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Old 04.03.2012, 06:33
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moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

I'll be living in Geneva for a year. What do you wish you packed with you when you moved? So far I have heard Ibuprofen is very expensive, and therefore I will be packing a year's supply as I get headaches often. Anything else? I can do without graham crackers and peanut butter, just looking to keep my cost of living low!
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Old 04.03.2012, 08:09
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

Use these links to know the prices,

For general products including electronics
http://www.toppreise.ch/index.php

For Food, there are two main shops Migros & Coop (it is in German, but pictures may help you to understand, also you can ask here if something is unclear)

http://www.leshop.ch/leshop/Main.do;...OP_SUPERMARKET

http://www.coopathome.ch/b2c_coop/b2...online.coop.ch

Furniture

The very famous ikea exists here as well www.ikea.ch


Good luck with your move.
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Old 04.03.2012, 08:13
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

Anything that is kind of expensive in North America, I would purchase or get done there. Need a new laptop? Get it there? Dental work? Do it there. New shoes/coat, buy them there. Skis? Get them there.

Basically, most everything except for cheese is more expensive here, especially with the exchange rate.
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Old 04.03.2012, 08:33
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

Do everything Kristanez said and bring BBQ Sauce, Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and Zip Loc bags
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Old 04.03.2012, 08:45
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

Also any medical issues, even small ones, address them there. Get your haircut right before you leave...
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Old 04.03.2012, 09:19
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

  • Medicines - bring what you can they are quite a lot more here
  • Electonics - Depends but in many cases things like laptops and cameras are actually globally competitive here in Switzerland
  • Shoes - pretty reasonable here for the regular shoes like hiking boots and normal day wear shoes
  • Haircuts - Yes they are more expensive here but once you are used to where to look then you will find plenty of affordable places in France
  • Books - As you are only coming for a year you most likely intend to travel get your travel books in US as they will be significantly more here and most likely not in english
  • Regular electrical items - As you are from US leave most behind as electric current and plugs will mean its a waste of time bringing most
  • Dentist - go to dentist before you leave US
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Old 04.03.2012, 10:50
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

I Emphasize basic (things you can get at the drugstore in US.) Here you have to either get a prescription or go up and ask for it at the counter.. Its very odd and hard to get used to if you aren't comfortable with the language + they have different meds here.

So Basic stuff- cold, sinus meds, tylenol, advil anything you use regularly that you think you might need over the course of the year just bring with you so you don't have to deal with the confusion of trying to figure out what something similar is here.

A comfy pillow- if you have a nice pillow at home you love bring it. The pillows here (Down ones) are around 90 francs for a good one. Bring it in the plane with you if it doesn't fit in the suitcase with enough space. There is an ikea with pillows but they're obviously not the best quality.

If you like oatmeal, or baking.. bring brown sugar- It doesn't exist here.. They think it does and what they try to show me at the store is (Cane Sugar) not the same... Crazy basic item but I love oatmeal so its an essential for me.

Pretty sure thats all I can think of.. Ive lived here 3 years now.
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Old 04.03.2012, 10:57
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

I may not be the ideal person to comment on this thread, as I even bring roll-on, soap etc. from across the pond. However, part of living abroad is trying out new things and thus, I would suggest you only bring a minimal amount of items. For instance, get plenty of prescription medicines, in case you need those and might not be available here and maybe one comfort item, such as a particular type of food or possibly a hygiene product. Other than that, just go out and explore and try not to get trapped in the expat bubble. Happy trails!
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:03
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

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I Emphasize basic (things you can get at the drugstore in US.) Here you have to either get a prescription or go up and ask for it at the counter.. Its very odd and hard to get used to if you aren't comfortable with the language + they have different meds here.

So Basic stuff- cold, sinus meds, tylenol, advil anything you use regularly that you think you might need over the course of the year just bring with you so you don't have to deal with the confusion of trying to figure out what something similar is here.

A comfy pillow- if you have a nice pillow at home you love bring it. The pillows here (Down ones) are around 90 francs for a good one. Bring it in the plane with you if it doesn't fit in the suitcase with enough space. There is an ikea with pillows but they're obviously not the best quality.

If you like oatmeal, or baking.. bring brown sugar- It doesn't exist here.. They think it does and what they try to show me at the store is (Cane Sugar) not the same... Crazy basic item but I love oatmeal so its an essential for me.

Pretty sure thats all I can think of.. Ive lived here 3 years now.
Do you mean 'soft brown sugar'? Does it really not exist here ???
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:07
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

To repeat what everyone said:
  • Medicine (Tylenol, ibuprofin, buckleys (ugh), Neocitron, you can find the European equivalents to these here but at an insane price.
  • Electronics (They are significantly cheaper in the States and all surrounding countries.)
  • Candy (This country has an awful selection of candy!)
  • Health products made by American companies (If you use any specialized american product, say a dandruff shampoo or a deodorant from Gillette, you'll have trouble finding it here, if at all.)
  • Books (Don't feel like spending 50 francs on travel guide? Then buy it Stateside.)
  • Specialized clothing (If you're into hiking or anything outdoorsy, buy your stuff Stateside. The prices here even for some Migros branded bs are all priced as if it were made by North Face.)
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:24
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

This thread is so funny. I live out in the sticks and my little local shop sells perfect moist brown sugar. The cost of bringing all this stuff over is huge and Geneva is just over the border from France. Agree about medical/dental work though.
Kristanez, going to Pontarlier once a month would solve many of your problems. Get a hair cut there too.
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:33
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

If you plan to bring electrical devices along, I'd make sure to also bring an adapter as it might take a while to find one when you arrive and you'll probably have other important things that you want to take care of at the same time when you come here.

