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Old 21.02.2017, 20:45
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Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

Hello,

I am a college student about to graduate in May 2017 in the USA. Degree in Finance. I am a legal USA citizen as well as a legal EU citizen (I was born in France).

I have applied to UNIL for a master's degree in Finance and am pretty hopeful to be accepted as it is an english program (I speak fluent French as well) and I have good grades. I would need to take out a student loan to pay for living expenses (~2000 francs/month for 8 months out of the year for 2 years).

Should I risk it all and move to Lausanne and complete the Master's degree (2 years) and try to find a job in Switzerland? Or should I stay stateside and find a job here and hope to get transferred/relocated out there.

I would really like to study at UNIL but the high cost of living and the fear of not being able to find a job is throwing me off. I also want to learn a third language, German preferably, and think being in Switzerland would help greatly.

I am originally from the Jura region of France and have visited Switzerlan many times and very much admire the country and culture.

Can any expats give me any helpful advice for my situation?

Thank you for reading this I appreciate any help!
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Old 21.02.2017, 20:51
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

You were born in France but do you have a French passport? That makes it a lot easier finding a job after you graduate.

(And check out the threads on bank accounts etc for US citizens.)

Good luck!
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Old 21.02.2017, 20:53
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

Yes I do have a valid French Passport, given the recent political events happening in the US, i value my French passport more than i do my US passport.
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Old 21.02.2017, 21:15
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

I think it depends on where you hope/plan to live your life. Financial sector jobs are shrinking here and have been for the last few years. But you also need to consider the impact your American "taint" will have on your life abroad.

Firstly, getting a bank account here is difficult. You'll have a possible choice of 3 banks only: UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance. None of the other Swiss banks will touch you. Also, longer term considerations - no mortgage and no investment accounts unless you're already wealthy. To open any bank account here (or elsewhere in the world for that matter) you'll be required to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to pass the account info on to the IRS. Also if any foreign account, i.e. outside of the US, comes to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any time of the year it has to be reported on an FBAR form.

Secondly, US taxes. Because the US taxes based on citizenship, not on residency only like the rest of the world, Americans are obliged to file US tax returns no matter where they live. Start your research on that here:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...-aliens-abroad

You could eventually end up owing the US taxes on top of any Swiss ones.

Depending on whether you do value your US citizenship or not (and remember Trump can only be there for a max of 8 years) the easiest way to avoid all the above is to renounce your US citizenship, ideally before you start earning and have to file tax returns. However, you can only do that once you move abroad.

As an EU national you won't have the non-EU hiring hassle to deal with, but the Swiss are trying to curb immigration from the EU since they voted on the subject back in February 2014. This did hit snags with the EU obviously and the Swiss government has opted for a "soft" approach. But there may be further referendums on this in the future as many consider the Swiss government didn't stick with the requirements originally laid down in the 2014 vote.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...wanderung.html

The Swiss government are also looking at changing the rules regarding getting and keeping residence permits with the aim of encouraging more integration.

Once you graduate you theoretically should be able to get a 3 month L permit to allow you to job hunt, providing you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you do so. Of course, that rule may or may not change in the 2 years of your course. Upside is that obviously having a Swiss uni degree is better in the eyes of Swiss employers than having one from elsewhere.
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Old 21.02.2017, 21:35
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

It depends what you want to do in finance, but personally, I would just get a job in the US first and get experience there and then only later move.

Depending on where you are, I suspect you'll get much better experience in the US than CH.
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Old 21.02.2017, 21:56
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Hello,

I am a college student about to graduate in May 2017 in the USA. Degree in Finance. I am a legal USA citizen as well as a legal EU citizen (I was born in France).

I have applied to UNIL for a master's degree in Finance and am pretty hopeful to be accepted as it is an english program (I speak fluent French as well) and I have good grades. I would need to take out a student loan to pay for living expenses (~2000 francs/month for 8 months out of the year for 2 years).

Should I risk it all and move to Lausanne and complete the Master's degree (2 years) and try to find a job in Switzerland? Or should I stay stateside and find a job here and hope to get transferred/relocated out there.

I would really like to study at UNIL but the high cost of living and the fear of not being able to find a job is throwing me off. I also want to learn a third language, German preferably, and think being in Switzerland would help greatly.

I am originally from the Jura region of France and have visited Switzerlan many times and very much admire the country and culture.

Can any expats give me any helpful advice for my situation?

Thank you for reading this I appreciate any help!
It's good to have all of Medea's information.
But the main thing is: You only live once!
You've already applied to UNIL (you basically have already given yourself the answer), you have an EU passport, speak French (one of the Swiss languages) you'll have an occupation for the first two years should you be accepted = you've won half the battle already!
One can live with little money here - don't listen to the weirdos here who claim 150K is the starvation-limit - been there, done it. And I went for adventures with a lot less boxes ticked than you already have. And loved every minute of it.

