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Old 26.11.2019, 18:50
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Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Dear Forum members,

I’m new to the forum but have been reading it for some time. I’m a Swiss guy considering leaving Switzerland and would like some opinions on my project.

I’m in my late thirties, in a medical profession, born and raised in the French speaking part, one of my parent is Swiss and the other is Foreign.

I’ve travelled and lived abroad a little bit. In the past few years, I noticed there are some aspects of Swiss mentality and society that are difficult for me now. These are the same that are often talked about by expats on the forum.

Anyway, I am now looking for societies which are more welcoming, free, open-minded, social, equalitarian and progressive. I’m also looking for a country with a better work-life balance, even if it is for a lower salary. My first choice is the Netherlands, followed by Norway and Denmark. I thought about Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but they are remote and living in Europe is important for me.

My first choice is Amsterdam as it is the most open, multicultural and welcoming place I’ve been to. I like the Dutch mentality and language as well. I started to learn Dutch and I wrote to a few hospitals and medical societies to have more information.

So I would like some advice and recommendation about my project. I understand that the grass is not greener on the other side. However, I think it’s important to share the values of the society you live in as much as possible. I would like to live in a society which is less capitalistic than Switzerland.

Are there some people from Norway, The Netherlands or Denmark who have some advice for me?

Thank you very much!
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Old 26.11.2019, 18:55
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Stay here

Said a Dutch person
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Old 26.11.2019, 19:17
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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Stay here

Said a Dutch person
Another Dutch person agrees.
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Old 26.11.2019, 19:18
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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Stay here

Said a Dutch person
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Another Dutch person agrees.
Perhaps expanding on what you wrote may help the OP?
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Old 26.11.2019, 19:37
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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My first choice is Amsterdam as it is the most open, multicultural and welcoming place I’ve been to. I like the Dutch mentality and language as well.
Living somewhere is not to be compared by being somewhere for some days on a holiday.

Housing market is exhausted, so unless you have good money to spend don't expect on anything near decent in or close to Amsterdam within reasonable time.

I admit it is great to be there for a weekend, but Dutch cities like Groningen are imho much more friendly and good/effordable to live in. (And nightlife is excellent)

However healthcare in the Netherlands unless you are in the top of the chain sucks to work in. Low payments, shitty hours, stress, bureaucracy and currently plagued with strikes for better conditions, and many Dutch health people move to Switzerland due to better conditions and payment. So beware..

From your 3 options I as a Dutch would put The Netherlands and especially Amsterdam at the bottom of the list.

Signed by another Dutch.
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Old 26.11.2019, 19:48
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Having spent a lot of time in Norway (2+ weeks/year from 2000 - 2010, only a couple of which were vacation) I would say that it's far better here.

Tom
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Old 26.11.2019, 19:57
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

It might not be "better" in NL, but it's good to experience life in another country.... maybe he just need a change, he can always come back.

I would think getting your language up to standard in any of those countries for a medical job, might be tricky (unless your other parent is Scandinavian and you already speak it?). As you speak English, maybe Ireland or even Malta could be an option? (not saying they are perfect places), I'm not suggesting the UK because who wants to live in Brexit Britain
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Old 26.11.2019, 20:07
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Since you speak French... what about the French-speaking European countries? I doubt you can really work in a medical job without a local language, and starting off somewhere where you already have a command may be good. If you like the experience of being outside of Switzerland (or if you don't) it will inform your next move.
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Old 26.11.2019, 20:27
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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It might not be "better" in NL, but it's good to experience life in another country.... maybe he just need a change, he can always come back.

I would think getting your language up to standard in any of those countries for a medical job, might be tricky (unless your other parent is Scandinavian and you already speak it?). As you speak English, maybe Ireland or even Malta could be an option? (not saying they are perfect places), I'm not suggesting the UK because who wants to live in Brexit Britain
This. Totally. Who knows OP, besides learning a lot of new things, you might even like it wherever you decide to move.
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Old 26.11.2019, 21:03
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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From your 3 options I as a Dutch would put The Netherlands and especially Amsterdam at the bottom of the list.

Signed by another Dutch.
I know a half-Dutch family who moved to the Netherlands after many years here. They couldn't get on here and had a terrible time with neighbours after buying a house here and had really serious problems with the schools.

They're much happier in the Netherlands.

I suggest, like others, the OP makes his move. Living in another country is a great experience, even if only to appreciate what you had back home more.
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Old 26.11.2019, 21:17
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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I know a half-Dutch family who moved to the Netherlands after many years here. They couldn't get on here and had a terrible time with neighbours after buying a house here and had really serious problems with the schools.

They're much happier in the Netherlands.

I suggest, like others, the OP makes his move. Living in another country is a great experience, even if only to appreciate what you had back home more.
I'm not telling him that he should stay, and I know that some Dutch are not able to build a life here due to them not coping with the Swiss style of doing things.

But truth is also that healthcare in the Netherlands from the employee point of view often simply is a disaster.

He should not go there due to Amsterdam being a nice town for a holiday, he should get to know the circumstances where he is about to dive in so he can make a proper decision. I don't know his function, but where he to work in healthcare with shifts for 2.500,- a month, and than to pay taxes, healthcare & housing around Amsterdam, life really ain't that great.
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Old 27.11.2019, 12:13
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Thank you all for your answers! It's helpful.

