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Old 01.01.2014, 10:29
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What's so great about living in Basel?

My wife has been offered a fantastic job in Basel and we are trying to decide if moving the whole family from the UK to Switzerland is a good idea or not. Trouble is that our knowledge of Basel is not that good so making the right decision is difficult.

I would love to hear from anyone that has made a similar move, what attracted you to the city [other than your work]? What, when you get up in the morning, makes you really glad that you moved to Basel?
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Old 01.01.2014, 10:46
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Basel - St-Louis - Lörrach

-Dreiländereck: CH / F / D
-Beautiful city
-Very clean air
-Cheap flights to UK
-Lots of job opportunities
-Crime rate extremely low. Very safe city
-Excellent public schools: CH / F / D
-Lots of shopping centers: access to CH, D and F products
-Excellent public transportation: CH / F / D
-No need to have a car
-State of the art medical facilities
-Opportunity to learn German and French
-Very friendly people

Happy New Year
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Old 01.01.2014, 11:14
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Just FYI:

Basically the Basel Metropolitan includes:

-the Canton of Basle (Basel) (divided into two half cantons: Basel-Stadt (city) and Basel-Landschaft (country) (a.k.a. Baselbiet, Baselland)

-the District of Rheinfelden (Rheinfelden AG, Möhlin, Kaiseraugst...) in N W canton Argovia (locally known as Kanton Aargau)

-the Canton of Huningue (St-Louis, Huningue (Hüningen), Hégenheim, Hésingue, Leymen) in Upper Rhine, France

-the Land district of Lörrach (Weil am Rhein, Lörrach, Schopfheim, Rheinfelden) in Hochrhein, Baden, Germany
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Old 01.01.2014, 11:17
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Can't talk about Basel too much being in Zurich : but clearly they have best football team in CH. Almost certain domestic champions every year because of the money they take from Champions League even though their best players still have to leave to realise their potential, they have a good record of replacing.

BUT I think Basel is going to win over Stevenage for many things

I would widen you brief why CH v UK to get a better answer : and there are plenty of threads that can help you here. I think for families if you ensure your net income is enough to afford the increase in housing that is almost inevitable : the oportunity to live in Switzerland can be great if you choose it to be for short or longer term.

Many great things can be said about the country and I think the list has started

It is very important to find ways to setlle in the communiyty, and would recommend a very useful book : "Living and working in Switzerland" as an essential read
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Old 01.01.2014, 11:31
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Agree all other posters.

Why don't you come to Basel for a weekend or week and see it for yourself.

That's exactly what we did before making the move from Surrey to Basel.
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Old 01.01.2014, 12:41
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Cool name, OP!

Let's just start by saying Basel's better than Stevenage.

Have you spent a serious amount of time in any "Germanic" city before?

After having lived here, in Stuttgart and in Frankfurt I would never live in a small city in the UK. We have excellent public transport, great services/infrastructure, culture, history, diversity, cleanliness and job prospects. No city of an equivalent size in the UK has this.

Yes, Basel is severely out-done by London, but the population of London is the same as that of the entire country here, so it's to be expected.

So ... imagine the benefits of living in a city smaller than London (easier to get around, quicker to get to/from work and to/from school and to/from all your friends' places), safer and nicer to explore by bicycle, easy access to the countryside. And then add the benefits of Basel (or Zurich or ....) that I've already outlined above. And it's a no-brainer imo.

But that's me talking. You say you're considering moving the "entire family". What does that entail? I personally think Switzerland is a dire place to live for anyone between the ages of around 15 to 25. Just at the age when you should be developing your independence and own sense of identify ... Switzerland flights very hard, usually successfully, to thwart that. Hence the high suicide rate here.

Visit. Meet expats (i.e. tell people on here you're coming) as just wandering around as a tourist doesn't teach you anything useful. Bring your family. See how they react.
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Old 01.01.2014, 13:44
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

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Can't talk about Basel too much being in Zurich : but clearly they have best football team in CH. Almost certain domestic champions every year because of the money they take from Champions League even though their best players still have to leave to realise their potential, they have a good record of replacing.
What a load of wankdorf


On the plus, Basel is conveniently near the Alsace wine region
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Old 01.01.2014, 16:26
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

In addition to the features already mentioned:
Brilliant opportunities for weekend activities (Basel is a major rail hub so can get a train to all points of the compass in Europe).Learn to ski, faboulus outdoor activities, etc etc.
Can survive happily in Basel with English while assimilating. I tried to learn "hoch" German but the local Baslers preferred to respond in English. That doesn't happen in France.
High standard of living and easy to get away back to the chaotic, sarcastic and irony-loving British whenever you need a booster dose to counteract the order of life in Switzerland.
I think having a family will help, as you will gain an instant expat social life through the International School (unless you take the plunge and enroll them in the Swiss system)-the Swiss tend to be very pleasant but not particularly open to friends "dropping round", or impromptu trips to the pub (although as most ex-pats eventually leave after a few years, it may not be worth the locals' effort to build friendships with them).
However, having been there, I can state categorically that Basel is much more interesting than Stevenage!
Good luck.
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Old 01.01.2014, 16:53
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

It only takes 90 minutes to go zuerich
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Old 01.01.2014, 16:55
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

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Cool name, OP!
Phew! That's a relief!
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Old 01.01.2014, 17:14
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

basel. come for the money, stay for the money dont stay.
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Old 01.01.2014, 17:34
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

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...I would love to hear from anyone that has made a similar move, what attracted you to the city [other than your work]? What, when you get up in the morning, makes you really glad that you moved to Basel?
We moved here 12 years ago, and I still get that feeling of "I like being here".

