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Old 21.07.2014, 10:18
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Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

Hi all, I am so new to this so I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong place!!
To try and cut a long story short, my husband and I would like to relocate our family of four to Switzerland but don't really know how to go about it and are not really sure we know what we are in for.
He is Swiss but moved with his family to Australia when he was 12.
We have holidayed in Switzerland and we all fell in love with it's beauty and what seems to be a much more relaxed and quiet atmosphere in comparison to Sydney, Australia.
These are my burning questions and would love to hear from anyone who is willing to take the time to answer them!!
- Our children are 7 and 3, will my 7 year old be able to attend a local school without too much of a problem....keeping in mind that he only knows a few words in German?
- Switzerland seems to be a wonderful, wholesome place to raise children....is this a fair assumption or are we being too romantic about the place?
- Wil or Zurich? We have family in Wil but Zurich seems more international and English friendly?!?
- My husband is a Group Financial Accountant for a large international company (unfortunately no Swiss office) and he would prefer to gain employment in Switzerland prior to making the big move. Is this possible or does he need to be there to have half a chance?

That's all for now!!! So happy to have finally posted my questions.....thanks everyone!!
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Old 21.07.2014, 11:01
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

Welcome to the forum. No, it's not an impossible dream, you just need to do some research and forward planning.

Firstly, the job. Your husband will probably need to get his qualifications recognised. You can find the department that deals with this here:

http://www.sbfi.admin.ch/diploma/017...x.html?lang=en

I assume he speaks German so once the qualifications have been sorted out, it shouldn't be too difficult to job hunt from Aussieland. The main thing is to promote his Swiss nationality; he's much easier to employ than if he has Australian nationality. Try these websites to see what you can find.

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch
www.monster.co.uk (change the Location setting to Switzerland)

Alternatively, if you have enough money saved up you could move here first and then look for work after.

This may also help you with sorting a few things out:

http://aso.ch/files/webcontent/recht..._with_logo.pdf

Yes, the kids should be fine, they're at the age where picking up a new language is really easy and the Swiss schools seem to be good at providing extra support if it's needed. You'll probably find they're fluent in around 6 months of starting school and making new Swiss friends.

I also suggest getting hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move here. It can be ordered via your local bookshop or the Internet.

Can't really comment on the accommodation conundrum; Zurich will be more cosmopolitan, but expensive. Remember that most people live in apartments here so if you think you'd prefer a house then really you need to be thinking of Wil or other suburbs of Zurich where houses are more likely to be found - and be affordable! Another thing to think about re apartments is that most apartment blocks will only have communal washing/drying facilities for clothes and you have a set day/time when you can do your washing. With two young children is once a week or even once a fortnight going to be sufficient? Some newer places have washer/dryers in each apartment, but it's not the norm here yet. Renting a house would give you to the freedom to do washing as and when it's needed.

To move here your husband will need to apply for family reunification permits for you all. What you'll need in the way of documents will be similar to the list for EU nationals I would guess.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta

You may need your marriage certificate and the kids' birth certificates as well. You and the children will need to apply for Type D visas at the nearest Swiss embassy/consulate.
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Old 21.07.2014, 11:24
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

Hi There,

How exciting that you are thinking of Switzerland! We moved to Basel Switzerland about 2 years ago. My husband is not swiss nor am I and he landed a job prior to coming which made life easy cause they provided a moving company and a bonus monetary amount for relocation which helped with the hefty deposit they wanted for the flat.

May I take a minute to promote Basle to you as an option!

Basel is very international as well, small town feeling, amazing place to raise a family; super safe I find, excellent public transportation system an international airport, beautiful parks for the kids its own english expat magazine to inform you of all the events on a monthly basis, cheaper rent than zurich and from what I am told easier in Basel to find an apartment than in zurich.

Also there are many playgroups that are english based for the expats in town. Look at BCT ( Basel Childrens Trust) and for your older child well the magazine will have many activities listed every month that are great. This city is filled with musuems which have activities sometimes for older kids. Also there is a fall festival that is great, a lovely christmas market, and of course the big carnival in Feb or march depending each year.