- roegner & k_and_e: could you please elaborate? Thanks!

- st2lemans: what do you think is better in Switzerland? I noticed that in Norway, it's easier to own a house than in Switzerland. I also noticed that they have more free time. The infrastructures for children are also better than in Switzerland (daycare, etc).

- EdwinNL: good point. This is why I'm asking on this forum. I will talk next week with a dutch resident in Utrecht over the phone and ask her questions. I'm interested in the more horizontal hierarchy and the fact that people can say what they think. I thought that people in The Netherlands had less working hours.

According to this data: OECD Better Life Index.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm aware there is a difference between a country on paper (or on holiday) and real life. I'm a resident, so I'm both a worker and a trainee: I'm aware that I'm making more money in Switzerland than in NL at this stage. You are right about the income/cost of life ratio at this point. When I'll have my specialisation degree, it will be more favorable I think.

- doropfiz, Island Monkey, greenmount, Tom1234: I like "live and let live" countries. Freedom is an important value for me. I like the freedom of thought, honesty/straightforwardness and "gezelligheid" (that is also found in other nordic countries). I like that in The Netherlands what is respectful is to tell the truth and not to hide what you think. This in comparison with saving face or not vexing the other person.

The cultures in the upper right corner have my interest map.

In the mean time, I decided to meet more "expats"/travellers where I live, with Meetup. If you guys have any suggestions how I can meet more people like that, I'm all ears!

Once again, thank you very much for your answers!
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Old 27.11.2019, 14:03
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

The danish society is not wellcoming or freeminded, in parts of sweden (Malmö, stockholm and göteborg)
it feels like a warzone , in parts of malmö even the police make a run.

https://www.nzz.ch/international/sch...aum-ld.1362803

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-d...-idUSKCN1T111M

https://time.com/5504331/denmark-mig...ndholm-island/
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Old 27.11.2019, 14:58
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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- roegner & k_and_e: could you please elaborate? Thanks!
Unfortunately, The Netherlands has become overcrowded (traffic is horrible, very hard to find a place to live), overregulated and poorly governed (for example, because of bad legislation, NL is probably the only country in the world with an acute nitrogen problem, causing huge economic impact).

Still, people are nice and I love the country but don't want to live there anymore.
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Old 27.11.2019, 15:24
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

Move to Russia, stay there as long as you could, return to Switzerland and enjoy it. Could be repeated with some other countries once you get bored again.
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Old 27.11.2019, 15:47
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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The danish society is not wellcoming or freeminded, in parts of sweden (Malmö, stockholm and göteborg)
it feels like a warzone , in parts of malmö even the police make a run.

https://www.nzz.ch/international/sch...aum-ld.1362803

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-d...-idUSKCN1T111M

https://time.com/5504331/denmark-mig...ndholm-island/
Agree on this. I lived in Sthlm for a few years, lovely city as a tourist but a hell as an expat - not freeminded at all, jealousy is widespread as taxes eat away most of the income and people scr*w you over with a smile on their face. Never again.
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Old 27.11.2019, 16:03
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

I lived in Holland for 12 years, Dutch ex-wife and two lovely kids. I am Swiss and can honestly say I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the commercially minded Dutch banks and companies. However, once I was successful, employing 20 people, a large turnover and good profits, the tax man and other officials got involved.

Even though everything we did was above board we had continuous inspections, labour disputes always went against us, even when the employee stole from us. Seems theft was not a reason to dismiss him!! All in all, like many Dutch expats here, I decided the hassle was not worth it, sold the business and moved to Switzerland. A decision I've not regretted.

So, as others say, while Switzerland is by no means perfect, it's a lot better than Holland and I'd stay here.
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Old 27.11.2019, 16:04
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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- st2lemans: what do you think is better in Switzerland? I noticed that in Norway, it's easier to own a house than in Switzerland. I also noticed that they have more free time.
More free time? You are joking.

Prices are higher, 25% VAT (100% of vehicles), and like in all nordic countries a family cannot survive on a single salary, unlike here.

Wine is extremely expensive.

And the weather sucks, especially in winter.

It's a nice place to visit when on the company dime, however.

Tom
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Old 27.11.2019, 16:31
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

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even when the employee stole from us. Seems theft was not a reason to dismiss him!!
You have to follow the procedure perfectly according to law without a single error, and even than it has to be held against what did the company do to prevent it, are the consequences for the employee not too harsh when compared with what he did, is the burden of proof beyond any doubt etc.. etc.. Employee protection in the Netherlands is ridiculous.

Dutch people: Why do employers not give us contracts without an enddate.

Also Dutch people: We refuse to give in on any of our rights.

Both my parents had their own company but they always refused to have employees. "If somebody breaks their back during a skiing holiday government demands me to pay them for another two years... Screw that."
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Old 27.11.2019, 17:05
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Re: Leaving Switzerland for Netherlands, Norway or Denmark

But who knows, maybe OP will find his own bubble, circle of friends etc and will like it there? You don't have to be painfully aware of everything that goes wrong across a country.....all the time, every single second of the day.

C'mon guys, there must be positive things too.
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