English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
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MovingForward 04.05.2015 06:01

Questions about everything
 
We are getting transferred to the Baar Switzerland area and we are from Texas...its for 2-3 years.
Questions - where do you get your hair done? Colored? what about manicures/pedicures. Does anyone do their lashes there?
We heard everything is smaller from the closets to the refrigerators to the living space. We are hoping to rent a furnished apartment - is this even feasible?
Are people friendly?
Is it community? Neighborly?
What about going to the doctor or dentist? Is this difficult?
Where do you meet others?
Are there churches? If so, what kind?
We are both early 50's and have no kiddos with us...
Any ideas? Input?
Best place to live? Heard trains are loud...would prefer to not have that..but will not complain if we do.
What about internet...and weather???
Thanks and have an AMAZING week...
d

Island Monkey 04.05.2015 07:47

Re: Questions about everything
 
Yes Switzerland has hairdressers, beauticians, doctors, dentists, Internet and churches.

Trains are electric so not very noisy.

Weather is cold in winter warm in summer.

Medea Fleecestealer 04.05.2015 07:51

Re: Questions about everything
 
Oh dear, where to start. Welcome I guess is the best place so welcome to the forum and soon to Switzerland. :) Ex-Okie here so know your part of the States somewhat as we often vacationed in Texas.

There are a lot of sticky threads here on the forum which will have info/recommendations for things like doctors, dentists, etc, who speak English. I also suggest you get 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. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the Internet.

To take your questions one by one:
Hairdressers same as anywhere else and yes there are nail shops and places where you can get lashes done.
Yes, things are smaller here so don't expect a big place to rent. Fridges will usually be a fridge with only a small two shelf freezer section, although you can find places that have a bigger freezer section in the bottom half with a smaller fridge part on the top half. Unless you get a fairly new place the main "shock" will be the communal laundry facilities that most apartment blocks have here. You'll be allocated a day and time slot to do your washing and unless the machine happens to be free at another time, that'll be it until your slot comes around the following week. Furnished places are possible. Have a look at these websites to see what's available in the Baar area so you get an idea of size and price.

www.immoscout24.ch
www.immostreet.ch
www.homegate.ch
www.home.ch

Here rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, aren't counted in the total in adverts so you need to look for 2 rooms (living and bedroom), 2.5 (living/dining room combined and bedroom) or possibly 3 which could be either living, separate dining room and bedroom or living room and 2 bedrooms - check the actual description to make sure. 3.5 will be a living/dining combined and 2 bedrooms.

You'll find friendly people and not friendly people, same as anywhere else.
Check for English speaking groups in/near where you settle down as they usually have lots of events throughout the year and also check down in the Events part of the forum to see what's going on.
Plenty of churches of all denominations, but whether there'll be one with services in English near you is another question.
Trains are not loud as they're all electric powered so much quieter than the American ones.
Yes, there's Internet. :rolleyes:
Weather, not as hot as Texas though can get up into the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Farhenheit) in the summer. No air conditioning though so it will feel just as hot if not hotter. Nowhere near as cold either.

I'm sure you'll have other questions before you get here so have a search around the forum as someone's probably asked it already or simply ask.

Try and start learning German before you come, even a few words will help and of course most of the documents you see will be in German - rental contract, car lease, health insurance, etc.

Another thing to note is that Americans are required to continue filing US tax returns no matter where they live in the world and may owe US tax on top of local taxes. You'll also need to file a FBAR form for the "foreign", i.e. outside of US, bank accounts you have if the aggregate total comes to more than $10,000 at any time of the year.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Aliens-Abroad

Also note that you'll need to sign a W-9 form to allow your Swiss bank to send the account info on to the IRS.

