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Old 01.07.2011, 22:05
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Hello everyone!

Hi,
First of all, let me say what a great resource this forum has been for me over the last month or so! It has answered many of my questions regarding our impending move to Switzerland.
As I have more questions that I wanted to pose on the forum, I need to first say a few words about myself and my family. We are quite an international family - I am Ukrainian, my wife is Russian, and our 3-year old daughter is American. We have spent the last 10 years or so in California, really enjoyed it there, but are looking forward to moving back to Europe. We'll be moving to canton Vaud in September, where my wife found a job at EPFL. I will have to commute to Geneva where my company (financial services) has an office. Our daughter will hopefully start at a kindergarten or a day care.
Although we are very excited, we all have some concerns about the move. My wife is terrified about the need to learn French and alpine skiing. I am concerned about finding a great place to live that will suit all of us and the need to pay double taxes. Our daughter’s concerns are the easiest to accommodate so far, she is only worried whether her Barbie princess will move as well.
We like hiking and being outdoors in general, so Switzerland seems to be a good fit here. It seems that we'll be able to maintain or improve our standard of living after the move. However for that to happen we will need to find a quiet and convenient place to live, find a reliable Russian/English speaking nanny and/or a good kindergarten, have some free time on our hands, and not be triple-hit by taxes in Vaud, US, and California.
I will certainly be posting more with specific questions and, hopefully, with answers in the near future. I feel good about joining such a great community of English speakers in Switzerland on EF!
Cheers,
Vlad.
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Old 01.07.2011, 22:16
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Re: Hello everyone!

Welcome to the Forum.

As you say, you'll have a load of questions, but if you are prepared to look around in here, you'll find lots of folk have asked similar ones already. Check these out and then you can come with your more specific requirements.

Happy hunting.
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Old 01.07.2011, 23:24
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Re: Hello everyone!

Best wishes to you on your transition.

I don't know about Vaud, but in Zurich they offer integration courses for women. My wife, who is Russian, found many other Russian speaking ladies, and this was a great opportunity to make friends and to integrate, not to mention finding out a lot of useful information about the city and Switzerland.

This is something that you might want to inquire about.
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Old 02.07.2011, 00:49
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Re: Hello everyone!

Hello, Vlad, and welcome to the forum.

If I am not mistaken the integration courses are organized by the Red Cross here in VD canton, so get in touch with them, or your local commune, official authorities.
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Old 02.07.2011, 19:54
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Re: Hello everyone!

Hi, Vlad,

Good luck with the move. Pity that you do not move to Zürich.

Does your daughter speaks Russian?
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Old 06.07.2011, 07:50
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Re: Hello everyone!

FromNJ, MC,
Thank you for your suggestion about the integration courses. We'll definetely check them out!
TinyK,
Our daughter speaks Russian fluently, she is beginning to pick up some English. BTW, Zurich is only 2-hours away by train! This is next door by US standards.
Vlad.
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Old 06.07.2011, 11:37
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Re: Hello everyone!

Welcome to the forums

its a nice place to get alot of information, its been really helpful to me.

Unfortunately I will be gone when you come in september, but ull find alot of nice ppl here to give u a warm welcome
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Old 06.07.2011, 11:59
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Re: Hello everyone!

Welcome to EF and soon CH Vlad.

Moving out always have some pros and cons, but i'm sure you will enjoy your stay in CH, it's a lovely country once you get around how everything works, a starter brochure can be found here New Official «Welcome to Switzerland» Brochure

Regarding the language, your wife can have French courses which are available nearly everywhere, I also find that learning language is easier when you're surrounded by natives, so she can chill out about it for now, it won't take her much time to start speaking and swearing in French

For the accommodation, it's normally one of the downsides here due to the shortage of apartments, so you will need to have a range of regions to live within, as you will be in Geneva, wife in Lausanne....you have more options ie. Lausanne, Gland, Nyon, Renens, Morges...Geneva would be the least option as it's way too expensive and nearly impossible to get an apartment easily.

In the meantime as other members advised, feel free to look around the forum, you will pretty much have all the information you need from in every aspect of life, if you feel confused or need further info about a certain topic, just reply to an existing open thread or if there's non related, feel free to start a new thread.
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Old 06.07.2011, 17:08
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Re: Hello everyone!

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TinyK,
Our daughter speaks Russian fluently, she is beginning to pick up some English. BTW, Zurich is only 2-hours away by train! This is next door by US standards.
Yes, even comparing to Ukraine it is 15 times smaller. And I believe that the trains are much faster in CH, than in Ukraine. But anyway, I would be glad if my daughter had some other Russian speaking friends nearby after we move.

BTW, do you visit Ukraine from time to time?
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Old 07.07.2011, 20:29
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Welcome to EF and soon CH Vlad.

