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Old 23.05.2015, 19:31
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Help with choosing where to relocate...

Hi All,

I'm pretty sure you've all heard all these questions before but I feel so confused that I thought I'd give it a try and ask them...

We are a family of 4 (kids 2 and 6). My husband has been offered a job in Zurich.
We are trying to figure out where to rent. We wouldn't like to live in apartments in Zurich as we have been put off by the comments about the amount of rules/limitations especially when you have young kids.

We'd like to rent a house, row, single or semi-detached. (anyone has an opinion about the bifamiliar ones?) but budget would be within 2-3k a month.
If too little for a house, then do you have anything similar to suggest?

We wouldn't mind living in a neighboring Canton and commute for work. I will be a stay at home mum for the first couple of years the least so we will be sending the kids to State school. I gather I have to live close to a good school.

Between Zug and Aargau, which one do you think is nicer for kids?
When looking at Aargau, I'm finding many different city names, which ones are the best ones for school?

We are getting very excited about the move but reading all the posts in the forum, make the first few months look very complicated so any advice from anyone that has been through it and has first hand experience would be very much valuable to us and we'd be grateful.

Many thanks in advance

Anastasia
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Old 23.05.2015, 19:56
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

Hi ,

I can't help with too much on location itself, but I'll give you some tips on the children side.

I have a six year old and a three year old, I know that people find it a bit odd that I walk my six year old to kindergarten every morning and have even had the teachers tell me that she can walk alone. It's the whole English culture though I just can't!! We are very close to our KT and can see it from our window, but I've seen many young children walking together in the streets and it's a normal thing here. They wear a bright orange reflector over them and the traffic expects them to be around but..........
Just try to live as near as you can to the schools ,KT ......

The park culture is different here too, the children are out alone from a very young age , luckily we live on an estate where the park is under our balcony so I don't mind this too much.

It would be good to get your youngest into a Speilegruppe asap so she can start learning German, it will help her a lot. There is also KIT which is a whole day. Speilegruppe is just mornings and afternoons - well around here it is.

My eldest has flourished at KT and after a year can speak Swiss German really well, luckily she can speak enough to go up to school straight away. They may advise that your eldest goes to KT for a year instead of school so she/he can learn the language. In the schools it's not unusual for different age groups to be in the same year. They also just go in the mornings and just one afternoon a week, and they come home for lunch. You need to pack a snack for them to eat at school, mine like bread and fruit and water. We aren't allowed any yoghurts or cake, and the children have a toothbrush and paste which you provide with a cup at the KT.
Apparently KT is more about team building than learning as such and when they go up to school they have quite an intensive education.

Dental care - The KT takes care of the dental care check ups but you have to pay for any treatment. I've been told that if you don't get your child registered with a dentist by the age of three it's very difficult to do so and you need to wait. Dental care is not routinely covered by your Health Insurance, you can add on for braces etc.

Please if any of my information is not correct then other users , may correct me.
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Old 23.05.2015, 19:58
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

Sorry KT is just mornings and one afternoon a week not schools.
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Old 23.05.2015, 20:15
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

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We wouldn't like to live in apartments in Zurich as we have been put off by the comments about the amount of rules/limitations especially when you have young kids.
Then the only choice is Ticino.

Tom
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Old 23.05.2015, 20:35
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

Rules/Limitations are more or less the same, everywhere. Regardless of Kanton.

There are no rankings for schools. It's all word-of-mouth, mostly.

You can search on comparis.ch, homegate and narrow it down to the canton.
As per homegate, there are 35 houses that fit your criteria in Kanton Zurich.
Most are out in the sticks - I would check with google.ch and sbb.ch how long the commute of your husband will actually be.
These days, the adverts also list distance to child-care, school, grocery-shopping, public transport.
Aargau is cheaper (rent-wise), but taxes are higher. Commute may or may not be longer (there are enough places in Kanton of Zurich that are more difficult to reach).
Zug is usually even more expensive than Zurich, but more attractive tax-wise.


From those 35, only one looked appealing to me:
http://www.homegate.ch/mieten/105068...id=20&rlidx=34
(it's more a apartment than a house, but listed under "houses")

It would take an hour from there to reach my place of work by public transport (30 minutes by car when no-one else drives).

If you don't live in Kanton Zurich, but want (for whatever reason) go to one of its hospitals, you may need additional health-insurance ("Spital Ausserkantonal").

The rent should not exceed 30% of your husbands income (don't remember if it's before or after taxes).
As such, it may be more advisable to rent an apartment at first.
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Old 23.05.2015, 21:12
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

Thanks very much all about getting back to me!!

