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Old 06.10.2014, 00:11
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- School in geneva | Living in France -



HELLO!

I AM MOVING TO GENEVA IN JANUARY TO GO TO SCHOOL AT H.E.A.D
(haute ecole d'art et de design)
I have been living in Oakland california / San francisco for three years an am quite sick of the city.



So, I would like to live in a quiet, less expensive town in france and commute to geneva by bike and car to go to school! I need to know many things because I am just diving in headfirst.
Why move to switzerland / France from California as a 20 yr old? to put it simply the alps, I am a skier, mountaineer, mountain biking addict, in general just an enthusiast for the outdoors. Not to forget the great design school in geneva!

+ Can I live in france and commute with a swiss student visa? Type D?
+ Can I buy a car for a reasonable price with an american drivers license?
+ Is it common for students to do such a thing?
+ What are some cool towns with an active community
(artsy, young, outdoorsy?)
+ Do I need a french visa to rent a house ( I have Been purusing some deals on a semi- detached house for me and my buddy on Expatriates.com)
+ Good websites to look for housing?
+ Good websites to look for a used car
(Idealistic dreams of getting a camper van)

+ ARE THERE ANY SKIERS / BOARDERS OUT THERE THAT KNOW ABOUT GOOD DEALS ON SEASON PASSES? I WILL MOST LIKELY RIDE CHAMONIX!!!

+ If you are looking for housing and see this thinking they would mesh well with two young very respectful, outgoing, artistic, outdoorsy, and very active guys Holler and we can work on finding a house together in a beautiful area! (Its weird trying to describe yourself in a sentence)

+ and is there any other pertinent information my one tracked young mind is looking over??

The site seems great for getting the insiders view on things!!
I used to live in Argentina and I wish I would have known a site like this back then!


LET ME KNOW
- CHEERS, David Wells

Last edited by 3Wishes; 06.10.2014 at 16:35. Reason: removed advertising component
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  #2  
Old 06.10.2014, 11:00
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

I'll only deal with your firstbqestion: It depends. Are an EU citizen? If you are then, yes, you can live in France. If not then it's not likely.
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Old 06.10.2014, 11:17
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

As a non-EU citizen you're out of luck. You'll have to live in Geneva or maybe somewhere in Vaud canton. Living in France would require yet another round of permissions from the French government to do so and would only complicate your life further. I also doubt that the Swiss government would grant you a visa to Switzerland to study here if you're living in France. They expect students to live as well as study here.

Car, yes if you can afford one. Remember though that public transport in Switzerland is MUCH better than anything you'll find in the States.

You'll need to apply for your Type D visa asap if you've been accepted by the school as it can take some months to sort out.

I suggest you get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move here. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the Internet.

Also make sure to check on the IRS website regarding any US tax obligations you may have. As a student you probably won't earn enough to meet the reporting thresholds, but you may need to file an FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) form if your Swiss bank account comes to more than $10,000 at any point in the year. Also make sure to bring copies of any recent tax filings with you as you may need them to open a bank account here. Google FATCA to find out how painful it is to be an American abroad these days.
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Old 06.10.2014, 15:50
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

Thanks for the info!

As far as cars go I am going to need one to ski. No I am not an EU citizen so it does look as if living in France is a no go? (Any workarounds)

We are thinking about shipping my buddies van from the east coast to Europe, wherever cheapest and most convenient!

Does anyone have experience with this? Do we have to pay taxes to bring the car into Europe?
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Old 06.10.2014, 15:54
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

You really don't need a car to go skiing in the Geneva area- there are airport transfer shuttles to most French resorts- and all the Swiss resorts are accessible with train then bus very easily, either from Aigle, Sion, Sierre, or via Martigny change to train to Le Châble with huge car-park and direct access by bubble car to Verbier and the 4 Valleys. With the train stations, you come out of station and all the buses to go to the different resorts are there waiting for you.
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Old 06.10.2014, 16:00
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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Thanks for the info!

As far as cars go I am going to need one to ski. No I am not an EU citizen so it does look as if living in France is a no go? (Any workarounds)

We are thinking about shipping my buddies van from the east coast to Europe, wherever cheapest and most convenient!

