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  #21  
Old 09.04.2021, 17:12
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

Very much the case in the NE border regions too- and as we read recently here on HUG, confirmed by friends who work there - a real problem there too.

It will be a priority of the new NE Government when elected- to to everything to prioretise local employment and re-training.

However, not really the point of the OP, is it?

40 is certainly not too old, and it is easy enough to live in French speaking area and commute- and take the opportunity to learn German.

Last edited by JackieH; 09.04.2021 at 17:30.
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  #22  
Old 09.04.2021, 17:37
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

OP, you might like to read through kayakdad's threads, especially his first two. He settled in Basel for a few years. Although he didn't come from France, some of his experiences might be useful to you. He seemed such a nice guy (met only on the Forum) that people wanted to contribute, and a lot of people here, and especially from that area, added their views and advice.

https://www.englishforum.ch/search.p...rchid=21097153
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  #23  
Old 09.04.2021, 18:00
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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He wants to learn German, in fact, it seems to me. Basel is a cute place, really, quaint, there is river floating with buoys in the summer and really nice river bank to sit on and chill. A bunch of really nice and famous museums. With good food to find just over the border. I really like the 3 culture feel there, it is more cosmopolitan than Geneva. People will disagree, of course, but here aside of Geneva we are in the sticks.

If I was somebody who had a job offered, my primary worry would be why and how to de-root my partner, though. As we wrote before.
Maybe cute is overstating things. But Basel probably has more to keep you busy if you are culturally inclined than you might find in your average Swiss town. There are some quaint and pretty corners all over and lots of interesting things to do. People have a very special and refreshing sense of humour and are quicker to share this with you than your average Swiss - which maybe derives from living at the intersection between different languages and cultures and not taking any of them more seriously that is really necessary.

One could almost feel at home there if it wasn't for the awful dialect.

But that's maybe part of the humour too?
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  #24  
Old 10.04.2021, 07:49
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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Maybe cute is overstating things. But Basel probably has more to keep you busy if you are culturally inclined than you might find in your average Swiss town. There are some quaint and pretty corners all over and lots of interesting things to do. People have a very special and refreshing sense of humour and are quicker to share this with you than your average Swiss - which maybe derives from living at the intersection between different languages and cultures and not taking any of them more seriously that is really necessary.

One could almost feel at home there if it wasn't for the awful dialect.

But that's maybe part of the humour too?
Well, it will never be Bernese..unfortunately.

The dialect I heard while floating on the river was the UK one, mostly. French in the museums and Baseldeutsch in bars.

I would go for that than sticking to the status quo in France, honestly. But maybe it will get better when Macron's gone?

Last edited by MusicChick; 10.04.2021 at 08:20.
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  #25  
Old 10.04.2021, 12:15
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

To be honest you could live in Basel with English and French very easily. And of course France is just down the road. I wouldn't give yourself a massive commute just for language reasons even if you don't fancy learning German.
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  #26  
Old 10.04.2021, 12:31
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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One could almost feel at home there if it wasn't for the awful dialect.

But that's maybe part of the humour too?
I'm no expert, but from an objective point of view is the Basel dialect and/or accent in any way "worse" than that of Zurich or Bern?

To my mind it's just a question of getting the ear for it, such that you can actually work out the words being mangled, but this is equally true for the other areas (and indeed in Zentral Schweiz as well). I'm sure everyone can understand that the large cities' populations are always going to throw light-hearted insults at each other, but when it comes to dialects, I think the Germans are probably laughing at them all equally.
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  #27  
Old 10.04.2021, 19:28
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

We moved to Belgium in our 40’s, I gave up my career in the NHS, then moved to Switzerland in our 50’s. OH was made redundant at the age of 58, luckily we had our house in France so we decided to give up the rat race and live our own lives. The morel is, what is your plan B if this does not work out?
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Old 10.04.2021, 21:16
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

I would not live in the sticks or a depressing area and then have a long commute on top just for the sake of living in a french speaking canton.

These are personal preferences though, they just need to be clear and correspond to your wife's.

Plenty of people who are in their 40s enjoy the socializing opportunities a bigger city has. Others just want to walk their dog. With corona it's a bit moot for now.
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  #29  
Old 10.04.2021, 23:38
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

What you consider to be 'in the sticks' may be depressing to you ... we are all different. Délémont is neither in the sticks nor depressing for many ... who would find the town or suburbs of Zurich or Geneva, truly depressing. Just depends, no?
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  #30  
Old 11.04.2021, 14:02
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

Hello again all - I want to thank you all for the wonderful information sharing. This really is a fantastic community it seems - for both old and newcomers.

Just to respond to some of the comments on this thread:

1. About the comment that the French have an arrogant reputation and when they come to Basel and only stick amongst themselves:
ok in my case it won't be an issue! Yes I am French in terms of the passport I carry, but my upbringing and early career was pretty much from the anglosphere, US/Canada/UK mainly. So I will do my very best to not just stick within the French clique and I really enjoy diversity and international exchanges as if it were second nature!

2. There was some really good points about my wife potentially having difficulty integrating if she is without meaningful work: this is (was) sort of the rational behind considering living in a French speaking region.. But on the other hand we are looking at an entrepreneurial opportunity for her rather than employment and so maybe the place of residence is not so critical for this.

I still have some meetings with HR etc. over the weeks ahead, but I think we will be taking the plunge in a few months time and hop over to Basel and give it a go.


I found some great teach yourself German videos on YouTube so maybe in the meantime I'll give that a bit of a run!

