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Old 29.05.2012, 11:32
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Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi,
This is my first post in this forum so I would like to say a big hello to everybody. My family and I are planning to move in Neuchatel for the new school year. My question concerns my two young daughters. They are 5 and 7 years old and they donít speak French but I hope this will be solved in a matter of six months. I am informed about the way the schools work but I would like information regarding after school activities for them. We are planning to live in the city of Neuchatel. They love to do sports, play the guitar, do theatrical play etc. Also, I am thinking that especially at the beginning after school activities would be a good way to keep their minds from feeling homesick. One more question for anyone that has a similar experience. How easy it would be for them to make friends out of school. We are planning to send them to the local school so I am wondering how easy it is for someone non-Swiss to connect with Swiss and have a social life. In Greece socializing is very important to everyday life and my kids love to be with friends.
I would appreciate any comment in relation to my concerns.
Thank you, indeed.
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Old 29.05.2012, 14:47
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

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Hi,
This is my first post in this forum so I would like to say a big hello to everybody. My family and I are planning to move in Neuchatel for the new school year. My question concerns my two young daughters. They are 5 and 7 years old and they donít speak French but I hope this will be solved in a matter of six months. I am informed about the way the schools work but I would like information regarding after school activities for them. We are planning to live in the city of Neuchatel. They love to do sports, play the guitar, do theatrical play etc. Also, I am thinking that especially at the beginning after school activities would be a good way to keep their minds from feeling homesick. One more question for anyone that has a similar experience. How easy it would be for them to make friends out of school. We are planning to send them to the local school so I am wondering how easy it is for someone non-Swiss to connect with Swiss and have a social life. In Greece socializing is very important to everyday life and my kids love to be with friends.
I would appreciate any comment in relation to my concerns.
Thank you, indeed.
I don't think you will have anything to worry about at all. I'm not sure if it happens in all schools (I think it does) but when we arrived halfway through the year we received a booklet giving details of all sorts of after school activities. Ranging from Dance, sport horse riding, nature study, music and many more. I think there is even a copy on the commune's website.

As for making friends out of school I think it really depends on where you live. We live outside Neuchatel in a pretty quiet area but there is always a constant stream of kids of all ages ringing the bell for our son to go out to play. It may be a bit different in the town centre though.

Good luck with the move.
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Old 29.05.2012, 14:58
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

No problem at all - and welcome. Perfect age for the kids, and they will do fine at the local school and learn quickly. Neuchatel is a lovely small town, very friendly, by the lake and yet with the mountains all around - and with excellent transport, with direct and regular trains to Geneva for the airport. Bonne chance, and looking forward to meeting you.
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Old 30.05.2012, 12:47
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Thanks a lot for your prompt replies. It is a relief for me to know that the kids will go through this huge change in their life as easily as possible!!! It is also a very good point what you mentioned Belgianmum about how the place of living can affect the friends-making situation for kids. I wouldnít think about that in advance. We were considering living in the city center mostly because we are coming from a very crowded and busy place. Probably more posts will follow for me as our situation is progressing...Hope to meet in Neuchatel sometime.
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Old 30.05.2012, 20:49
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi Ursula,

Just wanted to say hi since we're in a very similar situation here. Our family is moving to Neuchatel this summer as well. We found a house in Peseux, basically a suburb of Neuchatel.

Our kids speak only German. They're turning 2, 5 and 7 in August. Amybe we can get in touch once both our families have moved!

Good luck!

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Hi,
This is my first post in this forum so I would like to say a big hello to everybody. My family and I are planning to move in Neuchatel for the new school year. My question concerns my two young daughters. They are 5 and 7 years old and they donít speak French but I hope this will be solved in a matter of six months. I am informed about the way the schools work but I would like information regarding after school activities for them. We are planning to live in the city of Neuchatel. They love to do sports, play the guitar, do theatrical play etc. Also, I am thinking that especially at the beginning after school activities would be a good way to keep their minds from feeling homesick. One more question for anyone that has a similar experience. How easy it would be for them to make friends out of school. We are planning to send them to the local school so I am wondering how easy it is for someone non-Swiss to connect with Swiss and have a social life. In Greece socializing is very important to everyday life and my kids love to be with friends.
I would appreciate any comment in relation to my concerns.
Thank you, indeed.
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  #6  
Old 30.05.2012, 22:48
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi Carlasmom,
I would love to meet in Neuchatel. The ages of our kids is a complete much and gradually French will solve the laungage incompatibility thing.
Take care and good luck to you too.
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Old 04.06.2012, 00:04
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi Ursula,

