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Old 30.11.2011, 10:01
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should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

hey,
so this is being a little presumptuous,as i only have an interview in fribourg later this week. but i was hoping to get some info/opinions before heading out.

here is a quick idea of the backround. Im a 26 year old irish girl and i moved here to zurich about a month ago and i have been unsuccessfully looking for a job here. i speak english and french and thought my lack of german might be holding me back so i applied for 2 jobs in fribourg in french and got this interview.

i really like zurich and just managed to find my own room with a resonable price, so im starting to feel like im settling in. I really want to learn (swiss)german, but its going to take a while.

so ive already been doing some reseach on EF and elsewhere, but there are still a few gaps.

firstly, what is the possibility of commuting back and forth?
how long does it take?
and what would be my best/cheapest ticketing option?

otherwise, what is the housing situation like in Fribourg? zurich and genevea are notioriously difficult, so is it hard to find a reaonably priced room in a shared apartment in Fribourg?
where would be the best place to search?

otherwise fribourg seems like a lovely place to live and ive already read some threads from other EF members who live in fribourg and seem really cool. so if i did end up there i would be very interested in meeting up with people.

anyway it would be lovely to hear what people would reccommend or anyone does this commute already? also a special hello to people from Fribourg.

Cess
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:19
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Hey cess,

It would take an hour and a half each way (www.sbb.ch/en). That'd be 3 hours per day roundtrip. I did a 3 hour roundtrip each day from Uster to Luzern (trains and buses) but I only lasted 9 months. It meant waking up really early (5am) and never getting home before 7:30pm. I was knackered.

As jobs are pretty tough to come by these days, you should give it a chance. Perhaps you should continue to live in Zürich and commute during your probation, while you see how the job goes. Fribourg is really nice, but no need moving if the job doesn't end up being permanent.

I always had the GA, it was around 300-320 chf per month. You can also pay per month and cancel the GA when you don't need it any longer.
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:22
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Hi there and welcome to the EF.
Zurich to Fribourg is a shade under 1.5 hrs one way on the direct IC. Depending where you live and where your office will be, you'll have to add on a good 30 mins commute time each way. So you're looking at a good 4 hr round trip each day . I know people who do it the other way, but it's not something I would look forward to each morning. The best ticketing option would be a 2nd class GA.
Housing is pretty plentiful in and around Fribourg, especially in some of the neighbouring communes (Givisiez, Villars-sur-Glâne, Granges-Paccot etc)and the rent would be a darn sight lower than Zurich.
Since we've been in CH, we've always lived in canton Fribourg and I'm very fond of the place. It probably hasn't got the nightlife of the "big" city, but there are some real gems for eating, drinking and being merry . Also, based solely on the impression I get from EF, people in Fribourg seem to be a lot more friendly than those in ZH.
Anyway, whatever you decide, good luck with your new job and maybe I'll see you in Paddy Reilly's one of these days.
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:22
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

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cancel the GA when you don't need it any longer.
..only after 4 months.
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:44
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

yes the commute option is definitely topping the current options list. especially as i think the contract will probably be for a defined period of time. like 6-12 months, all is unsure until the interview i suppose.

Yes the fribourg contingent seem very friendly alright, maybe its the small town vibe. even if i commute i would still be interested in meeting a few locals for a drink after work especially as the town looks really beautiful and id love to get to know it better.

the office in fribourg is right by the train station and im 25 min from the HB here in zurich, so yes i am looking at a 2 hour commute minimum.

with the GA card, is there and annual one? whats its costs, and would the savings be worth it versus the monthly?

or i heard there is a half price card which gives you free transport between 7pm and 7am. so would it be cheaper to get a half price ticket in the morning and get the train back after 7 in the evening (im assuming i might be working later than 7)?
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Old 30.11.2011, 10:58
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Yes, there is an annual GA. Cost is somewhere around 3000.- but depends really, there are discounts for young people, students, seniors, dogs etc. sbb.ch will help you.


The Gleis7 is one of the best deals they offer (120.- on top of the halbtax for free rides every night after 7). However, you can only get it if you're younger than 26 and it only gives you free rides after 7pm until the last train - not the next morning as well. if you are going to commute i'd strongly recommend a GA - so much nicer just being able to hop on anything that moves without ever having to worry about tickets. Also great to explore the country on weekend trips.

