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Old 22.08.2019, 09:18
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Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Hi everyone.

First post on the forum but I've been enviously reading for a while as my husband and I have dreamed of moving to Switzerland for a while.
My husband has potentially got a job in Olten. Anyone know anything about it? I get the impression it might be quite small and sleepy? Any ex pat community? We are both learning German but neither of us our fluent yet so at least at first we'd like to have a few English speaking friends! We don't need to be in a bustling city, our interesta are mainly hiking with our kids (2 and 3), swimming, snowboarding, and spending lots of time in nature. However I do want to make sure I am somewhere I'll find playgroups, and other things to do with the kids.
We are wondering if Olten is too small and therefore we should commute. We were originally thinking Zurich but can see from.Homegate we could get a lot more for our money at Lucerne. Any opinions on which would be best for us? It looks like a 45 minute commute, this seems doable for us but are we crazy?
As an aside, not sure if it's relevent, we are a mixed race couple. I am white and my husband has Asian heritage. From my research it seemed this wouldn't be an issue in Switzerland but wasn't sure about the more rural areas.

Also finally help settle a silly debate! I say that being quite a conservative country my husband should shave off his beard for the interview. My husband wasn't to keep it! Votes please!

Sorry for the essay! Any info at all would be great!
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Old 22.08.2019, 10:03
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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help settle a silly debate! I say that being quite a conservative country my husband should shave off his beard for the interview. My husband wasn't to keep it! Votes please!
How long is it?
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Old 22.08.2019, 10:11
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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How long is it?
Um...,..definately beard not stubble territory. Not sure how to describe beard length lol. Maybe a couple of inches......not hanging down off his face yet Hes dark so it's quite full and bushy though! Maybe I just have an ulterior motive in getting rid.......

Also sorry, just noticed all the typos in my post, typing with toddlers climbing on me!
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Old 22.08.2019, 13:11
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

I wouldn't say that the Swiss fuss much about facial hair, but what would be more observed in this society is that everything is precisely and painstakingly groomed... On the French side beards are quite "in" at the moment. Can't say much about Olten though

But it may matter on what business and level of seniority you are talking about. I've not seen many doctors or senior lawyers with a beard - but software engineers aplenty.
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:17
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Lucerne has many, many tourists. That can be fun, to start with, and you'll never lack strangers to whom to speak English, but the numbers are now at least sufficiently troublesome that the City has decided to look for ways to crack down on the many AirBnB hosts, because they make it easier for yet more tourists to stay overnight, and make it harder for those who wish to live locally to find affordable accommodation.

Olten has the advantage of being in one of the major junctions of public transport, giving easy access in all directions, to Basel, Solothurn and beyond that Biel, Bern, Lucerne and Zurich, and of course to Aarau which is, so to speak, right next to Olten.
Have a look here: https://geoblog.ch/110-die-ov-schweiz/
As such, Olten is a great starting point for exploring Switzerland.

This map shows the terrain, on which you could zoom in to Olten to see that you (and the children) could potentially manage a lot by bicycle, there:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sw...227512!5m1!1e4
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:34
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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Um...,..definately beard not stubble territory. Not sure how to describe beard length lol. Maybe a couple of inches......not hanging down off his face yet Hes dark so it's quite full and bushy though! Maybe I just have an ulterior motive in getting rid
Personally I think it should be groomed back to stubble territory. I think a longer beard doesn't make the best of impressions, at least not for a new job.
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:59
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

As the potential job offer is in Olten, you should be looking for accommodaton in Solothurn kanton, and as you have two little ones, I'd narrow it down to the immediate area around Olten so that your husband has a short commute and you don't begin to feel isolated. You will need each other close at hand whilst you adjust. Another advantage of Olten is that the apartments are a lot cheaper there than the larger cities. You'll be looking at 1,350 - 2,650 for a 3 bedroom (4.5 rooms) ground floor apartment within 2km of Olten...

https://en.comparis.ch/immobilien/re...null%7D&sort=1

I don't know a lot about Olten, but my impression is that it's a small industrial city set close to beautiful countryside. As for being sleepy, one of my friends came over from the UK to attend a death metal gig in Olten Hipster beards are a thing in Switzerland too, and particularly in Zurich, lots of barbers do beard grooming, etc. As has been said, it all depends on the role and interviewers.

Mixed marriages are so common here that I seriously doubt you'll have any issue. I know several Swiss adults who are the children of mixed marriages, mainly because their fathers worked abroad in the 1990s. You need to remember that about 25% of the population here are not Swiss, particularly in industrial areas such as Zurich.

Good luck and I hope your husband gets the job.
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Old 22.08.2019, 15:02
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

About the beard: I think it depends a lot on the job, as dandi said.

If the work is in a very creative environment: film, art, theatre, music, advertising, etc., then a more wild beard is okay. More trimmed and shorter, the more formal the environment.

In any case: the man's hairstyle and clothing, incl. shoes, can also go a long way towards the impression he makes. The most important is that he looks CLEAN.

