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Old 04.05.2011, 21:26
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From New Jersey to Zurich

Hi all,
We are looking to move our family with 2 young kids (4 & 6 years old) to Zurich. Any recommendations on neighborhoods with nice English speaking school and neighborhoods? A little overwhelmed and any help is very much appreciated. Does anyone know what the commute is like to Schaffhausen from Zurich?
Thanks!
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Old 05.05.2011, 10:08
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Welcome. This forum can be extremely useful, especially if you use the "search" function. Most questions you have will have been asked by someone, at some point.

My wife and I made this move a year and a half ago - central NJ to Zurich. It was stressful, but not bad, and everything has worked out so far. Of course, we don't have kids, so that part I cannot advise you on.

I think I might know who you are, if you've already contacted my wife. If so, you can send me a PM; otherwise, best of luck in the move.
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Old 06.05.2011, 09:46
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Hi NJFamily,

Welcome to the Forum and Congratulations on your upcoming move to Switzerland! Where in NJ are you from? I currently live in Williamsburg, VA but grew up, have family and still visit NJ often. I grew up in Cape May, but relocated with my family about 5 years ago from Chester, NJ.

My family and I are in the process of relocating to Switzerland as well. I have found this Forum to be such a valuable resource and a wealth of information. I am not living in Switzerland yet, but plan on arriving soon. I have three children (ages 7, 6, 5). They will be attending Zurich International School(ZIS) in August. When will you be relocating?

We rented a house in Horgen since it is close ZIS, but my husband will be working in Schaffhausen. The commute is going to be long for my husband, but after much debate we thought it was important to live closer to our children’s school. When we were trying to decide on where to live, I got the impression the commute from Zurich to Schaffhausen is about a 30-45 minute train ride and very easy.

With regards to schools, the International Schools are taught in English. There are several International Schools between Schaffhausen and Zurich (International School of Schaffhausen, International School of Winterthur, Zurich International School, and the Inter Community School). These are just the International Schools my husband and I visited during our trip back in November; there might be other English Speaking Schools in the area but I am not familiar with them.

Well good luck with your move and maybe our families can meet up once in Switzerland!

Eileen
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Old 06.05.2011, 15:07
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Train ride from Zurich Airport to Schaffhausen is 45 minutes. By car through Germany it can be around 30-40 minutes. I used to live in Neuhausen (near Schaffhausen) and work near the airport. Living in Schaffhausen and working in Zurich can be quite a pain, as traffic is always bad. Which is why I moved this year.

Good luck with the move! Let me know if you need more information on Schaffhausen area?
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Old 10.05.2011, 09:58
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

why move to zurich when schaffhausen is soooooo beautiful and has everything a family could possibly need !!
it is very much an international city with many english speakers and your husband would not need to spend at least 45 mins on a train everyday.

if you are part of the unilever families moving over, we also have a very active partners network based in SH with many activities and opportunities to meet other families
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Old 10.05.2011, 10:34
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Hello and welcome!

There are many English speaking families living in Thalwil and Horgen.

Thalwil has really great train connections as well.
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Old 10.05.2011, 11:11
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

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Hi all,
We are looking to move our family with 2 young kids (4 & 6 years old) to Zurich. Any recommendations on neighborhoods with nice English speaking school and neighborhoods? A little overwhelmed and any help is very much appreciated. Does anyone know what the commute is like to Schaffhausen from Zurich?
Thanks!
Why is it and I don't mean to be funny (really I don't), that when someone moves to Switzerland some expect it to be full of English speaking schools + english speaking ghettos?

This country has x4 main languages none of which are English. English speakers are in the minority. However it doesn't mean that the natives cannot speak English.

There are English speaking expats here who you will be able to meet up with. Check the events on EF and do some research when you get here. It's pretty easy to meet with fellow English speaking natives.

Wouldn't it be nice for someone to come on here with...

"Hey I'm moving to Switzerland where can I learn some German/French/Italian/Romanisch to help my families integration?"

This would make your move so much easier, really it would, take it as a family excercise learn some German, have fun making mistakes. The swissies love someone making the effort instead of yet another foreigner expecting it their own way.

Probably one of the best things you could do for the kids coming here is put them into a Swiss school, they would become bi-lingual pretty quickly at that age. Yes it would be difficult but they would thank you a lot further down the line.

Feel free to disagree but I just don't get this thought process, perhaps it's me..
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Old 10.05.2011, 13:13
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

I think it's crazy to commute to Schaffhausen from Zurich. Zurich is so much more expensive
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Old 10.05.2011, 15:00
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

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Probably one of the best things you could do for the kids coming here is put them into a Swiss school, they would become bi-lingual pretty quickly at that age. Yes it would be difficult but they would thank you a lot further down the line.
It's not actually so difficult and my daughter enjoyed it. She fitted in far more quickly than I did.
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Old 11.05.2011, 22:43
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

As to schools, I´d say it depends on how long you plan to stay? If you are here forever, a Swiss school with extra lessons in english is a good idea, if you know you are only staying for a shorter period, I can recommend an international school. And the kids normally pick up the language fairly easy from the neighbour kids (at least that´s what happens with my colleagues).
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Old 12.05.2011, 12:53
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Yes - Schaffhausen.

