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Old 31.10.2012, 20:08
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Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Hey guys, I'm a 28 year old single man from the U.S.

I have recently received an offer to live and work part-time in Zurich for six months in 2013. Housing + utilities, all meals, transportation pass, phone, gym membership, etc. are all taken care of. I would be making 1,800 CHF per month (in hand, after taxes) with some small bonuses possible.

Outside of work, I'm interested in traveling, making friends, nightlife, and just enjoying myself. I would have a lot of locals that I work with to show me around, so I wouldn't be a lonely guy roaming the streets or anything...

So I guess my question is...will 1,800 CHF per month be enough to live a nice social life and do a little bit of semi-local traveling (Germany, low cost flights, etc.) occasionally? Also are there any good expat groups or websites that that I can ask more specific questions and maybe meet new friends ahead of time?

Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:15
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Do you have an alternative choice for job location and pay?

If this is your only choice then, I guess, take it....

But if you have some other choice you are comparing this to, fill us in....
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:16
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

More than enough! You'll be kicking yourself for years if you don't accept that offer.
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:17
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

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Also are there any good expat groups or websites that that I can ask more specific questions and maybe meet new friends ahead of time?
I don't think anything of this kind exists...
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:19
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Also, what kind of job is it (you dont have to be too specific, but guidance helps)....

If you are working in the local porn industry, I would say go for it... If you'll be working for the zoo or a bank thats laying everyone off I would say think twice.

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Old 31.10.2012, 20:34
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

It's in the sports/fitness industry. I've worked in several different countries doing the same job. For example. I made about 1,000 euros per month in Copenhagen, paid for my own food, but still went out a couple nights a week and made it by alright.

Job/Contract are secure...no chance of getting laid off and no scooping up elephant poop.

I could also go to a few other countries, but the most I'd make elsewhere is around 1,000 euros per month in Copenhagen.

Basically my money would go towards nightlife, the occasional dinner date or late night kebab, and a couple of 2-3 day vacations over the six month span.

I'm obviously not trying to get rich by taking this job. I just want to live a fun, social lifestyle and make the most of my time there.
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:40
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Yes, it is enough for you to enjoy 6 months based in ZUrich, with all your day to day expenses taken care of. Bring clothes suitable for the weather of that time ( shopping is not cheap here) . If you have a bike, bring it. If you ski, bring your skis with you. Buy the half price public transport ticket for 6 months and you will be fine - you will definitely be able to visit Austria, Germany,, France, Italy, using trains. ALso, airlines such as Easyjet will open up other parts of Europe, northern Africa etc.

Friends in advance? Well, I have heard a rumour that Zurcih EFers are a friendly lot.
ALso, if you haev specific interests, check out the www. meetup .com website and find the Swiss and Zurich based groups - the trekking groups are a great way to expereince rural and alpine Switzerland with instant friends. :-)
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Old 31.10.2012, 20:48
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Since most of your expenses will already be covered, I guess the question is how much you need to spend on recreation and fun stuff.

I would budget about:
CHF 100 per night of clubbing, partying, drinking, cover, coat check, taxi, dinner, etc.
CHF 500 per weekend trip somewhere in Europe, including airfare/train, hotel, food, and other expenses.

Of course, it all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want. I don't drink a lot of alcohol and I don't stay at fancy hotels, so my costs are pretty moderate, and estimates I gave were on the high side.

A nice dinner out could be about CHF 50-100 per person. Of course, the cost fluctuates depending on if you are drinking alcohol, and if you get appetizers and dessert. I would say main dishes usually cost about CHF 20-40. Oh yeah... tap water usually isn't free in restaurants, so you'll have to pay for the bottled stuff when going out.

If you ski/snowboard, then factor in about CHF 100 for lift ticket and equipment rental costs.

Public transportation and food here is kind of expensive, but if those are already covered, then it just depends on how much alcohol you drink. I think beer starts at about CHF 7 and cocktails/mixed drinks are about double that?

Movies, snacks, Burger King, clothes... pretty much everything in Switzerland is about 1.5-2x the price of stuff in the U.S... except electronics are about on par.

Honestly though, since your cost of living is already covered, I think you should consider whether you want to come for the experience of living and working here. Money shouldn't be the primary factor in your decision. You'll have enough for entertainment, but you might have to adjust the frequency and duration depending on your spending habits.

Just my two cents.
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Old 31.10.2012, 21:12
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Id say do it then. Why not...

If you get a visa etc and a bit of cash then its a good gig. Heres the rub though....

