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Old 13.12.2017, 11:45
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Work experience in the field of Computer Science

Hi there, I'm currently a university student in the UK studying Computer Science.

Part of my course involves a one year work placement year, where we must complete a form of work relevant to our field. I'm hoping to do this in Switzerland and I was just wondering about the practicalities of this. I would have a place to stay, so the most expensive part of this is pretty much covered. However, I'm wondering how likely it would be for companies in Switzerland (particularly in the Comp Sci field) to actually offer their work placement / internships to foreigners? Additionally, with regards to my CV, do you have a specific 'Swiss' format that I should convert my UK CV into?

Thanks a lot in advanced
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Old 13.12.2017, 12:30
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

As it's over 3-months (and assuming you don't have a Swiss passport) you'll need a work permit.

When are you planning to do this? If it's after 2019, and you have a UK passport there may be challenges (the UK will be non-EU by then).

If you have an EU passport it may be easier, we have interns/sandwich students - from comp.sci fields. That said, I do cyber security, so may not be what you're after.

Also worth considering that you'll need to pay for health insurance - budget around 3000-4000chf for a year or so.
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Old 13.12.2017, 15:28
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

I don't indeed, how much would a work permit cost me and how difficult would it be for me to acquire one?

I'm planning to do this from around mid-late 2018, into mid 2019. My passport is currently the burgundy coloured one, which is presumably still considered European.

I'm also very interested in cyber security, so would be great if you could point me into the right direction in terms of opportunities / requirements (in terms of grades and such)!

Would I absolutely need the health insurance or would the company pay for this? That is certainly a lot of money to pay all at once.
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Old 13.12.2017, 15:44
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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I don't indeed, how much would a work permit cost me and how difficult would it be for me to acquire one?

I'm planning to do this from around mid-late 2018, into mid 2019. My passport is currently the burgundy coloured one, which is presumably still considered European.

I'm also very interested in cyber security, so would be great if you could point me into the right direction in terms of opportunities / requirements (in terms of grades and such)!

Would I absolutely need the health insurance or would the company pay for this? That is certainly a lot of money to pay all at once.
You can "acquire" it if you have a work contract. That is if the UK by that time is still within the EU.

Passport colour is irrelevant, itīs the nationality that counts (especially after Brexit for the UK).

Yes, of course you need health insurance. Whether you can get an exemption from that is another question. Often the EHIC card only covers emergency treatment.
And no, the company will not pay for your health insurance
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Old 13.12.2017, 15:46
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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I don't indeed, how much would a work permit cost me and how difficult would it be for me to acquire one?

I'm planning to do this from around mid-late 2018, into mid 2019. My passport is currently the burgundy coloured one, which is presumably still considered European.

I'm also very interested in cyber security, so would be great if you could point me into the right direction in terms of opportunities / requirements (in terms of grades and such)!

Would I absolutely need the health insurance or would the company pay for this? That is certainly a lot of money to pay all at once.
Work permit is "cheap" (I think 30-80CHF), trivial to get once you have an apartment contract and an employment contract (as an EU citizen).

What happens if you're here "during" the split, no-one knows.... but everyone theorizes. I doubt anyone will get kicked out, but who knows. Remember that the EU is guaranteeing the rights of UK citizens to stay in the EU... but Switzerland isn't EU, so it's a big grey area.

As for health insurance, yes - it's a legal requirement. You pay per month (or I do at least).

I'll drop you a pm later with some info - our company also has a sandwich program in the UK. Grades I think were 2:1 or 1:1, but may be wrong.
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Old 13.12.2017, 16:13
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

I suppose since I'm being paid by the company I can use some of this money + my savings to afford it. By apartment contract, what would I do if I'm being allowed to stay (for free) with close friends? Thanks for all the information, those grades are definitely achievable for me so would be very interested.
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Old 13.12.2017, 16:35
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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I suppose since I'm being paid by the company I can use some of this money + my savings to afford it. By apartment contract, what would I do if I'm being allowed to stay (for free) with close friends? Thanks for all the information, those grades are definitely achievable for me so would be very interested.
Your friends tell the landlord that you are being added as a tenant for 12 months. Landlord issues a new contract with your name on it. Fairly painless.

