I have the flexibility to do so?

I expect to make little money while in Switzerland, so I'm ready for the expenses. Apart from housing, is it fair to budget $1000/month (internet, groceries, metro pass, occasional entertainment) or do you think more is required?
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Old 24.09.2011, 23:31
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

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Pam, perhaps it's not that way, but the way you describe the situation there appears to be a gap between him living here and you living here, almost like separate households. Have you been living together with a common household before? Could there be some unspoken factor that your presence here could be a distraction for him from what he will be here for?

It also sounds like you are constructing a mental picture that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps it would be better to first establish with clarity what your legal residency and work permit options are, definitely, and then see what you can realistically build on that.

Six months is a pretty short time to establish anything, so, as already suggested, maybe the first best is to visit at the outset, check things out on the ground and take it from there.
Hi JT,

Thanks for the message. We're not living together right now, but as long as we find a 1-bedroom place, I think we'll be okay. I don't think my presence will be a distraction. In fact, taking care of certain household tasks (grocery shopping, laundry... etc) could help him out if he's really busy with his studies/work. As long as I am not excessively needy (requiring exaggerated attention when he is preoccupied with work), I think it should be okay. He is looking forward to me coming along. Plus, he doesn't speak French while I do. So I can help him out in that respect, as well.
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Old 24.09.2011, 23:34
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

Well, there you are- you've answered your own questions. Go for it - if you don't do it now, when will you. If and when you have kids, a permanent career, etc, it will be too late. Bravo - and enjoy. Looking forward to meeting you
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Old 24.09.2011, 23:46
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Re: Is it worth it to move to Lausanne?

The very best of luck. I look forward to meeting you
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