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Old 17.05.2007, 06:26
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I'm scared now!

Hello everyone!!
My names Andrew and i was planning to join my Australian girl friend who has just moved to Basel to work. But after reading through this forum i'm now really wondering if it's such a good idea. I dont speak German, although i have an educational and employment background in Agriculture and Environmental science i'm yet to see many work opportunities and i'm not sure how i will find being seen as an outsider. Will just have to give it a go and see what i can make of it!!!!! Wont bore you all with a standard request for assistance with employment but will ask how people found moving to Switz initially.
Cheers and Thankyou
Andrew
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Old 17.05.2007, 06:30
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Re: I'm scared now!

Just treat it like an extended holiday if your partner already has work.

You could try Syngenta Home page

Good luck with it!
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Old 17.05.2007, 07:43
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Re: I'm scared now!

Hi Sarge, If your girlfriend can survive here I sure you can. Lots of us came here alone. At least you have someone who has done a bit of pathfinding for you (and you have found this forum).
Just go for it and enjoy it - is is nowhere near as black as it seems from reading some of the threads. Anyhow - life is what you make of it.
Also, there are a few Aussie bars where they sell VB - what more do you want
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Old 17.05.2007, 09:28
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Re: I'm scared now!

Hello and welcome to EF.
If you are shy and don't like confrontation, Switzerland is not for you. There is no comfort zone, until you make one, which usually takes a few years. It is not easy to fit in to a place where you can't talk the local lingo, but if like challenges and a clean country, give it a try!!!
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Old 17.05.2007, 09:31
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Re: I'm scared now!

Sarge, take the plunge! At the very least for the experience but it's a whole lot better than that.
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Old 17.05.2007, 10:37
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Re: I'm scared now!

Hi Sarge,
I'm an Aussie, currently working in Basel - although I do actually live just across the border in France. Just wanted to say - don't let it get you down!

Look at it as the opportunity for an amazing experience, although don't think it's all going to be easy.... There are challenges, good days and bad - just like at 'home' (wherever that may be!!) often it's just because of different things. Some things you took for granted will be difficult, but when you are learning a language from nothing, the first time you manage to have an exchange understood..... it is an amazing feeling - and worth all the bad days!!

If you've bee reading the complaints corner - then stop it!! You should leave it alone til after you have moved. It is often a great place to vent some frustration - but at the end of the day, we're all here.... I would hope that it anybody hated living here (or in any country) they would just leave.

For me, Basel has been a great place. It's maybe slower to make friends, especially if you are used to a large social circle, but keep looking and keep trying are the main things.... I guess that pretty much goes for anything! It depends where you are coming from I guess, but I had no desire to live in a big city, so to me Basel has just about everything I could want on a daily basis. Plus I love the location, and that it is so easy to get places - both locally as well as short breaks.

Give it a shot and see for yourself. After all.... what have you got to lose?

Cheers,
Megan
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Old 17.05.2007, 10:44
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Re: I'm scared now!

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Hello and welcome to EF.
If you are shy and don't like confrontation, Switzerland is not for you. There is no comfort zone, until you make one, which usually takes a few years. It is not easy to fit in to a place where you can't talk the local lingo, but if like challenges and a clean country, give it a try!!!
Actually I found it quite comfortable and non-confrontational. As for the lingo, there's no trouble there and learning a new language is fun. I think you might get what you project.

If you want inhospitable, hostile and uncomfortable where noone speaks your language, try London.
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Old 17.05.2007, 11:18
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Re: I'm scared now!

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try London.
You must be kidding!!! (really )
I don't know, my time in London was 3 days.

As for the rest, I think the places I worked were so "anti-immigrant", I was treated automatically as "another foreigner".
Personal experiences vary...
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Old 17.05.2007, 11:54
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Re: I'm scared now!

Just go for it, and once you do it - you will be proud of yourself.

On bad days - just send an e-mail and many of us will give you support.