TiMow 04.05.2015 07:52

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donnareiners (Post 2384610)
We are getting transferred to the Baar Switzerland area and we are from Texas...its for 2-3 years.
Questions - where do you get your hair done? Colored? what about manicures/pedicures. Does anyone do their lashes there?
We heard everything is smaller from the closets to the refrigerators to the living space. We are hoping to rent a furnished apartment - is this even feasible?
Are people friendly?
Is it community? Neighborly?
What about going to the doctor or dentist? Is this difficult?
Where do you meet others?
Are there churches? If so, what kind?
We are both early 50's and have no kiddos with us...
Any ideas? Input?
Best place to live? Heard trains are loud...would prefer to not have that..but will not complain if we do.
What about internet...and weather???
Thanks and have an AMAZING week...
d

Surprisingly, most questions have been asked previously ..... many times.
A good place to start is to find the relevant sub-forum and have a look at the 'stickies' at the top of each, then, if the information required is not obvious, you could try a search of that forum, entering specific keywords.

Other basic stuff is easily found on google - weather, trains, etc.

One of the above made me laugh ..... 'What about internet?' ..... It's crap - there's too much rubbish on it (... and as for dial up ...).

bearbadger 04.05.2015 07:55

Re: Questions about everything
 
Where do you get your hair done? Colored? what about manicures/pedicures. Does anyone do their lashes there?
You will have no trouble finding places to do all these things once you are here. Just be aware that it'll probably cost double what you pay in Texas unless you go to Great Clips and then you are in real trouble!

We heard everything is smaller from the closets to the refrigerators to the living space.
True.

We are hoping to rent a furnished apartment - is this even feasible?
I'm not sure if you can find furnished places or not but check out Homegate.ch to get an idea of what's available.

Are people friendly?
Like everywhere else in the world, some are and some aren't.

Is it community? Neighborly?
It is definitely a community feel here in Switzerland, much like small towns in the US. Depending on your neighbours, you will be welcomed into that or you will be shut out. Learning to speak some German before you arrive will help alot.

What about going to the doctor or dentist? Is this difficult?
Easy and I've found the care here to be amazing. Search the forum to get more specifics but this doesn't need to be a worry.

Where do you meet others?
ZIWA - Zurich International Women's Group is great for the misses if she isn't working. Google it or message me. Meet Ups, Forum activities, church, community activities, Starbucks, work, etc.

Are there churches? If so, what kind?
LOL. Sorry but once you are here you will understand why I laugh. Yes, there are churches. Most towns have several which you will begin to hear probably minutes after arriving.

We are both early 50's and have no kiddos with us...
Any ideas? Input?
On what? traveling? Get a GA (train pass could for everything, everywhere for 1 year) and see all of Switzerland.

Best place to live? Heard trains are loud...would prefer to not have that..but will not complain if we do.
Totally a personal choice. If your place has good windows you might not mind the trains. Being close to a station is great unless you plan to drive everywhere (a whole other can of worms). possible, I'd come over before you move and look for yourself in several different areas. Check bus and train schedules. How close is a grocery store? Depends on where hubby is working, etc.

What about internet...and weather???
Yes, we have both. ;)

Thanks and have an AMAZING week...

Welcome! Enjoy your journey!

MacGregor's Daughter 04.05.2015 07:56

Re: Questions about everything
 
Sometimes I wonder where people lived before they came to Switzerland or if they think Switzerland is a 3rd world country (Swaziland?)

However, welcome and good luck.

Belgianmum 04.05.2015 08:22

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacGregor's Daughter (Post 2384636)
Sometimes I wonder where people lived before they came to Switzerland or if they think Switzerland is a 3rd world country (Swaziland?)

.

Anyone would think there was no Internet.;)

dodgyken 04.05.2015 09:25

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacGregor's Daughter (Post 2384636)
Sometimes I wonder where people lived before they came to Switzerland or if they think Switzerland is a 3rd world country (Swaziland?)

However, welcome and good luck.

Well that'll explain the odd looks I got when I turned up in a grass skirt the first day of work - and why finding a copy of "Living and Working in Swaziland" was just so bloody difficult. :o

lme1excell 04.05.2015 11:10

Re: Questions about everything
 
One book that I recommend that I found very helpful and had answers to almost everything that I needed to know is called, "Living in Zurich" A publication of the American's Women's Club in Zurich. Being from the states I know that there are many things that I didn't know and had to learn. My only expat comment is "give it time". I have been here 15 months and it was rough for the first year-it just takes time.

