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Old 29.01.2012, 18:56
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Moving to Zurich 2012 - School-Housing Commute Information

Hello!

My family of 6 is moving to Zurich this summer and have very confusing options because of school availability. While it sounds doable but crazy, could we get a sense about living in the Herrliberg/Erlenbach area, take the Horgen ferry to the other side of the lake and have the children attend the International school of Zug & Luzern or the Zurich International School?

We have 3 spaces available in ZIS for Primary & Middle School kids but none for High School. The ISZL may have space for all 4. The InterCommunity School - no space.

We prefer the Herrliberg area and really like the Zumikon & ICS area over the other side of the lake - Kilchberg, Thalwil...

Thanks!
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Old 29.01.2012, 19:11
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Re: Moving to Zurich 2012 - School-Housing Commute Information

How do the children get to Meilen and what do they do when they get off the ferry in Horgen? The ferry is basically a car ferry; it's a walk from there to the Horgen 'lakeside' station and the trains don't go through there on their way to Zug or Luzern anyway. For that you need the Horgen Oberdorf station. I'd advise you to check out the normal boats that cross the lake if you are thinking of living on the opposite side to their schools. Thalwil is your best bet for boat > railway > Zug or Luzern. Check out the Public Tranposrt Sticky at the top of the Transport forum.
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Old 29.01.2012, 19:12
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Re: Moving to Zurich 2012 - School-Housing Commute Information

First thing is that I don't know if the Horgen ferry runs all year around - sometimes the lake is frozen or there is bad weather.

Secondly, the primary and middle school for ZIS are different campuses. There would be a lot of commuting and coordination to be driving around to pick up the kids...

Thirdly, if you live so far away, the kids are going to have zero possibility of taking the public transport to/from school, or friend's houses. That is something that is 'done' in Switzerland - my kids arrived at age 6.5 and 9 and they within 6 months they started coming home from school via tram and bus without a parent. It's an awesome freedom/responsibility and sure saves a lot of commuting time for everyone!

Are your kids all going to primary school ? How long are you planning to stay ?

What seems 'logical' when you are a two-parent-two-car and small kids family, becomes very illogical as soon as the kids want a bit of freedom to go out by themselves.

And especially in the winter time, the roads can be treacherous and the traffic very challenging. That's when the awesome swiss public transport system really comes into the fore. There have been plenty of days when driving would be virtually impossible, but the trains and buses run.

I'm a big fan of living close to the school. Have you considered Zug area or somewhere within easy access of the commuter trains for your primary income earner, and local transport for the kids ?

Anything over 30 minutes commuting time is considered 'pretty far' for the locals, but coming from Sydney, Australia, 60-90 minutes is acceptable...the thing that we find the hardest is that in winter you can leave for work/school in the dark, and come home in the dark....so I'd much rather cut down the time spent in the car hurrying home because it's going to get very dark and very cold as soon as the sun goes down...
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Old 30.01.2012, 10:15
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Re: Moving to Zurich 2012 - School-Housing Commute Information

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First thing is that I don't know if the Horgen ferry runs all year around - sometimes the lake is frozen or there is bad weather.
The ferry runs all year round unless there is really very bad weather. Freezing is no problem though, last time the lake was frozen over was 1963.

Still, I'd advise against the ferry option.

If you were planing on letting the kids go by themselves with public transports, the walk from Meilen train station to the ferry is not too long but crosses the Seestrasse, with very heavy (and fast) traffic. The most direct way leads through a crossing with no traffic lights.

If you thought about driving them, keep in mind it will be a long way for you, and the ferry is very full at rush hours (i.e. at office/school starting times). You face a commute of over an hour per way.

Either look for a place on the Horgen side of the lake or think about other schools on the Meilen side, such as local Swiss schools or bilingual privat schools (Lakeside in Küsnacht and SIS in Männedorf come to mind, although I can't give any info on quality of education for either).
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Old 01.02.2012, 17:51
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Re: Moving to Zurich 2012 - School-Housing Commute Information

Thank you for your replies - Longbyt, swisspea & mordae.

All the places mentioned are very nice areas to live. It's such a shame that the houses available that we liked & can afford make the school-work-home commute less than ideal. Thank you for all your input. We're keeping fingers crossed about schools. Public transport would be great but private car is also an option within a reasonable time schedule.

Thank you mordae for the bilingual schools you mentioned. We'll have a look at them too!
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