Consider the quality of your life in Zurich, you will be running a taxi service escorting small children to school & playdates - believe me their chums will be scatterred to all four corners of the lake. Your husband meanwhile will have over an hours commute to Schaffhausen - being off in the small hours of the morning & returning late in the evening possibly around/after bedtime - & where are your husbands chums? - well in/around Schaffhausen because thats the only place he's going to have the time to socialise. He deserves to enjoy himself too as he's the reason you are coming here. You could live in/around Schaffhausen, your school run & husbands commute could be max 20mins. No brainer or what? (He could even cycle to work....)

You are missing a trick in not considering Schaffhausen, there is an International School and LOTS of English speakers around here. Life round here is great.

Broaden your horizons & think 'When in Rome ...'
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Old 12.05.2011, 16:42
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Agree on that. Have lived in Neuhausen (near Schaffhausen) and had a very good time!
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Old 12.05.2011, 17:10
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

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Probably one of the best things you could do for the kids coming here is put them into a Swiss school, they would become bi-lingual pretty quickly at that age. Yes it would be difficult but they would thank you a lot further down the line.

Feel free to disagree but I just don't get this thought process, perhaps it's me..
I am going to disagree. I do have clients with children attending international school, but most of my clients have children in local schools and are very well integrated. They are not here for a short term and local school was the best choice. If you know you are coming here for a limited time, and then returning back to an English language school system, local school is not the best option for all children. The child's age must be taken into consideration.

If you opt for local school for school age children, I highly recommend English lessons to keep up the language skills, particularly reading. Speaking a language at home does not mean reading and writing it, this has to be taught.
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Old 12.05.2011, 17:32
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

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I am going to disagree. I do have clients with children attending international school, but most of my clients have children in local schools and are very well integrated. They are not here for a short term and local school was the best choice. If you know you are coming here for a limited time, and then returning back to an English language school system, local school is not the best option for all children. The child's age must be taken into consideration.

If you opt for local school for school age children, I highly recommend English lessons to keep up the language skills, particularly reading. Speaking a language at home does not mean reading and writing it, this has to be taught.
Excellent points.

I agree in the main, still there's many reasons for using a Swiss school and hiring a private tutor to work on their reading skills and written English.

Although as a good parent I suppose I expect people would provide this anyway?

I further agree that short term moves the lines are blurred. Thinking English is the be all and end all of a child's education is wrong, there maybe further advantages in the childs future from the use of foreign languages, exposure to different cultures, integration and the list goes on. I know people who have used international schools.

Far too much emphasis is put on perfect English and I'm yet to meet many people, even native speakers that are able to write the perfect piece, I include myself in that.

Language is about communication not the next round of the spelling bee competition. Yes it's important to get things right but it's more important to be understood, and construct your points in a logical and well thought out manner regardless of the language used.

I see this on a daily basis with board level members of companies. That included individuals in the UK (who are UK born) with supposedly private school upbringing that I have worked with in the past.

Compare the costs?

International School vs

Swiss School + Private Tution.

I know which one makes more sense to me, then again it depends on the childs age as you said. I see no damage exposing them to the Swiss system at the ages at 4/6 for a couple of years, but I could see problems at 14/16 for example.

Last edited by Cata1yst; 12.05.2011 at 18:38.
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Old 12.05.2011, 17:57
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

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Compare the costs?

International School vs

Swiss School + Private Tution.

I know which one makes more sense to me, then again it depends on the childs age as you said. I see no damage exposing them to the Swiss system at the ages at 4/6 for a couple of years, but I could see problems at 14/16 for example.
If the employer is paying, many families will avail themselves of the international school option and do not consider local schools at all.
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Old 13.05.2011, 02:40
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

We live in Thalwil ourselves, and are very happy there. Thalwil is an international community on the west side of Lake Zurich. Even the neighboring municipalities of Oberrieden and Horgen are worth checking out.
Great train connections to Zurich makes commuting easy and comfortable.
Nice public bathing areas along the lake is something we've come to appreciate. Even though you're close to Zurich, it feels like you're in the country or a smaller village.
Good luck, and welcome to Switzerland.
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Old 13.05.2011, 07:37
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

We are also moving to Thalwil from NJ. We will be relocating at the end of July. When will you be moving. Maybe we can meet up once we are there?
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Old 19.01.2012, 11:31
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

Hello Everyone

I can see no one has posted anything in here since May but maybe we can get this thread running again.

I myself moved from NJ to Switzerland back in Nov 2008, i am married to a
Schweizerin and i am absolutely in love with this beautiful country. We are currently living in Winterthur and are actually moving to Frauenfeld at the end of the month.
I myself would recommend Winterthur to anyone who is working in zurich and has to commute with the train, you have many connections and the commute is only 20 mins. At the moment Winterthur is the fastest growing city population wise in switzerland. Plus Zurich airport is only 13 mins commute with the train.
Look forward to hearing from some off you

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Old 19.01.2012, 12:45
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Re: From New Jersey to Zurich

The problem with Winterthur is that the bahnhof is full of idiots late at night. Only in Winterthur have I seen the kind of drunken behavior that I left behind in the UK.

Apart from that I would live there.
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Old 19.01.2012, 14:36
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The problem with Winterthur is that the bahnhof is full of idiots late at night. Only in Winterthur have I seen the kind of drunken behavior that I left behind in the UK.

Apart from that I would live there.
Well you are right about that but that's only on the weekend and you will also find that at every major city train station in Switzerland. Zurich hb, Luzern Bern Basel st Gallen.
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