3Wishes 04.05.2015 14:11

Re: Questions about everything
 
Welcome to the Forum. It's an exciting and strange adventure to up sticks and move to Switzerland, so just take a deep breath. There's a lot of information here as mentioned above. Search box is in the upper right corner of your screen, and you'll have better luck with a few key words instead of an entire phrase. Also try the advanced and Google-powered searches. :)

To address a few of your questions with examples

1. I get my hair cut at the local, privately owned hair salon. A haircut for a lady can run from 40-80 Francs, depending on the length of your hair. Wash, dry, and style costs extra. Color starts around 60 and goes up from there. Last time I had the full treatment (cut, color, style) it ran 160 Francs. :msnshock: There are not a lot of chains here, so most places require appointments as opposed to taking walk-ins.

2. Nothing here is Texas-sized. ;) Closets are almost non-existent. Folks here generally use armoires/cabinets. The least expensive ones are probably from IKEA. The fridges here are small, so you may find it helpful to buy a small freezer to keep in your cellar (if there's power). Compared to the U.S. we make more frequent small shops instead of a big weekly shop.

3. Doctor or dentist isn't difficult per se, except the language barrier can be a hassle and the costs can make your eyes water. Many insurance plans require you to pay the bill in full up front and then they reimburse you, so budget for that. ;) Example: A doctor's visit for bronchitis cost me 270 Francs including the tests and medications.

4. Weather is a favorite topic of conversation here. We've got a nice big thread about it too: http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...4-weather.html

Captain Greybeard 04.05.2015 17:15

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3Wishes (Post 2384882)
3. Doctor or dentist isn't difficult per se, except the language barrier can be a hassle and the costs can make your eyes water.

Not true for dentists. If apples are compared to apples, dentistry is more expensive in the USA. I think I know what I talking about because it's my trade.

When I see what my American friends have to pay for simple dental therapies, I feel like an idiot for not having earned my money in the USA.

SwissBred 04.05.2015 17:21

Re: Questions about everything
 
Baar is the capital of hairdressers, tons of them, slightly more than decent bars and restaurants. It will take you a few months to check them all out!

sudeepta 04.05.2015 17:40

Re: Questions about everything
 
Welcome aboard. Enjoy your stay!!

MovingForward 04.05.2015 18:18

Re: Questions about everything
 
Thank yawl so much.
In no way do I see Switzerland as a third world country. Please forgive me if that is how it came across. I write my questions when I was exhausted about 1 am and just was doing more bullet points than anything.

Thanks to you who understood about the Internet and told me how slow it is.,,that's important info if you do the kind of work I do so I appreciate knowing ahead of time.

I'm hoping to come in June for a quick look are but not sure yet.

Blessings to all!!!!!

fatmanfilms 04.05.2015 18:33

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by donnareiners (Post 2385030)
Thank yawl so much.
In no way do I see Switzerland as a third world country. Please forgive me if that is how it came across. I write my questions when I was exhausted about 1 am and just was doing more bullet points than anything.

Thanks to you who understood about the Internet and told me how slow it is.,,that's important info if you do the kind of work I do so I appreciate knowing ahead of time.

I'm hoping to come in June for a quick look are but not sure yet.

Blessings to all!!!!!

I don't think internet is slow in Switzerland, I was using a 1 Gbit/s connection when I was last in the country. Even on mobile I was getting 40 Mbit/s.

Belgianmum 04.05.2015 18:47

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 2385037)
I don't think internet is slow in Switzerland, I was using a 1 Gbit/s connection when I was last in the country. Even on mobile I was getting 40 Mbit/s.

It's not. TiMow was winding her up ( as is his wont).;)

3Wishes 04.05.2015 18:49

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Greybeard (Post 2384999)
Not true for dentists. If apples are compared to apples, dentistry is more expensive in the USA. I think I know what I talking about because it's my trade.