We look forward to having your family here. We just moved here a month ago. We have a 6 year old boy and a 7 year old girl. We will be living in the city center of Neuchatel any day now. Currently, we're in Peseux in temporary housing and just waiting for our furniture to arrive. My kids both speak English (and one speaks Spanish) and are working on French in the public schools already. Keep in touch as my kids would love to have kids to play with. With Carlasmom moving here soon with her kids, we can have some fun get-togethers.
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Old 04.06.2012, 18:36
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi bonaire,
It seems we will be a big company after all in Neuchatel this winter!! I believe very soon the language barrier between the kids will disappear. My husband and I probably will be in Neuchatel around July to find and if possible to furnish a house but the family won't move in before middle of August!! Since you have already done your research, can you give us your recommendation about the various areas of Neuchatel? My husband's work is based in the post office building down town and we are thinking of moving somewhere close. Can you give us your opinion about the city center and how did you choose to live there? Do you have any other areas to suggest?
I really look forward to meet all of you in Neuchatel and have an interesting year.
I wish you a nice staying in your new house/apartment.
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Old 08.06.2012, 12:52
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

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Hi bonaire,
It seems we will be a big company after all in Neuchatel this winter!! I believe very soon the language barrier between the kids will disappear. My husband and I probably will be in Neuchatel around July to find and if possible to furnish a house but the family won't move in before middle of August!! Since you have already done your research, can you give us your recommendation about the various areas of Neuchatel? My husband's work is based in the post office building down town and we are thinking of moving somewhere close. Can you give us your opinion about the city center and how did you choose to live there? Do you have any other areas to suggest?
I really look forward to meet all of you in Neuchatel and have an interesting year.
I wish you a nice staying in your new house/apartment.
Personally if I were you I would avoid the town centre if you have young children.
As your husband will be working in The Post Office building I would say you should maybe try looking in the areas north up the lake side or slightly south on the lake side which have good public transport links to the town.
You could try Monruz, Hauterive, St Blaise areas to the north or Auvernier, Colombier, Boudry, Serrieres to the south.
You are more likely to have contact with other families in theses areas whilst maintaing the easy access links into town. There are a couple of nice playgrounds in Neuchatel itself (one very near to the post office) but outside of town there is more open space and more possibilities for the kids to play outside with their friends.
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Old 10.06.2012, 18:05
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

So, we have found a very nice apartment in the region of Serrieres. I would like your opinion about the area and any information on the reputation of the school. In general, I was wondering if there is a way to find which the best primary schools in Neuchatel are. Also, we are still fighting with the thought of living in the city center. We like the idea of everything being close and coming from a very huge and chaotic city like Athens, Neuchatelís city center seems very friendly to as. Does anybody know the school located by the lake behind the post office of Neuchatel? It seems very nice to me although to say the truth it is the only one I have seen .
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Old 10.06.2012, 22:04
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi Ursula,

I apologize for my delayed response. I have changed my settings to let me know when somebody replies to a post I have commented on every day, so hopefully, I won't miss this again.

When we were looking at homes/flats, we looked at homes in many of the surrounding towns, the country, and a couple in Neuchatel. We chose a home about 100 meters from the castle. We just have to walk down the little street by the castle walls and we are in the heart of the town center. For us it feels like the "European" experience that many Americans envision. And it allows us to not drive as much, something else very non-American that we wanted to experience. Our kids are 6 and 7. We got very lucky as the family in the flat above us have a 3, 6, and 8 year old. And the only other house on the street has a 5 and a 9 year old. So even though we are still living in Peseux while waiting for our furniture to arrive, we were at our new home today doing some yard work and all 7 kids were running around playing together. We feel very fortunate that we found an area with so many kids. So there are areas with kids, I guess it is just a matter of finding them. I think you should move by us Let me know if you would like more detail of where we will be living.
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Old 10.06.2012, 22:19
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

How fantastic that you have a lovely little community for your kids like that!

I'm afraid I can't be of any use in answering your questions, but I wanted to say hello to all the new residents of Neuch‚tel and wish you well with your respective moves.
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Old 10.06.2012, 23:46
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Now I'm a little jealous. I'm so eager for my kids to find friends that live right next door. I'm totally curious to hear more about where you'll be living.

Originally, we had also planned to live as close to the center as possible. But we also wanted a yard for the kids to play in and schools within walking distance. I think that we found a decent compromise in Peseux. You might want to look at that area too, Ursula.

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Hi Ursula,

I apologize for my delayed response. I have changed my settings to let me know when somebody replies to a post I have commented on every day, so hopefully, I won't miss this again.

