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Old 10.11.2011, 22:48
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Family of 3 needs help deciding where to live

Hi everyone,

We are in desperate need of some advice as to where to live. We are unsure as to whether to live (a) in Geneva (b) in a neighboring area such as Lausanne or (c) France. I am sure you get this question time and time again, but I will try to give you as much information on my specific family so that you could advice us to the best of your knowledge. Any info you have is IMMENSELY appreciated.

My husband is planning on finding work in Geneva in the next year. He is Director of communications at an NGO in the U.S and will be finding a similar position. He is Scottish and thus is an EU citizen.

I am American and my daughter (4 years old) is both EU and American.

My husband has decent French but not fluent.


The kind of area we are looking for:
1) We like the feel a small city.
2) We do not like a really quiet suburban/ small town atmosphere. We are very active-love to walk around in a city, like lots of activities, classes etc. Want to live in an area that has a lot going on within walking (bus ride/ train) distance. For example I took a cooking class, belly dancing and Japanese class all last year.
3) We want an international atmosphere- we have lived around the world-Japan etc and I speak Japanese as well as my daughter.
4) We are very artsy- I love to write music, we like to go to music shows, art events, markets, cafes, theater etc.
5) We love beautiful old architecture (for example we prefer the look of Lausanne over Geneva architecture wise)

The commute:
My husband will only take the train. We want a commute that is no more than 45 minutes long.

The apartment:
As for the apartment, we are not picky and don't need much room. We lived in Asia for years. A normal 2 or 3 bedroom somewhere would do us just fine in a safe area (which I here is pretty much all of Geneva unlike here in the States).

If anyone can give us any advice on places we can start looking in/ around and over the border into France that meet this criteria, please let us know! Also, let me know what realistically we can do as well if this is not possible.

Thank you so much!

Collette
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Old 11.11.2011, 09:47
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Re: Family of 3 needs help deciding where to live

First, use the search function, the issue of Geneva, Lausanne, neighboring France has been discussed many times, so while perhaps not exact to your situation, it will give you an idea of some things.

Here are some direct comments below on your situation.

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My husband is planning on finding work in Geneva in the next year.
Good luck with that, seems everybody is fleeing to Geneva/CH for econmic reasons, large influx of Greek and Spanish flooding the job and housing markert according to news recently.

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I am American and my daughter (4 years old) is both EU and American.
If you never plan on working, France could be ok for you. But not sure if you could get a frontalier permit worker if living in France being non-EU. To look into if you want to work. Of course for your husband no problem either way.

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The kind of area we are looking for:
1) We like the feel a small city.
2) We do not like a really quiet suburban/ small town atmosphere. We are very active-love to walk around in a city, like lots of activities, classes etc. Want to live in an area that has a lot going on within walking (bus ride/ train) distance. For example I took a cooking class, belly dancing and Japanese class all last year.
3) We want an international atmosphere- we have lived around the world-Japan etc and I speak Japanese as well as my daughter.
4) We are very artsy- I love to write music, we like to go to music shows, art events, markets, cafes, theater etc.
5) We love beautiful old architecture (for example we prefer the look of Lausanne over Geneva architecture wise)
If you really want the vibrance and amenities above, then I would definitely rule out France, unless you want to commute from Lyon, and that would be outside of your commuting time mentioned.

Geneva and Lausanne both have their qualities and while similar they are a bit different. Geneva is more international that is for sure, you would find Japanese people, english spoken most everywhere, whereas Lasuanne, this aspect is much less. Expect more of a swiss-french culture in Lausanne, and the need to speak french on a daily basis. Otherwise I think both have the amenities you look for, depending how central or on the outskirts of the city you are.

Direct train connection from Lausanne-Geneva is from 33 to 44 minutes depending on the type of train and direct or not. But as I've said in other threads, this is just train station to train station. The chances of working and living just a stones throw from the train station at both ends of the journey is very slim. As both cities are quite congested, it is easy to add 20 minutes to both ends of the journey, then your husband is easily facing a 1 hr.+ journey each way. Really think about this, is it worth commuting such a distance and how it will impact on family time. I would estimate at least a 1 hour one way commute to/from Lausanne, but alot depends on how far you will be to train station on both ends.

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The commute:
My husband will only take the train. We want a commute that is no more than 45 minutes long.
You might as well forget living in France then. France and public transport do not belong in the same sentence.

Also, just to add, you did not mention schooling for your daughter, but keep in mind schooling starts in this area at age 4, so good also to have an idea if you are going the local, private, or international route, this may impact significantly on where you want to live, ie. french curriculum vs. swiss curriculum vs. anglo (US or UK) curriculum.
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Old 12.11.2011, 11:36
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Re: Family of 3 needs help deciding where to live

Bonjour Collette,

I am a bit partial to Lausanne, and your brief suggests this could be a place to live that ticks most, if nearly all, of your boxes.

If you love modern jazz we have one of the best clubs in Europe, Chorus.

http://www.chorus.ch/Chorus_Cadre.htm

The programme they put on Thursday to Saturday nights of live jazz is outstanding, and has a great jazz 'cave' environment under the 'vaults'. A great bunch of jazzers come here to soak it up. Just recently jazz monster Antonio Sanchez came with his trio. Antonio is Pat Metheny's drummer in the Pat Metheny Group, since 2004, taking over from Paul Wertico (another jazz monster).

Most Thursday night's entry is free for the gig.

And down the road to the east, right on the lake, in Cully in the Lavaux region, is the best kept secret Jazz Festival - usually end of March and April. http://www.cullyjazz.ch/

As far as art every first Saturday of the month 15 museums open their doors for free. Including Art Brut, Elysee (Photographic), Riponne, etc.

http://www.lausanne.ch/view.asp?docI...285&language=E

And for me we are on a very excellent piece of ground, the town on the northern shores of Lake Geneva, with the slope of Lausanne going to the south to the lake's edge, which is excellent orientation for the winter month's low sun. Geneva is notorious in the winter for having its monthly sun light measured in periods of hours, not days!!

And you are not far from the Lavaux wine region that is UNESCO protected vineyards with steep south facing terraced vineyards. Great walks, without cars, are abundant, with those views that plunge down to the lake and across to France. Plus a wine cave or two to check out their wares!!! Usually a Chassella white!

http://www.lavaux.ch/
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