When I see what my American friends have to pay for simple dental therapies, I feel like an idiot for not having earned my money in the USA.

My apologies for lumping doctors and dentists together. My statement is based upon my experience here, which is admittedly a bit limited with dentists. ;) When I looked into the cost of a crown here with a local dentist, I was told it would probably be 1200 Francs. :msnshock: Back home in the U.S. it's half that price or even less. I didn't bother to look for another dentist here based on that. :o

Jern 04.05.2015 18:59

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacGregor's Daughter (Post 2384636)
Sometimes I wonder where people lived before they came to Switzerland or if they think Switzerland is a 3rd world country (Swaziland?)

Reminds me of a phone call I made from Germany, many years ago, to an estate agent's assistant in a small town in the North of England, who clearly had no idea about Abroad. She asked me to spell my postal address, so I slowly spelled it out: "1-0-9-6-7-space...". "Space!", she interrupted. No, I said. I mean that there's a space before the next word.

Medea Fleecestealer 04.05.2015 20:00

Re: Questions about everything
 
To be fair to donnareiners, coming from the next state "up" and being slightly older than she states, I probably would be asking the same questions if I were in her shoes. Although I expect (hope) that the news coverage these days is more international when I was a kid/teenager in the States our local news channels covering something that happened in New York or Los Angeles was fairly rare, never mind anything regarding the world beyond the US's borders. When you're nearly 1,500 miles from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts news from the rest of the world had to pretty major to make it onto our TV channels! :eek:

Internet speeds are pretty quick in the cities, but will probably be slower if you move away from them. We're just 10kms (6-7 miles) from Fribourg and our average speed is around 800kps if that means anything to you. It certainly doesn't to me. :p

One thing to be wary of is living too near to a church or clock tower. I understand you'll probably want to attend church services, but here the churches ring their bells, clock chimes are often hourly and some chime quarter hours too and do this all through the night as well.

fatmanfilms 04.05.2015 21:29

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2385076)
To be fair to donnareiners, coming from the next state "up" and being slightly older than she states, I probably would be asking the same questions if I were in her shoes. Although I expect (hope) that the news coverage these days is more international when I was a kid/teenager in the States our local news channels covering something that happened in New York or Los Angeles was fairly rare, never mind anything regarding the world beyond the US's borders. When you're nearly 1,500 miles from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts news from the rest of the world had to pretty major to make it onto our TV channels! :eek:

Internet speeds are pretty quick in the cities, but will probably be slower if you move away from them. We're just 10kms (6-7 miles) from Fribourg and our average speed is around 800kps if that means anything to you. It certainly doesn't to me. :p

One thing to be wary of is living too near to a church or clock tower. I understand you'll probably want to attend church services, but here the churches ring their bells, clock chimes are often hourly and some chime quarter hours too and do this all through the night as well.

I am sure you could get much faster internet, that's a typical speed in France :D

FuriousRose 04.05.2015 21:37

Re: Questions about everything
 
Don't forget to bring over deodorants. I reckon from one of the threads here that the Americans have a thing with their deodorants...:D

TiMow 04.05.2015 21:44

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FuriousRose (Post 2385136)
Don't forget to bring over deodorants. I reckon from one of the threads here that the Americans have a thing with their deodorants...:D

Just deodorants .... ?

Downerbuzz 04.05.2015 22:02

Re: Questions about everything
 
Soda servings are smaller than in Texas and we also don't have the death penalty.

MovingForward 05.05.2015 15:56

Re: Questions about everything
 
Good thing I dont drink soda nor believe in that old get what you deserve thing.

MovingForward 05.05.2015 16:00

Re: Questions about everything
 
Though I know you are being funny - I plan to bring a few of my personal supplies with me. Some things you determine about yourself or your family you prefer not to have to start over discovering.

FuriousRose 05.05.2015 16:27

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TiMow (Post 2385141)
Just deodorants .... ?

