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  #21  
Old 09.02.2012, 13:41
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

To be fair, mamamila, you have to understand that we are well into the second week of an unusually severe cold snap here. No snow to speak of in the lowlands where most of us live and yet it's bitter cold (relatively - of course there are lots of places in the world where these temperatures are considered normal - but then again folks in those places tend to install bigger boilers in their apartment blocks.) I foolishly left the house with my hair still damp this morning: by the time I'd walked to the bus stop it was frozen stiff and I didn't dare turn my head until it thawed again.

And the lakes have started to freeze over, but not quite enough to skate on yet, and anyway most of us are stuck at work today, looking out at the bright sunshine (or the Eternal Soul-destroying Fog of Olten, whichever) and wiggling our toes under our desks to keep warm. So you can't blame us for being a little grumpy. Ask us again though when the sun is shining and the air is warm (or when the sun is shining and the ground is white, for that matter.) Switzerland really is a gorgeous place to live, especially with kids.
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  #22  
Old 09.02.2012, 13:53
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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Yes of course we won't have maids, baby sitters and pool cleaners etc. in Switzerland - thats crazy! We are not millionaires, faaar from it!

Life in Bali is just not the dream it used to be, I know because I grew up here. It's not the same. Traffic is insane, its over crowding way too quick. Prices here are also going insane! All these villas for rent is just unrealistic now.
From my perspective, these are universal problems. There are 7 billion people on the planet now, and the extraction, use, and competition for resources is on a global scale, whereas when you and I were growing up it was less so, and there were far fewer people on the planet. Population continues to grow at an exponential rate and resources become scarcer and scarcer. That's not going to change, and it cannot be escaped by moving to another country. The laws of Supply and Demand will follow us wherever we go.
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Even though I am half Indonesian, I don't hold an Indonesian passport and dont exactly look like a local too even though I speak fluent Bahasa and having a foreigner husband also, we just don't have any rights here! You all might think I am crazy for wanting to leave this "island of the Gods" but we are going through a rough time here in Bali and yes, maybe it's just me wanting to "escape" from it all but i see a lot of positivity in moving to Switzerland.
<snip>
Hmm what else...I have a few more but I can't remember all of it right now. Those are some of the things. Coming to Bali for holidays is great, thats no lie but now that I'm married and have a child and with the over development thats going on in Bali its just not such a paradise island anymore - for me!
Maybe Switzerland would be one way to change things up. But you really would need to have a good job and a good support network to make it work. With Bahasa as a language in your skill set, maybe you'd have better luck looking for a new life in Singapore or Australia? Are those possible options for you?

Just because Switzerland presents you with the fewest immigration hurdles doesn't make it the best choice.
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  #23  
Old 09.02.2012, 15:08
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

I don't know about Bali, but there's only one reason I can see to come
here... simply to save a few quid by living frugally and exit ...

After moving from UK, and now going back to UK after 6 months... Switzerland wasn't for me.... Firstly let's deal with the 'money thing' ...

Apart from earning nearly 2.5 times as much, the reality of a hideously expensive country meant I wasn't really any better off than with a decent job in the UK.... in fact, because of the difference in price of property means I could not possibly afford anything comparable with what I am accustomed to in UK.

Supermarket's are so limited in what is on offer compared to at home it's
a joke....

There seems to be petty rules and regulations about everything.

The country being so small and densely populated, that some areas
Zurich look like a mass of concrete flats built from some giant
lego-kit... thoroughly soleless...

Combine this with having no social life ( I neither speak the lingo nor had time to learn - long working hours ) .. and the fact that there simply does not seem to be an after-work pub-culture, or local pub gigs, etc ... like in
England, where there is masses to do on an evening.

And yes the countryside is 'pretty' enough, but that's not enough to relocate long term, maybe okay for a two-week holiday but then there's far cheaper places with nice countryside than holidaying here..

I could rant on and on, ... but then I'm out here on my own, maybe if you have kids and all that stuff then you have a different perspective...

... no wonder everyone here seems to shuffle along looking miserable....
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  #24  
Old 09.02.2012, 15:10
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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To be fair, mamamila, you have to understand that we are well into the second week of an unusually severe cold snap here. No snow to speak of in the lowlands where most of us live and yet it's bitter cold (relatively - of course there are lots of places in the world where these temperatures are considered normal - but then again folks in those places tend to install bigger boilers in their apartment blocks.) I foolishly left the house with my hair still damp this morning: by the time I'd walked to the bus stop it was frozen stiff and I didn't dare turn my head until it thawed again.

