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Old 19.06.2011, 16:00
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Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Hi, New to the forum so hi all!

I'm moving to Basel in August 2011 for a 12 month placement at Syngenta. I have been sorting things out for the move like bank accounts etc (Nationwide FlexAccount) and got a new camera ready for the sights.

I have a few questions, I was wondering if you can help me with.

1. I don't speak German (yet), although I am working slowly at learning some. I've been told you can get away with speaking english most of the time in Basel, but obviously its scary to think I'm going to be going around a city at first that speaks a different language, and If I don't understand something asking for help will be hard. Any advice?

2. Shopping. What sorts of places are there for food shopping for example, I think I found Co-op nearby to me, I'm staying at a Hostel near Eglisee, Basel.

3. Nightlife. How is Basel with regards to nightlife, I have been reading around, in various books, and an FAQ I have read says a lot of people hop over the border to nightclubs in Germany and France. I'm into chart music and top 40 for example.

4. Is there anything I should know or do before arriving that might not be obvious from reading books, for example things that a lot of people do that isn't written in the books if you get me.


Thanks for any help!
Mike.
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Old 19.06.2011, 17:00
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Other people will no doubt give you totally different answers, but what works for me is ...

1. Just speak English

2. Coop is better that Migros but a bit more expensive. Manor (dept. store) often has good prices on excellent produce. Cycle to Germany or France to expand what you can buy and to get cheaper prices.

3. Not many clubs, but try and mix with some students as there's loads of not-heavily-advertised parties going on.

4. Nothing special with a Flexaccount any more. All the "using your card abroad" advantages went away a year or so ago. Open a Metro Bank account and/or get a Post Office credit card. Ask Syngenta to find you somewhere to live. Don't just pick proximity to the Rosental campus as your priority, as most of the architecture around there is depressing. Get a bike. Get a "Halbtax" train card.
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Old 19.06.2011, 17:25
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Welcome to the Forum.
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4. Is there anything I should know or do before arriving that might not be obvious from reading books, for example things that a lot of people do that isn't written in the books if you get me.
Read up the stuff on here for a couple of days and you will have covered most things. Threads and stickies on the subject of rubbish, noise, public transport, brown sugar and Swiss German will start you off nicely.

Have fun, come and join the party.
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Old 19.06.2011, 20:11
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Thanks for the info. Will definately look at the Halbtax card and getting a bike for Switzerland. Can't wait for the party trust me!

Mike.
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Old 02.07.2011, 21:05
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Hey Mike, I read your thread and I realized I'm in the same situation.
I'm moving to Basel this August at Syngenta and I'm stayng in Eglisee Hostel too.
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Old 02.07.2011, 21:51
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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Will definately look at the Halbtax card and getting a bike for Switzerland.
Get some passport photos done before you come over. The halbtax card costs @ CHF160 and they want 2 photos.
Buy the bike in the UK and bring it over with you.
Clothing is also much cheaper in the UK.
Bring marmite.
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Old 02.07.2011, 22:17
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

Hey Mike, I'm in the same boat as you will be moving to Basel last week of July to start a job in August. Well done for asking the question I've been building up to asking something similar but was afraid of getting a load of "use the !"£$%^& search" replies

Well done to @adrianlondon good answer especially about the parties

I'm a bit worried about the social scene as well, from what I've read and heard so far it's not that great. Remember if/when you find some parties I'll be in like Flynn
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Old 05.07.2011, 16:23
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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Hey Mike, I read your thread and I realized I'm in the same situation.
I'm moving to Basel this August at Syngenta and I'm stayng in Eglisee Hostel too.
Brilliant! I'll PM you.
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Old 05.07.2011, 16:31
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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Hey Mike, I'm in the same boat as you will be moving to Basel last week of July to start a job in August. Well done for asking the question I've been building up to asking something similar but was afraid of getting a load of "use the !"£$%^& search" replies

Well done to @adrianlondon good answer especially about the parties

I'm a bit worried about the social scene as well, from what I've read and heard so far it's not that great. Remember if/when you find some parties I'll be in like Flynn
Haha, I basically had no idea, so just went for it and asked. Which company are you working at? I hope there are parties/nights out, its how I stop being shy around new people. :P
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Old 05.07.2011, 16:40
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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Other people will no doubt give you totally different answers, but what works for me is ...

1. Just speak English

2. Coop is better that Migros but a bit more expensive. Manor (dept. store) often has good prices on excellent produce. Cycle to Germany or France to expand what you can buy and to get cheaper prices.

3. Not many clubs, but try and mix with some students as there's loads of not-heavily-advertised parties going on.

4. Nothing special with a Flexaccount any more. All the "using your card abroad" advantages went away a year or so ago. Open a Metro Bank account and/or get a Post Office credit card. Ask Syngenta to find you somewhere to live. Don't just pick proximity to the Rosental campus as your priority, as most of the architecture around there is depressing. Get a bike. Get a "Halbtax" train card.
I'm in agreeement with Adrian on most points.