If they own the property, I think they just need to give you a letter stating that you are staying there (but not sure)
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Old 13.12.2017, 16:45
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

Oh, it's that easy? Wonderful, hope their tenant would allow it (I believe they fully own the appartment, if that makes it easier). Thanks for all your help again, certainly making me feel more positive about actually doing this
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Old 13.12.2017, 17:09
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

I did an internship during my German university education in Switzerland a long time ago in a Galaxy where Switzerland wasn't part of Schengen yet - you don't need to take care of the work permit, your employer will do that for you. But it might be a (small) barrier that puts you behind the list of local applicants.

But here is the best part: In most of Europe are companies aware that students must complete those internships and pay them peanuts. In CH do interns typically get paid somewhere between apprentices and an entry level graduate salary. So you should make enough money to live on (and pay your health insurance).

The much more critical question is: Do you speak the local language?
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Old 13.12.2017, 17:14
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

Ah that's super cool. It's an extra for me, since I'm mostly choosing Switzerland as I have friends + a girlfriend from here. As for my language skills, I'm mostly fluent in high German (B2/C1) and I can just about understand Swiss German, although sometimes it can be a struggle. I'm natively English speaking though, and I believe most of the internship programs recruiting are just looking for fluent English.
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Old 13.12.2017, 17:34
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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Oh, it's that easy? Wonderful, hope their tenant would allow it (I believe they fully own the appartment, if that makes it easier). Thanks for all your help again, certainly making me feel more positive about actually doing this
Just be careful on this. Accommodation has to meet Swiss standards which means no overcrowding. So if your friends only have a 1-bed place then if there's going to be 3 of you living there, that ain't big enough. Are you saying they own the place, but have a tenant living there? I would assume said tenant can turn around and say no to sharing with anyone. That's not what they signed up to and why should they pay all the rent when you pay nothing? They might agree to a sub-let with you, but be prepared to pay half the monthly rent in that case.

You will need health insurance - it's mandatory for all residents of Switzerland which you will be since you'll need a permit to live/work here. It can be paid monthly so not a big shock to the system.
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Old 13.12.2017, 17:42
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

Oh, it'd be with an owned appartment belonging to my girlfriend and her family. As far as we're both aware there aren't any restrictions here, but I suppose there potentially could be. Will have to check more, but thanks for the heads up!
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Old 13.12.2017, 18:01
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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I believe most of the internship programs recruiting are just looking for fluent English.
You believe wrong. This might be the case at a few MNCs but 90% of all IT jobs in CH defenitely involve the local languages... you might get a different impression on here as this forum is the place where the exceptions to this rule ask for help when they don't find their way around life in Switzerland...

If you are in the German speaking part of Switzerland is your B2/C1 def enough to score a job, but make absolutely sure you mention these skills not just on page three of your CV but right up in the face.
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Old 13.12.2017, 18:20
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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Oh, it'd be with an owned appartment belonging to my girlfriend and her family. As far as we're both aware there aren't any restrictions here, but I suppose there potentially could be. Will have to check more, but thanks for the heads up!
It's not a question of restrictions. If the Swiss authorities don't think the apartment is big enough for everyone living there then you won't be granted a permit. They need to check with the gemeinde admin office to make sure before you commit to the move.
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Old 13.12.2017, 20:56
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Re: Work experience in the field of Computer Science

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I don't indeed, how much would a work permit cost me and how difficult would it be for me to acquire one?

I'm planning to do this from around mid-late 2018, into mid 2019. My passport is currently the burgundy coloured one, which is presumably still considered European.

I'm also very interested in cyber security, so would be great if you could point me into the right direction in terms of opportunities / requirements (in terms of grades and such)!

Would I absolutely need the health insurance or would the company pay for this? That is certainly a lot of money to pay all at once.
If eDiscovery (with potentially some cyber security or data analytics) is of interest to you feel free to drop me a PM.
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