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Old 27.04.2007, 12:45
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Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hello,

I'm a 25 yr old single girl from London. I work for a bank and have been living the city life all my life. I have decided that I would like to live and work abroad for a couple of years. I considered many places but after a recent visit to Switzerland was really impressed by how pretty and clean it was. I've been doing some research on life in Zurich or possibly Lugano. I could quite easily get a transfer through work so visa, accom, and work would not be a problem. However after reading through a few posts on this and other forums I am a little worried about the social differences. There seem to be endless rants about unfriendliness, formalities, rules and regulations and I'm struggling to find anything positive that people have to say about living in Switzerland. I am very open minded and would not expect to find a london style life when moving abroad but on the other hand I would be moving to a country where I do not know anybody,or the language. I am young and like to socialise, go out, go to parties, out for drinks, out for dinner and all the normal things that young people do... (when I say normal I mean normal for me!).
I am completely happy to adapt to local customs etc.. and try to learn the language but I don't think I could cope with boredom and loneliness.. so I'd like to hear any comments/advice etc on the subject. Are there places to go out ..... what do people generally do in their spare time? Am I making a huuuuuge mistake?

thanks katy
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Old 27.04.2007, 12:52
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

then i say zürich would be better than Lugano since its bigger and obviously offers more social/cultural activities. Living in Switzerland is not that difficult as long as one is ready to follows rules and regulations. Every country and every city would have its positive and negative side and Switzerland is not an exception. Utopia doesn't exist. Moving to another city is already difficult, moving to another country can also be very difficult. There will always be cultural differences, one just have to look at the brighter side of things. It's not so bad here....if its so...then why are we still here, afterall....
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Old 27.04.2007, 12:54
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hard question to answer.
If you move to Zurich and expect London you will be disappointed. The city is tiny in comparison.
There are lot of restaurants, bars, clubs etc. more probably per person than in London. Lots going on for a place of its size.

Will you be lonely, again that depends on you. If you join clubs, and actively try to meet people, and learn some German then you will be fine. If you sit at home wondering why it isn't London and why you can't meet anyone you will hate it.

To be honest, I came from London and do not miss it. I don't have to deal with pollution and the tube anymore. I can see the mountains from my bedroom window and in 10 mins I can be in the country. I can't go shopping on Sunday or after 8pm but to be honest thats barely a hardship.
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Old 27.04.2007, 12:57
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

what do you like doing? It's actually very nice here otherwise we would not be here - but it depends on what you like doing.

Do note that for every complaint, there are 100s of unmentioned praises.

And I'd take Lugano over Zurich if work was giving me a transfer
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:00
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hi Katy,

You're not the first and you won't be the last - to be put off by a browse of these forums.

BUT, people don't post "I've been happily married for 20 years to a Swiss" or "My child has the time of his life in Swiss schools" or "The Swiss are so nice to me" etc etc.

Of course all these things happen every day, but they make rather boring posts to read. We like to throw up problems and kick them around - this can give the wrong impression.

Switzerland is really great. I have been here for 18 years - I came for just 2. Sure the grass is always greener, but when I'm back in the UK for a few days, I realise just how green the Swiss grass is.

Be realistic, but don't be swamped be negative comments you read here. None of us a prisoners here - we could all jump on the next plane 'home'. But we don't...
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:00
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hello Katy,

Well yes some of us foreigners do tend to winge …. but at the end of the day we would not be here if we didn’t like the place. Yes it is different but it’s not a bad place, if you decide to come here it would not be a life sentence and I assume that you could leave if you wanted to ( so dont burn those bridges at home huh!) if I was you I would go for it.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:03
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Thank you.. both helpful responses. In response I'd say I am not looking for a "london" ....in switzerland... there would be no point in me leaving london if that was the case. I am also tired of the rat-race that is london (as much as I do love it). I want to live somewhere beautiful and pleasant and learn to love somewhere for its own culture.
Its just that...as I'm sure you will understand if you have been in London... I am used to having a large social network and my life outside work really does revolve around meeting people and being out and about. I'd find it hard to not have some friends to go out with and have fun. However as you say there are ways of meeting people and places to go and things to see that is good to hear.

