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Old 05.04.2019, 02:49
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Moving back to Zurich from New York (Zollikon)

Hello All,

I'll be moving to Zurich this summer after 20 years in the US with two kids, 9 and 11, who are not keen at all to join me on this adventure. I will continue to work for my current US employer. My very strong preference is to live in Zollikon though I understand apartment hunting will be a challenge.

The boys will be in public school and while they do understand some German and Swiss German, they do not really speak any.

I'd love to hear from anyone Swiss who moved back after a long time abroad or from anyone moving from the US. While we've visited often for vacations, I'm expecting a bit of a culture shock for all of us. I would also appreciate any advice on how to help kids making friendships, getting settled, and managing schools given the lack of German knowledge. All my bets are on soccer ;-) Seems like kids connect on the soccer field no matter what language the speak.

Looking forward to being part of this community.

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Old 05.04.2019, 07:12
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Re: Moving back to Zurich from New York (Zollikon)

Hi Patrizia, I hope the move goes well!

Children generally adapt quickly, and the Swiss public schools offer DaZ (Deutsch als Zweitsprache) for children without German. It varies a little from school to school, but is often a pull-out programme in which the children have separate German lessons until they 'catch up'.

The 11-y-o will probably be the most tricky, as they will be near the transition between primary & secondary, and there is a lot of pressure put on children this age by many parents (with Gymnasium exams) so some children will have no time to make friends ... but many others will.
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