Oh and by the way, what a lot of people don't know: You can also return the annual, pre-paid GA at any time, not just the monthly one. SBB will refund you part of the price.
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Old 30.11.2011, 11:01
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

I know of someone who does it in reverse - they live 20mins. outside Fribourg and do the round trip to Zurich everyday for work.

And my wife's cousin used to/still does it, but possibly not every day.
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Old 30.11.2011, 11:11
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

2nd class GA is ~3300.-. I have a monthly one for 351.- and that is onlyfor VsG to Bern and just about works out cost-wise, especially adding on all the other buses and trains I get throughout the year, not to mention the sheer damned convenience of having one. Therefore a GA from ZH to FR would definitely work out the best option.
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Old 30.11.2011, 11:21
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Ya i think i will probably get the GA alright. the idea of being able to just travel around all switzerland seems really handy
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Old 30.11.2011, 11:26
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Personally I would just move to Fribourg if I got the job. Will your Fribourg salary cover the Zurich rent and the travel costs?

Why waste time and money going to Zurich to sleep for the night? You would spend Saturdays washing and shopping, and that leaves only Saturday night and Sunday for relaxing.

You would easily find someone to take over your Zurich flat. Apartments in Fribourg are easy to find and MUCH cheaper.

After this job is finished you would have 4 towns in which to look for work, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel & Bern which are all much easier to commute to.
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Old 30.11.2011, 11:28
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

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Personally I would just move to Fribourg if I got the job. Will your Fribourg salary cover the Zurich rent and the travel costs?

Why waste time and money going to Zurich to sleep for the night? You would spend Saturdays washing and shopping, and that leaves only Saturday night and Sunday for relaxing.

You would easily find someone to take over your Zurich flat. Apartments in Fribourg are easy to find and MUCH cheaper.

After this job is finished you would have 4 towns in which to look for work, Lausanne, Fribourg, Neuchâtel & Bern which are all much easier to commute to.
Can't argue with that.
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Old 30.11.2011, 12:41
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Wow, Zurich to Fribourg is a long commute. As others have pointed out, you are probably looking at around 2 hours each way. I commute from Bern to Zurich everyday, with 90 mins door to door, and that's as much as I'd do. In saying that, it might be worth giving a go during your probabtion period and see how it works for you. Bare in mind that if you work late, have 2 hour commute home, you're probably going to have little social life in Zurich Monday to Friday.

GA is the way to go ticket-wise. The SBB website has all the details including prices.

Good luck with the interview.
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Old 30.11.2011, 13:10
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

I'm going to be devil's advocate (because I've already played the Grinch who stole Xmas)

It may only be 1.5 hour each way on the train from Zurich Hbf to Gare Fribourg, but take into consideration, too, the time it takes to go from your house to the Hbf and from the Gare to the office each day. I'll assume this adds 1/2 hour each way.

4 hour commute +8 hour work day+1 hour for lunch+8 hours sleep
plus you're a girl so it takes you... 1.5 hours to get ready in the morning?
(we'll round it up to 2)
= 23 hours
which leaves you 1 hour to do whatever you want with the rest of your day... assuming that everything was on time and you didn't miss any trains. You might use it to go shopping for bread at the Gare Fribourg. If you want to do anything else, like meet friends, then you'll have to start sacrificing sleep. And that will mean trade offs in other areas like performance.

1.5 hours on the train each day may seem reasonable and doable, especially if you don't have anyone or anything at home waiting for you or depending on you for care, but it can take a toll on your well-being, too.

So when you go to your interview, find out about moving costs (if they'll pay for any), and/or telework as part of your work-life balance. That's just my 2 cents. Take it or leave it.
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Old 30.11.2011, 13:29
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

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the office in fribourg is right by the train station and im 25 min from the HB here in zurich, so yes i am looking at a 2 hour commute minimum.
Well, that's a whopping 4 hours per day. Admittedly, it's a relatively nice commute because you'll be able to stay on the same train for about 90 minutes, but it's still a lot of time. Plus, during peak hours the trains will be packed between Zurich and Berne.

Then there's the higher cost of living in Zurich (housing, eating out, etc.) plus cost of transportation.

I wouldn't do it unless I had very strong ties to Zurich (which you don't seem to have yet) or if it was for a limited time only.
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Old 30.11.2011, 13:55
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

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I'm going to be devil's advocate (because I've already played the Grinch who stole Xmas)

It may only be 1.5 hour each way on the train from Zurich Hbf to Gare Fribourg, but take into consideration, too, the time it takes to go from your house to the Hbf and from the Gare to the office each day. I'll assume this adds 1/2 hour each way.