Wizwozz, thanks for all the advise on kids. I wanted to ask you, is Swiss German hugely different than ordinary German?
I would be the same as you as far as walking the kids to school...I have lived 11 years in the UK and I am Greek, I think in both countries we wouldn't let kids that age walk alone, no matter how close to the house...or maybe it's just me and you
Also my son turning 7 this October, which year should he be in (regardless what they'll say about German etc).

And rainer_d, thank you so much for all the information! The house you found looks actually quite nice!
What you said about hospitals, got me thinking....this is why this Forum is so helpful, you get information about things you'd not have thought of...


and st2lemans, just looked up Ticino, looks really good! But the job offer is for Zurich so we'd have to narrow it down to that side of the country...


thanks very much!!
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Old 23.05.2015, 21:20
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

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I have lived 11 years in the UK and I am Greek, I think in both countries we wouldn't let kids that age walk alone, no matter how close to the house...or maybe it's just me and you
Definitely.

I always walked to school at that age in the US, and my kids here, and everyone I know in France, Italy, etc.

Tom
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Old 23.05.2015, 21:49
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

I don't think you will find a house for anywhere close to your budget in Kantons ZH or ZG, apartments maybe but not a house. Aargau would be possible and the train connections are good from Aarau itself, Baden is also OK.

You could also check out Baar which is close to Zug, but again it would be an apartment and not a house.

You could also check out the Affoltern am Albis area which is 25 minutes from Zurich main station by train, of which there are 4 an hour. Less expensive than Zurich city but the tax is a bit higher.
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Old 23.05.2015, 22:45
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

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I don't think you will find a house for anywhere close to your budget in Kantons ZH or ZG, apartments maybe but not a house.
There are houses for that budget, apparently.
Just not in places you've heard of or are likely to set foot in.
Certainly not 150 mē with lake-view, for sure.
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Old 23.05.2015, 23:58
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

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I don't think you will find a house for anywhere close to your budget in Kantons ZH or ZG, apartments maybe but not a house. Aargau would be possible and the train connections are good from Aarau itself, Baden is also OK.

You could also check out Baar which is close to Zug, but again it would be an apartment and not a house.

You could also check out the Affoltern am Albis area which is 25 minutes from Zurich main station by train, of which there are 4 an hour. Less expensive than Zurich city but the tax is a bit higher.
Definitely possible to find a house within your budget in Kanton Aargau, if you are lucky possibly something in Baden, more likely a village nearby.
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Old 24.05.2015, 11:10
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

[QUOTE=anastasia14;2394074]
Wizwozz, thanks for all the advise on kids. I wanted to ask you, is Swiss German hugely different than ordinary German?
I would be the same as you as far as walking the kids to school...I have lived 11 years in the UK and I am Greek, I think in both countries we wouldn't let kids that age walk alone, no matter how close to the house...or maybe it's just me and you
Also my son turning 7 this October, which year should he be in (regardless what they'll say about German etc).

Hi you're very welcome!!!

I'll tell you what I was told.

That a Swiss German person can understand a German person but a German person can't understand a Swiss German person!!!

You're son will be in the first year at school. My daughter will be seven in September so I know this for sure. Can you get him some lessons in the language now? Also youtube has lessons for children on there. They absorb it so quickly. Maybe a promise of a new bike once you get here it will give him some motivation. It will also help him make friends. The kids learn loads in the park etc aswell, but unfortunately not always the best grammer!!! There are also apps for the phone in Swiss German but are few and far between. They have a test to see if they are ready for school, it looked like an IQ test to me which your son will surely pass, and some one to one conversations with a special teacher to assess them also. In the schools they are taught in German hence why they can understand but the kids speak Swiss German to each other.


I hope this helps.......
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Old 24.05.2015, 11:22
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Re: Help with choosing where to relocate...

Just to add, if your son ends up in KT, the KT will happily move him up to school as soon as they feel he is ready. This is not unusual here. So basically you may have to pay for private lessons for him when you get here, then after a few months he will be able to go to school.
KT is very different , my daughter gets really frustrated at times because she completed a year of school in the UK before and was used to the structure of lessons etc. She was placed with the first class of KT with four and five year old children so she could learn the language more easily and the KT provide lessons aswell, a special Teacher is there. It's great because you get to go into the classroom on special days and watch them learn, the parents have a lot of chances to help out on trips etc.The class she is in is lovely, so no problems there, except frustration and sometimes boredom.
I'm not trying to worry you with this, I'm just trying to encourage you to get some tutoring in now.
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