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Old 16.09.2013, 21:54
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Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Hello EF,

I will be starting a 3 year post-doc at the University of Zurich Institut fur Veterinarpathologie on Nov 1. My husband and I will arrive in Zurich in October, with our little dog. We are 37 and 38 years old- no kids. I mean both that we don't have kids, and we are not particularly young

My new boss is finishing the work to get our permits ready, we are collecting the documents to bring our dog, and I have just signed a short lease for an apartment near my new job. I am feeling for the first time like I am really moving to Switzerland! I have never been to Switzerland (even my job interview was by skype). I am very excited to have this opportunity!

I am from very, very rural Tennessee, so it will be interesting to be a "city girl" for a while. I have purchased snow boots and Rosetta Stone (for German) so I am all ready, right??

I am a microbiologist and will be doing a project with pig Chlamydia. I don't guess that will get much interest here! My husband will be unemployed for at least a while, though, and he has much more friendly interests- like welding, fixing cars and small engines, and trains (of which there are many for him to enjoy in Switzerland). And he is a good cook, that was his job in the US.

I am glad to have this resource. I have already learned a lot nosing through old threads...... I hope to get to know some new friends in Zurich!

Regards,

(Is it unwise, to sign off with your real name?)
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Old 16.09.2013, 22:41
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Great Intro. Welcome to the Forum.

Me, I wouldn't put in too much information which, thanks to Google and company, can lead straight back to you in real life.
Quite a few members know each other off-forum, but one never knows what life is going to throw in your direction so a little bit of discretion on EF is the order of the day. Certainly names, phone number, email addresses etc don't belong here and usually get removed by the Moderator team quite quickly. (The post may have been 'reported' to them by one of our ever-vigilant members).

It looks as if your planning is going well. We normally have a resident Canine Expert around, to help out with any doggie questions and to explain the complicated rulings regarding dogs around here, but at the moment she is either away or very much otherwise engaged with her own pack of dogs. Most unusual to have a post mentioning a dog which doesn't get an answer from her in ten minutes flat. Meloncollie is the name to look out for.

Check out the posts mentioning things that Americans miss when they get here. Forewarned is forearmed. Everything is expensive. Everything varies. The Swiss don't have 24/7 shopping.

Enjoy yourselves and come in with questions when you get stuck.
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Old 17.09.2013, 05:50
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Thanks Longbyt! Since I cannot thank button thank you quite yet.

I am trying to be forewarned. Honestly, I am a tad concerned about the "expense" of Zurich. I have used calculators, and made a budget, and read..... I have finally settled on liquidating some extra funds for a cushion.

Even though my calculations indicate hubby and I should survive on my post-doc pay, being a post-doc is usually a getting-by proposition in most big cities, and I can't imagine Zurich would be any different.

But I am looking forward to something new!
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Old 17.09.2013, 08:41
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

One thing I notice is you walk more in Europe, bring hardwaring footware.

So you may have to re-think your wardrobe too.

Driving you tend to have more jackets, here you may need more coats.
Driving you may ware skirts and dresses, here it can be windy and rain you may need heavy tights/pantyhose.

The winter can be mild here, but dont take the chance, bring stuff you can layer.
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Old 17.09.2013, 16:08
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Thank you AlreadyPacked-

I have purchased rain boots, and waterproof walking shoes, and snow boots, and we are working on coats and other layers. We won't have a car, so I want to be ready. I wanted to bring a lot with me, because I was worried it would be expensive in Zurich if we needed to get lots of things there.

I look forward to walking, but we got a place close to work for the first couple of months to help adjust- especially since it will be October when we arrive. I have to get some little shoes and a sweater for my dog too, I think.

My toes are getting cold just thinking about it!
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Old 17.09.2013, 16:37
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Its Zurich not Alaska Even in October we have nice warm sunny days but will be chilly at night. Zurich doesn't really get that much snow, well not since Ive lived here which is 10 years!

There are plenty of alternatives for cheap shopping and you can use the http://www.zuercher-brockenhaus.ch/ for second hand items. They have some good stuff in there and there is a couple of good ones in Zurich.
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Old 17.09.2013, 16:49
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

I would do shopping for all the necessary clothes
jeans, sweaters, etc. in the US.

