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Old 08.10.2015, 00:34
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Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

Hello-
My family may be making the journey to the Basel area. A family of 5, with the three kiddo's most likely attending the IS in Basel. A few questions for the seasoned expat's:

* Is the ISI school good/worth it?
* My youngest is 5, I was thinking she may go to Swiss School and bypass the ISI, thoughts?
* We do not want to live in the town of Basel preferably, but out of town probably south nearer to the ISI... good or bad idea?
* Should we buy a car upon arrival? Or bike/tram it the whole way (probably 2 years in CH)
* Ideally, we'd like to live in a smaller farming town but with/near other english speaking expat's, can we have it both ways?
* Should we or can we rent a furnished house? I want to avoid taking a lot of stuff over to be honest, but may have to. Thoughts?

Thank you very much in advance, as you know, this is a big move and with kids is a little scary. gh
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Old 08.10.2015, 08:58
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

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Hello-
My family may be making the journey to the Basel area. A family of 5, with the three kiddo's most likely attending the IS in Basel. A few questions for the seasoned expat's:

* Is the ISI school good/worth it?* My youngest is 5, I was thinking she may go to Swiss School and bypass the ISI, thoughts?
* We do not want to live in the town of Basel preferably, but out of town probably south nearer to the ISI... good or bad idea?
* Should we buy a car upon arrival? Or bike/tram it the whole way (probably 2 years in CH)
* Ideally, we'd like to live in a smaller farming town but with/near other english speaking expat's, can we have it both ways?
* Should we or can we rent a furnished house? I want to avoid taking a lot of stuff over to be honest, but may have to. Thoughts?

Thank you very much in advance, as you know, this is a big move and with kids is a little scary. gh
Regarding placing your children in an international school vs. a Swiss public school, you might wish to read what David Hampshire has to say about this in his book "Living and Working in Switzerland". It's $18 from Amazon.com.

Generally, housing is tight in Switzerland and there may be a compromise between living in a dwelling large enough for five and access to good public transportation, besides busses.

This document, which is designed for Swiss citizens "returning" to Switzerland, has a list of websites to locate housing under "Finding a place to live":

https://www.eda.admin.ch/content/dam...izer-v6_EN.pdf

Would it be possible for you to make a house-hunting trip to Basel prior to your move to get a lay of the land, visit ISI, etc.?
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Old 08.10.2015, 09:36
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

* Is the ISI school good/worth it?

If you're staying any length of time and your children aren't too old, then Swiss public school is far better value for money, being largely free. There are a number of international schools in Basel, ISB, SIS and Academia; possibly a few others. Some people prefer one over the other, but mostly they have reasonable reputations.

* My youngest is 5, I was thinking she may go to Swiss School and bypass the ISI, thoughts?

If you're staying any length of time, do it. No brainer.

* We do not want to live in the town of Basel preferably, but out of town probably south nearer to the ISI... good or bad idea?

Definitely a good idea.

* Should we buy a car upon arrival? Or bike/tram it the whole way (probably 2 years in CH)

If you're only staying two years then don't send your kids to local school. Cars are useful but not necessary. Hire one when you need one is probably most cost effective.

* Ideally, we'd like to live in a smaller farming town but with/near other english speaking expat's, can we have it both ways?

No. Stay within the tram network.

* Should we or can we rent a furnished house? I want to avoid taking a lot of stuff over to be honest, but may have to. Thoughts?

Furnished houses are rare and expensive. Cheaper to rent unfurnished and buy cheap furniture over here. People come and go so often advertise their stuff on this site.
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Last edited by NotAllThere; 08.10.2015 at 16:48.
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Old 08.10.2015, 22:18
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

I think the above has answered really well for you but ill chuck in some comments based purely on our life in basel.

We're a family of 4 with both our kids at the SIS. We love the school because in the short time we've been here both of our kids know a little german and they're getting better everyday. The sis offers half german/English and it works well despite some concerns about not learning English continually. I have made some actual real life friends with other parents at the school which is great for me. I have meet parents from isb too and they say the same thing about meeting friends.
We live in baselland. It's close to the city but isn't the city at all. I think we're a bit far out, but my husband likes it here, we have a farm around the corner and cows in a paddock across the road during the late summer. We are a 10 min walk to a tram and another 5 min to another one, plus the closest tram is about 6 stops to the city, hardly the sticks. I'd choose to live in the city of we did this again but that's just me and my preferences.

We have a car. We don't technically need a car, but I use it every day and I love having a car. Most people I know don't have cars, and don't use them. If I lived in the city I absolutely would not have a car. I find shopping a million times easier then my friends who have to go on the tram or rely on me for lifts haha but it's a pure luxury that I like having.
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Old 11.10.2015, 23:27
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

Thank you all of the insight here, very much appreciated.

* How many went to Switzerland thinking it was going to be a year or two, but stayed longer?

* I bought the book "Living and Working is Switzerland" as offered earlier in the thread, thank you for that! We have a 5 year old, 8 yo, and a 10 yo... is it crazy to consider putting the older two into Swiss School as well? If we were to stay several years?

* Regarding living in Basel City or BL, given the posts discussed, we are considering staying in City and forgoing a car.

*Is going to Switzerland doable on a local package? If on local assignment, any insight on what to negotiate for through the process?

Thank you all!
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Old 12.10.2015, 03:23
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

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* Regarding living in Basel City or BL, given the posts discussed, we are considering staying in City and forgoing a car.
There's absolutely no need for that. There are many smaller towns/villages that adjoin Basel and you will often not even notice you're leaving the city. Look into Binningen, Bottmingen, Allschwil, Birsfelden (ok not so pretty), maybe even Oberwil, Therwil. 30mins tops by tram to the city center, all of them.
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Old 12.10.2015, 10:11
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Re: Moving to Basel - Insight Needed

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* How many went to Switzerland thinking it was going to be a year or two, but stayed longer?

* We have a 5 year old, 8 yo, and a 10 yo... is it crazy to consider putting the older two into Swiss School as well? If we were to stay several years?

*Is going to Switzerland doable on a local package? If on local assignment, any insight on what to negotiate for through the process?
* we've not been a year yet but our assignment is 3 years. We are unlikely to stay longer because of the job my husband has but we absolutely would stay longer, we love it here. I've meet numerous people who've stayed for 5, 10+ years after coming for 1,2,3 years. Of course I'm sure lots of people leave too.

*it isn't crazy to put them in a local school, do it! The older ones will adapt fine, but obviously do it if you think it's right for them. I know one person who had one child at an international school and one at a local school, it works for them. there are many many options.

*local contract is of course doable - what you ask for is everything, what you get is up to negotiation! Our friends managed to get 2 years international schooling for their kids plus 6 months rent. Other things that you might ask for - health insurance, spousal support, flights home I'm sure there is a tonne if other things but I can't think of anymore!

As for the area to live it's such a personal decision. You can live in baselland and still not have a car and you might get the best of both worlds.
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