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Old 04.09.2011, 21:17
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Geneva vs. Lausanne for kids

I will start a new job at WIPO on Sept 19. My office is close to the Geneva gare so commuting into work par train would be very convenient.

For languages, we should be okay with French speaking schools, especially with the 2 year old. We have two daughters - 4.5 and 2. Both children are fluent in English. The 2 year old has been getting exclusively French (no English) from me since birth, exclusively Spanish from our primary babysitter, and English from her mother. The 4.5 year old has been hearing me speak to the 2 year old, listening to French songs and some French books since birth. With help from Muzzy (BBC language program for kids) for about a month, they are both ramping up very quickly.
Our main concern is finding an EXCELLENT (relatively free) public school for our 4.5 yr old daughter.

Our other priorities (not as important but nice to have) - quality of life, walk to shops and market, and international community. We would ideally like to experience the stereotypical French lifestyle of being able to walk to everything we need.

We have been to Geneva for a 2-3 week visit. It didn't seem to match the stereotypical French lifestyle we are seeking.

We are avid mountain bikers and skiers and enjoy almost all outdoor activities.
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Old 04.09.2011, 21:29
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Re: Geneva vs. Lausanne for kids

Hello and welcome here. I think it would be the best to drop by at the intro section, and then ask a specific question.

So, you are asking whether LS or GE? I don't think you will get a stereotypical chic and exciting French life style in either. LS is smaller, but fast, hip and full of kids, students. Very local. GE is corporate, but I love the parks and have spend weeks in them with my bub. Smaller towns around Geneva would be the answer to you, if you work in GE, perhaps. Coppet, Nyon, Morges. It's a short way from hills from there, too, and close to the lake which is lovely in the summer.
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Old 04.09.2011, 21:33
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Re: Geneva vs. Lausanne for kids

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I think it would be the best to drop by at the intro section, and then ask a specific question.
..the questions themselves being posted, of course, in the relevant sections.
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Old 05.09.2011, 09:05
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Re: Geneva vs. Lausanne for kids

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We have been to Geneva for a 2-3 week visit. It didn't seem to match the stereotypical French lifestyle we are seeking.
If you are looking for a 'sterotypcial French lifestyle', then living in France is possibly what you are looking for. But then you will be definitely car dependent. Switzerland is not France, and France is not Switzerland. The two areas you are discussing, are some of the largest metropolitan areas of Switzerland, not the French countryside.

Not sure if this perfect existence you are looking for exists anywhere.

Anyhow, if schools is your first priority, look at the 'sticky' for info on schooling, and look at Geneva, Vaud, and France. Geneva and Vaud public schools are similar yet different. And yet, there is no way to choose an 'excellent' public school, it depends entirely on where you live and where they assign you, you have no choice.

If lifestyle is important and want a comparison of Geneva and Lausanne, use the 'search' function, the pros and cons of the two cities have been discussed here many times.

If quality of life is important to you, then not sure why you would even be considering such a long train commute from Lausanne to WIPO. While indeed, the train connection is anywhere from 33 to 51 minutes, depending on type of train, it is the commuting to/from the station that will add to an already significant commute on the train. Unless living/working right at the train station (and WIPO is not exactly at Gare Cornavin), add a significant 20-50 minutes more to your commute. Facing a 1 hr`+ commute each day does not equal quality of life in my calculations.
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