Moving out always have some pros and cons, but i'm sure you will enjoy your stay in CH, it's a lovely country once you get around how everything works, a starter brochure can be found here New Official «Welcome to Switzerland» Brochure

Regarding the language, your wife can have French courses which are available nearly everywhere, I also find that learning language is easier when you're surrounded by natives, so she can chill out about it for now, it won't take her much time to start speaking and swearing in French

For the accommodation, it's normally one of the downsides here due to the shortage of apartments, so you will need to have a range of regions to live within, as you will be in Geneva, wife in Lausanne....you have more options ie. Lausanne, Gland, Nyon, Renens, Morges...Geneva would be the least option as it's way too expensive and nearly impossible to get an apartment easily.

In the meantime as other members advised, feel free to look around the forum, you will pretty much have all the information you need from in every aspect of life, if you feel confused or need further info about a certain topic, just reply to an existing open thread or if there's non related, feel free to start a new thread.
Hi Mowvich,
Thank you for the link and your advice.
Indeed, the prefered option for us in the long term is an apartment in Morges, Lausanne, or Renens (in that order). I would rather commute myself than have my wife complain about it
Vlad.
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Old 07.07.2011, 20:31
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Yes, even comparing to Ukraine it is 15 times smaller. And I believe that the trains are much faster in CH, than in Ukraine. But anyway, I would be glad if my daughter had some other Russian speaking friends nearby after we move.

BTW, do you visit Ukraine from time to time?
We will be in Kiev some time in August or September depending on when the Swiss visa goes through.
What city are from in Ukraine?
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Old 07.07.2011, 20:32
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Welcome to the forums

its a nice place to get alot of information, its been really helpful to me.

Unfortunately I will be gone when you come in september, but ull find alot of nice ppl here to give u a warm welcome
Thank you for your encouragement!
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Old 07.07.2011, 21:26
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Re: Hello everyone!

Ehto prijatno chto vi zdes'!!! Welcome!!!
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Old 07.07.2011, 21:50
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Re: Hello everyone!

Hi Vladislav,

My husband and I are also new to the Lausanne area. We live in St-Sulpice and like it a lot. Let us know if you have any questions. Don't know that we have a bunch of answers (yet) but at least we can commiserate!

Biographically, we also seem to have a lot in common. I'm American and my husband is Italian, and we spent the last 12 years in the US. My husband did a post doc in Cali before getting a job at EPFL in January. He also needs to learn French for work, but apparently they have some really great courses for French at EPFL. PM us if you would like to go grab a beer with us in St-Sulpice

Tiffany
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Old 07.07.2011, 21:58
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Hi Mowvich,
Thank you for the link and your advice.
Indeed, the prefered option for us in the long term is an apartment in Morges, Lausanne, or Renens (in that order). I would rather commute myself than have my wife complain about it
Vlad.
BTW, (no offense to anyone who may live in Renens), but don't get a place in Renens if you can help it. It's kind of sketch-tastic. My husband had a temp apt there when he first arrived and it sucked.

Places to look: St-Sulpice, Preverenges, Morges are all good. Living in Lausanne....maybe, but the taxes are higher and that creates a commute for the both of you since it's east of where you both work.

Also, have your wife ask with human resources for what sort of relocation help they can give her. They may be able to hire an agent to help you guys find a place (which is easier than looking on your own) .
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Old 07.07.2011, 23:35
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Re: Hello everyone!

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BTW, (no offense to anyone who may live in Renens), but don't get a place in Renens if you can help it. It's kind of sketch-tastic. My husband had a temp apt there when he first arrived and it sucked.

Places to look: St-Sulpice, Preverenges, Morges are all good. Living in Lausanne....maybe, but the taxes are higher and that creates a commute for the both of you since it's east of where you both work.

Also, have your wife ask with human resources for what sort of relocation help they can give her. They may be able to hire an agent to help you guys find a place (which is easier than looking on your own) .
Tearley,
Thanks a lot for the advice. I will drop Renens from the list. St-Sulpice was on our list (and highly recommended by my wife's colleague) but I would rather not drive to Geneva every day, so a train station nearby is a big plus. Taxes need to enter into consideration as well. I may ask you more about that when we are having a beer. By the way, did you find a tax advisor to help you ease the pain of double taxes?
Definitely up for a beer! What field is your husband in?
Vlad.
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Old 07.07.2011, 23:37
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Ehto prijatno chto vi zdes'!!! Welcome!!!
Danke! Spasibo!
Many languages are spoken here on EF!
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Old 08.07.2011, 20:24
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Re: Hello everyone!

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What city are from in Ukraine?
I am from Kiev.
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Old 08.07.2011, 20:34
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Re: Hello everyone!

Hi Vald! Welcome!!

I used to live right up BART from you in the east bay too
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Old 08.07.2011, 21:20
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Re: Hello everyone!

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Hi Vald! Welcome!!

I used to live right up BART from you in the east bay too
El Cerrito?
So how does Switzerland compare to California for you?
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