I remember from that thread that there is something different with deodorants in the US...:p

st2lemans 05.05.2015 16:39

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Greybeard (Post 2384999)
Not true for dentists. If apples are compared to apples, dentistry is more expensive in the USA. I think I know what I talking about because it's my trade.

True. I have had wisdom teeth pulled in the US and here (same year), US was almost twice the price.

Tom

MovingForward 05.05.2015 16:51

Re: Questions about everything
 
I had four teeth - crowns in the back of my mouth and it cost over $3000

TheSpouse 05.05.2015 17:06

Re: Questions about everything
 
Donna--the oldtimers are just pulling your leg about the deodorant. We have it here and it works just fine. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is quite a rare bird and you'd better bring some.:) (Just google "brown sugar switzerland" and you will find any number of conversations on the topic.)

My husband and I were in our late 40's when we moved here from South Carolina, leaving our college-aged children back in the US. I wrote a funny blog about being an ex-pat that you might enjoy. It's www.trailingwife.blogspot.com I haven't written in it lately because we have been here for so long, but you might find some of the tips helpful on your big adventure if you go back and read it from the beginning when we were just newbies.

Welcome to the forum and do not let some of the sarcastic posts steer you away from this website. It is actually really helpful and can be a font of information.

MovingForward 06.05.2015 15:50

Re: Questions about everything
 
Thank you so much!! Yes I'll check out your blog for sure. Are you happy yawl are still there??

Yes it took a couple reads to see the humor behind some of the comments. I appreciate the encouragement.

TheSpouse 06.05.2015 16:14

Re: Questions about everything
 
We are over-the-moon happy. We are never moving back. If you are a person with an open mind who can embrace change, you will love it.

It helps, of course, that I learned French. I am still taking courses to this day, six years later, at the ripe old age of 52. Come with a positive attitude and the ability to laugh at yourself when you find yourself making funny mistakes and you will do well.

Switzerland, and Europe in general, offer a much more healthy and outdoor lifestyle than the US. All of that political bickering nonsense that permeates US society is nonexistant. The focus is on quality of life and it is so refreshing, but you have to be open to it and not constantly be thinking, "well, gee, back home they do it this way", etc.

MovingForward 06.05.2015 16:32

Re: Questions about everything
 
Beautifully said.
I'm all in.

crazygringo 06.05.2015 16:33

Re: Questions about everything
 
think of it this way - many places in the world live like it is still the 1950's out of necessity, in Switzerland it has been a conscious decision.

:)

keep and open mind and make the most out of the experiences, our whole family loved Switzerland and we are still back at least once a month. more importantly, every one of us was changed in some pretty remarkable ways.

Britmumabroad 07.05.2015 09:35

Re: Questions about everything
 
I had a read of the Blog and I loved it!

As a trailing spouse on in the midst of her 3rd move I can feel all the pains and joys within it .

I have thought of doing my own blog , maybe my techno savvy kids could help me out !

Looking forward to finally joining my husband in Bern in July- how many boxes will there be??.
:confused:

M_McPoyle 07.05.2015 16:21

Re: Questions about everything
 
This international, non-denominational church is in Baar - filled with lovely, friendly and inclusive people, plenty of social opportunities, and all services, etc. in English. Good luck!!


http://www.swissenglishchurch.com/

MovingForward 07.05.2015 18:21

Re: Questions about everything
 
Thanks so much!!!!!

MacGregor's Daughter 07.05.2015 18:48

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by crazygringo (Post 2386229)
think of it this way - many places in the world live like it is still the 1950's out of necessity, in Switzerland it has been a conscious decision

And I thought you would be refering to some places in the States where they think WW2 is still going on in Europe....

crazygringo 07.05.2015 21:37

Re: Questions about everything
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MacGregor's Daughter (Post 2386906)
And I thought you would be refering to some places in the States where they think WW2 is still going on in Europe....

those people are actually ahead of the curve, considering half of the country doesn't realize that the Civil War is over.

;)


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