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Old 11.07.2013, 13:39
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Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Hi

I'll be starting a PhD at ETH at the start of October, and I'm trying to work out the best way of arranging accommodation. I'm currently in the UK, so it would be really useful to know the approaches other people have taken to finding somewhere, while being based outside Switzerland. I'm hoping to be able to find a place before I arrive, but I can only really afford the time for a long weekend in Zurich at some point in August/September, and I'm wondering whether I have any chance at all of finding somewhere like this. The other option is to apply for temporary university accommodation, then try to sort out a proper place once I'm actually in Zurich.

I've seen various posts mocking PhD candidates for an inability to find basic things on the site, so I should say that I have done several searches and haven't found anything directly relevant to this. If you're a better Google-whisperer than me, please do point me towards helpful threads. A small amount of mockery is also fine.

Thanks in advance!
Will
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Old 14.07.2013, 20:55
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Have you tried the websites listed below? It might "buy" you some time so you can shop and find a more suitable and permanent solution.

http://www.ums.ch

http://www.oakwood.com

http://www.aas-ag.ch/default.asp?navig=3
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Old 15.07.2013, 17:35
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Thanks for those suggestions Barbara. Good to have other options if I can't find a place.

Will
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Old 15.07.2013, 18:00
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

For your permanent housing try

http://www.homegate.ch/rent/real-estate-search
http://www.home.ch/en
http://www.immostreet.ch/en/HomePage
http://www.comparis.ch/
http://www.immoscout24.ch/IS24Web/_V...=0&wl=1&lng=en

Good luck!
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Old 17.07.2013, 12:45
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Thanks for these, can widen my search.

The question of whether it's possible to get a place without being a resident (and having the betreibungsauskunft and ausländerausweise) is still open, if anyone wants to confirm/deny it...

Will
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Old 17.07.2013, 14:24
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

I had no luck (as a professional, not a student). If you look at most rental ads at homegate.ch, many specify "viewing at 16:00 Tuesday" - that's it. What happens is a bunch of people show up and all fill application forms, and then the Verwaltung/owner decides who can take the place. They prefer higher earning individuals to lower income, Swiss to EU, EU to non-EU. Even when I was already here I had to compete other people.

I have read about students who managed to arrange themselves a rental online in a flatshare with other local students, but even then, they usually want to meet you at least once before signing the contract - obviously, because you'll be sharing space and you would want to see your possible flatmate in person first...

I am not saying you shouldn't try but when I applied to these ads online many wouldn't even respond because I was abroad. Many just wrote back I need to go to the viewing appointment.
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Old 17.07.2013, 15:28
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Take a look at this blog post - How To Find A Shared Apartment In Zurich from post #7 on this thread - http://www.englishforum.ch/property-...urich-eth.html.

Using the search criterion "eth zurich" resulted in quite a few threads, some others of which could also be of help to you if you scroll through.

Good luck!

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Hi

I'll be starting a PhD at ETH at the start of October, and I'm trying to work out the best way of arranging accommodation. I'm currently in the UK, so it would be really useful to know the approaches other people have taken to finding somewhere, while being based outside Switzerland. I'm hoping to be able to find a place before I arrive, but I can only really afford the time for a long weekend in Zurich at some point in August/September, and I'm wondering whether I have any chance at all of finding somewhere like this. The other option is to apply for temporary university accommodation, then try to sort out a proper place once I'm actually in Zurich.

I've seen various posts mocking PhD candidates for an inability to find basic things on the site, so I should say that I have done several searches and haven't found anything directly relevant to this. If you're a better Google-whisperer than me, please do point me towards helpful threads. A small amount of mockery is also fine.

