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  #41  
Old 27.07.2011, 15:48
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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Hey hey, the language ! I don't speak German at all yet. But i am willing to learn. I talk with Biff about the possibility to work with children (Biff, if you read me ), in an international school. I don't have any experience, but yet, worth the try.

But I won't find anything prior to our move (mainly because there one month left before the D-day). So I won't be any help in increasing our budget to find a place....
The language makes it harder, but not impossible, to find a job.
What field are you currently working in? Then use that experience to find a position in an international company and take it from there.

Last edited by BHBT; 27.07.2011 at 15:55. Reason: it's but, not nut...doh
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  #42  
Old 27.07.2011, 15:53
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Hi Amande! I know how it is, being a postdoc myself (luckily paid 100%) - sometimes I feel some of us scientists should have never gotten our PhDs being stupid enough to agree on outrageous working conditions just to be able to do what we love Your husband should definetly try to write a grant proposal for his project to obtain his own (100%) funding: good options would be the Marie Curie IEFs and the ETH fellowships - closing dates should be september-ish so hurry up and good luck!

(BTW we applied for our appartment while still in Munich, having no Swiss bank account and having never seen it - we got lucky with the previous tenants who agreed to mail us the application forms and to our biggest suprise they proposed us as their 'nachmieter' to the agency - so the weekend after i quickly made my way to Zurich to check if it is not the most horrible place but in fact it was great and exactly what we needed...I guess we got lucky that not that many people came to see the place and maybe the previous tenants wanted to help us poor foreigners out - they were a Swiss-Swedish couple and the guy was also working at the ETH!)

I talked about your option to my husband, and it sounds like a great idea !! he is looking for the modality of fellowships. i don't know if he holds any chance as he already has fundings, even low, for his postdoc. But we definitely will look if it is possible. i feel stupid that i didn't think of it

How lucky you were with your flat ! That's nice to know that things like that can happen ! You don't plan to move in september by any chance ?!

Thanks again for your brillant advice !

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The language makes it harder, nut not impossible, to find a job.
What field are you currently working in? Then use that experience to find a position in an international company and take it from there.
Well, i am complicated... (hey, it would have been to easy otherwise!), I graduated in communication and fashion design but my experience is mostly in graphic design. I know, i should have done something like banking, doctor or whatever brings job opportunities and money. Stupid youth

I have few things in my mind that I will try. But our moving day is to soon for me to be any help with the budget.

Last edited by Longbyt; 27.07.2011 at 19:21. Reason: same poster, same theme, consecutive posts
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  #43  
Old 27.07.2011, 16:44
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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i don't know if he holds any chance as he already has fundings, even low, for his postdoc.
Absolutely! They will just exchange the salary for the fellowship. Have a look at the EMBO, HFSP and FEBS fellowships too which are also for the life science field. There is not much time, if your husband decides to apply, send me a PM, I am happy to share my *almost* succesful fellowship applications from last year! Also, the professor should be happy to help out as getting your own funding means he can save the salary...
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  #44  
Old 27.07.2011, 17:06
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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Absolutely! They will just exchange the salary for the fellowship. Have a look at the EMBO, HFSP and FEBS fellowships too which are also for the life science field. There is not much time, if your husband decides to apply, send me a PM, I am happy to share my *almost* succesful fellowship applications from last year! Also, the professor should be happy to help out as getting your own funding means he can save the salary...

Waouh, this is so nice of you. We'll talk about it, see the possibilities, and I come back to you !
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  #45  
Old 27.07.2011, 20:49
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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Actually, that is highly uncommon. While PhDs typically have a 60% job , post docs get 100%, meaning about 80-90k.
That sounds about right. Did a phD here myself, was getting paid 50%. Knew others in same field (biology) paid 60ish%. Postdocs were usually paid 80-100% depending on institute, uni vs ETH, phase of the moon, etc...

Yep this is a PhD salary for a postdoc position. 2 people could live on it but you'll need to be **really** careful.
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  #46  
Old 17.10.2011, 12:22
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

I think that as a whole, it is much harder for a 'foreigner' to attain housing than someone who is Swiss. Harder but certainly not impossible.

To anyone not yet in Switzerland, I strongly recommend that you book temporary housing for your first few months. It's worth it as you will have time to register, sort out health insurance and so forth. Plus, you can personally see the different areas and ensure you're choosing one that fits your needs. You should also be able to get a debt printout although obviously, it won't cover a lot of time. But in my experience, landlords as a whole are adamant to have this document.

