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Old 04.02.2012, 03:39
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How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Hi everyone. I am new here and will start right away with a question.

Our family will move to Preverenges in summer, and we are wondering how life is there? Anyone from there, around EPFL?
Grocery stores, gym, classes for kids, etc. Or is everything in Lausannes and Morgue?

We are from Switzerland originally, but moved away 7 years ago, and will now come back for a year for a sabbatical. We dont' speak french that well, neither do the kids, age 6 and 4....

Any advice for us?

Thanks a lot. This forum is great, got many interesting views already, coming from both sides, being Swiss and being kind of Canadian already after 6 years of living there.
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Old 04.02.2012, 05:45
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

All fair N' fine... But it is Morges.... morgue is rather a ... Ahem, a stock for dead people?
Preveranges is cute, fairly bucolic, on the lakeside, expensive with someof the lowest tax rates in tha area. A few de ent restaurants (rather 5 or 6 than 20), schools and a church (pretty looking from the outside).
Good connections, but a car is highly recommended.

Epfl folks gravitate directly to Lausanne...
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Old 04.02.2012, 10:31
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Hi and welcome!

We moved from northeast U.S. to Lausanne area with 4 children, also for an EPFL sabbatical. We originally looked to live up the hill from the university, but decided on an apartment within easy walking distance to lake, school, shops and public transport instead.

Honestly, sometimes I wish we lived up the hill in a house. Then life would have seemed much more like what we were used to in the U.S., where we left our big sunny house with its gardens, apple orchard, pond, and woods.

Yet by living in our village we are able to enjoy community life more easily, with a host of activities just outside our door. It's extremely charming. If we are lucky enough to be able to stay long term, I'd ultimately look to move up the hill, but for a sabbatical this was an excellent choice. This is our third sabbatical in French-speaking Europe, so we were able to draw from past experiences.

I have to go back to the children, but you can pm me if you have further questions. Good luck!
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Old 27.02.2012, 15:09
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

I live in Lausanne but Préverenges, Saint-Prex , Saint-Sulpice, Pully, Lutry are my prefered places in this region. Welcome to your "country"!
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Old 27.02.2012, 16:12
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

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Hi everyone. I am new here and will start right away with a question.

Our family will move to Preverenges in summer, and we are wondering how life is there? Anyone from there, around EPFL?
Grocery stores, gym, classes for kids, etc. Or is everything in Lausannes and Morgue?
Hi,

I live in Préverenges. As others have said, it's a nice place, supposedly the best beach in Switzerland (yes, we have a beach - by the lake). However it's a little short on the kind of amenities you're asking about.

I do my food shopping in Morges. There's an Aldi, Coop and Migros there. There is a little bakery / grocery shop in Préverenges which is good if you've run out of milk or something, but rather expensive. There's also a butchers (never been, so can't comment). I wouldn't say you could do anything like a weekly shop in Préverenges.

Gym - not really. There are weekly classes for women in the local school, which I went to twice. But it was the kind of class where you all do the same thing at the same time, there was a rather clique-y feel and of course it was all in French! Oh, and there was a lot of dancing. I have two left feet, so I found it a nightmare trying to follow the instructions and keep up and do what everyone else was doing!

There are some doctors in Préverenges, but I don't know if they speak English or if they're taking on new patients. I go to a doctor in Morges. I changed my doctors (last week) and I had to ring 10 surgeries before I found one who would take a new patient on. And I wasn't looking for an English speaking doctor either. I would suggest you avoid the 'Centre Medical' in Morges and find a private surgery. I went to the Centre Medical when I first came here, as I liked the idea of it being open 7 days a week. But I found that the doctors seem to leave very frequently, so you're not really 'followed'. If you do need out of hours help, Vidy Med is good (between Préverenges and Lausanne).

There's a nice little square in Préverenges with little shops: dry cleaners - who from what I've read on here offer very fast service for Switzerland, post office, pharmacy (I don't go there that often as with my doctors in Morges it's easier to go to a pharmacy in Morges, but they're always very friendly), great craft shop, hairdresser etc. I think there may be some kind of yoga centre there too. At Christmas there's a Christmas market in the square, all local people selling things.

At the beach you can rent out boats (well, I think they might be those boats you pedal).

Activities for children - there's a storyteller, a garderie for little ones, I think there may be some kind of daycare centre too. I'm not sure, not having children myself. Down the road in St Sulpice there an educational centre called EduKids, who provide English language activities for children (I worked there for a short time, but since then the ownership has changed).

Transport wise, I don't have a car and I manage fine. There's a bus that goes between EPFL and Morges / Echichens. Fairly regular, and at EPFL you can get the metro into Lausanne; Morges is a fairly big train station. There's also a little train station just outside of the village (Lonay-Préverenges), which has two trains an hour - one towards Lausanne, the other towards Morges. Can be useful!

One word of warning: the buses that serve Préverenges are apparently being 're-routed' at the end of August. No information as yet about how or where. But I can't believe they'd get rid of our only bus to Morges! I suspect that they may be going to change the route within Morges town.