It is very expensive to live in Switzerland in general as you know from visiting the pricing is a little high...so if it was me I would want to move over here only if my husband had gained employment and the company will pay to relocate your belongings if that matters to you. perhaps you are looking for a short term living arrangement...


hope this helps all the best,

Cheers,

Pamela
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Old 21.07.2014, 12:20
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

We're an Australian family who moved when our daughter was 2 years old. She's now very happily fluent and about to enter the fourth class. When she was in the first class there was a boy who started with no German at all who is now fluent and able to complete all the work. My husband and I spoke no German when we arrived, so having one of you speaking the language is a real bonus, especially when dealing with schools etc

From your own point of view, your 3 year old is your best asset when it comes to meeting people. I joined different playgroups with my daughter and we both made friends, which made a big difference. I have such little involvement with my daughter's school compared to how it would be in Australia, and that coupled with the fact she walks there by herself means I don't see other parents regularly, so it's important to develop a social network through other means.

We live in Meilen, which is about 15 minutes by train from Stadelhofen. There are quite a few English speakers here but we by no means live in an English 'bubble', which suits us perfectly.

Good luck with your planning!
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Old 21.07.2014, 12:45
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

Quote:
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- Wil or Zurich? We have family in Wil but Zurich seems more international and English friendly?!?
!
You can actually commute from Wil to Zurich.
I have a co-worker who does this, but he has asked for two days of home-office recently (which was granted).

Depending on where you live in Wil, commuting to Zurich and back will cost about 3h per day.

It's been over seven years since I worked in Wil and lived nearby, but it wasn't a bad city. The boss, coming from Zurich, referred to it as a "village", though. He claimed it didn't qualify for the city-moniker ;-).

I only commuted for about six weeks, and then I had enough and moved. I'm not a commuter-guy ;-)
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Old 21.07.2014, 13:25
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

if you haven't already done this, you can apply for swiss citizenship for your kids through the swiss embassy. again this makes it easier and then only you will have to apply for a permit. it is very straight forward and won't take too long. you can even just register them with the embassy and then get them the passports once you arrive in switzerland (that's what we did, saves some $$).

we moved from nz, via germany, to smalltown switzerland, and as every place it has its advantages and disadvantages. my hubby is from sydney and always called himself a big city person but now loves provincial town living. i have family here, so i would definitely recommend moving as close to family as possible (but not too close for comfort). makes everything so much easier.

so sydney vs small town switzerland (which is assume wil would be):
+ hardly any crime
+ kids can walk to school
+ not car dependent as public transport is awesome
+ can't think of more but sure others could add

+/- living expenses are about the same, some things dearer some things cheaper
+/- four seasons, lovely spring, variable summers (ranging from wonderful to crap), colourful autumns and often cold and dreary winters (especially if you live around the zurich area)

- no ocean, beaches (for me that is a biggie but it might not bother you so much)
- the swiss are a bit hard to get to know and often resent change, but then as in oz (and anywhere else for that matter), not everyone's the same
- often less living space, no garden (but then lots of people do), more communal living although it often doesn't feel like it (people keep themselves to themselves)
- again others can think of more

just do it! you might love it, you might not. nothing is set in stone and you can always go back if you don't like it. it'll be an awesome experience if you have the right attitude. good luck!
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Old 21.07.2014, 13:27
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

beer is much cheaper and better (especially german beers) than in australia my husband would like to add
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Old 21.07.2014, 14:06
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

One thing that my Aussie friends in CH and UK always enjoy is the opportunity travel to other European countries.... its certainly easy from CH.

If this is something that is a long way off IE in a year or so, it could also be worth looking into applying for Swiss Citizenship whilst living in Australia. I have a friend who did it in NYC and she said it was much easier than if she had done it in CH..... might be worth looking into.
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Old 21.07.2014, 14:13
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Re: Hoping to move from Sydney to Zurich! Are we dreaming??

I'll trade places happily, not that Switzerland is bad, its just a little dull and landlocked and generally uptight. Let the groans commence .
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