Any other advice or things I should consider?
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:04
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Quote:
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Hello,

I'm a 25 yr old single girl from London. I work for a bank and have been living the city life all my life. I have decided that I would like to live and work abroad for a couple of years. I considered many places but after a recent visit to Switzerland was really impressed by how pretty and clean it was. I've been doing some research on life in Zurich or possibly Lugano. I could quite easily get a transfer through work so visa, accom, and work would not be a problem. However after reading through a few posts on this and other forums I am a little worried about the social differences. There seem to be endless rants about unfriendliness, formalities, rules and regulations and I'm struggling to find anything positive that people have to say about living in Switzerland. I am very open minded and would not expect to find a london style life when moving abroad but on the other hand I would be moving to a country where I do not know anybody,or the language. I am young and like to socialise, go out, go to parties, out for drinks, out for dinner and all the normal things that young people do... (when I say normal I mean normal for me!).
I am completely happy to adapt to local customs etc.. and try to learn the language but I don't think I could cope with boredom and loneliness.. so I'd like to hear any comments/advice etc on the subject. Are there places to go out ..... what do people generally do in their spare time? Am I making a huuuuuge mistake?

thanks katy
There also posts about the good things here in Switzerland have a deeper look.

I moved out here to Luzern as a single guy, not knowing many people, and soon met plenty, I think I go out more here than i ever did in the UK. Probably making more of an effort though. Contrary to what many say about the Swiss, I've found them to be very friendly and helpful, though it may vary from region to region.

Bars and clubs are open later, and you rarely have to pay to get in. There's a varied scene and less of the mcPub chains, you're bound to find places you like. You can usualy get a night bus home in the early hours as well. Eating out can tend to be expensive, and I miss the variety of asian foods we have back home (how strange). But the food is good.

I originally came to know of Luzern through a contract, and was staying during the week and going back at weekends. When I got offered a permanent job I jumped at the chance.

Maybe I'm lucky, but I've yet to have any serious problems with rules and regulations, you can't seriously expect a move from one country to another to be a simple step though. The biggest problem when dealing with beaurocracy and day to day needs is the language barrier. I'm finding that more and more swiss companies are also providing help in English, but learning a new language is helping. A huge ammount of people speak english anyway.

Anyway, give it a good think, I haven't looked back(yet). Whenever I'm in the UK now, I always can't wait to get back.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:06
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

If you just want to read some positive things to be said about Switzerland, go to Why I LOVE Switzerland

It is a great place to live, especially if you like the outdoors - hiking, biking, climbing - just perfect. If you are looking for a hip town to live in - well, probably Zurich is not the best choice. If you like to hang out with a truly international group of great people - you will find it here. If you insist on becoming best friends with Swiss - lots of work.

Why don't you come over for a month or so to check things out?
Idgie
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:52
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hi Kathy,

So you have not found a job yet?

If I'm a blonde woman, I would go to Tessin. The Italians have a wierd fetish over blonde woman.

Anyhow, the weather is definitely better than Zurich and Lago Majore is beautiful and the Stars and Moon festival has never been a dissapointment.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:52
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

I'm a single 27 y/o girl who likes to socialise etc. I've been in Zurich 3 months now and I love it here... so far so good!

OK so its not England, no 24 hour Tesco, shops shut on Sundays, silly rules about laundry etc but its not all bad, you just need to adapt and change your habits a little.

I lived in Manchester and whilst I sometimes miss being back home and my family, there are plus points to being here too:

I feel far less stressed than when I worked in England.

I feel safe walking around on my own... would never take public transport in Manchester after 10pm at night when I'd been drinking but have to say have never felt threatened being here and get the train home after a night on the town all the time!

You can be in the mountains in an hour.

The trains turn up!!

One thing I will say which has already been mentioned is you will have to make an effort to meet people but there are regular forum events and I've met some great people through attending these. You will only get out of the move what you put into it but if you are a social person as you say I don't see making friends being a problem.

OK so there are going to be some cultural differences but isn't that part of the fun of moving abroad and experiencing something different?

If you do decide to come over, there are plenty of people on this forum that will look after you and answer any questions that you wish to ask.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:55
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hi Katy. Zurich is a good choice, although i would make an effort not to fall into the ex-pat scene trap. Zurich has an amazing amount of nightlife and culture, considering its size it is unbelievable. Any night of the week you chose you there are so many things to pick. There are tons of galleries, clubs, exhibitions, underground places (you wont find them in the usual listings), squats etc.... For the other person whos said that zurich is not a hip place to live in i would have to disagree totally. If you take the effort to scrape below the shiny surface you will find LOTS.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:57
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

oh and if you choose to live in Tessin, Milan is only 2 hrs away by train.
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Old 27.04.2007, 13:57
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