When we were looking at homes/flats, we looked at homes in many of the surrounding towns, the country, and a couple in Neuchatel. We chose a home about 100 meters from the castle. We just have to walk down the little street by the castle walls and we are in the heart of the town center. For us it feels like the "European" experience that many Americans envision. And it allows us to not drive as much, something else very non-American that we wanted to experience. Our kids are 6 and 7. We got very lucky as the family in the flat above us have a 3, 6, and 8 year old. And the only other house on the street has a 5 and a 9 year old. So even though we are still living in Peseux while waiting for our furniture to arrive, we were at our new home today doing some yard work and all 7 kids were running around playing together. We feel very fortunate that we found an area with so many kids. So there are areas with kids, I guess it is just a matter of finding them. I think you should move by us Let me know if you would like more detail of where we will be living.
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:57
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

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So, we have found a very nice apartment in the region of Serrieres. I would like your opinion about the area and any information on the reputation of the school. In general, I was wondering if there is a way to find which the best primary schools in Neuchatel are. Also, we are still fighting with the thought of living in the city center. We like the idea of everything being close and coming from a very huge and chaotic city like Athens, Neuchatelís city center seems very friendly to as. Does anybody know the school located by the lake behind the post office of Neuchatel? It seems very nice to me although to say the truth it is the only one I have seen .
It depends whereabouts in Serrieres the appartment is located as Serrieres spreads up quite a way up from the lake.
If you are down at the bottom I don't know anything about the schools but Les Charmettes up the top end has a very good reputation.
I'm not aware of any way of getting information about schools in Neuchatel. I think they're all pretty much the same really. Since you can't choose the school and have to use the school closest to where you live I don't think people pay too much attention to it. I have certainly never heard of anybody choosing to live in a certain area here because of the school as is so often the case in the UK.

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Hi Ursula,

I

When we were looking at homes/flats, we looked at homes in many of the surrounding towns, the country, and a couple in Neuchatel. We chose a home about 100 meters from the castle. We just have to walk down the little street by the castle walls and we are in the heart of the town center. For us it feels like the "European" experience that many Americans envision. And it allows us to not drive as much, something else very non-American that we wanted to experience. Our kids are 6 and 7. We got very lucky as the family in the flat above us have a 3, 6, and 8 year old. And the only other house on the street has a 5 and a 9 year old. So even though we are still living in Peseux while waiting for our furniture to arrive, we were at our new home today doing some yard work and all 7 kids were running around playing together. We feel very fortunate that we found an area with so many kids. So there are areas with kids, I guess it is just a matter of finding them.
You are lucky to have found that sort of place so close to the centre of town. I have to admit that I didn't consider the area up by the castle as town centre but it's true that you are only a short walk away. It's only really in places like that which are tucked away in a corner that you will find areas where the kids can run around and play together.
In the 'true' town centre then that kind of thing would be virtually impossible.
What's the public transport like up there?
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Old 12.06.2012, 13:55
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi Belgianmum,

I suppose town center is a matter of perspective. The last three cities I have lived in Denver/Seattle/Philadelphia are all well over 1 million people, so I would consider my current proximity as town center....but I suppose if I lived in small towns for quite a while, I could concede this was just out of town center

As for public transportation, I really haven't had a chance to figure it out yet. So far, we would just use Place Purry as it is a 10 minute walk from our house and the nexus of the public transportation in Neuchatel. I would prefer something a bit closer, but we can live with that. I think there may be a bus top closer at top of our hill or even the bottom of our hill, but by the time we wait for the bus we could probably be at Place Purry by walking. Or maybe we could just start hopping on the back of that little "road train" for tourists that goes down our street every once in a while.
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Old 12.06.2012, 22:53
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

Hi, I'm so pleased to have found this thread. Our family are planning on moving to Neuchatel this summer. My concern is for my two boys aged 12 and 14 who have no French yet. I believe that only certain schools prepare you for University and as it will take a while for them to speak French well enough to pick up their school work at a high enough level I'm a bit worried they will end up in a lower school environment. I have been advised that Le Main school does offer a transition programme but it is not a professional school and I don't know what the other options might be. Can anyone advise me please!
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Old 13.06.2012, 13:31
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

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Hi Belgianmum,

I suppose town center is a matter of perspective. The last three cities I have lived in Denver/Seattle/Philadelphia are all well over 1 million people, so I would consider my current proximity as town center....but I suppose if I lived in small towns for quite a while, I could concede this was just out of town center

As for public transportation, I really haven't had a chance to figure it out yet. So far, we would just use Place Purry as it is a 10 minute walk from our house and the nexus of the public transportation in Neuchatel. I would prefer something a bit closer, but we can live with that. I think there may be a bus top closer at top of our hill or even the bottom of our hill, but by the time we wait for the bus we could probably be at Place Purry by walking. Or maybe we could just start hopping on the back of that little "road train" for tourists that goes down our street every once in a while.
Well yes for a city dweller I agree that up there is part of the town centre.

