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Old 14.01.2021, 00:09
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Thinking of Moving to UK

Hi all,

I wanted to get any tips or experience from someone who has recently moved to the UK from Switzerland.

Bit of background, Switzerland has been great (studied here in 2012 and then worked since) but feeling a bit in need of a change of scenery.

Has anyone moved over recently? What has your experience been like with Brexit and all that?
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  #2  
Old 14.01.2021, 00:37
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

What’s your nationality? If you’re not UK/IRE you’ll have to go through the new points based immigration system.
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Old 14.01.2021, 01:40
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

The UK is usually pretty great. Only at the moment it's cold and wet and mostly shut. And a gibbon is in charge of the government.

And what Island Monkey said. A lot will depend on your nationality, to begin with at least. Best of luck, whatever you decide.

Edited to add Patrick, if that's your real full name, might be an idea to ask a mod to change it to something else.
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Old 14.01.2021, 07:44
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Cannot speak for the rest of the UK but a bit of perspective of London (in normal, non CCP-plague circumstances):
  • The population of the London metro area is equivalent to the whole of Switzerland
  • People on the street are more aggressive (although not as much as New York), expect to push to get into rammed tube etc
  • Gyms are in general much filthier
  • You will have less cash left over from your paycheck aside from the fact that you will be inclined to spend more on restaurants and entertainment as this will be your go-to weekend activity
  • Assuming you do not have a partner/children you will likely be sharing a flat
  • You will develop a pretty strong immunity as you will get the common cold/flu much more often
  • Job market is much bigger but there is more competition (in volume, not necessarily in quality)
  • Don't see Brexit changing any of the above
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Old 14.01.2021, 07:56
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Cannot speak for the rest of the UK but a bit of perspective of London (in normal, non CCP-plague circumstances):
  • The population of the London metro area is equivalent to the whole of Switzerland
  • People on the street are more aggressive (although not as much as New York), expect to push to get into rammed tube etc
  • Gyms are in general much filthier
  • You will have less cash left over from your paycheck aside from the fact that you will be inclined to spend more on restaurants and entertainment as this will be your go-to weekend activity
  • Assuming you do not have a partner/children you will likely be sharing a flat
  • You will develop a pretty strong immunity as you will get the common cold/flu much more often
  • Job market is much bigger but there is more competition (in volume, not necessarily in quality)
  • Don't see Brexit changing any of the above
To give some balance, I think it will depend on what you are looking for. The above is somewhat negative - particularly loving the "gym's are filthier" this is really quite a comment that would only come from Switzerland.

I lived in London for many years and other parts of the UK before that. Its a great place for social atmosphere and activities, with a friendly and pleasant nature of the vast vast majority of people.

Depending on your field of course the job market is enormous and London is a recognized as a huge centre for business. Finding work will be easier than Switzerland due to simple volume mechanics plus Britain is quicker - Switzerland is a slow and steady country (which is one of its strengths) which is great for stability and process, but this can lead to long processes to get things like jobs. In london, you can be interviewed and starting fast.

Housing and associated costs will depend on where you live, same has for example Zurich - live in the centre, its a lot, live further our and tube or train it, its less expensive.

Overall though, above all else, I would choose your destination on what you want. London - or the UK - is never going to hit the mark for you if you like high mountain activities, skiing, boarding and so forth (though it does try, with Scotland and dry slopes!) and you'll be frustrated if you are looking for this. If you are interested in socializing, going out, cinema's, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and are of that age where you want to get out and do things in the evening, its a wonderful city. Its huge and limitless in the number of events and activities that you will find on.

Good luck!
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Old 14.01.2021, 08:07
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Hi all,

I wanted to get any tips or experience from someone who has recently moved to the UK from Switzerland.

Bit of background, Switzerland has been great (studied here in 2012 and then worked since) but feeling a bit in need of a change of scenery.

Has anyone moved over recently? What has your experience been like with Brexit and all that?
Moving to the UK... "for a change of scenery"? If your idea of changing scenery involves less money, divisive politics and an uncertain economy in at least the short-term future following a significant change in its status as a non-EU country, mixed with huge disruption in life as one of the worst hit pandemic areas in Europe... then I think it's a really great idea that you have clearly put a lot of thought and research into! Such great timing too.
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Old 14.01.2021, 09:37
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

My advice, don't move to London
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Old 14.01.2021, 10:34
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Pre-Covid I used to travel to London for work a couple of days per month. I loved landing at City airport, seeing, hearing and experiencing Britishness but after 2 days I was always happy to leave and come back to the relative peace of CH. London is a wonderful place to visit, an awful place to live.

Outside London, the further north you go the better, but more Victorian it gets.
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Old 14.01.2021, 10:59
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Where in the UK? It's a big place and VERY varied.

Personally, at the moment, I would not move to UK. A lot of trouble ahead and everything that was so great about the UK going to pot.
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Old 14.01.2021, 11:09
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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My advice, don't move to London

Agreed. The north is where it's at. Manchester is brilliant and gives you lots of variety and huge scope.


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Pre-Covid I used to travel to London for work a couple of days per month. I loved landing at City airport, seeing, hearing and experiencing Britishness but after 2 days I was always happy to leave and come back to the relative peace of CH. London is a wonderful place to visit, an awful place to live.

Outside London, the further north you go the better, but more Victorian it gets.
Victorian? We hardly ever send our toddler up the chimney any more, is that what you mean?

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Where in the UK? It's a big place and VERY varied.

Personally, at the moment, I would not move to UK. A lot of trouble ahead and everything that was so great about the UK going to pot.

