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The Expat Guide: Moving to Switzerland
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The Expat Guide: Moving to Switzerland

The Local · 15 Jul 2015, 05:16

Published: 08 Jul 2015 08:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jul 2015 05:16 GMT+02:00

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Switzerland is one of the top countries for expats – it’s no surprise so many people choose to transplant to the land of cheese, chocolate, and world-class skiing. But any move comes with its challenges, and even Cloud 9 requires a bit of an altitude (and attitude) adjustment.

Are you prepared for culture shock? What about price tag panic? Are you armed with insurance? Do you have a residence permit in hand, and fluent French (or German) dripping off the tongue?

Maybe, maybe not. But whether you’re an expat veteran or a nervous newbie, Swiss connoisseur or curious newcomer, there are many ways to make the transition smoother. The Local tracked down the experts to ask all the right questions. And here it is – The Local’s Guide to Moving to Switzerland.

Voila, Hab Spaß!

Migration and Relocation

The four big challenges of moving to Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the world’s best expat countries, with some of the highest living standards and a sophisticated, multilingual population. Yet moving to Switzerland can still be stressful and difficult - the key is to do your research and get the right help.

Swissbenefits: "I build bridges for expats"

Switzerland was recently voted the best place in the world for expats, but lots of paperwork and complex procedures can keep expats on their toes. The Local spoke with SwissBenefits, a consulting company aiming to streamline the process.


Learning your new country's language can be tough, especially as an adult. But there are ways of making it easier. The Local spoke to the Swiss French School about how to simplify learning, and a special offer for readers.

Money and Taxes

Currency exchange for expats

Moving abroad is complicated enough – money matters shouldn’t make it even more so. But transfers and sending money back home can cause problems. CurrencyFair explains how they make the transition easier for expats.

Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Switzerland

If you dread filing your US expat taxes each year, you aren’t alone. But Greenback Expat Tax Services can prepare your taxes efficiently, accurately and at a fair, honest price.


What to look for in Swiss insurance

Location and Housing

Housing in Switzerland is among the most expensive in the world and competition is fierce for affordable properties. It’s all very well if money isn’t an issue, but what if it is? The Local's Emily Rose Mawson investigates.
Nestled high up in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Crans-Montana offers stunning panoramas of sky-high mountains and serene lakes. But it's more than a resort - it's home to the next generation of expats in Switzerland.
Finding a job
Every country has a slightly different approach to the perfect resume. Rebekka Affolter, who writes the blog for leading Swiss recruitment website swissjobs.ch, tells The Local how to polish up your CV and stand out from the hordes of other jobseekers in Switzerland.
Congratulations, you’ve just landed yourself a job in Switzerland. Now for the hard part: learning a new business etiquette. To help you find your feet quickly, we've asked Swiss business image consultant Monika Seeger for some tips.
Social skills
If you value the same things the Swiss do, you have a better chance of building positive relationships with them, says Zurich-based communications trainer Shane Norton. But what if you don’t? Norton’s advice is to learn to — and if that fails, at least show some willingness to appreciate them. Here are his top tips on how to do that.
Moving to Switzerland for the first time can be a daunting experience – especially if you’re single. With the help of a Geneva-based psychologist and writer, The Local has come up with ten tips for finding love Swiss-style.
Shopping around for the right car at the right price, sorting out registration and insurance. Buying a new car is complicated, particularly if you're an expat. Now you can let someone else take the strain.

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The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

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