You won't want to have to go through the hassle of finding a "Steckdosen-Adapter" (this would be the German term for it, in case you need another one for whatever reason upon arrival...). Best to get a world wide one so you only have to shell out the cash once
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:43
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

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Kristanez, going to Pontarlier once a month would solve many of your problems. Get a hair cut there too.
I'm not saying they are problems, but there are simple things the OP can do to save money. When you don't have a car, shopping in a neighbouring country is not convenient, nor as cost-saving as it would normally be. Even with a motorcycle, you are limited with what you can carry.
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:48
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

Echoing what other people are saying about basic medicine chest supplies - anything you'd usually keep in like cold meds or polysporin cream, cough drops (unless you like Fisherman's Friend), vitamins etc.

Beyond that, I occasionally go for a weekend in London for other reasons and have the chance to load up a suitcase then. You'll probably want to do clothes shopping elsewhere, and hair cuts, things like that. Unless you're very attached to specific brands, even if you don't cross the border you can find most things. You'll be paying above the odds though and possibly not have the choice you're used to.

And there's always Amazon and on-line ordering. I find ordering from the UK or US can be cheaper than buying here, even with the additional customs duties.
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Old 04.03.2012, 11:51
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

And I forgot to add - if you're attached to a specific moisturiser or other personal care products, bring them. The drug store brands are very, very limited here, although I believe you can get most of the high end brands if you go to the department stores.
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Old 04.03.2012, 13:45
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

To the contrary to what most have advised, I would say that especially buying lots of electrical equipment prior to coming here could be a false compromise.

Not all electronics and appliances are dual voltage, so you have to consider voltage transformers, and for high power (wattage) appliances, heavy large (expensive) transformers.

Then you have to change the plugs, or use adapter plugs, which aren't always the best or safest option - especially for 3-pronged earthed plugs and mini transformer plugs/chargers.

Sometimes, there are minor issues with individual electronics/appliances, apart from voltage, that only become apparent, when you plug it in and try to use it, and that it wont function correctly.

In general, I have found white goods to priced at the lower end of the normal Swiss expensive spectrum, and in real terms have become cheaper, relatively (not increased in price at the same rate as other goods), over the last 10 or so years.

The best advice I can offer for someone coming to Geneva, is to bring a house, apartment, caravan (trailer) or tent.
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Old 04.03.2012, 15:37
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

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I may not be the ideal person to comment on this thread, as I even bring roll-on, soap etc. from across the pond. However, part of living abroad is trying out new things and thus, I would suggest you only bring a minimal amount of items. For instance, get plenty of prescription medicines, in case you need those and might not be available here and maybe one comfort item, such as a particular type of food or possibly a hygiene product. Other than that, just go out and explore and try not to get trapped in the expat bubble. Happy trails!
I agree the drugstore stuff is most important.

For food, I thought the cost would be a big deal, but it is really not that important. I find that I am most often bringing from the States an odd mix of non-expensive things {pancake mix, chunky peanut butter, hot sauce, soap}. It is just comfort stuff - they do exist in Europe, but if you really like Jiffy or Irish Spring, it might be more difficult to find that specific brand here. Just bring enough to get through the first month or two and then figure out what you really need Enjoy Switzerland!
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Old 04.03.2012, 16:03
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

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I'm not saying they are problems, but there are simple things the OP can do to save money. When you don't have a car, shopping in a neighbouring country is not convenient, nor as cost-saving as it would normally be. Even with a motorcycle, you are limited with what you can carry.
Absolutely, but from Geneva, going across border to shop is very close and easy.

For Neuch - sure we can organise a monthly trip to Pontarlier- you can have my allowance too
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Old 04.03.2012, 16:42
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

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I'll be living in Geneva for a year. What do you wish you packed with you when you moved? So far I have heard Ibuprofen is very expensive, and therefore I will be packing a year's supply as I get headaches often. Anything else? I can do without graham crackers and peanut butter, just looking to keep my cost of living low!
We are in a similar situation: spending a year in Lausanne and trying to keep the cost of living low. We have been here for 8 months now and we are doing quite well. I agree with most of what's been said so far. Here are a few additional points based on our personal experience (some of these points may have already been addressed):

- Rent is our main expense. Expect it will be the same for you in Geneva.
- We don't eat out. Too expensive. We eat very well at home. We find everything we need at Coop and Migros (grocery stores). We average under 30 chf per day on food (total for our family of three).
- Beer and wine are very inexpensive (compared to Quebec wine prices).
- Phone/TV/Internet are inexpensive (compared to Quebec).
- Almost everything else is expensive.
- Don't buy a car. You won't need it. Public transportation is very efficient. A car, even an old one, would come with all sorts of additional expenses and headaches.
- If, like us, you want to see Europe while you are here, look at these lost-cost airlines: easyJet and Vueling. When you buy early (say 2 months in advance), you can get very inexpensive flights (cheaper than the train).
- For Swiss public transportation, the "carte demi-tarif" (half-fare card) is a great deal.
- If you like museums, the Swiss museum card is a great deal.
- During the last 8 months, we have used amazon.com, amazon.fr, amazon.de and amazon.co.uk. Always compare the 4 of them. We never pay any shipping. Only once have we had to pay Swiss duty.

In case you have not done so yet, start looking for housing.

Cheers!

P.S. Ibuprofen and peanut butter may be a bit expensive but it will still be a tiny fraction of one day of rent in Geneva...
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Old 04.03.2012, 17:26
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Re: moving to Geneva, what should I bring from the US?

I would buy any clothes that you might need while
there. Jeans here cost about $140 a pair, for example.

Aside from that, I think the other answers are right
on the spot.
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