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Old 15.02.2012, 03:56
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From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi all!

I have fallen in love with Switzerland. I love a society where it is expected that one will follow rules that are meant to serve the community.

I want to have a grand adventure and visit this beloved country.

I have been a high school English and journalism teacher for 30 years and am going to retire in May 2012 while I am still young enough to have adventures.

I am single and was not blessed with children in this life. I joke that I have had thousands of kids. Instead, I have a cat. She is ornery and has rules.

Family is everything to me, yet I don't have a family of my own. I usually invite myself over to my siblings' houses where I cook great meals they all love. I even clean it all up when I'm done, doing all the dishes too.

That's just a little bit about me.

I hope to come and experience what there is to experience sometime maybe from August or September or October. Plans are still in embryo stage.

I have been reading a lot of books to help me learn what NOT to do. Beyond Chocolate, Swiss Watching, etc.

I have also purchased the Rosetta Stone to learn German (or High German as they call it here).

I would like to join many of the groups that are featured on this site. You sound like an extremely fun and cultured group to hang with.

I was wondering about bringing an iPad or some sort of device that would provide streaming movies, should I need some outlet for entertainment inside my domicile. Would that work? What requirements would I need to meet to be able to do the Netflix thing in Switzerland?

Can one download books to read ala Kindle Fire? Is that the better way to go over Ipad 2?

I'm a sponge. Let me soak up what you have to say and directions or advice you have to share.

I may be looking to expanding my stay with a job search in the future. Am I out of luck due to my age? I'll be 54 in April.

Nice to meetcha! Let's do a fondue!
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Old 15.02.2012, 05:04
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Oops! I just remembered that there are other strands I can read for the answer to my technical questions about streaming movies.

Feel free to share your knowledge on other items.
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Old 15.02.2012, 05:41
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi, Bobbie Jean, and welcome to the Forum!
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Old 15.02.2012, 09:16
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi Bobbie Jean,

Welcome to the forum.

You will absolutely need to read threads about work permits (esp. with an American passport) if you plan to try to find work or stay in Switzerland. This will be your biggest challenge, bar none.

You can show up and have a certain amount of time to 'be in' Switz as a 'tourist', which means in actual fact you are not coming here to actively seek some sort of employment ( I will probably get corrected on this...)...but I am not sure you will be able to secure a place to live in that short time period (if I remember you have the right to 'be in' Switz 3 months, as a tourist), unless you are staying at a hotel or something equivalent (please check out prices and compare with current USD/CHF exchange rate....!!!).

You will need to have a potential Swiss employer already in your sights (who you will have to get in contact with and get something hashed out) who will have to put in alot of paperwork on your behalf to get you a work permit with alot of proofs that you are the only one can perform a certain position, and that those people can not be found already in Switzerland.

Its much like a non-USA citizen wanting to come to American to live and work. They need to get a Green Card that allows them to work and live legally in the USA.

Again please read through the threads dealing with work permits.

Bonne chance

Tiny

Last edited by tiny_tim; 15.02.2012 at 09:39.
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Old 15.02.2012, 10:49
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Great to see a fellow educator wanting to make the move here. I would suggest getting in contact with some of the MANY international schools here and talk to them about part time positions. They can often get work permits for Americans easier because they can say that they need native english speakers for schools where kids are taught in English only. My wife and I are teachers in Bern and love it here. If you go the the International Schools Service website (http://www.iss.edu/schools) and use the map to find the schools in Switzerland. Not sure that is the route you want to take, but it's an idea. I know as an American that in order to even apply for a work visa, you have to have a job offer in hand. International schools will most often do all the paperwork for the visa themselves, leaving you to simply sign some papers and show up at a Swiss embassy to pick up your visa. Good luck.
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:07
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi Jerallie

Great avenue to explore!

Regards

Tiny
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Old 15.02.2012, 14:13
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi Jeriallie,


Welcome to the forum, I enjoyed your intro.

As per language, if you are only visiting, speaking German is not necessary but useful. Most people, especially in high-throughput/touristy areas can speak fluent English. As for blending in, High-German speakers stand out just as much as English speakers-learning swiss german would be a super plus, but understandably difficult generally speaking, and for finding resources.

Best of luck! (don't abandon your kitty! I had to give mine up to come over here, and it's seriously the one thing I miss the most!)
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Old 15.02.2012, 20:27
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Well as American move to Swiss hm... I don't know. I'm sure you can find a job, but also Swiss people don't really like it if you don't speak German or Italian or French. They have enough people already from Germany and they speak different German and they don't like this. I was living in USA, the different between American and Swiss culture is enorm. In Swiss everybody like to take care for nature, if you are shopping they don't buy a bunch of bags, usually they take it. They trying to keep everything clean, the streets, the city nice looking and organized. The food is expensive but much more healthier, of course is there also McDonald's. The shops aren't so long open than in USA, Sunday is almost everything close. And I think never in my life saw someone going in Zurich in pijama shopping or sitting in a pizzeria. So funny.
I think the worst what American don't like in Swiss that everything cost much more. Well, I dont know, but if I think about that as a nursing assistant I made in MD 1200 dollar a months.....every American knows this is terrible. So I was always better of in Zurich and I could save money. But it's really a big change for someone from USA. Good luck. Im sorry, I forget english slowly.
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Old 16.02.2012, 07:53
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

I would suggest getting in contact with some of the MANY international schools here and talk to them about part time positions. They can often get work permits for Americans easier because they can say that they need native english speakers for schools where kids are taught in English only.

