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  #21  
Old 05.12.2012, 12:38
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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Thanks again for the additional responses. It seems to have taken a bit of a negative turn in the recent posts.
I think that is because you seem to have quite a good life where you are and the length of holidays you get is making us all jealous!

I don't think that anybody who is living in one of the great global metropoli will necessarily feel great about life in Basel as an alternative...its relatively small because the country itself is pretty small.

I think that you need to break down your scenarios into two parts - standard of living that the country provides AND employment. The things in your nightmare scenario about working weekends, cost of living vs salary etc are nothing to do with Switzerland per se, they are about who you work for. There are people who earn a lot and have very little stress, and there are people who earn relatively little and work damned hard for it. That depends on you and your employer.
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  #22  
Old 05.12.2012, 12:38
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

You won't be able to buy microwave meals for starters.

(I could keep this going all day )
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  #23  
Old 05.12.2012, 12:56
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

I would stay where you are. You have a good life by the sounds of it. Would I trade Paris, Kids settled and happy, making friends for 30% more money (its more expensive here) and to massage your husbands ego. NO no way. Go to Basel on a wet Sunday afternoon to see what its like. A bit grim.
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:07
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

Something you might miss is your own private garden...
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Old 05.12.2012, 13:21
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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My family is contemplating a move to Basel and I would be curious to get the forums opinion on how our lives would change for the better or worse...thank you in advance for reading long post.

Here are some details on our situation:
French/American couple with two children ages 5 and 8
Currently live in a very close suburb of paris (15 min and in downtown Paris)
Live in a small townhouse so we have tiny garden but it is really city living. Can walk to shops, market etc.
Big park nearby (crowded of course)
Kids in public french schools but 8 year old is in a school that has a section for bilingual kids - this costs additional 2500 euros per year to support the english classes. She is truly bilingual. Hope to put sister in same program.
Both work and earn good "cadre" salaries for france. (local contracts)
Workday starts at 9-930 and ends at 7pm - commute is 40 min door to door (so we are home at 8 and kids go to bed around 8:30 or 9)
We have 9 weeks of vacation
Finally started to build a sense of community. After 5 years have found some mixed couple anglo/french or otherwise that are not here on short term contracts. We have no family close by.

Moving to Basel would increase our salaries 30 percent. We work in pharma

So here are the key questions: Will our QoL significantly increase? (skiing every weekend? Access to big lakes etc. getting home early?) Is life good on the french side? or better to live in Basel - city living, more mixed couples like us, swiss system is more stable (ie retirement system?) We are looking at this as a long term decision and would like to stay there at least until our kids are grown. Anyone in our situation make this move an regret it?

Thanks for your thoughts.
-- As Paris at the bottom-line is relatively expensive, the costs would not increase dramatically, difficult however to make forecasts
-- For sizeable lakes, it is NOT Basel, but for the pharma-industry it is. Lakes can be reached from Basel within an hour (Zürich, Luzern, Biel)
-- On the French side, you are very close to Basel. but also to Mulhouse, and you could continue the structures you already have -- it might of course be recommendable to take residence close to Basel and Mulhouse
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  #26  
Old 05.12.2012, 14:30
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

I live just over the Basel border in Saint Louis. I live in the center of town in a very nice small complex with electric gates & Grass areas, garage, private parking etc.. For the same price of my mortgage you can rent a 3 bedroom duplex apartment with garden in the center of town.

We have no kids. Our grocery shopping (We buy in Lorrach) is about 80 euro per week (Inc washing liquid, powder, shampoos etc) We could spend alot less if we made an effort lol.

Saint Louis isnt a lively town, in fact i think there is a whole generation missing lol (My generation... of course! lol) Although the markets on a Saturday are very nice. At night time... honestly, i dont like it very much. But thats just me. Maybe others have a different opinion.

Nothing opens on a Sunday except the florist Nearly every smaller shop closes on a weekday between 12 - 2. And closes for the evening around 6-6.30

In my company i get 5 weeks vacation per year.. same as my husband. But all time i work above 8.5 per day go into my hours bank. . . so i now have a few additional weeks

My company (and my husbands) both use the "core hours" philosphy. Make your hours what ever why you choose but be inwork between 9 - 4 (I work 6.30/7 - 4.30/5)

As for the slopes... There are 2 for sure close by... Mont Blanc (i think the name is) we go night boarding there... takes us about 1 hour to travel... also... in Germany... Feldberg. Better for learning or practice at start of season as the slope is small . . . but cheap Its about an hour away also.
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  #27  
Old 05.12.2012, 15:19
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

I just want to stress again, that 30% salary increase will be immediately spent by cost of living, but then - you will have better quality of life.
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  #28  
Old 05.12.2012, 15:22
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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Nothing opens on a Sunday except the florist .
Ah no, there are at least 2 bakeries in Saint Louis open as well. What else do you need on Sundays than a fresh baguette and some flowers?
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  #29  
Old 05.12.2012, 19:12
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

A good point made that it depends on the company regarding your working hours and QoL etc. The company is Roche. So can you leave by 5pm? Do you get more vacation if you put the extra hours into this vacation bank? (how do they keep track anyway?)

