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Old 18.05.2011, 04:38
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Advice on settling in please

Hi there so I am still to graduate this summer but I got myself a job in Switzerland (Staefa) Well first I was really excited but as time to move is approaching I am having a bit of a reality check.... so I was wondering if I could get some advice from you experts on these areas please!!!

Accommodation:Well luckily my company has provided me with a Temporary housing in Zurich for the first month or two. But in terms of permanent housing, where shall I look? Ideally I would like to live in a WG because living alone would probably depress me

Registration at the local Gemeinde: Can I just walk into any local Kreisbuero with my documents and register?

Krankenkasse: Which one shall I go for? Which is the most reasonable option? I have plenty of life insurances here so wont need that and I am being covered for accident insurance by the company.

Bank account: I need a basic bank account to have my wages paid into. I would like to be able to use the ATM and pay with my card for shoppings, so pretty much the equivalent of a normal Visa Debit card from Natwest or HSBC. What would you guys recommend?

Mobile phone: I use an I phone (locked) with Vodafone here. Whats the equivalent to Vodafone in Switzerland? Whats the best tariffe to go for? Is it true that under 25 can get some discount. Whats the best option to receive and make calls back in the UK. (I know I will be spending a lot of time on the phone to my mummy )

Last and finally travel cards: Do company's have some scheme with travel cards? or is it just simple to go for a monthly pass! This Kreis business confuses me even though I am used to london transport

Apologies for so many different Questions ....any little information will be much appreciated! Last and finally did you all settle in okay? Do you all like it? As time is approaching I feel weird leaving everything behind and starting new again

Take care thanks xxx
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Old 18.05.2011, 05:12
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Re: Advice on settling in please

I live in Stäfa and I think it is great for young families. Not too much nightlife though. If I were young and single I would live in the city and commute. I guess it depends on your lifestyle.

I have an SBB Visa card which includes the half card (public transport is half price). (see http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...reditkarte.htm).

For calling home we just skype.

You can get your phone unlocked for a fee from Vodafone. I did this, kept my vodafone SIM, and got a 5 chf prepaid SIM from orange (see http://www1.orange.ch/residential_pr...=MNR_EN_Mobile)

and welcome...

Last edited by robyn.oz; 18.05.2011 at 05:17. Reason: can't spell
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Old 18.05.2011, 09:08
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Re: Advice on settling in please

Accom : Stating place for most people is www.homegate.ch

Registration: Don't rush in... check with your company HR department. Often the company will do it for you

Krankenkasse: Again, don't rush. Often companies have preferred provider or agents who will assist you. Medical insurance is compulsory so you will have to back pay to to the day you arrive in Switzerland...Speak to your HR contact
www.comparis.ch is useful if your on your own

Bank Accounts: Take your pick. Most have English Websites and you can make appointments with them in English. Just watch out for the hidden charges like using other bank's cashpoints etc.

Phone: Swisscom has the best coverage, but is the most expensive. Definitely look at setting up skype or something similar. Swiss phone charges are crazy as they are not regulated like the EU.

Travelcards. You can get Monthly & yearly cards. Depnds on where you will live. As already mention, Halbtax card is a major bonus if you want to travel around Switzerland. It reduces the fares by 50%

Hope that helps a little !
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Old 18.05.2011, 09:44
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Re: Advice on settling in please

Welcome to the forum!

I moved here from London, and within three or four weeks I felt like I didn't want to return (except to watch Arsenal of course )

One of the key things to help me settle in was of course making friends. Once you're here and you've got adminstrative matters out of the way, I'd suggest that you get yourself down to some of the social events organised by the folk here. There is also a great hiking and outdoor activities group in Zurich run by expats on the meetup website. They run all sorts of activities from roller blading to hiking, to skiing, to parties.

Once you've made yourself some friends here, you'll enjoy yourself a lot more.

Kash.
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Old 18.05.2011, 12:08
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Re: Advice on settling in please

Aww thank you guys for the advice ...well I do speak German so should hopefully make things easier! Btw how do you go about getting the residence permit? Once you register at the local gemeinde ...do you get a residence permit?
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