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  #21  
Old 04.11.2012, 16:39
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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I think you meant French...

Has you nine year old not started learning a second language in school, or is that not done in the UK ?
As he says in his second post, his son is learning French now
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  #22  
Old 05.11.2012, 16:37
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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Has you nine year old not started learning a second language in school, or is that not done in the UK ?
My daughter attended a state school in Bournemouth, one of the better towns in Britain. She was the only 15 year old in her large school taking French and German language public examinations, which she passed. The school loved her as she helped their statistics. I was shocked as Bournemouth is well known for its language schools, and not teaching any foreign languges is amazing.
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  #23  
Old 05.11.2012, 16:52
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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My daughter attended a state school in Bournemouth, one of the better towns in Britain. She was the only 15 year old in her large school taking French and German language public examinations, which she passed. The school loved her as she helped their statistics. I was shocked as Bournemouth is well known for its language schools, and not teaching any foreign languges is amazing.
I think it's terrible that the UK Government abolished mandatory foreign languages a few years ago. It was pretty recent that you had to take at least one language to GCSE level - I am surprised that there are now schools that exist that don't even give the option to learn a foreign language.
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  #24  
Old 05.11.2012, 17:16
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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I think it's terrible that the UK Government abolished mandatory foreign languages a few years ago. It was pretty recent that you had to take at least one language to GCSE level - I am surprised that there are now schools that exist that don't even give the option to learn a foreign language.
They were marked above average on the last government inspection 3 years ago,

http://schooletc.co.uk/school-the-bi...-school-134702

Anyway, can we get back onto the subject, Swiss life?
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  #25  
Old 05.11.2012, 17:22
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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Thanks for all your helpful replies. Unfortunately this idea could be dead in the water already as my wife is very worried about making new friends etc. We moved about a year ago from Kent to Essex to be closer to my current job and she has only recently got to the point of having a few good new friends, however I have pointed out that there seems to be a very friendly expat community in the Geneva/Nyon area and ironically because of moving so far away this gives people common ground and more reason to get together and make an effort to make new friends.
If she's still recovering from moving from Kent to Essex, the move from Essex to Geneva will blow her doors off. Also keep in mind that the expat community is mostly transient with folks coming and going all the time so it's even more difficult to make and keep friends. As a spouse who got sucked into Switzerland by a spouse with a job (and similar moving fatigue) without my blessing, please do so for your own spouse if you don't want to take chances with your marriage or family. I was fully prepared and equipped to decamp and divorce after 6 months in Zurich. Fortunately it didn't come to that but it might have had he not bought a vowel.
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  #26  
Old 05.11.2012, 17:23
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

Aside from the French/German thing (already commented on), could a mod make this a sticky and/or EF's home page?

It would wipe out the need for many repeat threads in one fell swoop.

TIA.
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  #27  
Old 05.11.2012, 17:38
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

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I expect you are hoping to avoid the drudge of high taxation Britain.

In my opinion with a salary of Fr 120'000 you might not have a better life in Geneva. In the rest of Switzerland, except Zurich, the salary would be OK. My advice is to look for another job, away from Lausanne - Geneva, or get more salary, or live in France with a long commute.
Tha salary is fine. We moved to Zurich on a lower wage than that with 2 kids. However, you will have to settle for an apartment rather than a house. Our girls were 9 and 5 when we arrived and the eldest went to the local school. She could not speak a word of German and picked the language up relatively quickly, within 6 months whilst she was not fluent she could speak well. It was slightly easier for the smaller one who went into Kindergarden. The bennefits of the children attending the local schools is that they make friends with the local kids that live near them and learn the language faster. Kids are very resourceful and adaptable and if your eldest daughter already knows a little French this is a start.

Good luck with what you decide.
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  #28  
Old 06.11.2012, 10:17
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

The only think I would add is that Geneva is so international these days, your wife would likely not feel isolated at all. There are so many english speaking people and activities that I do not think she would have a hard time finding friends to speak with right away. Of course, having French always helps, but there are indeed many english social circles in GVA. If children go to an international school, you will certainly find the english community very fast, on the other hand they go to local schools, be prepared to invest in French earlier as parents.
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  #29  
Old 06.11.2012, 15:26
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Re: Are my assumptions generally correct?

Pluses and minuses are pretty much all there in this thread. 120K is a reasonable salary for Switzerland, there are plenty of people living on much less, but you aren't going to end up rich.
Don't go over 30% of the salary on housing rental, which pretty much leaves you in appartments. However, that isn't necessarily bad. The vast majority of Swiss live in appartments and many are very good and comfortable. The whole area around Lake Geneva is expensive and overcrowded. Gland isn't necessarily cheaper, but because it is growing so fast, there may be better availability. I lived there for 20 years and survived and these days there are plenty of stores there and it has an excellent train service.
Going out into the villages is going to make communications more difficult and make you more dependent on cars, though there are actually buses to pretty much every single village, the service can be thin on the ground. Have a look at the Railways website (www.cff.ch) which also includes buses.
To save yourself money, I would have your kids go to the state school system if at all possible. It's a good solid system and they're used to having expats.
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