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Old 07.04.2009, 14:43
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Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Hello,

We haven't moved yet but had planned to move to Zurich at some point this year for husband's job. We recently learned of a position opening in Neuchatel sooner than one in Zurich.

We are from the States and I have visited both cities and loved Zurich. Neuchatel was beautiful but much smaller, quieter than Zurich and it didn't seem like there was much to do. Granted we were there a full day on a Sunday when everything was closed but we walked around the lake and also hiked over to the old church on the top of the hill/village?

My concerns are if there are many expats living in Neuchatel or if there are any groups for expat women to join? I know Zurich has an excellent expat community but I've not heard much about Neuchatel and just don't know if we are jumping to fast into this.

Any opinions on Neuchatel would be greatly appreciated (both good and bad).

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07.04.2009, 16:11
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

there are quite a few posts on Neuchatel, use the search bar above.

here is one group for you to join into.

www.thenic.ch
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  #3  
Old 07.04.2009, 16:32
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

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Hello,

We haven't moved yet but had planned to move to Zurich at some point this year for husband's job. We recently learned of a position opening in Neuchatel sooner than one in Zurich.

We are from the States and I have visited both cities and loved Zurich. Neuchatel was beautiful but much smaller, quieter than Zurich and it didn't seem like there was much to do. Granted we were there a full day on a Sunday when everything was closed but we walked around the lake and also hiked over to the old church on the top of the hill/village?

My concerns are if there are many expats living in Neuchatel or if there are any groups for expat women to join? I know Zurich has an excellent expat community but I've not heard much about Neuchatel and just don't know if we are jumping to fast into this.

Any opinions on Neuchatel would be greatly appreciated (both good and bad).

Thanks!
Neuchatel is a lovely little village on the lake, but there are not that
many things to do IMHO. Zürich would offer much more in terms of
culture, number of expats, proximity to ski resorts, many more
English speakers, etc.
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Old 07.04.2009, 17:01
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Maybe the language would influence your choice?

French in Neuchatel - Swiss German in Zurich
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Old 07.04.2009, 20:26
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

With the language issue, Neuchatel is actually in our favor since husband already speaks french - not fluent but enough to get by and feel more comfortable than speaking another language like german where he knows nothing. I know a little french - studied in college for a few years.

Proximity of ZH to the ski resorts is a plus as we are avid skiiers. I guess I am looking for more opinions on what makes Neuchatel so great and why I would fall in love with living there - if that's possible?

I have searched other posts and there seems to be a mixed response to living in Neuchatel. We aren't looking for a party town as we are expecting our first baby this year so those days from the past are limited. I'm looking more for how easy or not is it to meet other women, do things, keep busy in Neuchatel.

Sounds like there is little shopping so what does a typical mom do every day? Are there play groups like they have in the States?

Any more info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07.04.2009, 20:55
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

We used to live in Neuchatel and although we do not live there now we do visit at least once a month for work. I cannot comment on Zurich as I have not lived there. Yes, it is not that large but there are several international firms there, Philip Morris in the town & Johnson & Johnson nearby.I would suspect that if your other half is working for an International firm there would be several Americans families around. There is a really good site which I shall locate for you and send you the details - it goes into great detail of life in Neuchatel. It will be really useful for you.

You can ski nearby in the Jura mountains although you do not have the height - this year has been fab for most skiers.

I might be wrong here ( I will be corrected I'm sure)but from what I gather rental in Zurich is really expensive and you would possibly be able to rent a much larger place in Neuchatel.
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Old 07.04.2009, 21:07
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Hi<

I work in Neuchatel, but decided to live in Lausanne, for the concerns you mention. It is small and i felt i would be rather isolated there. Lausanne offers more of a social side and lots of groups especially for young families.

I have a few friends that moved to Zurich and they love it and to be honest when i go to visit i think what a great place to live it would be, also none of them speak german (obviously the small things that you pick up anywhere)

I think if you are wanting to get to know people quickly and have the oppportunity of doing so then Zurich is a good option.