Why?

Regular, reliable, frequent public transport
Pretty decent weather
Ski slopes not far away
France and Germany very near
Low tax
Excellent healthcare
Pretty good educational system

I mean, England is nice - but I wouldn't want to live there.
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Old 01.01.2014, 18:54
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Well a lot depends on the family. I have seen many expat friends, usually wives/mums unable to stay the course. Others have been fine.

Why? Well if your partner is used to:

1. Having a worthwhile job and changes to stay at home partner that is a challenge-your goals and whole situation have changed. It is very hard to be a working parent here if your child is in local school as the kids come home for lunch. But lunch clubs are starting to emerge. Think 1970's britain and you have it.
2. Living in a large comfortable house that is "yours" and changes to much smaller rented accommodation and usually an apartment as houses are more difficult and expensive to find to rent, unless you go further out of the city. That can be hard when you have young kids. my daughter has a little balcony and a street to play in. Like my grandfather, a working class miner, but he had a backyard (not the American version) when growing up.
3. Having a social network of friends who stay for more than 3 years rather than move to the next assignment is tricky. You need to integrate to get long term friends and that is hard to do with the Swiss Germans. They are slow to make friends but when they do they stick to you like glue.
4. Being able to communicate in one language rather than learn another (high german) to understand a third (swiss german). Can be isolating and frustrating but once you understand it's OK-taken me 8 years and I now can understand a third of what is said in swiss german.

Then the challenges are not for the fainthearted. I dont want to put you off, but it really depends on your situation and your strengths to whether you can make a go of it.

Why Basel for the positives=-all the above poster give a reasonable summary. I add for children it is not as commercial (party bags=a plastic bag with a few sweets in it) . Lots of activities. Your child has the opportunity to become bilingual plus french from age 8/9. You earn shed loads more money if if carefully budget can make the experience give you a better financial footing. Not as health and safety obsessed here (that means using your common sense here). They use knives and do woodwork in class with drills.etc...

Last edited by Ace1; 01.01.2014 at 22:38. Reason: Mergingat user request
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Old 01.01.2014, 20:43
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

this is my 3rd visit and this one was for the "permanent relocation" we have found the people to be both friendly and patient with our ignorant American butts... the cleanliness, healthiness, etc is so nice
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Old 01.01.2014, 23:26
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Hi, I have a British Massage-client who lives in a small flat in Switzerland for work and goes home to his wife in England by cheap Easy-Jet or so regularly.


I would not move to Switzerland directly before she has not passed the 3 months test phase "Probezeit" where she and the company look if she gets the job at long term. During these 3 months the kids, if you have any, could perhaps stay with the grandparents or they come to your house then.
Means, accept the job if it feels good to you, but do not move house straight away.


The jobs are often not what they look like at first sight.... and collegues aren't always as nice as they present themselves in the short time you go for an interview into the company.


So, be careful about moving house and everything!


Vanessa
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Old 02.01.2014, 07:22
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

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I would not move to Switzerland directly before she has not passed the 3 months test phase "Probezeit" where she and the company look if she gets the job at long term. During these 3 months the kids, if you have any, could perhaps stay with the grandparents or they come to your house then.
Means, accept the job if it feels good to you, but do not move house straight away.
I respectfully disagree. I have never, ever heard of anyone being dismissed during Probezeit. Especially if someone is relocating here for a job, they know they want you!
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Old 02.01.2014, 09:51
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

Some brilliant replies here. Thank you everyone for taking the time to pass on your thoughts...

I have two children, one aged 14 and the other 7. Those reading this thread and living in Basel with families, i'm interested to learn what it is about the place that particularly appeals to your kids?
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Old 02.01.2014, 10:40
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

The key will be your older child. Do you intend to join the Swiss Education system or use an international school ? or Do you intend to live across the border in Fr or De ? Each of the education systems are different and probably need research and hence will determine where you want to live. The Swiss system is a selective system and this process happens mainly at 11/12. As an observer, our children attend international schools) it feels more like the system in UK before Comprehensives .


The younger child can assimilate into any schooling system and will pick up the language of speech and study quickly. In Switzerland this can mean studying in Hoch Deutsch but all speech will be in Swiss German ( which is a different language) . What is there to do ? Everything you can do in UK plus easy access to winter sports. What is really good is the safety of the country, which gives you confidence to let the children push out and become independent earlier than in UK ( IMO) The children can use public transport and do from ages like 6/7 , and no one is amazed . This can mean from 14/15 they can travel independently to other cities and or ski slopes by train and bus. Our 16 year old regular disappears to the slopes with his friends.
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Old 02.01.2014, 10:57
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

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What a load of wankdorf


On the plus, Basel is conveniently near the Alsace wine region
Another PLUS of Basel&Mülhausen are the many museums
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Old 02.01.2014, 13:59
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Re: What's so great about living in Basel?

@Liquid Paper


It is true that not many are dismissed during the first 3 months of work in a new company "Probezeit". But being an Ex-Receptionist I have seen many coming and going in companies. Some they kept altough they were not pleased but just hadn't the right Person at Hand yet and looked around further. One man, uncapable he seemed to all, got finally chucked out after 2 years, but then he was OUT. Having worked in several companies before getting my own indepent Tantra-massage Studio, I know that the workplace is always nicely described, but in reality you might have to put up with a nasty Office-Mate. It is not all about work it self, the "ambiance" is also important and thats what you don't see when you just go for a short interview. I know I am probably to pessimistic, but I have seen a lot being at the front desk... I would suggest Kids going to the international School. There they don't have the Problem of language in Addition to loosing their friends at home.







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