And the lakes have started to freeze over, but not quite enough to skate on yet, and anyway most of us are stuck at work today, looking out at the bright sunshine (or the Eternal Soul-destroying Fog of Olten, whichever) and wiggling our toes under our desks to keep warm. So you can't blame us for being a little grumpy. Ask us again though when the sun is shining and the air is warm (or when the sun is shining and the ground is white, for that matter.) Switzerland really is a gorgeous place to live, especially with kids.
You should never go out in the cold with your hair wet!
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Old 09.02.2012, 15:17
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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You should never go out in the cold with your hair wet!
Mm, well, it's that or get up 20 minutes earlier to blow dry it. This morning the snooze button won.
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Old 09.02.2012, 16:06
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Objectively speaking, Switzerland has all it takes to be a great country to live in. High standard of living and excellent health care, public transport, education system, salaries, great outdoors, low crime etc. Switzerland is always very high on the list of "quality of life" indexes eg from Mercer.

Subjectively speaking, and probably because it is "so good", Switzerland can feel a bit over-engineered, clinical, reserved and cold. To give you an idea: a recent survey in the Financial Times asking 2'000 professionals "where do you ideally want to work & live" and not one single person came up with "Zurich, Switzerland".

Some personal statements / experience / observations after living here 6 years:
  • Men like living in Switzerland a bit better than women -- things work like a Swiss watch which is very comforting and easy. People complaining here are complaining "at a high altitude" as the Swiss say.
  • Women dislike the lack of shopping, beauty facilities eg hairdressers, beauticiens etc are crazily expensive and still my wife hasn't had one single positive experience all these years.
  • Socially it's very difficult to build up some basic friendships with the Swiss. It takes years-and-years. I've given up now, after 6 years .
  • Swiss are extremely precise and picky which is a good characteristic but then again not so good as they take this to the extreme.
  • Yes things (eg going out for dinner) and anything involving labour (eg cleaning lady, handy men) are crazily expensive. Although good, you very-very rarely experience the "wow-factor" when eating out. It's all a bit boring, dull and often lacks authenticity. The general hospitality and service-mindedness in Switzerland is, to our experiences, much-much lower than in other countries.
  • A lot of expats living here in Switzerland are a bit in a "golden cage" and find it difficult to actually pack their things and go as on the positive side they often have a good salary and "it's-not-all-bad"-here syndrome. Many Swiss unfortunately also suffer a bit from the illusion that their country is the best country in the world to live in.
Interesting case you have as in my view there is choosing between Bali and Switzerland, is like choosing between North and South -- exactly diametrically opposed in many ways in my view. Good luck with your considerations. And remember, when you decide, no matter what you decide, go for it fully and put aside any doubts to make the best of your decision!
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Old 09.02.2012, 16:35
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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You all might think I am crazy for wanting to leave this "island of the Gods"
No, I don't. I have been to Bali several times and while I love the diving and the cultural aspects did I never really like it as many Europeans do. As a tourist it is acceptable if not even a fun experience if the traffic is a mess or the generator of the hotel blows up... but living there is surely less funny. I had the impressions that many Swiss simply want to have their two weeks of vacation in a place where they can do all the things they would never dare at home... the "can you imagine, we used a scooter WITHOUT a helmet!" sort of thing.

But to be honest: Living in Switzerland will for you be also not the tourist trip to the alps... just as you are fed up with the mess will you soon be VERY annoyed about how insanely much the Swiss life is regulated... there is a specific way you are supposed to live your life. Everyone knows it, but you don't... so people will continuously tell you off for using the shared washing machine wrong, put not enough stickers on your trahs bag or parked on a place that does not seem to disturb anyone. I know it is hard to understand if you have never lived in CH, but trust me: just as life in Bali isn't for everybody is the Swiss way of life at least equally extreme.