Ultimately there are many factors for you to consider but hope this helps a little.
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Old 07.04.2009, 21:41
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

I have found it for you. It might help you in your decision.
http://www.geosciencenet.com/neuchatel_combi.pdf
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Old 07.04.2009, 21:44
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

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Hi<

I work in Neuchatel, but decided to live in Lausanne, for the concerns you mention. It is small and i felt i would be rather isolated there. Lausanne offers more of a social side and lots of groups especially for young families.
Lausanne is a very nice city. This is a good idea.
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  #10  
Old 07.04.2009, 23:19
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Neuchatel is a great little place but as HollidayG says - it's a small place on the lake with limited shopping. Standing where I am now, I'd be happy enough to live there. Ditto Lausanne. But in terms of coming here for the first time I can only hark back to our own experiences. We spent one year Geneva when we first moved here then relocated to Zurich where we lived for five years. At the time I had schoolboy French and zero German, let alone the Zurich dialect. We found Zurich so much easier to settle into and get a social life - and English was not so nearly as widely spoken there as it is now. It's simply a bigger place with more going on and a much bigger expat scene so that just adds up to more opportunity. Who knows you might get lucky in Neuchatel and fall into a good circle of friends. But if not you could feel isolated there so go in with your eyes open. If access to an expat community is important to you Lausanne would be a safer bet if you can swing it. Neuchatel is an easy commute from there.
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Old 08.04.2009, 09:07
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Obviously you can't compare Neuchâtel to Zurich. Why would anyone wanna do that anyway.
It does have many big and interesting companies in and around NE where lots of English speaking people are working like Bulgari, Baxter, celgene, Philip Morris, autodesk, gucci ...
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Old 08.04.2009, 14:51
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

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I have found it for you. It might help you in your decision.
http://www.geosciencenet.com/neuchatel_combi.pdf

Wow, this is excellent. Thank you so much for taking the time to find the link for me! Lots of information!!
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Old 13.04.2009, 16:57
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

I am an indian living in usa. I need some advice as to where to live if I work in neuchatel.Thanks.
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Old 13.04.2009, 17:13
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

If you are going to work for a company I would suggest you ask the HR department whether they have an apartment available for new employees coming from abroad. This is just a temporary solution of course. They then usually also have a contact person who can propose you an apartment or a house you can rent in the area you are working.

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I am an indian living in usa. I need some advice as to where to live if I work in neuchatel.Thanks.
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Old 13.04.2009, 23:56
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Know both, prefer Zurich Yes Neuchâtel is fine, especially with a baby on the way, and the Neuchâtelois really are lovely and there a lots of expats like in Zurich.... but.... it's the weather that got me.
Neuchâtel in the Summer is as pretty as a postcard, but when the Fall roles around so does thick, very thick fog. The fog can last until Spring and I found that tough. Maybe the few years I was there, were exceptional, but finally I took off for the canton of Vaud to lap up the sunshine !
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Old 14.04.2009, 20:00
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

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Neuchâtel in the Summer is as pretty as a postcard, but when the Fall roles around so does thick, very thick fog. The fog can last until Spring and I found that tough. Maybe the few years I was there, were exceptional, but finally I took off for the canton of Vaud to lap up the sunshine !
Does the fog last all day? Is it because Neuchatel is right on the lake? We have fog in So Cal but there are no lakes nearby. Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 14.04.2009, 20:02
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

no not only all day, all week and sometimes 3 weeks in a row !!!

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Does the fog last all day? Is it because Neuchatel is right on the lake? We have fog in So Cal but there are no lakes nearby. Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 15.04.2009, 21:09
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Honestly, some winters it was like living in a cloud all day. I remember I couldn't see the garden from my balcony on the 2nd floor, only a white mist. When walking down the street you'd hear the footsteps but not see to whom they belonged. It seems like an exageration when I re-read this message, but I can't remember it differently. Then in spring the town turns into this beautiful extraordinary place with families, and picnics by the lake, and playgrounds and many activities and lots of fun.... that is if you've made it though the 5 months of winter.
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Old 23.04.2009, 22:34
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

just had my 1st winter here in neuchatel and I loved it- didn't see much fog either! I can't comment on long term prosepcts , but from my limited experience, i'm loving it at the mo.

Good luck with your decision
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Old 24.04.2009, 04:12
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Re: Any expats live in Neuchatel? Need opinions!

Didn't read all the posts, but I just have to say. You are expecting your first child. Your life is going to do a complete 180 in ways that no matter what you hear or think, are totally different and unimaginable and no matter what you have heard, you are completely unprepared for, unaware of and don't expect.

There are always new things about any city and place, and some are good and some are less so. If you are prepared for change, and are positive about it, it won't really matter where it is. It will be exciting and different. The city you choose to move to is really small fries compared to the birth of your new one. The important thing is the quality of health care and the standard of living, which are going to be comparable no matter which city you go to.

Stop worrying about such things and if you are truly concerned, think about such things as available child care and the quality of the medical service for children. You are not going to have time to be concerned about such petty things as the different things you are asking about.

Either way, you will love it in Switzerland or you will hate it, the city or town won't really matter.

If you are an adventurous sort that is open minded, you will love it. Enjoy.
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