Does anyone have experience with this? Do we have to pay taxes to bring the car into Europe?
Yes, if you import it and you may need to do modifications to bring it up to Swiss specs as well.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en

And no, no workarounds. If you want to live in France you'll have to study in France.
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Old 06.10.2014, 16:34
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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Thanks for the info!

As far as cars go I am going to need one to ski. No I am not an EU citizen so it does look as if living in France is a no go? (Any workarounds)

We are thinking about shipping my buddies van from the east coast to Europe, wherever cheapest and most convenient!

Does anyone have experience with this? Do we have to pay taxes to bring the car into Europe?
No. There are no work arounds.

Honestly, bringing the van is a bad idea unless you are staying a year or less and plan to bring it back with you after.
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Old 06.10.2014, 16:49
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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You really don't need a car to go skiing in the Geneva area- there are airport transfer shuttles to most French resorts- and all the Swiss resorts are accessible with train then bus very easily, either from Aigle, Sion, Sierre, or via Martigny change to train to Le Châble with huge car-park and direct access by bubble car to Verbier and the 4 Valleys. With the train stations, you come out of station and all the buses to go to the different resorts are there waiting for you.

You really do not want to rely on the transfer shuttles to go skiing in winter. The airport is absolute mayhem on winter weekends - avoid at all costs.

Plus I bet you haven't checked transfer prices ;-)
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Old 06.10.2014, 16:59
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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You really do not want to rely on the transfer shuttles to go skiing in winter. The airport is absolute mayhem on winter weekends - avoid at all costs.

Plus I bet you haven't checked transfer prices ;-)
The OP won't be coming via the airport by the sound of it, as they'll be living in Switzerland. If in Geneva then presumably they'll be going to whichever ski station they want by train (or the cheapest way) by coach from the coach station.
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Old 06.10.2014, 19:22
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

As a student, can you afford living and skiing in Switzerland? We can, on two full time salaries...just about , and keep the cost down by skiing in France in the smaller resorts.
Do your sums first or you'll be surprised for the wrong reasons.
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:33
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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As a student, can you afford living and skiing in Switzerland? We can, on two full time salaries...just about , and keep the cost down by skiing in France in the smaller resorts.
Do your sums first or you'll be surprised for the wrong reasons.


I am mainly a backcountry skier, but your advice is not taken lightly, I have been saving for a good amount of time. Which is also why a car is necessary, to get to certain trailheads...

I guess my next question is What is a good place to live in by geneva that is more rural, less expensive, and hopefully close to the french jura. Hopefully looking for something that I can commute to school by bike (with in 15 miles).
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:49
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

Don't know if it's the same for students, but non-EU nationals who work here usually have to live in the same canton as their workplace unless they can get special permission to live in another canton. So you may be stuck with Geneva. Hopefully someone else knows if students have more freedom about where they can live when studying.
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Old 06.10.2014, 20:57
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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I am mainly a backcountry skier, but your advice is not taken lightly, I have been saving for a good amount of time. Which is also why a car is necessary, to get to certain trailheads...

I guess my next question is What is a good place to live in by geneva that is more rural, less expensive, and hopefully close to the french jura. Hopefully looking for something that I can commute to school by bike (with in 15 miles).
Well basically that would mostly be FRANCE.

Have you ever been to Geneva? If not then it might be worth getting here first and getting to know the area, commuting under your own steam from anywhere is going to be pretty hairy for a start as rush-hour traffic is a nightmare.
Public transport is good though and most of the time it's the best way of getting about within the city. Your school is very close to the railway station so perhaps you could look at finding something in one of the smaller towns along the lake and traveling in by train? Keep the car for weekends, or hire something when you need it.
Life here is going to be very different to what you might be used to in America, you'll find a lot of things very expensive; eating out, the cinema, and health insurance for a start.
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Old 06.10.2014, 21:02
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

What do you mean by 'back country skiier' as in British English, lol.
Do you mean off-piste downhill, with skins up to the top, or what we would call 'cross-country skiing' - for which the Jura (where I live but on the Neuchâtel side) is perfect. Look at villages above Nyon towards St Cergue, with access to both the Swiss and the French Jura and the Jura Crest ski trail.
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Old 06.10.2014, 21:05
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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I am mainly a backcountry skier, but your advice is not taken lightly, I have been saving for a good amount of time. Which is also why a car is necessary, to get to certain trailheads...