Others have said tax is low. Rent, on the other hand, is high. But it's also a very caring commune - I've been getting social aid for the past two years, and both Christmases I've received a very nice letter from the commune wishing me a happy Christmas and informing me that they're giving me 180 CHF as a present. I've asked other people in the same situation as me and they've all been amazed, so it's obviously not a 'normal' thing. But very nice!

I hope that helps, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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Old 27.02.2012, 17:07
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

I do not live in Preverenges, but in Echandens.

I agree that the area is nice, (as I spend most of my weekends at the Preverenges beach in summer), but can be slightly expensive (for Switzerland). I prefer to do my shopping in Crissier as there are bigger shops there than in Morges and also a wider variety.

Crissier is about 5 minutes drive from me, so probably about 10 minutes (avoiding the motorway and coming through Denges) from Preverenges.

The area can get slightly busy in the summer, but only because we all come down from the mountain to the beach

I normally cycle from Echandens to Morges and then on to Lausanne / Vevey next to the lake. A one way trip is about 40 minutes (I cycle for pleasure, so nothing above 20 km/h)

There are some forest areas close by as well, but for the winter time you would need to drive a bit to go ski (about 30-45 minutes minimum).

Anyway, hope you find a nice place in the area!

B

Last edited by BuggedSee; 27.02.2012 at 17:08. Reason: spleling
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Old 27.02.2012, 21:30
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Thanks everyone for your information! It will be helpful for me in the beginning.
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Old 28.02.2012, 17:39
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

HI SCG

I lived in Preverenges for 3.5 years with my kids (we moved to the US last October). My kids were 8 and 4 when we arrived.

SHOPS, ETC
There's a village bakers/grocers, with an eye-popping range of bread and pastries and a reasonable selection of tins, dried goods, cheeses and fresh veggies, fruits, etc. It's fairly expensive, but not off the scale mad - it's a proper community shop, not just an arty deli.

The butchers is fantastic, but REALLY expensive. Use for special occasions or emergency top-ups only. For example, a kilo of minced beef is around 20-25 CHFs, but they do bring out top-notch chunks of steak and mince it in front of you.

Pharmacy is great, couple of hairdressers, Post Office, etc - all useful stuff. There's also a BP gas station with a mini-market which does bread (they bake throughout the day, so it's fresher than the baker's at day's end) and basic groceries, plus it's also open late evenings and all day Sunday.

We used Dr Sara Taddei in Preverenges with a clinic in Chemin Neuf (just round the corner from the BP gas station). She's very, very friendly, excellent with kids and happy to see them for general, non-pediatrician specific issues like ear infections and stitches, and speaks reasonably good English. We could always get an appointment same day for something fairly urgent, or next day for more general stuff.

TRANSPORT
Assuming, as V says above, they don't mess the bus up (can't see it happening), then the bus runs between Morges/EPFL every 20 mins all day, and 10 mins at rush hours. From Preverenges, you can be in the centre of Lausanne by public transport within 30 mins. I didn't have a car the whole time I was there, and just used the bus or cycled.

LEISURE
There's a gym a mile or so down the road in Denges, but I'm not a gym type and never used it. The beach is fantastic, and the total hub of the community all summer. They have pedalos for hire, windsurfing lessons, little cafes, ice cream stalls, etc, and there are amenities like toilets and beach showers. It's a very, very safe beach for young children, as the sand slopes very gently and there are of course no currents or waves, being a lake. The commune is very good about organising village events for Christmas, August 1st, etc.

SCHOOL
Will your children be going into the local school? It's very, very welcoming - they are used to the EPFL sabbaticalers coming and going, and never seem to sigh and find it all a bother. (I assume you'll be using the standard EPFL apartment in the village square..? - if so, it's a really good location, very central with lots of families around.) I've known a couple of dozen English-speaking kids go into the school there, and they've all had a good experience, been welcomed by the teachers into the class, had no problems making friends with the other kids and so on. The usual pattern for French acquisition is that children should understand French by Christmas, start speaking quite well by Easter and be confident conversationalists by summer - yours might be on a different schedule if they already know some French.

You do know about the crazy school hours, right..?

It's a great location, honestly. It has a very family atmosphere (so does Morges), there's great transport links for Lausanne, Geneva, the airport, etc (which means visitors can be independent when they inevitably want to come and stay), the school is very positive to non-French speakers (every teacher I met spoke English ranging from enough for communication up to totally fluent), the other mums are a very cosmopolitan, welcoming bunch. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time.

*sad now, and missing Preverenges. Will go and look at the beach webcam and remind myself how cold it is compared to AZ*
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Old 28.02.2012, 20:21
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Thanks kodokan for this very detailed description!

It sounds very good, indeed, from what I read so far with the other replies.

Yes, we will stay in the EPFL apartment in the Uttins. Did you know someone living there?

I do not know about crazy hours of the school. Do you have more info for me? Do they have a special program for non french speaking kids at the beginning? My kids don't know french at all.