Thanks again to the forummers and I look forward to new exchanges.
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  #31  
Old 11.04.2021, 16:18
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

Husband moved here for a 6 month contract when he was 54, he's still here nearly 7 years on and will turn 61 in a few weeks. I moved here to be with him when I was 55 and haven't regretted it. I'm 60 in a month and haven't regretted it, it's an experience until we move back to Scotland in a few years time. OH has already decided he's not retiring, when we go home he's setting himself up as a freelance consultant.
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  #32  
Old 11.04.2021, 17:37
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

@kranj: for learning language I can strongly recommend italki.com
It's far from free, however, if you invest some time in testing tutors and teachers, and find those who suit you, you'll get full time just for you and your practice and your errors since it's 1:1, as opposed to paying for some schools where you share time slot with many people, no matter how 'small' group is.

From interesting useful apps, I'd recommend clozemaster. It's the only one where I keep coming back and it's challenging no matter which level I am at the moment. But ok, I didn't started it before I learned something and I wouldn't recommend it if you know zero.

Duolingo avoid if you want to spend time efficiently, memrise is ok for first month to learn some phrases, but clozemaster might be even better.


From youtubers, DFE Deusch fuer euch is the best to really understand grammar, for me. There are a bunch of others which are good, like Jenny, but I didn't like their voices or topics, I stick the longest with Katja from DFE.

Also, there's Easy German, and they even had a visit to Switzerland
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  #33  
Old 12.04.2021, 09:16
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

I do not think your age should be a factor in your decision, the World is small and with pension agreements between most countries then its not a major headache when you retire.


Most people arrive here in their 30-40s anyhow as companies look for people with a specific skill set that is not available in Switzerland or a shortage of. Just wander around any bank or Pharma company in Switzerland and majority of upper management are Auslanders.


Many will retire back to their countries or head to warmer climates in old age as retirement here is dam expensive.


Switzerland is always an attractive option due to standard of living, hiking, skiing etc or just a change of life.
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  #34  
Old 12.04.2021, 09:22
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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Just another point to consider, not really related to where you live, is that some French people who've come to work in large Pharma companies in Basel have struggled to fit in, often seeming arrogant to Swiss and other Swissified employees. Some have been accused of having a bad attitude, being too sure of themselves, and acting in a way that makes it look like they think they have job security like they would in France.

I should stress that this is not based on my personal experience, but that of hiring managers in other parts of the organisation, and it's absolutely not meant to imply that French employees have a bad attitude, just that, from what I heard over many years, they may be perceived, perhaps mainly by Swiss colleagues, in that poor light.

So bear in mind that a humble and respectful attitude to fellow workers will go a long way, and that you may have to make an extra effort to overcome prejudices caused by some of your compatriots in the past.

Edit: just to add that one of the things that has been mentioned is the attitude to punctuality - the French can be perceived by the Swiss and Germans as being a bit lax in this regard, particularly wrt things like going for a coffee break just after they've got in in the morning, taking long lunches, etc. Again, this may not be justified but it's a stereotype you should probably be aware of to ensure you don't conform to.
I love these gossips! Do mid-managers entertain their guests at dinner parties by telling stories of various nationalities? Love these folks.


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2. There was some really good points about my wife potentially having difficulty integrating if she is without meaningful work: this is (was) sort of the rational behind considering living in a French speaking region.. But on the other hand we are looking at an entrepreneurial opportunity for her rather than employment and so maybe the place of residence is not so critical for this.

I still have some meetings with HR etc. over the weeks ahead, but I think we will be taking the plunge in a few months time and hop over to Basel and give it a go.


I found some great teach yourself German videos on YouTube so maybe in the meantime I'll give that a bit of a run!

Thanks again to the forummers and I look forward to new exchanges.
OP, you have nothing to lose in my humble opinion. Make sure the offer is worth moving and uprooting. Chances your spouse will be fine - especially if she plans a career change anyway, but both of you need financial security. I'd pay attention to that because you're the "initiator" in this adventure and you have some responsibilities.
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  #35  
Old 12.04.2021, 11:56
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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I love these gossips! Do mid-managers entertain their guests at dinner parties by telling stories of various nationalities? Love these folks.
Oh yes. Not limited to national prejudices, though. Personal backstabbing is much more the norm, bitching about peers overstepping their responsibilities, more senior managers blocking sensible policies... you can let your imagination go wild and you _still_ won't be near the truth.

I've been an avid follower of Dilbert for several decades now, and the only thing I find slightly unrealistic about it is how much it tones down the level of malicious office gossip and mud-smearing that actually goes on.
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  #36  
Old 12.04.2021, 22:27
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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2. On the topic of retirement, do all the contributions made in France get taken into account in Switzerland, should I end up staying till I 'come of age'?
I doubt it, because it did not work for me in the opposite direction. After 20 years working as a frontalier in Geneva, I retired with AVS and a French state pension. Also, as mentioned already, a happiness-saving Swiss company pension, due its generous contribution on the basis of a generous salary.

PS I was 41 when I started my Swiss job, coming from France. It was fine.
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Old 13.04.2021, 11:01
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Re: Moving to CH in your 40s - too old?

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I doubt it, because it did not work for me in the opposite direction. After 20 years working as a frontalier in Geneva, I retired with AVS and a French state pension. Also, as mentioned already, a happiness-saving Swiss company pension, due its generous contribution on the basis of a generous salary.

PS I was 41 when I started my Swiss job, coming from France. It was fine.
what happened with your second pillar contributions?
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