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Old 04.12.2012, 05:22
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I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

Hello All,
I'm new to the EF, but have been catching up on reading many of the threads here.

I have an open offer to relocate with my family to the Zurich area for 3 years from the US, and have to make a decision in the next month.

Many of the discussions I've been reading tend to focus on the negatives - cost of living, language issues, difficult locals, strict rules, weather, etc. I'd love to get some feedback on the things you love about Switzerland and reasons for relocating

Our family has three young children (9,7 and 4), are outgoing, willing to work hard to fit in, enjoy the outdoors, etc. We view this as a great opportunity to experience another culture and see Europe. Also, the job opportunity is very positive.

Thanks for your ideas and feedback
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Old 04.12.2012, 07:04
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

It sounds like we might need to get together if you come over: I have an almost-10 year old and a 7 year old. We are about to move to Zurich ourselves. The positives you mention are our reasons for relocating also.

I think, aside from the cost of living aspect, everything else is part and parcel of experiencing other cultures and countries. If you have an understanding of the culture before you go, I'm sure that will be useful when you get there. I enjoy reading the complaints because I know that our experiences will never be as bad as the combined Complaints forum.

I am so excited about our move - we never planned to move to a snowy country (we have been looking to relocate for a while but were aiming for somewhere warm year-round, ha!) - but I know this is going to be an amazing experience for our kids and for us. Keep your expectations realistic and be willing to adjust your perspective for another culture and all will be well.
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Old 04.12.2012, 07:12
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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the negatives - cost of living, language issues, difficult locals, strict rules, weather, etc.
the positives - high salary, learning another language, good-looking and friendly local girls, clean and orderly, great weather compared to the Midwest, etc.

That help?
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Old 04.12.2012, 07:21
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

Hi,

Congratulations on the job offer! Can't say too much, as I made my move by myself, without a family. But I met an American here who moved for her husband's job offer (also for 3 years), with two young children. After a difficult transition period for her, his company decided to close down the department and send all those ex-pats home, after their (my friend's family) only having been here for a total of around 10 months. He then had to look for a new job, but was luckily able to find one fairly quickly back in the States.

Based on their experience, I'd highly recommend you check with your company about the likelihood on that, and see what packages they can offer you if that happens to you, especially with the economy like it is.

That being said, I love living here. I've been here just over a year now, and enjoy so much about life here. It's relaxed, safe, there's always something to do, it's so easy to travel, etc. Plus, it's BEAUTIFUL! I still can't get over the beauty here.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 04.12.2012, 07:56
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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That being said, I love living here. I've been here just over a year now, and enjoy so much about life here. It's relaxed, safe, there's always something to do, it's so easy to travel, etc. Plus, it's BEAUTIFUL! I still can't get over the beauty here.
!
Me too, been here, in the 'big' city for over a year, every morning I get a bus past a farm and along the hill overlooking the city, and every morning I look at the changing beauty. Whenever I get down, I have that view. Not that I get down often.
If his is the honeymoon period, I think it's going to be a very happy marriage.
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Old 04.12.2012, 08:43
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

Switzerland is one of the prettiest places on the planet, and in spite of what you may read here, there are tons of really nice friendly people. However, It's not perfect.

People talk about how great the salaries are here, but the reality is that unless you are getting a massive cost of living adjustment, your purchasing power is A LOT better in the US ($8.00 per gallon for gasoline and milk, $2.50 for a head of broccoli, $13.50 for a Big Mac meal, small two BR apt. $2000-3000 per month).

Some of the positives for us are;

Educational experience for the kiddos
Great winter sports
Easy weekend trips to pretty much anywhere else in Europe.
Friendly people.

We're planning to be here for 2 years, which is about the right length of time for our family to experience the European culture, but will have us back home in time for the kids to wrap up their final years of high school in the States.

Moving here was the right decision for us, and it's been a great experience
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Old 04.12.2012, 09:00
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

There are many positives, some of which have already been mentioned, but I think particularly for Americans who haven't travelled outside the States it can be something of a culture shock in many respects. But that is what happens when you move nearly halfway around the world and isn't necessarily a bad thing.

It's only for 3 years so take the chance to experience something you would otherwise probably never do. A couple of books that might be useful are "Living and Working in Switzerland" and "Buying and Renting in Switzerland", both can be ordered via your local bookshop or Amazon.

Obviously, any efforts you can make on learning German will be of help as most, of not all, official documents will be in this language and not English.

Besides, where else in the world would you find two cows grazing in a field surrounded by apartment blocks in the middle of a city? It's true; the first apartment my husband had was just a few metres/yards down the road from this field about 10 minutes' walk from the centre of Fribourg.
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Old 04.12.2012, 09:13
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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the positives - high salary, learning another language, good-looking and friendly local girls, clean and orderly, great weather compared to the Midwest, etc.

