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Old 05.03.2017, 19:28
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Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Hello,

I am a Swiss citizen from Canada. I have never been to Switzerland, but I received citizenship through my grandfather who was born there. My French is 5/10 (from Canada being Bilingual), and I speak little to no German (as my grandparents never taught me).

I want to live and work in Switzerland just for this summer in between my studies, but I am clueless to employment prospects. Obviously I do not need to go through a visa process, as I have a passport and ID card, but the language barrier is possibly the greatest deterrence. I'm also not in contact with any family in Switzerland, so I have no resources there.

If I just arrive in Switzerland out of the blue, will I find trouble as an Anglophone finding a full time job, as well as living accommodations?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05.03.2017, 19:37
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Welcome to the Forum.

Not quite a unique situation actually.

Must off to the kitchen now so cannot dig around for you myself, but I suggest you pick a couple of relevant words and see if you can find other threads with the same theme by searching on here . And please check the stickies near the top of this section of the forum. There is quite a bit of information in there which might be useful.
And look through the Housing section for information on accomodation.
Happy Hunting.
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Old 05.03.2017, 19:42
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Not as unique as you would think. Have a look at the Ausland Schweizer Organisation (www.aso.ch), specifically: http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-to-switzerland
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Old 05.03.2017, 19:51
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Welcome to the forum.

There will probably be a few hiccups/problems for you to deal with, language being the main one I would guess. a) you're going to be competing with all the other kids on their summer break who do speak French better than you, b) you're unlikely to have many skills that an employer is going to want short term and c) only being here for a few months. Summer jobs are likely to have been snapped up by the time you arrive.

These threads may help:

where to look for jobs with no job qualifications

http://www.aso.ch/files/webcontent/r..._with_logo.pdf

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-t...-to-find-a-job

You may not be able to find anything straightaway so should work to the figure of CHF100 per day to support yourself while you look. Which means for a 3 month stay, you'll need around CHF9,000.

Keep to the western side of Switzerland where French is spoken and also see if there's anything on these job websites that may suit:

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch
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Old 05.03.2017, 21:49
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Thank you for the welcomes!

I just spent the past couple hours reading the stories of other Swissabroad's attempting to repatriate back to Switzerland for the first time. I'm probably more uncertain now than I was before.

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You may not be able to find anything straightaway so should work to the figure of CHF100 per day to support yourself while you look. Which means for a 3 month stay, you'll need around CHF9,000.
That's absolutely not possible. I have a past job that I can return to in Spain that lasts 3 months. If I use weekends to travel to Switzerland, I'd like to imagine I can sort out employment and accommodations while I work in Spain?

My main focus is to put myself in an environment where I can begin to develop my French and German skills.
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Old 05.03.2017, 22:07
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

If you are in Spain, look at the options of back/forth with Easyjet. If you are near an airport where they fly (to/from Geneva), it will be your cheapest option for your trips to check out the situation.

You have not really told us anything about yourself (that might help people help you). Why don't you take a moment and do that. There is a lot of experience on EF that might be able to help you. At the same time, people here can be/should be very blunt in telling you how things are. Not how they might be in some "dream world" that people (I am not saying you) might have of the situation.

Depending on where you are/were living in Canada (unless in QC), your French is not great (unless you have some other justification to say it is - i.e. going to Toronto French School etc.). Since you have no German, people are rightly directing you towards the Suisse Romande area where you might have more of a chance.

Good luck in any event.
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Old 05.03.2017, 22:27
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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My main focus is to put myself in an environment where I can begin to develop my French and German skills.
Quite honestly, I see no reason at all why you cannot get stuck into learning one of these languages without being in Switzerland. The more you know before you come, the better your chances of striking lucky in your search for accomodation and a job.

In the dim and distance past, it was a case of buying a set of 78 rpm Linguaphone gramophone records and listening to them until you either went mad or learned some of the basics. These days there are online courses, books, Teach Yourself Books with CDs. Check out threads on here to get more ideas.
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Old 05.03.2017, 22:38
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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If you are in Spain, look at the options of back/forth with Easyjet. If you are near an airport where they fly (to/from Geneva), it will be your cheapest option for your trips to check out the situation.

You have not really told us anything about yourself (that might help people help you). Why don't you take a moment and do that. There is a lot of experience on EF that might be able to help you. At the same time, people here can be/should be very blunt in telling you how things are. Not how they might be in some "dream world" that people (I am not saying you) might have of the situation.

Depending on where you are/were living in Canada (unless in QC), your French is not great (unless you have some other justification to say it is - i.e. going to Toronto French School etc.). Since you have no German, people are rightly directing you towards the Suisse Romande area where you might have more of a chance.

Good luck in any event.
Je vais en Espagne cet ete. I can't believe I've never heard of Easyjet. Flights from Valencia to Geneva can be had for under 30 euros, so that will make things so much easier.

Well, I'm 21 years old. I am a university student in Canada, which is why I would like to only go for the summer. It seems that Switzerland's job market is hyper competitive, so I'm not sure my work experience will be so attractive. I've worked in high-end retail for years, construction work in the summers (but I'm afraid certifications may be non-transferable), and I teach English in Spain.

Vous etes correct. Je ne parle pas bien. J'ai habite et travaille a Montreal pour quatre mois. Il etait suffisant pour de travailler dans un cuisine, mais quelque fois pas facile.
You're correct. My French is not great. I lived and worked in Montreal for a season just to experiment, and my French developed enough for me to work in the kitchen of a nice restaurant, but I still struggle.