German language: I found Linguaphone courses very useful, because I hate sitting in school and listening to some teacher - I like to do things on my own )
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Old 23.05.2007, 05:22
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Re: I'm scared now!

Thankyou everyone for the word of encouragement. It's obviously going to be chanllenge for me but one I think i'm up for. I'm concerned about my work prostpects and the processes of getting the appropriate permits but as many of you have noted i'll never know if i dont have a go!!! Amba i noticed you have a surfing pic as your arvarta, i hope thats you!?!? Is there anyone else out there into their boards sports? Surfing is my passion! And i think snow boarding is about to become my first love.

Cheers and thanks.
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Old 23.05.2007, 06:11
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Re: I'm scared now!

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If you want inhospitable, hostile and uncomfortable where noone speaks your language, try London.
Not been my experience there, quite the opposite. Except in a couple of neighborhoods which were mostly foreigners...go figure, eh?
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Old 23.05.2007, 06:45
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Re: I'm scared now!

This is an engineering, planning and consulting company which could be relevant for you.

http://www.ebp.ch/en/geschaeftsbereiche/umwelt/
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Old 23.05.2007, 08:48
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Re: I'm scared now!

As a whole, I've found the place to be pretty pleasant. In fact, aside from one punk kid who complained in German about me speaking English with a friend (who is Swiss and promptly chewed him out), the only crap I've taken from anyone has been from foreigners. If anything, there's a bit of an anti-Eastern European bias, but I consider the people I've met here to be friendly and pleasant, by and large.

There's definitely some bitterness in people on the forums here, but remember that the Internet tends to bring out the worst in people, not the best, so take it with a grain of salt (or aromat, if you prefer!).

I say go for it, have fun, if you don't like it you can always go back, but hey, it's your life. ;-)
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Old 23.05.2007, 08:50
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Re: I'm scared now!

Hi Andrew.... moving to any other Country is not always fun. You have to bear in mind that YOU have to accustom to their culture and rules.
Switzerland sometime doesn’t make it so easy as rules are strict. Flexibility is not in the Swiss vocabulary. For instance…shops close at 5:30….if you are still in, you most luckily will be asked to leave… At the same time rules have made Switzerland a safe Country and pretty efficient.
Move…..give it a trial and after 6 months you can decide if it fits you or not.
Be lucky you have your partner with you. It would make your life more bearable.
Cheers
Max
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Old 23.05.2007, 08:52
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Re: I'm scared now!

I would say the opposite. The locals here are reserved and avoid confrontation wherever possible. I think confrontation arises from the cultural differences of what constitutes acceptable behaviour. Being told what to do by a total stranger is an obvious example...

dave

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If you are shy and don't like confrontation, Switzerland is not for you.
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Old 23.05.2007, 09:11
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Re: I'm scared now!

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Not been my experience there, quite the opposite. Except in a couple of neighborhoods which were mostly foreigners...go figure, eh?
I have a friend who is here in Switzerland (Winterthur) as an Erasmus student from London, although she is Slovakian. She cannot wait to be out of here. At her university the Swiss are extremely impolite and ignore her. She has been unable to make a single Swiss friend (outside of my wife), whereas she was able to build up an extremely large, strong network rather quickly in London. And here is a big point against CH and for the UK: when she arrived in the UK she could not speak English! When she arrived in Switzerland she at least had a base of German. The Swiss act as if she should be grateful to even have the chance to be on Swiss soil (her own words). Either way, she's now dreaming of going to Perth, as many of her friends in London are Aussies .

I would caution you Sarge, at least from my own experience. I've had a very difficult time with a Swiss spouse, never mind joining an Australian girlfriend. I did not come with skills that were marketable, though, which you seem to do be bringing along with you. Just weight your options, consider how long you are willing to look for work here before going back to Australia, and have a contingency plan in case things do not work out in the end. That way there will be less stress. Like AnAustralian said, treat it like an extended vacation while trying to establish yourself. I didn't, and ended up growing rather hostile for quite some time.
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Old 23.05.2007, 09:19
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Re: I'm scared now!