Thanks for response. Just thought I would share that on my paris boards people seem to think that CH may be a paradise compared to the grind of Paris. Should we just move to the states? where is this elusive paradise of perfect money, good life, security, jobs etc.
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  #30  
Old 05.12.2012, 19:14
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

^^except for the occasional comment that CH is a bit boring. (true?)
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  #31  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:00
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

Basel is better if you like a nice and quiet life. If you prefer the busy life of a big city like Paris then you won't like it here.
However in 1 hour you can reach Zurich, Bern, Luzern etc...which means you have other possibilities than to live in the city. You have lakes, mountains and other paradise-like landscapes.
Here is safer and you know the public transport works really like it should.

Just consider that a 30% increase won't worth the move because you pay a lot more. Paris is expensive if you consider only the rent. Here everything is expensive, not just the rent.

Roche is a good company. No doubt the opportunity is tempting but if you have a good life in Paris and gown up kids you really need to weigh that.

Just come here with your family and take the decision together.

I love living here and even when I miss something I know this was the correct decision. But every person is different.
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  #32  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:03
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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One quick detail - not sure how far "too far" is for you for skiing, but there is nothing really within 3 hours (door to slope) of Basel as far as I know. With youngish kids, 5-6 hours committed to the day before you hit a slope might be too long.

I'd suggest that if skiing is important to you, you do some homework on locations
Under 2 hrs to Engelberg in a car. 2.5 hrs by train. Also well under 2 hours to the closest German field.
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  #33  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:09
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

Hi

I would really push for a greater salary increase.

and to research the area better

Realistically you are not going to get 9 weeks of paid leave per year. (I know this exists in French companies). You are looking at 5 weeks.


The Swiss local school sytem will take a huge adjustment to. positive is more child centred. German speaking (really good for us as it is with language support) v french system of rote and stricter learning. Negatives are school hours are different every day and short. (core hours for us are 7.50 to 12.00 with 2 afternoons 1.45 to 3.30 age 8). Little after school clubs for working parents. Not always lunch provided. (eg in our primary school it is being introduced next year for Mondays and Tuesdays only!) The nearer to Basel the better (we are 10km outside)

The French villages around Basel think horse riding, vegetable growing, bar b q's, but small local shops too. French village life.

St Louis think a small town, a bit plain but with interesting market.

Basel-gardens tiny unless your rental budget is 5000+ chf per month.

Zweisimmon ski resort is only 1 and 3/4 hours. Engelberg 1 1/2 hours away.
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  #34  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:18
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

30% salary increase, plus the opportunity for management expereince that your husband would like? SOunds good to me.

Live on the French sdie of the border and you will have cheaper living than you have in Paris. You haven't mentioned how much you pay for your Paris apartment, but I suspect you would have a 3 bedroomed house near the border for a smiliar amount.

A lot of foreigners and mixed nationality families choose to live in france but work in Basel. I have several colleagues in that position. Soe travel form as far as Colmar, but there are some lovely little villages closer to the border ( practically on in.)

Some families have their children come through to intertnational schools in Basel each day, but others use the French system. As yours are already established in the French system, I would save the 30,000 plus international fees and stick with that local system.

You can live within easy cycling distance of Basel, or on a tram or bus route, so you are not going to be isolated anywhere.

St Louis has a lovely Saturday morning fruit and vege market. A lot of Basel folk go over to that and for supermarket shopping ( and to a lovely cafe for Saturday lunch.)

You entioned learning to sail: you can learn on the RHine just above Basel. ALso rowing, dragonboating and kayaking ( on the French side of the border is an artificial white water kayaking site, open all year round and with a local club that has a strong children's section.)


Then there are the running clubs, the dinner groups, the lovely friendly EF folk.....

Welcome to Basel.
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  #35  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:45
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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I would stay where you are. You have a good life by the sounds of it. Would I trade Paris, Kids settled and happy, making friends for 30% more money (its more expensive here) and to massage your husbands ego. NO no way. Go to Basel on a wet Sunday afternoon to see what its like. A bit grim.
I love living in Switzerland but in your situation, what you want, expect, etc, I agree with Rob. I wouldn't make the move.
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  #36  
Old 05.12.2012, 20:54
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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Should we just move to the states? where is this elusive paradise of perfect money, good life, security, jobs etc.
It doesn't exist. You will always have to compromise on something. What that is, is up to you to decide.
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  #37  
Old 05.12.2012, 23:05
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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The company is Roche. So can you leave by 5pm? Do you get more vacation if you put the extra hours into this vacation bank?
Depends on your contract and your position, but if you are professionals rather than upper management, yes to both.
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Old 05.12.2012, 23:31
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

I will not refer to children. I will take the first answer's approch(with the ):

What I miss:
Friends!
Easy-to-find parking spots
Easy fiscal/automotive/living/etc. laws/rules

What is better:
QUALITY (of food, transportation, you name it)
People are funny, not like in Poland, but more than in Germany or France
Salary/costs ratio
There is a lot great places to see. Whole country is tourist-friendly (doesn't matter if youre intern or extern)
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  #39  
Old 05.12.2012, 23:33
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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Under 2 hrs to Engelberg in a car. 2.5 hrs by train. Also well under 2 hours to the closest German field.
To the slope? Or to the car park?
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  #40  
Old 05.12.2012, 23:34
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Re: How would my life change if I move to CH?

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Should we just move to the states? where is this elusive paradise of perfect money, good life, security, jobs etc.
The states? What states? The united states? Don't be silly.
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