4 hour commute +8 hour work day+1 hour for lunch+8 hours sleep
plus you're a girl so it takes you... 1.5 hours to get ready in the morning?
(we'll round it up to 2)
= 23 hours
which leaves you 1 hour to do whatever you want with the rest of your day... assuming that everything was on time and you didn't miss any trains. You might use it to go shopping for bread at the Gare Fribourg. If you want to do anything else, like meet friends, then you'll have to start sacrificing sleep. And that will mean trade offs in other areas like performance.

1.5 hours on the train each day may seem reasonable and doable, especially if you don't have anyone or anything at home waiting for you or depending on you for care, but it can take a toll on your well-being, too.

So when you go to your interview, find out about moving costs (if they'll pay for any), and/or telework as part of your work-life balance. That's just my 2 cents. Take it or leave it.
I have this situation at the moment - two hour commute door to door, each way (but only need one hour to get ready in the morning!). The journey on the train is not a problem because I can/work/sleep - actually quite enjoyable. The difficult part is waking up very early and getting home relatively late. For me the hardest part is that it limits what you can do in the evenings quite a lot. At the moment I manage to fit in some evening activities about three times a week but only because I don't need to work late. If my work load increased I would not have time.

The most important factor for me is whether I can still have a social life - whilst moving will give you more time in the evenings you need to consider whether it will be easy for you to make friends in Fribourg. If I already had loads of good friends in Zurich I would be tempted to stay as long as the work hours are reasonable.
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Old 30.11.2011, 14:48
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

I do a similar commute (Fribourg-Geneva), and it's not that bad, and I know several people who are doing Fribourg-Baden.

As Tim8803 said, the train is fine (I either work or read) - but it's the lack of time in the evenings which can be difficult, limiting options for social activities. I used to be based in the Basse Ville, which is a great area, at least in the summer, but I often had to wait for 30 min to catch a bus (due to the train from Geneva being 5 minutes late ), which made the commute even longer...

That being said, we have chosen to do this because we need to be halfway between Geneva and Baden for work reasons - so there weren't too many options. I am lucky in the sense that I can work from home on some days - it's a nice break from the daily commute. We both have GAs - which we pay monthly, and are now moving to a place much closer to the train station (Gambach-Guintzet area - yay!).

If I were you, I would definitely consider moving to Fribourg. Rents are cheaper, it's relatively easy to find a place, people are very friendly, and it's easy to get to other places. It will also be relatively easy to find someone to take over your flat in Zurich.

I found my first flat through anibis, and the one we are moving to today through the real estate section on comparis.ch. I didn't have to go through an agency for either of these.

If you are looking for a studio or shared room, you can also try this website . Also, I often saw "for rent" signs on some of the buildings of the basse ville, or on bus stops, so that might be another option.

I hope this helps!
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Old 30.11.2011, 15:00
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

I bet it would be even cheaper to rent a second studio or one room here around Fribourg.

I did fribourg Geneva for 3 months and I just quit cause it was not worth it for me. I did it by car (needed as I drove around often also and needed to carry a $hitload of stuff with) many times my commute would be 5-6 hours a day.


I have refused jobs simply because the commute. but to each there own I guess
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Old 30.11.2011, 15:04
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My husband's been doing Belp to Zurich Oerlikon since July and he will be happy when we move in January. The mornings are ok, but he's so tired when he gets home at night. The commute is almost 2hrs, 3 trains plus bus or ride to Belp train station. Some people commute better than others, and if you really love where you live and can do it on just one train, it's ok, I guess.
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Old 30.11.2011, 15:39
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

hey,
thanks to all for the advice. as a few people pointed out it depends alot on the job and working hours.
also thanks to Mag for the accommodation tips.
while i do hate commuting i definitely think its a starting option. especially as i do have some ties here and im assuming the contract will be for a defined time.
also the travel time should give me time to do my swiss german homework.

actually, i was thinking it might be better to sign up for classes in fribourg rather than zurich if im working there, any thoughts? are there any good affordable classes in fribourg. i would feel comfortable taking them through french too if needed be.
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Old 30.11.2011, 17:08
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Re: should I commute to Fribourg from Zurich?

Good luck with the interview, I would definately give it a shot. If it doesn't work out you can always move, or change jobs again! Another alternative is to rent a room for the week, and spend your weekends in Zurich.

I know I couldn't do it, but I have (had) colleagues who do something similar, also changing trains etc. They say it is hard but manageable.
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