Jeans here, for example, cost about $140 for
a normal Levi's pair.

You really don't need a car. The public transport
is excellent here.

If you absolutely need a car, you can use

www.mobility.ch
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Old 17.09.2013, 16:53
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Congratulation on your new opportunity! I have two kids currently living in Tennessee so I can't wait to hear you 'drawl' German! Good luck with Rosetta stone - but you may prefer German lessons. Rosetta helped me immensely with the written word but still working on the hearing/speaking part! There's a great group that meets in Zurich on Wednesday evenings for some German practice (immediately followed by lots of English).

What kind of dog do you have? The EF also has a thread with dog sitting exchange information and lots of people here will help you with any questions!

Welcome!
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Old 17.09.2013, 17:12
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Thank you HolidayG, swissrob, and jbarwig for the links and info.

I might be over worried about the cold then, I guess! And I am excited to try a Swiss second-hand store, my hubby especially loves thrift shopping.

@jbarwig- the German is very slow right now since I am so busy getting ready to move. I can count to 12 and I have a few greeetings, nouns and verbs under my belt. "Das (die? der?) shwartz Pferd rennt." Hopeless. I think weekly meetings will be a good idea....

I have a little 6 kilo, 14 years old girl dog named Daisy. She is a sweetie and she seems very young for her age, too. (I tried to add a picture.) I am glad to hear about sitting exchanges. That is great. Is it normally OK for a renter (who is allowed to have a dog in their apartment) to sit another dog in their apartment if they get permission? Or do dog sitters usually have to go stay with the dog in question? I have never even done something like this in the US- I have always just dropped my dog off at my mom's for vacation if she couldn't come with us.

Thanks!
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Old 17.09.2013, 17:15
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Name:  Daisy.jpg
Views: 584
Size:  46.0 KB

hello-american-couple-moving-zurich-october-daisy-shaun.jpg

OK, there she is I think.
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Old 17.09.2013, 18:45
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Definitely look into a good rain coat, like the Columbia Arcadia Rain. Random things are very expensive here. Clothes and toiletries are some examples. If you use things like Claritin or Benadryl, BRING THEM! Be prepared to eat-in and cook, a lot. If you have appliances don't forget to buy converters and adapters. It is a beautiful city with great public transportation. Things are expensive but the quality of life is great. Good luck with your move, enjoy.
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Old 17.09.2013, 22:26
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

I didn't see it and maybe I missed it.... your dog needs to have the European chip I think...
I also was like your husband, liked fixing, building older cars, enjoyed welding and alot of Railroad, having worked for one as a mechanic.
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Old 17.09.2013, 22:31
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

How rural is rural Tennessee, I'm a former Hilltopper myself and well versed in the dirty backroads of Northern TN.
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Old 18.09.2013, 00:25
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Welcome, and god bless your sense of adventurousness.

Zurich is truly breathtakingly expensive. In your first few months, try to live on absolute minimums until you really adjust to cost of living. Since you won't have a car, and therefore it will be hard to cross-border shop, meat will quickly fall out (or dramatically down) in your diet - it is really where the costs stagger (25 bucks a pound for hamburger). So, it is much better to be over cautious at first with money while you adapt. Use the marketplace subforum here. Great way to save money. And if you can ever hitch a ride to a German grocery store, do. You'll save a stack.

You are going to walk a lot more than before. Besides good shoes (by which I mean with stiff soles for uneven pavement and very durable) get an extremely comfortable backpack.

Get a digital camera you can really use. This is a beautiful country, and people back home will want to see, and hiking is one of the best hobbies here.

Once you get here - there are no stupid questions. Don't get fined 300 bucks because you were afraid to look silly asking about all the trash rules. People expect peace and quiet after 10PM, and things are dead on Sundays. Most grocery stores close by either 6 or 8. Any drug that works you have to buy from a pharmacist (regardless of whether you need a prescription for it). Just go up and ask.

Do everything you can to learn German. TV helps. It's hard, but every bit counts. And you should know that Swiss German is really an entirely different language, so don't get discouraged if you can't understand what you overhear.