I cannot tell you if you will love it and stay forever or run home to Bali completely bewildered after some months. Only you know if this could be right for you... so read more rants as well as praises on here to get a picture what difficulties others have. And take everything with a pinch of salt as people usually come here to complain and not share the fun part.
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  #28  
Old 09.02.2012, 16:36
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Watch out for two things especially: make sure your work qualifications/diplomas are equal to the Swiss requirements, and beware of extreme culture shock!
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  #29  
Old 09.02.2012, 17:05
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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I think the first thing you should ask yourself is why do you want to live in Switzerland? ...
Better skiing.
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  #30  
Old 09.02.2012, 17:58
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Yes, there's seems to be a lot of negative views on this which makes me wonder...why are you living there?
And yes traffic is pretty much everywhere and unavoidable but Bali is an island with shitty, unplanned roads with way too many cars and motorbikes than it should even handle! Oh yes which reminds me another positive point about Switzerland - the public transport! The trains! Its great! Awesome! And let me guess...this is the part where some of you will say "train tickets are expensive!"
it seems that this word "expensive" is the main word in this whole forum lol but hey, im not planning to spend money like crazy and my husband and i will work. what i really want is an ordinary, stable life. stable money income without worrying "shit shit is next month gonna be a good month? i hope the tourists come! shit its february, thats low season all the way till april! i cant wait for june, july, august!" its just tiring and stressful.
i think everyone in Swiss lives relatively WELL.

and its beautiful there! its clean, safe, and so close to many european countries! you know what i look forward to? nice big green parks i can go to with my son. in Bali there are no parks. sure there is the beach, and that i will miss i must admit but there is the lake and sure its cold but its refreshing! and no plastic floating around. you know when i first went to Thun with my dad i asked him if they put chlorine in the rivers and lake? and i was 17 that time....lol!!! THATS how dirty bali rivers are!!! its literally brown, you cannot see the bottom and rubbish everywhere.

and having to pay for insurance i dont think is so bad? we pay it here too but its those international insurances for foreigners.

and you know what, if i really miss bali we could always go back for holidays! im just to the point of fed up and who knows? maybe after some years or time living in switzerland my love for bali will come back!

can i please see some more positive views? if you all are living there now... obviously its do-able
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  #31  
Old 09.02.2012, 17:59
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

It'll be a trade-off for you is my guess. You'll get a good infrastructure, rather stable economy (for the moment) and a nice life-work balance. And great outdoors! (imo, the latter is the best part of living in Switzerland)

You give up on most comforts like nannies, help for the house, 24/7 shopping and wellness treatments. Less food options too.

What probably won't change: housing is difficult to find and even with a Swiss passport you might have a difficult time to find your place in society because of language issues and because you probably "don't look Swiss either*. But with the right attitude you'll surely find your way around and feel comfortable.

An important question is whether you would be able to find a job here. Are your qualifications accepted and would you need German/French/Italian skills to find work?
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  #32  
Old 09.02.2012, 18:16
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Life in Switzerland has some great advantages. I would always choose it over any other country. Especially if you are a young family.

The life is safe, kids walk alone to school, the country provides freedom on a small level.

There is political and economical stability. Schooling is free up to university level, where it costs like below CHF 1000 per semester.

The nature is very beautiful and the distances very short. E.g. it takes 3 hours from Zurich to Geneva.

Compared to Asia though, life is very isolated. It's tough to make friends. But I guess it's easier if your kids are in school.

You can always go back to Bali for some holidays.

* * *

More on a practical note: have you considered your job situation? How would you earn your living here?
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  #33  
Old 09.02.2012, 18:19
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

My husband has a diploma in Electrician and i've been thinking of doing a short, intensive english-teaching course so i can use that there to teach english. and i reeeeaaallly!!! should learn some swiss-german! im sure my dad would like that!
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Old 09.02.2012, 18:22
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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can i please see some more positive views? if you all are living there now... obviously its do-able

Of course it is doable. Millions of people do it. A stable life that takes some getting to used to.

You seem to have already made up your mind to do it.

People were simply pointing out the issues you will face, but they can all be overcome with the right attitude. You just want the forum to validate your decision?
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Old 09.02.2012, 18:26
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Hi Mamamila,

Your enhusiasm is amazing I really like it!

I moved to CH few months ago, I really like living here, except for one obstacle... I'm struggling with finding a job. This might be because my knowledge of French is lower-intermediate (I live in the french speaking part), knowing local language here is a half-key to sucess. The second half is being very active on the job market here, being in contact with many agencies and do a lot of networking.

Keeping fingers crossed for you and your family!
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  #36  
Old 09.02.2012, 18:38
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

Certainly come - but with your eyes open and realistic expectations.