So much negativity. The UK is still pretty terrific and relatively speaking, lots more variety and choice than in CH. We moved back 5 years ago and it suits us sooo much better. Plus, despite coments to the comtrary, depending on your field, salaries are good/ rents don't make your eyes water.


I second the London comments tbh. London is to the rest of the UK as NYC is to middle America.
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Old 14.01.2021, 11:44
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Yes, I will admit it- negativity from me re moving back to UK. This was very much on the cards for us, but honestly. can't see it happening now. Tolerance, sense of humour, openess, acceptance of others- all the things I fell in love with- just don't seem the same any more.

However, a big difference if, like you, you move back 'home', to your family and circle of friends and familiar surroundings- to someone arriving without roots, and in the middle of a pandemic.
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Old 14.01.2021, 11:49
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Yes, I will admit it- negativity from me re moving back to UK. This was very much on the cards for us, but honestly. can't see it happening now. Tolerance, sense of humour, openess, acceptance of others- all the things I fell in love with- just don't seem the same any more.

However, a big difference if, like you, you move back 'home', to your family and circle of friends and familiar surroundings- to someone arriving without roots, and in the middle of a pandemic.

I read yours as frustration and sadness for times past.

There are lots of those good things. We moved from one side of the country to the other without knowing anyone or anything here. It's the best move we ever made.
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Old 14.01.2021, 13:00
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Pre-Covid I used to travel to London for work a couple of days per month. I loved landing at City airport, seeing, hearing and experiencing Britishness but after 2 days I was always happy to leave and come back to the relative peace of CH. London is a wonderful place to visit, an awful place to live.

Outside London, the further north you go the better, but more Victorian it gets.
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Yes, I will admit it- negativity from me re moving back to UK. This was very much on the cards for us, but honestly. can't see it happening now. Tolerance, sense of humour, openess, acceptance of others- all the things I fell in love with- just don't seem the same any more.

However, a big difference if, like you, you move back 'home', to your family and circle of friends and familiar surroundings- to someone arriving without roots, and in the middle of a pandemic.
I feel exactly the same. My family are in the South East and much as I love and miss them, I just couldn't consider returning. In truth it seems to me that people have changed for the worse.

I also loved landing at City. There was a Porter there who was well known and always welcomed people in a very polite and typically British fashion. When my brother picked me up in whichever super car he was driving at the time, he would always have an amusing quip as he opened the car door for me, usually along the lines of "maybe choose a hatchback next time Sir" as we attempted to stuff my suitcase into a tiny boot. It felt quintessentially British; eccentric and welcoming. However when my elderly mother picked me up, she was verbally abused for some driving misdemeanor before we even left the car park and we have rarely made it home without a two fingered salute from another driver. The level of aggression now outweighs the friendliness and familiarity of a "hello darling" which I used to value. I shall still look forward to going again when I can, but also feel relieved to fly home to Switzerland.
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Old 14.01.2021, 13:21
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Not adding much but i think you need to find someone like you (interests and so on) and asking for opinion.

I know a couple that lived 9 years in London (Portuguese like me) and did not make it 2 years in Zurich and they lived in Seefeld, 2 fancy cars and so on.

Now they are going over 3 years living in Manhattan, in Battery park.

For me (not married) Zurich is too strict and quite lifeless but they pay a lot.

I was there 10 years but 3 months in Portugal and i am surprised how much i missed in Zurich in 10 years
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Old 14.01.2021, 15:50
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Thanks everyone for the comments.

My reason for moving is that my partner and I are still young (under 30) and feel it is time to move and explore something else. Switzerland has been great but the stiffness & quietness is something that I still struggle with even after living here for 9 years.

I know the dreaded B word (start with B and ends with T) and all that jazz would be a pain point but if you look at all countries they have their pitfalls.

The high salary is nice and all but.....fill in the blanks!
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Old 14.01.2021, 15:55
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Thanks everyone for the comments.

My reason for moving is that my partner and I are still young (under 30) and feel it is time to move and explore something else. Switzerland has been great but the stiffness & quietness is something that I still struggle with even after living here for 9 years.

I know the dreaded B word (start with B and ends with T) and all that jazz would be a pain point but if you look at all countries they have their pitfalls.

The high salary is nice and all but.....fill in the blanks!
Lots to do in the UK if under 30! And over 30 for that matter.

Glad you changed your username. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 14.01.2021, 19:44
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

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Lots to do in the UK if under 30! And over 30 for that matter.

Glad you changed your username. Welcome to the forum.
... and all the best for your new adventure. I am looking at things from a very different perspective in my age group, but looking back I left the UK at 34, and the preceding years were a lot of fun. I wish you well.
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Old 14.01.2021, 19:59
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

British born here, lived in UK all my life but moved to Switzerland 18 months ago.



Depending on what sector are you working in the UK is NOT the place to be moving to right now. Especially London, alot of economic uncertainty happening right now, many companies are moving away from London further up north, if not completely off the island to mainland Europe. As London is getting too expensive, crowded and competition for jobs is getting tougher due to cuts.



Even before Brexit people were loosing their jobs, every few years as companies are doing "restructures" so my friends and family were constantly worrying about if they will still have a job.



Also on an negative note, crime in the UK is HIGH!!! So many of my friends of thinking of leaving the UK due to this, not a good place they want to continue rising their kids.



One a positive note, social life in London is good. Always something to do every night, many shops are open 24/7 even on Sunday and the gyms are lot more better in the UK compared the Switzerland.
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Old 14.01.2021, 20:34
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Salaries are rubbish in the UK compared to CH.

I could barely break even in London at the end of the month, and il not a huge spender.
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Old 14.01.2021, 20:36
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Re: Thinking of Moving to UK

Salaries very much depend on what you do and where you do it. As ever, YMMV.
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