Is there any other information to tell that will help you help me?
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Old 05.03.2017, 22:59
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Well, if you want bi-lingual then look to move to either Bienne or Fribourg. The city of Bienne is bi-lingual, while the whole canton of Fribourg is. You'll hear both languages being spoken all the time, cashiers, etc, swopping between the two depending on who they're serving.
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Old 06.03.2017, 18:36
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Being Swiss is an amazing privilege. It means you can walk right into Switzerland, even without a cent, and be entitled to social help. To many people who have contributed to the economy andpaid taxes, simply turning up and asking for state help doesn't sound like a fair or ethical thing to do, but it is, nevertheless, your birthright.

I commend you for wanting to find a job!

As to the money side of things, yes, wade through the threads linked above and the links JagWaugh gave.

I agree with both Longbyt and Medea: learn as much French (and some starter German) before you get here. It is amazing what an intense, 10-hour day of it can do, plus 2x 30 min per week, from now till then. And then go to live in a bilingual city.

I'd recommend joining couchsurfing, and using it well before you get here, so as to build up a good array of references. These will stand you in good stead when looking for short-term free accommodation, and then for longer-term a room to rent in a shared flat. Start reading profiles of couchsurfers in the bilingual cities, and perhaps contact some you think you'd get along with, by mail.

You might also like to read medfordgirl's thread for tips on contacting your Swiss relations. It could be a fun thing to do, or at the very least socio-anthropologically interesting. From the culture here, you can't automatically count on being welcomed with open arms, but still, it's worth trying because someone in the extended family (if you can trace them) might be interested in meeting you (if you have written to them nicely, beforehand).
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Old 06.03.2017, 18:51
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

How are your swimming skills? Public baths are usually looking for workers/life safers just over the summer. The job isn't paid well, and thus quite unattractive, language skills aren't needed that highly I'd guess, and I feel no teenager does qualify for it (You'd not want your lifesafer looking like he couldn't even buy a beer at Denner, would you? )
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Old 06.03.2017, 18:54
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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How are your swimming skills? Public baths are usually looking for workers/life safers just over the summer. The job isn't paid well, and thus quite unattractive, language skills aren't needed that highly I'd guess, and I feel no teenager does qualify for it (You'd not want your lifesafer looking like he couldn't even buy a beer at Denner, would you? )
You probably only watched life guards on tv? I do not care how old they are as long as they know what to do and how to save people.

They do start their training quite young often
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Old 06.03.2017, 19:03
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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You probably only watched life guards on tv? I do not care how old they are as long as they know what to do and how to save people.

They do start their training quite young often
I agree, age doesn't matter. However, this kind of jobs (Bademeister) are usually for the full summer season, ie for 3 months. Teenagers can't do this kind of job (their holiday is 5-6 weeks usually in Switzerland)

35 jobs currently on offer, most of them temporary for the upcoming summer season:

http://jobsuchmaschine.ch/en/jobs/?query=Bademeister

Anyway, I've pre-filtered for "western Switzerland" and temporary:

http://jobsuchmaschine.ch/en/jobs/?r...pe-ids%5B%5D=1

There are other job searching websites (like jobs.ch) - plenty of temporary assignments.

Someone mentioned going for "social benefits". This will not really work in his case. Basically, his savings would have to be extremely low for that, and he'd need to have the intention to settle permanently in Switzerland. He can't come here (even as Swiss citizen) for a few months "holidays" and get social benefits for doing so. On top of that, most cities I know do have some work they're sending their receivers of social benefits to (Cleaning roads, operating bicycle stations, basic gardening..) - those are no fun jobs.
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Old 06.03.2017, 19:08
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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Public baths are usually looking for workers/life safers just over the summer.
These days 'public baths' have high tech chemical cleaning systems and at the pools I frequent the same guys and gals are responsible for this as well as life saving. In summer, many pools are closed for weeks for cleaning, renovation, check ups and repairs. Good opportunity as folk are away or at an open air pool, river or lake anyway.

Regarding language skills- well I sure hope the life guards at the pools or lakes where my grandchildren swim understand them first try if they want to say that someone is in difficulty!
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Old 06.03.2017, 19:15
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

There are usually jobs on the building sites in Summer.
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Old 07.03.2017, 01:22
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Can you sing and play the guitar or another easily portable musical instrument?

In some cities, busking is allowed, and if you are good, and keep moving around so that you always respect the police limits (and each city has its own rules), you could actually make money this way.

See, for example, about busking in Zurich: New (both in forum and Switzerland)
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Old 10.03.2017, 00:42
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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There are usually jobs on the building sites in Summer.
I think this is what would suit me best. And they hire simple labourers? I won't need any serious-sounding international certifications?
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Old 10.03.2017, 08:08
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

Bear in mind that the construction industry shuts down for several weeks in August due to school holidays.
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Old 10.03.2017, 09:02
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

It is admirable that you want to learn German, but I think that would distract you in such a short time. Concentrate on improving your French and seek work to the west of Berne and Bienne.

What are you studying in Montreal, is that not relevant?

For building work I think you need to present a safety certificate, which you get after completing a course.

You should be able to find work in the hotel or restaurant industries, sometimes they have shared accommodation.
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Old 10.03.2017, 11:40
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Re: Unique situation? Swiss abroad

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Being Swiss is an amazing privilege. It means you can walk right into Switzerland, even without a cent, and be entitled to social help. To many people who have contributed to the economy andpaid taxes, simply turning up and asking for state help doesn't sound like a fair or ethical thing to do, but it is, nevertheless, your birthright.

Anyone from any country appears to be able to do that in the U.K!
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