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Old 25.06.2012, 14:09
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Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

Bloody hell we're moving to Switzerland! Thanks for reading this. We're moving over to Geneva from South East England in September when my husband starts a new job.

I've never been to Switzerland at all and apart from a quick recce in July, will be pretty much taking a leap into the unknown. I'm pretty terrified but also excited about the adventure. Going to be very interesting with a small toddler and one due in December too!

I shall be scouring the forum with interest and for top Geneva-based tips. Already seen how long the waiting lists are for nursery places.

Anyway, hope to hear from you if you feel like getting in touch and helping to calm my nerves
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Old 25.06.2012, 14:15
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

I hope on your recce trip, you signed up to the accommodation waiting list ....... if you didn't, then you're probably already too late for this year.

Welcome anyway.
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Old 25.06.2012, 17:35
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

Hi CJK1,

Welcome to English Forum!
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Old 25.06.2012, 18:00
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

Hi and welcome. I was pretty much in the same boat as you when my husband got a job here. He started work here in June, I came over for a long weekend to do house hunting (we didn't get the one we wanted then) and finally moved over at the end of September. Had only been here 3 times on holiday before that so it was in at the deep end again; my life seems to be made up of deep ends mostly but it keeps me on my toes!

If you're lucky enough to get the accommodation sorted out on the July recce that will be a major bonus in the Geneva area. What sort of help is the new company's HR department giving you? Most here seem to be pretty good at helping with accommodation sourcing, registering, etc.

Good luck with the move and hope it all goes smoothly.
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Old 25.06.2012, 21:25
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

Welcome. And some quick advice if you haven't already worked this stuff out:

1. Find somewhere to live: any decent company will give you some help. Unless you're really picky about the school you're going to send the little one to, first decide which area want to live in (based on the commute and cost): further from Geneva=cheaper and longer commute. Then (if you want to be in Switzerland - your husband's employer may even insist on it for some jobs) look on here: http://www.homegate.ch/rent/house/ca...=default&tid=1 to see what kind of price you'll need to pay for something you're willing to live in. Yes, it's damn expensive. No, there's not a lot of choice. Then spend a couple of days seeing what's available and if you like something grab it fast (within 24 hours). Yes, that's crazy. Yes, that's how it works. No, you probably won't be able to negotiate extras/reductions, but don't let that stop you trying: just don't be upset/offended when you fail.

2. Then look for a nursery place. If you go to the state sector (with a little one, I'd strongly recommend it as it will help them pick up french fast and save you some of the money you'll need to put aside for rent), you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding a place. Try 2-3 places nearest where you'll live and you should find at least one with a place.

3. Then gen up on your french. You can get by without, but you'll find it easier if you make the effort: and you may even meet some locals (who are not all strange and cold and hard to get to know, in spite of what some on here will tell you).

4. If you were smart/lucky enough to find somewhere to live close enough to his office, get your husband a bicycle and try to avoid buying more than one car (save more money to put towards the crazy rent). Look forward to a fit and healthy husband who sees his wife and kid every morning and evening before and after work.

Best of luck

Steve
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Old 26.06.2012, 10:30
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

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14. If you were smart/lucky enough to find somewhere to live close enough to his office, get your husband a bicycle and try to avoid buying more than one car (save more money to put towards the crazy rent). Look forward to a fit and healthy husband who sees his wife and kid every morning and evening before and after work.
I would second this regarding cars, given that parking in Geneva is a nightmare. Make sure your apartment has an allocated parking spot, and if you are driving to work, make sure your company provides parking.
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Old 26.06.2012, 10:35
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

What fantastic advice, thank you all very much. Steve, seems like a very sensible order to approach things and yes, the bicycle is on our list as this seemed the best and cheapest way to get around.

Medea, the relocation team at his work seems to be doing most of the work so hopefully we will be able to find somewhere that just about fits our needs but who knows? Seems like accommodation is the real sticking point with people on here.

Exciting times. Really need to dig out my old French books
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Old 26.06.2012, 11:16
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Re: Batten down the hatches, we're on our way!

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Medea, the relocation team at his work seems to be doing most of the work so hopefully we will be able to find somewhere that just about fits our needs but who knows? Seems like accommodation is the real sticking point with people on here.
At my company, it has taken most people between 1 and 3 months to find something they are happy with. For some people who had very particular requirements it took a year.

As you will find, accommodation is the real sticking point with everyone in Geneva. But as they say, forewarned is forearmed.
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