International schools will most often do all the paperwork for the visa themselves, leaving you to simply sign some papers and show up at a Swiss embassy to pick up your visa. Good luck.[/QUOTE]


TY for the excellent suggestion. I had wondered if there was any need for that type of teacher.

I will look to the other threads about Visas and such. I also have Living & Working in CH. Excellent resource as well.

TY for your welcoming comments.
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Old 16.02.2012, 09:32
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Hi Bobbie Jean, good luck planning your visit! Let me know when you get your schedule worked out - I'd love to meet you for a coffee. I'm American and my husband's a teacher... I reckon between us we might be able to fill you in a little on Swiss school/work culture.

In the meantime I'll just say this: Switzerland's a fantastic place to live but it will drive you nuts sometimes. Guaranteed. And then you'll get over it, and it will be wonderful again, and then a few months later it will drive you nuts again. (To be fair I imagine that's true just about anywhere else as well.) I can't predict what exactly will set you off because it seems to be different for every American I know. All I can say is, hold on to your hat.

A culture where "it is expected that one will follow rules that are meant to serve the community" sounds wonderful in principle, and is pretty wonderful in some ways. The flip side of the coin is that you can feel very micro-managed here. Of course we all live squashed up on top of each other (look up the population density figures sometime) which doesn't help either. I've found hiking is a good outlet for that, gives you some sanity-preserving elbow room when you need it.
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Old 16.02.2012, 09:55
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Haha so funny, of course, Swiss is a small country and you find that everywhere in Europe, but I didn't feel never annoying. But rules can be sometimes really bad, but tell the truth one day you go back to USA and you will learn so much in Swiss that you will look Amerika with different eyes. I special like that they are very neat and I think every other country should learn that. Yes the culture difference is enorm, I had also shock in the USA. But the main thing, you have to concentrate for that wich is positive. For example you don't need the car, the public transportation is amazing and actually children can travel alone. I didn't have never any safety problems. It's just cool. And die Bergwelt ist atemberaubend. In Switzerland is great, they dont just use everything they take care. You can see that in politic. They think about that their grandchildren wants to live also there, so the government use so much money what they have. But they don't really like foreign people. I have this feeling. We are in eastern Euope much more friendly and easy going.
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Old 17.02.2012, 01:52
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

I'd love to meet you for a coffee. I'm American and my husband's a teacher... I reckon between us we might be able to fill you in a little on Swiss school/work culture.

Of course we all live squashed up on top of each other (look up the population density figures sometime) which doesn't help either.


Thank you, MathNut. I'll take you up on the coffee. I have never had such a grand adventure and I'm really looking forward to it. Got my passport and am ready to travel. But not for a few months just yet...

Did your husband have his teaching job prior to moving there? Which company would he recommend teaching for?

What area would you recommend for a base from which to branch out on all my adventures once within CH?
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Old 17.02.2012, 09:08
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

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Did your husband have his teaching job prior to moving there? Which company would he recommend teaching for?
He's an EU national so had it quite a bit easier than you or I would have... see the threads somebody mentioned above on work permits. But yes, I think he had a job offer lined up (or had at least been for an interview already - not too sure of the details actually, as this was before we met.)

Quote:
What area would you recommend for a base from which to branch out on all my adventures once within CH?
Depends how long you're staying and what you want to do! Are you coming for a week, a couple of months, something in between? Prefer cities or countryside/mountains? Shopping, sports or sightseeing?

In case you do line up any interviews for while you're here, I suppose you'd want to base yourself reasonably near a big city (Zürich/Basel/Geneva) as that is where most of the international schools are concentrated. Good news here is that it's a small country so you don't necessarily have to be in a city, just within an hour or two by train. Can't speak for Basel and Geneva but there are some awfully lovely mountains an hour away from Zürich.

Do you speak much German or French? That might narrow it down a bit... there's scenery everywhere, might as well go wherever you'll feel most at ease.
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Old 17.02.2012, 10:27
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Re: From Arizona to Switzerland, hopefully :)

Welcome to EF - and hopefully to Switzerland, Bobby Jean!

Yes, Switzerland is a wonderful country - but it isn't always the Land Of Milk And Honey that it is sometimes portrayed to be in the US media. So - certainly come over for a holiday, get a feel for the country - but in terms of relocating, one should be realistic in one's expectations.

Your biggest hurdle wrt relocation will be permits. As I'm sure you know, Americans and all other non-EU folks have a difficult time getting a permit these days due to the worsening economic situation, as first an employer must try to fill an open position with a Swiss or Eu citizen.

(To give you an idea, my husband will no longer consider non-EU candidates because of the difficulty in getting permits for them.)

Not to be overly doom-and-gloom, but just a heads up. Learn as much as you can about the immigration process for non-EU folks so that you understand what lies ahead.

I've had many happy times here, and will always recommend a stint overseas if only for the adventure; a chance to learn about another culture, another way of life, is good for the soul. Switzerland has much to offer - and many expats have fallen in love with the country, the people, the culture.

But there is a dark side to the Swiss culture of "it is expected that one will follow rules that are meant to serve the community", as others have pointed out. For me, it ended in tragedy. Hopefully you won't encounter this aspect of life here - but do keep your eyes open while you visit and get to know the country. And if you are lucky enough to find a job and be granted a permit - before making final decisions to relocate, it's a good idea to take off the rose colored glasses every once in a while.

Wishing you all the best - here's to an exciting next chapter.
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