Thanks again!

Tanja
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Old 28.02.2012, 20:54
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

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Yes, we will stay in the EPFL apartment in the Uttins. Did you know someone living there?
Oh yes, all the families who spent a year each there during the 3.5 years that we lived in Preverenges! They all had a great sabbatical. It's a pretty nice apartment; on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the square which is pedestrianised and a very safe place for children to play out, and the rooms are all a good size.

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I do not know about crazy hours of the school. Do you have more info for me? Do they have a special program for non french speaking kids at the beginning? My kids don't know french at all.
Elementary school hours are 8.30 until somewhere between 11.30 and 12 (depends on the exact class's timetable). Home for lunch, then back from 2-3.30pm. Wednesday afternoons off, so they finish at 12 for good that day.

Enfantine, unless they've changed it, will be 8.30-11.50 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. Then 1er enfantine (4-5 yr olds) do... ummm... Thurs pm, I think it is, from 2-3.30pm, 2er enfantine (5-6 yr olds) do Mon, Tues, Fri pms, same hours. No enfantine at all on Weds. Enfantine classes are made up of a 2-year spread, so they are all together in the mornings (little ones learn from big ones, big ones become responsible leaders, etc), then in the afternoons it's only their age group that's present for more focused, relevant activities.

Your oldest will be in 1st or 2nd grade depending on birthday, your youngest somewhere in enfantine. Birthday cut-off was June 30th, but there was some talk about moving it to July 31st - not sure if that's happened yet or not. If your kids are in that window, let me know and I'll have a Google about for you - it'd be good for keeping up my French!

French support is offered in 'proper' school grades from 1st onwards - your child will go into a regular class (in which the teacher will almost certainly speak enough English for early communication) and then go out 3-4 times a week for intensive French lessons in a small group of similarly-aged kids. This is all done in the school building, so nothing you need to arrange or take them to. At least, this is how it was for my son who went into 2nd grade, and all the other non-French speaking kids during my time there, so I don't imagine they've changed the system.

There's no French classes in enfantine, but don't worry, the teachers are used to supporting non-speakers and because it's such a repetitive, obvious environment with lots of pointing and 'now it's time for snack/ gym/ story' scheduling, the kids learn French really quickly there.

You'll be welcome to go into the enfantine class to spend the morning every now and again if you want - my teachers had me come in and read picture books in English whilst they translated into French on the fly, so that (1) the kids could hear normal accented English being spoken, for their general exposure to languages, and (2) it made my daughter feel super special to be the only one who understood, and the others more sympathetic that 'wow, so this incomprehension is what it was like for Little Kodokan ALL of the time!'

It's a very international school and community. Your kids may be the only English speakers in their class but probably not in their year group, and they certainly won't be the only ones not speaking French at home. My daughter's enfantine yr group was 9 kids - their parentage and home languages were English, Ukranian, Albanian, Spanish, German/French, Thai... oh, and one Swiss. They were mostly all born there, though, and spoke French already due to pre-school; mine was the only total non-speaker.

Their parents are equally global-minded and have often relocated themselves, so if you're open and approachable, people will make friends with you even knowing you're only there for a year, as they're sympathetic to the newbie status (and any attempt to learn French, especially from the 'don't really have to bother' English-speaking adults :-).

Holler with any more questions!

Edit: I've posted a ton of stuff over the years about the local school and how my kids got on - have a search. We were less satisfied with the secondary level schooling once my son was in 5th/6th grade - the teachers and other kids were still great, but the curriculum was all about rote memorisation and regurgitating copied out facts for tests - but the years up to 4th grade were terrific.
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Old 01.03.2012, 20:15
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Hi kodokan,

Thanks so much for the detailed answer.
I knew that they have a lunch break, I went to school too in switzerland (and I have to say that I did not dislike the fact of having a longer break over noon and wednesdays off. when I went to school I had to go to school on saturday morning as well! that sucked big time!)
I finally sent off the application for the school yesterday, it felt like pulling one teeth for every sentence I wrote in the accompanying email. wow, I can't believe how much of my french is gone. BUT I also feel that it is somewhere in the back of my mind, so hopefully will come back again!
My kids are born april and june, so they will go to 2nd kindergarten class and 2nd grade, I suppose. It;s great that they have the intensive french.
It's funny that you know the apartment where we will go, and all the families that lived there! I wish I would get to know a bit more of the apartment, so that I can prepare myself. But we are very lucky that we get it, so we don't have to worry about anything.

Thanks so much again!

Tanja
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Old 12.03.2012, 10:51
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Re: How is life in Preverenges near Lausanne?

Hi Tanja,

I'm the current resident of the apartment - so I can tell you some specifics about the apartment if you're interested!

So far the comments about Preverenges have been my experience - the school, the village, etc.

I am also on sabbatical at EPFL, which has been wonderful!

I don't know how to send a personal message (new to this forum) but perhaps we can figure that out too
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