Hey, i know what you must be feeling...i felt it too before i left my country...my bf is swiss and i also have an aunty here in CH..and before i moved here, i learned French (almost 3 years) and German (6 months intensive). When i got here, i got lucky and found a job with a company but i was refused a work permit repeatedly due to my nationality (so doesn't mean when a company is willing to sponsor you, u will get a work permit for sure)...they said the quota was already full and to try again in 2009!!!!!!...so i decided to stay anyway and continue to study the german language and do my masters. sometimes, it's not easy, but u can make it anywhere in this world if u choose to do so, like many people on this forum....so come on and join us here...life is an adventure and it's the journey that counts in the end!

Angie
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Old 23.05.2007, 13:48
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Re: I'm scared now!

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If you want inhospitable, hostile and uncomfortable where noone speaks your language, try London.
So true. I feel more at home in CH than in London where I was born (& I can only speak Del-Boy style french!)
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Old 23.05.2007, 14:06
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Re: I'm scared now!

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Is there anyone else out there into their boards sports? Surfing is my passion! And i think snow boarding is about to become my first love.

Cheers and thanks.
Hey Sarge,

Hate to break this to you, but if you are s surfer then you are probably gonna feel like a fish out of water over here. I miss the ocean every day. The snowboarding and mountainbiking here is epic and goes some way to make up for the lack of waves... ...but I still wish that I could just drive down the road and catch some waves for an hour or two.

My tip, Get some other sports to fill the surfing void as soon as possible and don't watch any surf movies when you are in Switzerland, they just depress you!
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Old 23.05.2007, 14:50
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Re: I'm scared now!

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I have a friend who is here in Switzerland (Winterthur) as an Erasmus student from London, although she is Slovakian. She cannot wait to be out of here. At her university the Swiss are extremely impolite and ignore her. She has been unable to make a single Swiss friend (outside of my wife), whereas she was able to build up an extremely large, strong network rather quickly in London. And here is a big point against CH and for the UK: when she arrived in the UK she could not speak English! When she arrived in Switzerland she at least had a base of German. The Swiss act as if she should be grateful to even have the chance to be on Swiss soil (her own words). Either way, she's now dreaming of going to Perth, as many of her friends in London are Aussies .

I would caution you Sarge, at least from my own experience. I've had a very difficult time with a Swiss spouse, never mind joining an Australian girlfriend. I did not come with skills that were marketable, though, which you seem to do be bringing along with you. Just weight your options, consider how long you are willing to look for work here before going back to Australia, and have a contingency plan in case things do not work out in the end. That way there will be less stress. Like AnAustralian said, treat it like an extended vacation while trying to establish yourself. I didn't, and ended up growing rather hostile for quite some time.
Hi

I had a similar experience to you, I documented this in another thread somewhere.

I lived in Zurich for most part of a year without work, it was quite a debilitating experience. I had quite a few job interviews but could not quite land the job. The thing about Switzerland is, you really need to be close to the top of your field to be successful. I went to Switzerland unarmed without local knowledge (I learned some german but clearly not enough) and did not have post graduate education or extensive experience to back me up. Oh I worked as a consultant in IT for ten years prior, but did not have those specialist skills such as project management or business analysis or strategic planning that is really needed. if you are a gun developer, or a top manager, or have a good law background, you can do well. If you work in a niche area (for me it was geographic information systems) it might prove very difficult.

After 12 months I went back to Australia, I have bulked up my experience with 2 years of wide project management skills, business analysis skills and branched out of GIS, athough this still remains my preferred area to work in. I am about to complete (after much pain and suffering) a dual masters in information systems management and business administration.

Will this be enough to be successful on return? No guarantees But I am going to give it another go because Switzerland is one of those places that calls you back. For me it is an incredibly magical place (you just need a lot of cash to live there long term).
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