I guess my next question is What is a good place to live in by geneva that is more rural, less expensive, and hopefully close to the french jura. Hopefully looking for something that I can commute to school by bike (with in 15 miles).
You won't find anything inexpensive within 15 minutes by bike into Geneva. For inexpensive you're talking about 45mins to an hour on public transportation. Of course, it very much depends on what you mean by "less expensive".
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Old 06.10.2014, 21:16
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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Hopefully looking for something that I can commute to school by bike (with in 15 miles).

15 miles by bike? This is almost the distance from Geneva Cornavin (Downtown) to Gland (CH-VD), Bellegarde (F-01), Thonon (F-74), Annecy (F-74), Bonneville (F-74). You are moving to Europe. You need to think like an European. Your 15 miles will become 5 km. I won't recommend commuting by bike from these towns.

In winter, it will be:
- ice cold if commuting from Bellegarde (+ winding hazardous road), Bonneville
- freezing cold if commuting from Annecy, Cruseilles. The latter's elevation is 2500 ft
- cold but with frequent gust of wind (bise) if commuting from Gland or Thonon. The N5-D1005 Douvaine-Thonon is one of the deadliest highways in the area.
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Old 06.10.2014, 21:31
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

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and hopefully close to the french jura.
For skiing you will need to head to any nearby French Alps resorts:
La Clusaz, Les Carroz, Megève, Flaine, Morzine-Avoriaz, Chamonix, Châtel...).

Ski resorts in French Jura are much smaller and often may not have adequate snow coverage (due to lower elevation).
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Old 06.10.2014, 22:39
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

True that, I am putting miles out of my head!

KM time, as for conditions I am from one of the coldest places in north america where we bike year round in well below freezing temperatures, Go ahead and look up minnesotan bike commuters, as for traffic I bike commute in San Francisco which is one of the most dangerous places to be on a bike if you do not know what you are doing. This is not to say that I want to live in a place where I want to have a terrible commute every day in the winter. I do not mean to sound "Extreme" But to merely put it that I will sacrifice some sort of comfort to live in prettier place!

As far as budget its two people right now looking for a semi detached house paying under 2250 CHF


As for skiing, backcountry meaning "earning your turns" using skins to go up and skiing down. I was a cross country skier in a past life, maybe I might jump back into it if it is with in close distance.

As for resorts, I have been pretty hooked on Chamonix and the Mt. Blanc region.

I like the idea of a used car to do some stuff away from resorts, and trekking, Mountain biking, etc...
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Old 06.10.2014, 22:48
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

Ramtin. the French resorts you mention are great- but there are also 100s available in the Swiss Alps off the Rhône valley and even in Vaud. Les Diablerets, Leysins, Torgon for les Portes du Soleil area (great back country), Les Marécottes, then on to Verbier, Bruson, Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon2000, Evolène, Arolla (amazing back country- can even go down towards Zermatt in right conditions), Ovronnaz, Crans-Montana, Loèche, Zinal, Zermatt, Saas Fee and Grund, and so many many more- and all acessible by train + bus.

The Jura also has small resorts which are great for back country- including Les Rousses and 'our' Mont d'Or- Les Rasses/Chasseron (with accom at the top) and 100s more.

If you are going to have a car, much better to buy a decent runner with snow tyres here.

Last edited by Odile; 06.10.2014 at 23:01.
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Old 06.10.2014, 22:59
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Re: - School in geneva | Living in France -

Any advice on where I could buy a used car for a decent price?

Is online the right place to look or is that an american custom to auto trade online?

I will definitely be getting something formidable enough for snow, It won't go to much use besides being used for excursions, I ride my bike about 85% of the time.
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