That help?
Really??? Where have you been looking??

OP - take a step back and think about the purpose of the forum...its for people to get advice and ask questions. Its rare, and boring, for everybody to post every day about the clean air, the safety, the fact that ones kids are learning multiple languages, the beauty of the mountains in winter and the utter incomparable fabulousness of the transport system. The fact that we have chosen to live here, and stay here, is testament enough. Don't expect balance on a forum like this - it would be dull. www.stepfordforum.com wouldn't have many contributors
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Old 04.12.2012, 09:22
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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I'd love to get some feedback on the things you love about Switzerland and reasons for relocating
Read those 500 reasons first...

OK now tell me what you LOVE about Switzerland

Then continue with the >500 threads similar to yours (ignore the ones where people only try to impress that they were offered 120k CHF which turns out to be a pretty normal salary in Switzerland...) as they are all pretty much the same.

Bottom line: the flag is a big plus.
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Old 04.12.2012, 09:29
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

In short, you see 100 more complaints on a forum like this rather than praise for the good things.

Europe is all around you. You get around 25 days holiday. You can go everywhere and experience new cultures. In real terms, with the weak dollar, earning Francs is great now.

The US is rapidly catching up in the real cost of living.

And in the end, you can always go back if it does not work for you.

Your kids will adjust and I'd recommend getting them into local schools. They will pick up the language. They will make friends.

You don't say where you're coming from - that would help people give you a view of how the adjustment will be in more detail. But you're obviously interested otherwise you would not be at this point.....

I'd go for it.
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Old 04.12.2012, 09:38
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

- Cost of living and US taxation are certainly things you need to make sure you can live with and you will probably not have as much space as apartments/ houses are expensive and tend to be smaller.

- the weather well it depends where you are coming from. Its not Miami, but the weather is better I would say than Cleveland, Minnessotta etc but its no worse here than NY. Compared to NY I would say winter is not as cold/ long but summer is a bit mild, it doesn't get as hot here in summer.

- There are plenty of friendly people here, plenty of English speaking Expats and locals, the language barrier is not that big, the air is clean, the winter sports are easily accessible. There are lots of rules but things generally work because of them.

- You are so close to Europe/ Africa / Middle East that you can experience so many other cities, countries, cultures that would be difficult to do from the US. Great experience for the family and kids. You just have to balance that with the financial side and hopefully the family is excited to come. Attitude plays a big part and if members of the family are all excited that will make is easier. If someone is very negative before they move they can find the negatives in any place quite easily.
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Old 04.12.2012, 10:02
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

Schooling - international school or local school? If you're only staying here for three years, go for the international school. However, make sure you can afford it.

Kids - Some kids adjust well. Some don't. I know of a few kids who didn't adjust well in the local school and were relieved to finally go back to a school that only spoke English. The older the child, the more difficult the adjustment in local schools.

Taxes - They suck. Get a grip on what you'll need to pay before agreeing to relocating

Accommodation - You'll probably be living in a flat.
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Old 04.12.2012, 10:21
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with switzerland. All the negatives people mentin have corresponding positives.

High cost of living? High standard of living.

difficult for the kids? When they grow up, they'll realise it was probably one of the greatest experiences they'll ever have.

Weather? Poor in winter, but the swiss handle it fine and the beauty of it is worth it.

Honestly, the only thing wrong with Switzerland is...well, some swiss people.
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Old 04.12.2012, 10:33
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

No-one has mentioned the lovely warm weather in the summer. I know it's not guaranteed every day for three or four months, but Switzerland can have some very beautiful hot summer days.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, it isn't cold and snowy here all the time.
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Old 04.12.2012, 10:52
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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Honestly, the only thing wrong with Switzerland is...well, some swiss people.

It's those Swiss people who make Switzerland work.

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Old 04.12.2012, 11:10
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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It's those Swiss people who make Switzerland work.


Really? I had no idea.
I seem to have touched a live wire.
It was a tounge-in-cheek comment. Please, loosen up.
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Old 04.12.2012, 11:22
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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Taxes - They suck. Get a grip on what you'll need to pay before agreeing to relocating
Versus where?
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Old 04.12.2012, 11:33
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

I live here and I'm totally awesome!

What's not to like ....?
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Old 04.12.2012, 11:51
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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I live here and I'm totally awesome!

What's not to like ....?
When do the lights get turned on, Mr. Assassin?
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Old 04.12.2012, 12:00
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Re: I'm seeing a lot of negatives...what are the positives?

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Versus where?
He will have to pay both US and Swiss taxes (probably, depending on income) and its the US bit that sucks.
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