The only reason I asked about public transport was really for grocery shopping. If you are planning to be without a car then the walk up that hill with lots of shopping could be a bit annoying although I guess being so near you can just pop down the road to get a few things every day rather than doing a big shop and there are always the home delivery options.
It is rather a nice place to live.
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Hi, I'm so pleased to have found this thread. Our family are planning on moving to Neuchatel this summer. My concern is for my two boys aged 12 and 14 who have no French yet. I believe that only certain schools prepare you for University and as it will take a while for them to speak French well enough to pick up their school work at a high enough level I'm a bit worried they will end up in a lower school environment. I have been advised that Le Main school does offer a transition programme but it is not a professional school and I don't know what the other options might be. Can anyone advise me please!
Welcome to Neuchatel. I'll be totally honest with you and say that it really won't be easy for your boys to come here at their ages and be thrown into the French speaking school environment. I assume you mean the college du Mail for the transition programme or 'classes d'acceuil' as they are called here. It's the largest of the secondary schools in Neuchatel and has a very good reputation.
As far as I can tell from the website then both your boys would be in these classes as theoretically they would be in 9th and 11th grade. They will receive intensive French lesson with the aim of bringing them up to the necessary level. I don't know how academic your boys are or what they would like to do in the future but my feeling is that it would be quite hard work for them.

We came here in 2010 with our then 10 year old. He finished the final year of primary and is now coming to the end of the orientation cycle.
We came from Belgium so he was fine with the French but he had learnt no German at all. When he went into secondary the school arranged for extra German for him as German was one of the three subjects for the cantonal exams. Fortunately for him German was only tested in the second set of exams so he had a loger period of time to get up to speed but it counted double. He picked it up really quickly and in the end German was his highest mark of the three.

He is now 12 and we will find out in the next couple of weeks which section he will go into next year.

Good luck with your boys and te move and if you want any more info feel free to send me a PM.
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Old 13.06.2012, 14:03
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

[QUOTE=Belgianmum;1580563]It depends whereabouts in Serrieres the appartment is located as Serrieres spreads up quite a way up from the lake.
If you are down at the bottom I don't know anything about the schools but Les Charmettes up the top end has a very good reputation.
I'm not aware of any way of getting information about schools in Neuchatel. I think they're all pretty much the same really. Since you can't choose the school and have to use the school closest to where you live I don't think people pay too much attention to it. I have certainly never heard of anybody choosing to live in a certain area here because of the school as is so often the case in the UK.


Hi Belgianmum,
The apartment was at the bottom of Serrieres behind PM and our friends that went there to see said there is a smell coming from the factory which is not always there. Probably it has to do with the direction of the wind. So we are still looking for our dream house. In Greece also is very common to be aware of the reputation of schools and to choose accordingly.
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Old 13.06.2012, 14:06
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

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Hi, I'm so pleased to have found this thread. Our family are planning on moving to Neuchatel this summer. My concern is for my two boys aged 12 and 14 who have no French yet. I believe that only certain schools prepare you for University and as it will take a while for them to speak French well enough to pick up their school work at a high enough level I'm a bit worried they will end up in a lower school environment. I have been advised that Le Main school does offer a transition programme but it is not a professional school and I don't know what the other options might be. Can anyone advise me please!
Hi christabelle,
Since I am about to relocate myself in Neuchatel this summer I can not be much of a help to you but I can welcome you and wich you all the best.
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Old 13.06.2012, 14:19
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Re: Plans to move in Neuchatel

[QUOTE=Ursula2012;1581889]
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It depends whereabouts in Serrieres the appartment is located as Serrieres spreads up quite a way up from the lake.
If you are down at the bottom I don't know anything about the schools but Les Charmettes up the top end has a very good reputation.
I'm not aware of any way of getting information about schools in Neuchatel. I think they're all pretty much the same really. Since you can't choose the school and have to use the school closest to where you live I don't think people pay too much attention to it. I have certainly never heard of anybody choosing to live in a certain area here because of the school as is so often the case in the UK.]


Hi Belgianmum,
The apartment was at the bottom of Serrieres behind PM and our friends that went there to see said there is a smell coming from the factory which is not always there. Probably it has to do with the direction of the wind. So we are still looking for our dream house. In Greece also is very common to be aware of the reputation of schools and to choose accordingly.
It's certainly true that you will get the tobacco smell from the factory intermittently in that area of Neuchatel. It is often more noteable higher up than down below and is really rather dependant on the weather conditions.

It is possible to get a list of all the schools in Neuchatel but there is no information about each individual school. I suppose if you have the name of the school you could see if the school has a website which could give you a bit more info.

Good luck with your continuing search. Do you not get any help from your husband's company with regard to flat hunting?
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