My 2cents? Go for it!
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:09
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

If you have to take out a loan it would surely be an expensive experience, and without a guarantee of getting a job afterwards it's possible you'll spend years trying to pay it back. >32K chf of debt is a lot in switzerland. If your parents were loaning you the money, I would say go for it.
For learning german, lausanne won't help you one bit I'm afraid, or switzerland in general for that matter since swiss germans speak different varieties of swiss german.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:17
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Go for it!
Yes, and OP, please renounce your US citizenship, you don't deserve it.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:18
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Yes, and OP, please renounce your US citizenship, you don't deserve it.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:20
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Yes, and OP, please renounce your US citizenship, you don't deserve it.
No need for the hate must be a trump guy.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:21
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Well, he mentioned that given the recent political events, he values his French passport more than his U.S. passport. Hence, I hope he renounces his U.S. citizenship, it will potentially make room for somebody who actually wants to be there.

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No need for the hate must be a trump guy.
No, I'm not a Trump guy and I'm not hating, simply stating facts.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:21
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

the best Masters in Finance is at St.Gallen. Level A1 german is required (8 out of the 13 programmes are in english). It opens doors beyond Switzerland. HEC Lausanne is also good but not as well known as St.Gallen. If you have the guts to invest yourself in german go for it!
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:21
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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account was hijacked by some redneck.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:26
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Well, he mentioned that given the recent political events, he values his French passport more than his U.S. passport. Hence, I hope he renounces his U.S. citizenship, it will potentially make room for somebody who actually wants to be there.
Only, it won't work like that
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:30
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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If you have to take out a loan it would surely be an expensive experience, and without a guarantee of getting a job afterwards it's possible you'll spend years trying to pay it back. >32K chf of debt is a lot in switzerland. If your parents were loaning you the money, I would say go for it.
For learning german, lausanne won't help you one bit I'm afraid, or switzerland in general for that matter since swiss germans speak different varieties of swiss german.
Thanks for the tip, I know that the Vaud region is pretty much French only. UNIL offers free language courses that I would take advantage of and hopefully some travel to the east (for skiing of course) would help develop my german skills.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:31
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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Only, it won't work like that
It doesn't matter. There are people dying and risking their lives to reach the shores of the U.S. Millions of people whom were granted asylum at some points in their lives, who made sacrifices and endured perilous journeys in order to get a shot at the American dream....and this bougy French guy simply values his French passport more than his U.S. passport because of recent political events, then I just urge him to renounce his U.S. citizenship, as he doesn't deserve it.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:33
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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I think it depends on where you hope/plan to live your life. Financial sector jobs are shrinking here and have been for the last few years. But you also need to consider the impact your American "taint" will have on your life abroad.

Firstly, getting a bank account here is difficult. You'll have a possible choice of 3 banks only: UBS, Credit Suisse and PostFinance. None of the other Swiss banks will touch you. Also, longer term considerations - no mortgage and no investment accounts unless you're already wealthy. To open any bank account here (or elsewhere in the world for that matter) you'll be required to sign a W-9 form to allow the bank to pass the account info on to the IRS. Also if any foreign account, i.e. outside of the US, comes to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any time of the year it has to be reported on an FBAR form.

Secondly, US taxes. Because the US taxes based on citizenship, not on residency only like the rest of the world, Americans are obliged to file US tax returns no matter where they live. Start your research on that here:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...-aliens-abroad

You could eventually end up owing the US taxes on top of any Swiss ones.

Depending on whether you do value your US citizenship or not (and remember Trump can only be there for a max of 8 years) the easiest way to avoid all the above is to renounce your US citizenship, ideally before you start earning and have to file tax returns. However, you can only do that once you move abroad.

As an EU national you won't have the non-EU hiring hassle to deal with, but the Swiss are trying to curb immigration from the EU since they voted on the subject back in February 2014. This did hit snags with the EU obviously and the Swiss government has opted for a "soft" approach. But there may be further referendums on this in the future as many consider the Swiss government didn't stick with the requirements originally laid down in the 2014 vote.

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...wanderung.html

The Swiss government are also looking at changing the rules regarding getting and keeping residence permits with the aim of encouraging more integration.

Once you graduate you theoretically should be able to get a 3 month L permit to allow you to job hunt, providing you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you do so. Of course, that rule may or may not change in the 2 years of your course. Upside is that obviously having a Swiss uni degree is better in the eyes of Swiss employers than having one from elsewhere.
Thanks for your in-depth answer, I appreciate it. On the Bank account note, I have an account with a French Bank, which should at least help with some of the hassle.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of me finding ANY part-time job while I'm studying. I am hoping to be able to find a company willing to do a co-op while I study so that I can work full time during the summers but so far no luck!
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:34
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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It doesn't matter. There are people dying and risking their lives to reach the shores of the U.S. Millions of people whom were granted asylum at some points in their lives, who made sacrifices and endured perilous journeys in order to get a shot at the American dream....and this bougy French guy simply values his French passport more than his U.S. passport because of recent political events, then I simply urge him to renounce his U.S. citizenship, as he doesn't deserve it.
The logic is a bit like telling a fully sated child "eat up, think of the Biafran children starving".
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:35
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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The logic is a bit like telling a fully sated child "eat up, think of the Biafran children starving".
No, it's different. As the fully sated child didn't have to work for his/her food. It's a matter of gratitude.
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Old 21.02.2017, 22:37
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Re: Should I Risk it all and move to Lausanne from the USA?

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No, it's different. As the fully sated child didn't have to work for his/her food. It's a matter of gratitude.
funny ....in Switzerland when you decide to become swiss, it's the swiss cantonal authorities who thank you and feel honored that you choose to become swiss.
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