Relocating to Switzerland

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Relocating to Switzerland
  • Premier Icon ir_bandito

    Looking at a potential job opportunity in Lausanne.
    Any Brit ex-pats on the forum?
    Any general advice? and especially on schooling (will be 7 and 11 yr old) not to mention how the hell I find a job for my wife….

    Premier Icon si77

    Depending on how well it pays, you may want to consider commuting from France.


    Lived there for 8 years – but in Zurich,
    Very expensive for everything ( other than vets)
    Tax is low (if you are localised , or are you going expat?)
    Aparements will start at 2.5k a month ( again this is Zurich, Lauasanne may be more expnsive , Geneva certainly is)
    The countryside is wonderful, great place to bring up kids, low tax … but get used to a small beer being 6.5 GBP and a pizza being about 19 GBP …
    The kebabs you could get in Germany for 3 euros were 9.5 CHF ….
    Petrol is cheap ( or was) and so are cigarettes…

    The is the but it makes this place look warm and cuddly. Slightly fewer marxists but a load more mumsnet / cliquey….

    Dunno if Eire is still in Wernetshausen but he seemed to know everything you need to about the MTB scene

    Premier Icon cobrakai

    My friend lives “up in the Jura” as he puts it. Beautiful but expensive rent on his house.

    He works in Geneva and other half works in Lausanne so central to both. Previously they lived in Gex, France as it was much cheaper to commute, but they both got promotions so moved in country.

    From what I’ve seen and what he’s told me there is a large expat community in the area and he’s found it easy to make friends. Child care, dog sitting are mostly taken care of in his group of friends as child care is pricey, like everything else.

    I envy the lifestyle he has. As kids we were always in the highlands, skiing, climbing and biking and he has everything on his doorstep.

    I just can’t get away with how pricey it is!


    I would agree that the lifestyle has huge advantages … esp with kids. But I chose to come back. I found it dull and sterile… and the locals are very wierd.
    But the motorcycling and snowboarding was sensational. But that was the german side, over the rostigraben.
    have some freinds in Neuchatel who have a very enviable lifestyle, rich, great house, another they rent out… but they are oddly lonely 🙁
    If you are in lausanne – so the Polytechic or Nestle?

    schooling BTW … is your employer paying for International School??


    This book was quite accurate. I’ve been in Kanton Zürich a while now, and am not going back to the UK any time soon. I don’t know any expat families that have permanently relocated, the only people who do seem to stay have Swiss partners. It is expensive but there are 19 children in my son’s class (State school), it’s clean and safe (the children have been walking to school on their own since they were 4) and the public transport works. You need a “Bewilligung” (permit) for pretty much everything which means lots of form filling and fees.
    There are one or two nice places for cycling.
    PM me if you want any info.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny

    Any Brit ex-pats on the forum? – hiya! (Basel for 12 yrs)
    Job for wife: – ask company to help find her one? Pleas note that the person who finds relocation hardest is always the trailing spouse.
    Any general advice?
    Get on and do it! Lausanne a great place to live, so much nature to see and do!
    First 6 months are really hard (culture shock), after that progressively easy.
    Try to learn a bit of the lingo (maybe easier down south as its French).
    As mentioned, everything is eye-wateringly expensive (except technology – e.g. apple is cheaper than UK), but you stop thinking and buying like a brit, and adjust (i.e. we eat out a lot less, but make use of fantastic public transport and infrastructure to enjoy the wonderful countryside).
    Remember that although tax is low, you will have to pay for private HC insurance (everyone does) and that tends to suck up whatever you saved on tax.
    Check if you are on expat contract or local – pros and cons of both, usually expat a lot more lucrative
    Schooling – if covered by your company, crack with private/international school thing, but watch out for tax implications and how long the kids are covered for. Ours started in IS Basel, but for years have been fully local. If you pay for ISB, I think its about 40K per kid. not cheap. Your decisions there depend how long you are thinking of staying. We found the local schools wonderfully accommodating and helpful for the kids, and they have thrived.

    Happy to PM or have a chat if you wish.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    Thanks all. It’s a startup company, spinoff from the Poly I think. Funds are limited so they can’t cover schools etc 🙁 They will cover a few weeks in an apartment whilst I find my feet and find my own place.
    I need to filter though tax laws to try and work out take-home pay and see if it’s actually worth it. Any idea where to start?

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny

    I would ask them to give you time with their ‘Treuhander’ (accountant type person, not sure of French word!) – have a list of questions and I am sure they would keep you right.

    3 months in a temp place would seem about right.

    Your main costs are the relo itself, tax, insurances, rent.

    Local schooling can be awesome, I would also ask if you can speak to someone who knows local schools in an area you may want to live, and then speak to the schools to find out what they can do for ‘integration’. Depending on their attitude to that conversation, it’ll tell you a lot.


    I just left Switzerland after 3.5 years of living in and around Zürich for Sweden.

    As long as your salary will cope with the extra costs then go for it. It is an amazing country to live in, particularly for the access to mountains and nature.

    I found the German side a bit sterile and the French side always appealed more when I visited.

    Would be an amazing place to bring up kids.


    Does a hard brexit affect your choicees, i.e. can you commute from France if so?

    Only asking as I’m considering a move to Belgium next month.

    Premier Icon big_scot_nanny

    The Swiss/Brits have apparently already an agreement in place regarding working rights etc as a result of Brexit.

    But if you chose to live in France, **** knows.


    Swiss neighbour has never dreamed of going back. It’s a lovely country though.

    Premier Icon Caher

    Lived there for 5 years in the centre of the German speaking part. Loved the outdoor life and riding home from work each day was fantastic, past huge lakes and the Alps. But like Mcmoofo says the locals were odd. The ‘rednecks’, farmers and the blue-collar workers, really did not like foreigners.
    In the end I was glad to come home.

    Premier Icon wallop

    One of my oldest friends made the move with her family last year. They live in Villars and they are both teachers. Great lifestyle and the only thing that makes me wince is the cost of their healthcare insurance.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    Thanks for all the advice.
    After doing some basic sums on money in/money out, I’m not progressing it. Real shame, after 2 good phone calls I was invited out for an interview this week (their expense) but figured its better to not waste their time and money.


    My auntie lives in Zurich.
    Health care insurance is eyewateringly expensive.
    The people maybe aren’t as friendly as we are (always exceptions to the rule though).
    People don’t queue. Get used to getting your elbows out in supermarkets etc. Was a shock to me when I visited.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.