Perhaps it is because many come here with 'visions of Heidi' dancing in our heads... and then the disconnect between our expections/ ideas about Switzerland and the day-to-day reality leads to disapointment, making the adjustment/culture shock more difficult that it might otherwise be.

Come with the attitude that you are going to make it work, whatever bumps in the road there may be... but keep a Plan B in the back of your head, just in case.

As your husband is Swiss you will likely have an 'in' to many things other foreigners don't - but do make sure he understands that he needs to provide that bridge for you.

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i've been thinking of doing a short, intensive english-teaching course so i can use that there to teach english. and i reeeeaaallly!!! should learn some swiss-german! im sure my dad would like that!
Just be aware that these days the market for English teachers is pretty much oversubscribed, and outside of the top level - degreed and experienced teachers with specialist skills - often poorly paid. Many an expat came here thinking he/she could make good money that way - only to find him/herself without work, or taken advantage of. Just a heads up - hopefully you'll be one of the lucky ones.

Wishing you all the best. And I hope that you do indeed enjoy your Swiss adventure.

Last edited by meloncollie; 09.02.2012 at 18:48.
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Old 09.02.2012, 21:00
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

My family and i came toSwitzerland about 6 months ago for a job and we are pretty happy... But that is a choice we have made. We would really work at being happy no matter where we are. We focus on the things we love ...the beauty, access to fabulous places, opportunity to experience a new culture...and work with the things we dont. Thanks to the restaurants, the hubby has become a great cook!

Do your research, really talk it out with your husband, and if it feels right....take the leap!
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Old 09.02.2012, 21:09
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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My husband has a diploma in Electrician
Swiss diploma?

Tom
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Old 09.02.2012, 21:27
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

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Yes, there's seems to be a lot of negative views on this which makes me wonder...why are you living there?
And yes traffic is pretty much everywhere and unavoidable but Bali is an island with shitty, unplanned roads with way too many cars and motorbikes than it should even handle! Oh yes which reminds me another positive point about Switzerland - the public transport! The trains! Its great! Awesome! And let me guess...this is the part where some of you will say "train tickets are expensive!"
it seems that this word "expensive" is the main word in this whole forum lol but hey, im not planning to spend money like crazy and my husband and i will work. what i really want is an ordinary, stable life. stable money income without worrying "shit shit is next month gonna be a good month? i hope the tourists come! shit its february, thats low season all the way till april! i cant wait for june, july, august!" its just tiring and stressful.
i think everyone in Swiss lives relatively WELL.

and its beautiful there! its clean, safe, and so close to many european countries! you know what i look forward to? nice big green parks i can go to with my son. in Bali there are no parks. sure there is the beach, and that i will miss i must admit but there is the lake and sure its cold but its refreshing! and no plastic floating around. you know when i first went to Thun with my dad i asked him if they put chlorine in the rivers and lake? and i was 17 that time....lol!!! THATS how dirty bali rivers are!!! its literally brown, you cannot see the bottom and rubbish everywhere.

and having to pay for insurance i dont think is so bad? we pay it here too but its those international insurances for foreigners.

and you know what, if i really miss bali we could always go back for holidays! im just to the point of fed up and who knows? maybe after some years or time living in switzerland my love for bali will come back!

can i please see some more positive views? if you all are living there now... obviously its do-able
we absolutely love Switzerland, despite being Americans and still struggling with the languages. we also have friends and colleagues who can't wait to move back home, either to the States, the UK or wherever else they have come from. it all depends on your and your family's personality and likes / dislikes.

Switzerland is a very small country, in terms of population. wherever you live, you have to accept that you are effectively living in a "small town", and that your "small town" will spend parts of the year absolutely flooded with tourists.

our family likes the sense of order, the beautiful lakes and mountains, the proximity to the rest of Europe, the relative ease of the pace of life, the Sunday afternoons of nothing to do, etc. it doesn't bother us that there are only 2 of everything instead of 100 - if anything, as Americans we find it tremendously liberating not to have to stare down overt consumerism 24 hours a day. it is a fantastic place to raise a family, at least for the families who align generally with the culture and the way of life.

good luck!!!
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  #40  
Old 09.02.2012, 23:02
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Re: Moving to Switzerland: Impossible??

So far I think Switzerland is great. Even though it is expensive, everyone earns great money here, more than enough to live on.

I definitely understand the reasons you want a change from Indonesia. I think you should make the move, and try it out for a couple of years. It's easier to move when you son is young.
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