Thanks in advance!
Will
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Old 17.07.2013, 15:52
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

wgzimmer.ch

Took about 10 applications. Then there were 3 Skype interviews, 1 declined and 1 gave me a spot. Most PhD's I know live in shared flats and there are really plenty around, especially when it's done before the school season. Plus you don't have to go through a lot of hassle with landlords and what not.
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:14
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Thanks Trillian. That's useful, although not very encouraging, information. A landlord for a place we viewed by skype has written back to us saying ok, but I won't believe it's actually happened until we get through the administrative bits... Definitely going to apply for temporary uni accommodation in parallel.

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I had no luck (as a professional, not a student). If you look at most rental ads at homegate.ch, many specify "viewing at 16:00 Tuesday" - that's it. What happens is a bunch of people show up and all fill application forms, and then the Verwaltung/owner decides who can take the place. They prefer higher earning individuals to lower income, Swiss to EU, EU to non-EU. Even when I was already here I had to compete other people.

I have read about students who managed to arrange themselves a rental online in a flatshare with other local students, but even then, they usually want to meet you at least once before signing the contract - obviously, because you'll be sharing space and you would want to see your possible flatmate in person first...

I am not saying you shouldn't try but when I applied to these ads online many wouldn't even respond because I was abroad. Many just wrote back I need to go to the viewing appointment.
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Old 17.07.2013, 16:17
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

10 doesn't sound so bad...
The slightly tricky thing is that I'm trying to find a place to share with a friend who's also moving out to ETH. But I guess I should try for flatshares at the same time, hedge my bets.
Thanks
Will

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wgzimmer.ch

Took about 10 applications. Then there were 3 Skype interviews, 1 declined and 1 gave me a spot. Most PhD's I know live in shared flats and there are really plenty around, especially when it's done before the school season. Plus you don't have to go through a lot of hassle with landlords and what not.
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Old 18.07.2013, 14:58
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

Have you tried ronorp.com?

My husband and I moved to Zurich in September last year. After all the horror stories we had heard from friends about finding a place here, we decided to look for a sublet first and then for something more permanent after a few months.
We put an ad on RonOrp explaining who we were and what we were looking for and received quite a few answers in a few days, we did some Skype viewings/interviews and found a great temporary apartment

Good luck!
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Old 18.07.2013, 15:10
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

To omit all the problems with landlords, when I moved here, I did the following:

- booked a Bed&Breakfast (huge discount when booked for 1 month and after season)
- went through all bureaucracy (Permit etc.)
- having done that, looked for an apartment

A huge plus is, that if you are living in a BnB, you are very flexible and can move out in matter of days. Therefore I looked for places that are available "ab sofort". I won a casting because I could move in in 2 weeks, while the other competitors have had a valid contract (or have just terminated it) and wanted to move in after 2-3 months.
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Old 20.07.2013, 02:16
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

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To omit all the problems with landlords, when I moved here, I did the following:

- booked a Bed&Breakfast (huge discount when booked for 1 month and after season)
- went through all bureaucracy (Permit etc.)
- having done that, looked for an apartment

A huge plus is, that if you are living in a BnB, you are very flexible and can move out in matter of days. Therefore I looked for places that are available "ab sofort". I won a casting because I could move in in 2 weeks, while the other competitors have had a valid contract (or have just terminated it) and wanted to move in after 2-3 months.
To comment, that was my initial plan, that I'd move into a B&B or a hotel for the first bit and find a place. However the reason my permit was held for months on end was that that was an unacceptable situation according to the Fremdpolizei and that I needed a (semi)permanent residence before they issued the permit (non-Eu).
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Old 20.07.2013, 08:43
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Re: Finding accommodation from outside Switzerland

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To comment, that was my initial plan, that I'd move into a B&B or a hotel for the first bit and find a place. However the reason my permit was held for months on end was that that was an unacceptable situation according to the Fremdpolizei and that I needed a (semi)permanent residence before they issued the permit (non-Eu).
Well, that's odd. They won't give you a permit, because you don't have a permament residence. And no one will probably rent you a flat, if you don't have a permit.

In my case (EU-8) the permit was issued on the B&B address and Fremdpolizei had no problem with it. When I found a place, they've just replaced the part with address...
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