1. English is the official language of Syngenta so while you are on the "island" the only place you might need any German at all is in the cantine when you want to tell the lunch lady you don't want to eat your vegetables. However, out and about in the city, making an effort to initiate in German will often solicite offers for English. If you start out demanding dialogue in English, then you may not get as good service.

2. Coop (pronounced "cope") and Migros are plentiful. I prefer Coop, but Migros is more convenient to my house. For Saturday grocery shopping I go to Rheincenter in Weil or to a French store which I can't remember the name of at the moment located in St. Louis. Globus located at Marktplatz has a bit of an upscaled grocery store, which I'm not really excited about. I think it's too "froofy."

3. I haven't been to see any nightlife in Switzerland yet. I'm afraid to be out after 10:00pm for fear that I'll drop something or bang a wall when I come home. This would then cause the police to come knocking on my door the next day about a noise complaint.

4. Not sure about the terms of your temporary relocation to Basel, but Syngenta does have relocation services in certain situations. I'd recommend you ask your HR contact about this. The service can locate a temporary, furnished apartment for you to stay while you are here, and even have the contract signed off so you have somewhere to crash the day you arrive.
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Old 05.07.2011, 16:44
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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Hey Mike, I read your thread and I realized I'm in the same situation.
I'm moving to Basel this August at Syngenta and I'm stayng in Eglisee Hostel too.

Quote:
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Hey Mike, I'm in the same boat as you will be moving to Basel last week of July to start a job in August. Well done for asking the question I've been building up to asking something similar but was afraid of getting a load of "use the !"£$%^& search" replies

Well done to @adrianlondon good answer especially about the parties

I'm a bit worried about the social scene as well, from what I've read and heard so far it's not that great. Remember if/when you find some parties I'll be in like Flynn
I'm scared now.
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Old 05.07.2011, 16:47
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

I've been here since October - only speak English and a bit of italian and have done pretty well with it. We brought our bikes over with us - cheaper to bring them on the plane (easyjet) than to buy even second hand ones here.

We live in Kleinbasel - not sure where that is in relation to your Hostel but a few weeks ago several new people joined our gym - all students doing a year at Syngenta - so it looks like you will have lots of people your age to hang out with and since they've been here a few weekes they will have advice for you. they joined the gym as its not too expensive and gives them somenthing to do at nights. They found that the nightclubs/bars were a bit expensive. Most people bypass this and have their own parties along the river - you can swim, BBQ, bring your own drinks - its a great atmosphere. The two I was speaking to were from Belgium and Maldova and came from a University in Barcelona - they use english as a common language.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 11.07.2011, 17:35
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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I've been here since October - only speak English and a bit of italian and have done pretty well with it. We brought our bikes over with us - cheaper to bring them on the plane (easyjet) than to buy even second hand ones here.

We live in Kleinbasel - not sure where that is in relation to your Hostel but a few weeks ago several new people joined our gym - all students doing a year at Syngenta - so it looks like you will have lots of people your age to hang out with and since they've been here a few weekes they will have advice for you. they joined the gym as its not too expensive and gives them somenthing to do at nights. They found that the nightclubs/bars were a bit expensive. Most people bypass this and have their own parties along the river - you can swim, BBQ, bring your own drinks - its a great atmosphere. The two I was speaking to were from Belgium and Maldova and came from a University in Barcelona - they use english as a common language.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
Brilliant thanks. One more question if you please. It says to bring a medical kit with me, stuff such as paracetamol as these are expensive to buy in Switzerland. I was just wondering there must be a limit of that sort of stuff that you can bring in, does anybody know how much I can bring safely into the country?

Also how much stuff can I take out of the country, in terms of sourvenirs (aka chocolate etc. etc.) as these are foods?

Thanks.
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Old 11.07.2011, 19:08
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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stuff such as paracetamol as these are expensive to buy in Switzerland
about 3 CHFs for 20 tablets the last time i bought some

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Also how much stuff can I take out of the country, in terms of sourvenirs (aka chocolate etc. etc.) as these are foods?
I tend to carry about 20 kgs of chocolates as check-in baggage. so, so, so

and welcome to Basel!
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Old 11.07.2011, 20:01
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

I couldn't miss this thread...
Sounds like you, Sir Mike, asked most of the questions I could have asked (that's why I didn't post so much questions on my introduction post hehe^^).
Party details: check.
Young people: check.
German: check.
Syngenta: check.
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Old 12.07.2011, 21:37
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Re: Moving to Basel in August 2011, 1 Year Work Placement

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I couldn't miss this thread...
Sounds like you, Sir Mike, asked most of the questions I could have asked (that's why I didn't post so much questions on my introduction post hehe^^).
Party details: check.
Young people: check.
German: check.
Syngenta: check.
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about 3 CHFs for 20 tablets the last time i bought some


I tend to carry about 20 kgs of chocolates as check-in baggage. so, so, so

and welcome to Basel!
Brilliant cheers for the info. What about bringing paracetamol into the country, as its 16p a box here. Or is that forbidden?

Mike.

PS. KEP, good stuff, can't wait to get there!
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