You have to pay US taxs in PIK. So if your food is worth 1000 and rent is worth 2000 and travel expenses 1000 etc etc, then you add your extra 2200 per month (When they say "1800 after taxs" they mean 1800 after tax on maybe 2200 in salary. ) : Your total salary (as defined by Uncle Sam) is 6,200. If you get taxed at 30% you will owe 1,860 in US taxs per month.

So in the end this would be a subsidized vacation, but you would have no money if you calculate your taxs.

But if youre a young guy and you want the experience, then go for it.

But the tax situation is the reason so many pro-basketball players only play one year in Australia. Most of my friends and former teammates got bagged on the taxs and PIK set up in Oz. The salary doesnt cover the backed taxs.




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It's in the sports/fitness industry. I've worked in several different countries doing the same job. For example. I made about 1,000 euros per month in Copenhagen, paid for my own food, but still went out a couple nights a week and made it by alright.

Job/Contract are secure...no chance of getting laid off and no scooping up elephant poop.

I could also go to a few other countries, but the most I'd make elsewhere is around 1,000 euros per month in Copenhagen.

Basically my money would go towards nightlife, the occasional dinner date or late night kebab, and a couple of 2-3 day vacations over the six month span.

I'm obviously not trying to get rich by taking this job. I just want to live a fun, social lifestyle and make the most of my time there.
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Old 01.11.2012, 02:19
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Factor in 200 - 250 per month health insurance and 500 a month just for food, you may have other expenses that will make your partying budget tight unless you have some savings to draw from.
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Old 01.11.2012, 08:39
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

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Factor in 200 - 250 per month health insurance and 500 a month just for food, you may have other expenses that will make your partying budget tight unless you have some savings to draw from.
That still leaves 1000 for play money. Only being here for 6 months - he may get away with just having USA insurance ( if he has it.)
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Old 01.11.2012, 09:19
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Insurance and food are covered. I have zero expenses. 1,800 CHF is literally what I would have in pocket.
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Old 01.11.2012, 09:31
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

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Basically my money would go towards nightlife, the occasional dinner date or late night kebab, and a couple of 2-3 day vacations over the six month span.

I'm obviously not trying to get rich by taking this job. I just want to live a fun, social lifestyle and make the most of my time there.
Sure, go for it. 1'800 CHF to the average expat here is not big money, but if everything else is covered it certainly is enough to have lots of fun. You can't avoid the expensive drinks out, but you can avoid eating out too much.
Most expats also frequent the most expensive bars and clubs in Zürich, there are still plenty of places which will set you back around 4-5 euros per pint of lager, and even the nice bars aren't much more expensive, so nothing to worry about.
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Old 01.11.2012, 09:33
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Sounds like a good deal the why not
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Old 01.11.2012, 10:00
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

Do it!

Small risk however that you might not like the accomodation where you will be put up. But you only have to put up with it for 6 months!

Best of luck.
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Old 01.11.2012, 10:07
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

1800 chuffs just to squander? thats fine, id take it...
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Old 01.11.2012, 12:12
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

I would be careful of the tax implications Zuger mentions and how they will be handled. The last thing you want is a 10k tax bill at the end of it (from the USA).

Other than that sounds like a great experience.
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Old 01.11.2012, 12:32
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

is health insurance also paid for? anyway, sounds like you will have around 50chfs a day to spend, give or take.

not bad, not great.
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Old 01.11.2012, 12:41
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

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is health insurance also paid for? anyway, sounds like you will have around 50chfs a day to spend, give or take.

not bad, not great.
This is exactly what i'm going to post.
Not bad for 6 months but Not great long term.
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Old 01.11.2012, 12:48
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Re: Zurich Offer - Accept or Not?

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is health insurance also paid for? anyway, sounds like you will have around 50chfs a day to spend, give or take.

not bad, not great.

honestly, does anyone spend more than 50chf a day?
my workday is that i have a coffee n toast at home, go to the cantine (mine is heavily subsidised that i pay 5chf) for lunch that varies 10-25chf and at home my GF is cooking for both of us (mind: 1800 chf for fun, groceries all in). if id go out to eat with 2 drinks, 3 course meal, its 45-60chf (plus x, depends on where i am going and what i am eating). given that i am also happy with a kebap every now and then ill end up on average by 40chf/day. by 5 workdays its 50chf added up to the weekend bill that makes 150chf to spend clubbing/cinema/short trips around greater zurich etc and/or eating out. as a rough number for a "normal" everyday lifestyle you can estimate 50chf, no?
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