If his shirt is ironed perfectly and his finger-nails are clipped neatly, and if his haircut is modern and chic, he can get away with a longer beard. If he has long hair that he ties back in a pony-tail, or even wears open, and his clothing is casual, then he can less afford to have a long or bushy beard, too.
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Old 22.08.2019, 16:06
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Is your husband also English? If so, then atm you could live in another canton and commute. If he's not though and possibly depending on what happens with Brexit you might be limited to Solothurn canton. Living elsewhere would require getting permission from both cantons to do so.
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Old 22.08.2019, 16:20
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Olten has a reputation of being a boring and ugly town.
Also, you should compare taxes: I think canton Aargau (for example) has lower taxes than Solothurn.
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Old 22.08.2019, 16:29
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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I wouldn't say that the Swiss fuss much about facial hair, but what would be more observed in this society is that everything is precisely and painstakingly groomed...
I think full beards including longer ones are absolutely accepted in Switzerland and not a problem for a job interview. Especially in Olten...

Simple rules on how to differentiate between bearded hipster and islamistic terrorists:
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Old 22.08.2019, 17:23
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Olten's old town is actually quite lovely, and they have a great Badi (outdoor swimming pool). The rest of Olten is not that nice, but it has the advantage of being really well connected by train to everywhere else. Another really nice place for a family near Olten would be Zofingen. Absolutely lovely, quaint little town, that has lots to offer to a family. Lucerne is technically commutable, but you likely would not live right next to the main station, adding to your commute, I think it is too far. Aarburg might be an option, too, but stay away from Oftringen.
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Old 22.08.2019, 20:37
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Why not Aarau? It is literally very close (< 20min max by car) and it offers quite a lot. I'd say you may find more expats in Aarau than in Olten.
And it is very beautiful imho.
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Old 22.08.2019, 21:18
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the replies!

Sounds like the beard can stay () albeit in a slightly more trimmed fashion

You've all given me a lot to think about re-commuting. He is English so we would be ok but who knows how long for....
It does sound like the major cities will be too far. I'm going to research all the suggestions made here. Does anyone know what the expat scene is like in places like Zofingen, Aarurg and Aarau? I'm slightly terrified I'll end up quite isolated with not speaking the language yet and being at home with the kids all day. His contract is only temporary for now but we are very much hoping to convert it to a more permanent move.
I think my problem is after reading all the Zurich/Lucerne forums I have this idea in my head of spending our summers swimming in lakes and winters on the ski slopes....but perhaps I am being very naive considering he needs to work in Olten. Unless someone wants to come and tell me I can have it all!
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Old 22.08.2019, 21:20
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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Why not Aarau? It is literally very close (< 20min max by car) and it offers quite a lot. I'd say you may find more expats in Aarau than in Olten.
And it is very beautiful imho.

Hmmm that's really interesting. I hadn't considered it to be honest. I'll do some research, thank you. Do you know off hand whether it has a good watersports and hiking scene?
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Old 22.08.2019, 21:51
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

I grew up and am still living in a small village next to olten.

To me it feels like olten improved over the last years in terms of bars and nightlife. Shopping is horrible though, a lot of shops went out of busines recently.

As others have written, olten is very well connected to the major swiss cities and you can visit most of them within a 30 min train commute.
Aarau could be a good alternative.

Olten has a very good bilingual daycare, if you decide to live there just contact me.
And if you have spare time and need someone to practise german we could meet, I'm planning on doing the cambridge proficiency exam next summer and need a native speaker to speak to
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Old 22.08.2019, 22:23
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

I always give the same advice in these situations. Rent a flat as close to work as possible, at least for the first year. And spend weekends exploring the country. There is really no point in trying to find a place to live based on internet research.

You need to experience it yourself. Settle in and get a feel for the country, you never know, you may hate it here anyway and leave within that first year. But if not, you will have had a stress free commuting first year to help you decide.
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Old 22.08.2019, 22:28
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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I always give the same advice in these situations. Rent a flat as close to work as possible, at least for the first year. And spend weekends exploring the country. There is really no point in trying to find a place to live based on internet research.

You need to experience it yourself. Settle in and get a feel for the country, you never know, you may hate it here anyway and leave within that first year. But if not, you will have had a stress free commuting first year to help you decide.
That's very good advice. I'm getting all stressed out trying to find the perfect location for our "forever home". Getting slightly ahead of myself here. It does sound like Olten or Aarau would be a good base to explore from. So maybe I need to forget aesthetics and go for an easy life.

Never mind the fact he hasn't even got the job yet! (Although it's looking more likely, to gets crossed)
Thanks for talking some sense into me!
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Old 22.08.2019, 23:33
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

Yes, you are geting a little ahead of yourself, but I totally relate to that. If you resign yourself to the likelihood of being in a serviced apartment for the first month or so, you'll take a lot of pressure off yourself right now.

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There is really no point in trying to find a place to live based on internet research.
Sorry to be the exception, but I began the internet search the same day as my OH's first phone interview. By the second interview a few days later, I'd narrowed it down to my favourite 2 complete with commute times, train timetables and 'had walked to' the nearest shops (too long on Google street view). When we arrived 6 weeks later, one of my top 2 had been taken but we (very luckily) got the other one, and still had to stay in a serviced apartment for a few weeks whilst the paperwork was completed.
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Old 23.08.2019, 17:14
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Re: Job in Olten, to stay or commute from Zurich or Lucerne!

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Also finally help settle a silly debate! I say that being quite a conservative country my husband should shave off his beard for the interview.
It sounds like you are counting your chickens before they hatch. It is just an interview, there is no guarantee he will get the job. But I do hope for your sake that he does!
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