My experience over the last six weeks of searching for a flat has been overall not bad. I've looked at many flats but only applied for three. I got an offer on one (the one I wanted most..hoorah!) and was the second in line for another. I think, however, that I possibly went above and beyond the minimum requirements in terms of documentation. Yes, it's onerous and lengthy to assemble but better than viewing heaps of flats and getting rejection after rejection.

Here is my recommendation list. Please also ensure you either mail or hand deliver (ideal) the application package no later than the following day after viewing.

1. Covering letter. I write a full page. The introductory paragraph thanks them for their time/visit and shares why I think the place is so ideal for my needs. Be strategic. If it's a family-oriented building and you have children, mention it. Then, I summarize everything in my application by mentioning salary/financial stability, no debts and future goals in Switzerland (i.e. this is good to show long-term intention to stay). I also mention things like no pets, no playing instruments and non-smoking. I emphasize that I have contents insurance and 3rd party liability insurance. I close by giving my preferred move-in date and wishing them a lovely day. I personally sign the letter and format it as you would a business letter, with all contact details up top, along with the date. Put in a smiling photograph of yourself up top as well.

2. Application form - neatly filled out, of course.

3. Betreibungsamt (debt paper)

4. Copy of contents insurance and 3rd party liability insurance.

5. Copy of passport and copy of residence permit. It never hurts to confirm what's in the application form.

6. Copy of work contract. Highlight salary and bonus with a marker. Again, they will probably call work to confirm but it looks professional and honest to include it.

7. Copy of CV. It shows professionalism and can give additional confidence in you as a tenant.

Hope this helps. =)
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  #47  
Old 17.10.2011, 13:01
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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6. Copy of work contract. Highlight salary and bonus with a marker. Again, they will probably call work to confirm but it looks professional and honest to include it.

7. Copy of CV. It shows professionalism and can give additional confidence in you as a tenant.

Hope this helps. =)
Great post.

- 6 and 7 are a bit OTT in my opinion. They would not get a copy of my work contract if it kills me!
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  #48  
Old 17.10.2011, 13:14
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

Hello all !

Now that we are in Switzerland, maybe I can tell you how it worked for us to find a place, it might help and comfort future expats

We came 10 days in august to find a place, and it was enough in our case. We visited lot of flats, but not as much as I thought we would. I think we saw ... maybe 15 flats and filled a application form for each. We had 2 positive answers and took the first landlord who accepted us. Knowing that we have a dog and a ridiculous income, it is not that bad.

But of course, we were not very picky on the flat. We are not in the most desirable area, as we are about 25kms away from the airport and sometimes have planes noises. Yet, our flat is clean and almost new, and we have the nicest neighbors. We are in a small building, in a very green and friendly lane. We are in a small and calm village, yet only 20min away for Oerlikon, and that was what we were looking for.

So, I would say that it is possible to find a quite nice place to live pretty easily if you don't necessarily want to be in the most sought after area. We did visit a flat very well located in Zurich, it was a 30min open visit and we were 50 in the 1 bedroom flat at the same time ! Worse than Disneyworld on spring break !

So yes, if you plan to live in Zurich, or by the lake, take a short term rental as it will take few months to find a place. Little_Isabella is right, if you have all the papers with you, and are very reactive, it will help a lot.

For us, it was particular as our landlord didn't ask for any paper. We just filled a form with our contact number and voilà ! Pretty unusual, but it happens too.

To conclude, I would say that the situation in Zurich isn't worse than in any other big city in the world. Don't worry, you will find a place to live ! Switzerland is a very safe country and that's really fortunate because you can basically live anywhere without fear for yourself. I don't think Swiss people even realize how lucky they are to have such a safe country ! Or maybe they are, and that's why there are all these "go away you stranger" poster everywhere. I can't blame them for that, but that's another story

Last edited by Amande; 17.10.2011 at 15:53. Reason: Sorry for the bad grammar ...
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  #49  
Old 17.10.2011, 15:07
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Re: Am I doing it wrong ? [trying to rent a place]

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Great post.

- 6 and 7 are a bit OTT in my opinion. They would not get a copy of my work contract if it kills me!
OTT? Good thing I didn't mention I also put in a copy of my recent physical.

(I jest, I jest). ;p
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