I've spent years in Central London, and quite a few here. This place (Zürich) lacks the buzz of The Smoke, but makes up for it in many different ways. The whinging gits (myself included ) give a skewed view of what it is like here. Its actually pretty damn fine. I go back to London once every few weeks for a blast of Hoxton & Brick Lane excitement in any case...

dave


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Hello,

I'm a 25 yr old single girl from London. I work for a bank and have been living the city life all my life. I have decided that I would like to live and work abroad for a couple of years. I considered many places but after a recent visit to Switzerland was really impressed by how pretty and clean it was. I've been doing some research on life in Zurich or possibly Lugano. I could quite easily get a transfer through work so visa, accom, and work would not be a problem. However after reading through a few posts on this and other forums I am a little worried about the social differences. There seem to be endless rants about unfriendliness, formalities, rules and regulations and I'm struggling to find anything positive that people have to say about living in Switzerland. I am very open minded and would not expect to find a london style life when moving abroad but on the other hand I would be moving to a country where I do not know anybody,or the language. I am young and like to socialise, go out, go to parties, out for drinks, out for dinner and all the normal things that young people do... (when I say normal I mean normal for me!).
I am completely happy to adapt to local customs etc.. and try to learn the language but I don't think I could cope with boredom and loneliness.. so I'd like to hear any comments/advice etc on the subject. Are there places to go out ..... what do people generally do in their spare time? Am I making a huuuuuge mistake?

thanks katy
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Old 27.04.2007, 14:20
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

If you're planning on working abroad for 2 years, then Zurich is absolutely brilliant. The first two years I was here were excellent, especially the first year when it seemed like a giant holiday and work was just something to do during the day. Zurich does seem pretty quiet and lacking in nightlife, but considering I can never think of anywhere to go or things to do, it's amazing how often I roll in the door at 5am.

It's only once you're here for a while that you start taking things for granted and then complaining about the small things. This doesnt necessarily mean that anything is bad, merely that familiarity breeds contempt.

One of the best things about living here, is the fact that its so easy to go somewhere else. London is an hour away by plane, and if you drive 3 hours in any direction you'll need your passport.

Come to Zurich - it's Great!

There. I've said it.
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Old 27.04.2007, 14:32
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Im astonished about the people who announce a lack of night life!!
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Old 27.04.2007, 14:38
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hello

Although I live in Geneva now, I did live in Zurich for a bit a few years ago and moved out here from London. When I came to zurich I was single (and am female as well, despite misleading user name!)

As other posters have said, if you come expecting London you will be disappointed. But I loved it immediately, it was fantastic to be able to go out at night, wander round at night, not be as wary as I would be on public transport etc. And so easy to go out as well, its really easy to get into the centre and back home again, nothing like being in London.

Plus theres the lake, mountains etc and so easy to get elsewhere.In fact it was such a shock for me moving back to London after being here that I came back again!

S
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Old 27.04.2007, 15:18
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Zurich is wonderful there are people scrambling to get in the country so do not look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Old 28.04.2007, 13:57
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Do it! You can always go back home if you hate it So far I'm liking it, though having to furnish my room is a pain in the ass. Not exactly a Swiss problem though, more like my own.

About the nightlife and the "ex-pat scene trap", while it's true that it can be a bit sucky to only socialise with ex-pats, it's also really GREAT that there is a constant stream of new people coming (and going), who speak English - this is invaluable when you are just learning German like me.

Of course I'd love to socialise more with Swiss people but they are a bit hard to find, especially if you mostly work with people who are also foreigners.

Anyway. To cut a long story short, I'd go for it. And come to Zurich!
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Old 28.04.2007, 21:22
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Re: Help..confused!! To move or not to move?

Hi,

Ive been checking out these forums lately because I too have looked into the possibility of moving to Switzerland...

I can understand why some people use this forum as a griping place sometimes, so people like myself may be slightly misled as to what life out there really is like...

I do wonder however how many people go out there, and then return home shortly afterwards because they dislike it. I find it pretty unlikely those people would be posting in here.... much more likely to have forgotten about Switzerland altogether.

Another question I find myself asking is whether it is more common, once people have moved out there, for them to stay there indefinitely, or whether the majority of people are only out there on say 1 or 2 yr contracts with their work and then move back. (obviously this assumes they didnt hate the place - but didnt love it more than 'home')

I do accept however that its one of those things you have to try I guess, as everyone is different and react differently to different cultures etc etc.... The problem of course is thats sometimes a big 'try', as you could be leaving a future behind in your home country.
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