Lastly - get to know other expats. We've all gone through it too.

Good luck, and stay in touch!
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Old 18.09.2013, 05:32
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

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Definitely look into a good rain coat, like the Columbia Arcadia Rain. Random things are very expensive here. Clothes and toiletries are some examples. If you use things like Claritin or Benadryl, BRING THEM! Be prepared to eat-in and cook, a lot. If you have appliances don't forget to buy converters and adapters. It is a beautiful city with great public transportation. Things are expensive but the quality of life is great. Good luck with your move, enjoy.
Thanks, SwissMiss86! I don't plan on bringing any electronics at first- we may have a box shipped later. We are trying to travel light where we can. And I am currently on the prowl for a rain coat- so thanks for the suggestion. I have been wondering about meds. I take two prescriptions and planned to bring a stash and then seek out a Dr. once I get my insurance lined up. I hadn't thought much about over the counter, but now I will.
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Old 18.09.2013, 05:41
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

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I didn't see it and maybe I missed it.... your dog needs to have the European chip I think...
I also was like your husband, liked fixing, building older cars, enjoyed welding and alot of Railroad, having worked for one as a mechanic.
Hi Sliced,

Thanks! Got that chip, had to chase it down too! We have all the paperwork ready to go to USDA for approval after Daisy's final health check. 10 days is tight for paperwork expiration from checkup- especially since we need to mail it to the office as it's about 5+ hours away. But I am expressing it back and forth...

Do you still live in Switzerland? Have you ever volunteered with a train museum in Switzerland by chance? He will be snooping around for something useful to do before too long. We have been watching an old set of VHS tapes from the thrift store "Swiss Rail Journeys" or something like that. Really looking forward to train rides with bridges and tunnels. We've never done anything like that. Looks like any train ride is a nice ride in Switzerland.

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Old 18.09.2013, 05:51
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

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How rural is rural Tennessee, I'm a former Hilltopper myself and well versed in the dirty backroads of Northern TN.
VERY rural....Flag Pond. Know where that is? We have lived here about 10 years. Hilltopper......Science Hill High in JC? Or WKU?

Small world . So that is an attempt at dipping smiley.
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Old 18.09.2013, 06:15
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

@dmay-

Thanks for the suggestions and info! Hubby and I were discussing cameras, backpacks, and shoes. Good to know we are on the right track.

Plan is to bring a lump o money to help the transition to our new economy. Luckily it was a somewhat feasible time in our lives for this sort of thing. I have added and calculated and rechecked and looks like we will survive if we are careful- but I expect that one income (post-doc pay at that) will likely need to be supplemented with other money, perhaps the whole time.

We don't mind simple and small dwellings, and we are only bringing suitcases at first. Also in the plan is to try a couple of short leases with most things included until we get our feet underneath us. So we can sort out cheap phones and pay for dog registration/classes, various insurances before we have to mess with too much else. It won't be that much of a pain to move with no stuff- well except registering with officials, I guess.

And we should be in Zurich 3 years, wanted a chance to poke around before we signed a longer lease- to see where we want to settle. Found the apartment hunt a little better than expected since I can use the UZH advertisements- they seem to charge smaller deposits for some reason. Dog friendliness has been a pleasant surprise, too. Got a 3 month sublease for starts, walking distance to work.... we'll see! Will be looking for a 5 or 6 month sublease starting in January, maybe in a different part of the city. Starting to look now, actually.....

I am a vegetarian already and looks like hubs may be joining me in that. We could both stand to lose a few, anyway. Hopefully we'll be happy and healthy in Zurich!
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Old 18.09.2013, 09:40
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

Check out the rulings on having stuff sent over later. I think there is a time limit on having stuff 'imported' duty free as 'own used goods'.
And when you are gallivanting about by train, check out the nasty tricks like 'Nacht Zuschlag' if you come home in the wee small hours. (there's a surcharge)
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Old 18.09.2013, 09:42
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Re: Hello! American couple moving to Zurich in October.

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25 bucks a pound for hamburger
Where do you pay CHF 50 /kg for hamburger meat?

I usually pay around CHF 10 /kg.

Tom
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