How to Move to Switzerland I Living in Switzerland I Move to Switzerland I Relocation Guide for Expat to Switzerland
Relocating to Switzerland
If you are relocating an executive to Switzerland or if you are relocating to or within Switzerland yourself, you have found the right relocation and immigration specialists. Helpxpat provides professional relocation and immigration solutions tailored to the needs of international executives.
Moving to Switzerland
Switzerland has become a popular choice among expats. After all, the country offers lots of opportunities as well as a high standard of living.
Relocating services in Switzerland
For the past few years we have consistently relocated corporate executives to live in Switzerland and their families to, and within, Switzerland. We are responsive and professional, and always operate with care and sensitivity towards our client’s needs.
Expat life in Switzerland has much to offer and provides a great intercultural experience – from discovering the countryside like the mountain resort of Zermatt, learning how Swiss people celebrate the Schweizer Nationalfeiertag, up to tasting Switzerland’s favorite dishes such as rösti.
Home Search in Switzerland
Searching for a new property in Switzerland can be stressful, time-consuming and very frustrating, often requiring that you view numerous properties that don’t meet your requirements. Helpxpat will save your time by assuring all properties closely suit your needs and reporting back to you with an itinerary. Our consultants in Switzerland have considerable market knowledge and negotiation skills.
A safer option is to use the services of a relocation agent, who will be able to speak the language and understand the local nuances of the Switzerland property market.
Types of accommodation in Switzerland
Switzerland is a small mountainous country with only a small amount of land available for housing. Spaces are smaller than in many countries. Most people rent unfurnished accommodation. Only around 30% of the population owns homes, with less than this in cities. When looking to rent, bear in mind that prices are high and the market is tight, particularly in urban areas.
How to find a home in Switzerland
Expats looking for accommodation in Switzerland should find a reliable relocation company. Relocation Company will have the most extensive list of available housing and can also arrange viewings for prospective tenants.
Rental market vacancy rates and turnover: a balanced housing market generally portrays a vacancy rate of +/- 3%, but most Swiss towns and cities have a vacancy rate of between 0.2 % and 0.8%. This means that the market is tight and demand is higher than supply. This affects price and the number of available properties. Because there are many international workers in big cities such as Geneva, Zurich and Basel, this causes a transient population, and apartments become available quite frequently. The best time to look for a rental property is between April and early July, as families relocate during the summer holidays. Tenants tend to stay in the same accommodation for much longer than average in other countries.
After the application is accepted, a handover day is arranged where the tenant usually signs a 12-month lease. This also gives them an opportunity to inspect the property and do an inventory. Rental contracts in Switzerland can begin on the 1st or 15th of a month.
Tenants usually pay the first month’s rent upfront and up to three months’ rent as a security deposit and are responsible for their own utilities. In some cantons, it is mandatory for tenants to purchase third-party liability insurance.
Before moving in, expats should inspect all elements of the apartment with the landlord. Any defects or damages should be written down (and photographed if necessary), and signed by the landlord. This list must be kept by the tenant. This same process will occur when moving out, therefore it is recommended that expats be vigilant about it in order to avoid paying any unnecessary defect costs.
In most cases, tenants have to give at least a month’s notice if they want to terminate the lease early. It is worth reading the fine print of a lease agreement carefully because in some instances tenants terminating the lease early will be required to find a replacement to fulfil the remainder of their contract. In some parts of the country, a tenancy can only start and end on certain days.
Choosing a right school in Switzerland
If you’re planning to settle in Switzerland with your family, chances are that education will be a key issue that you’re considering. While the city’s education system is excellent, there are a few things to bear in mind when selecting specific schools. Read on to find out what they are.
About the Swiss education system
First, it’s helpful to learn a little about how education works in Switzerland. There are at least nine years of compulsory schooling, which is usually made up of the primary and lower secondary levels, but can also include pre-school in 15 of the country’s 26 cantons. Each canton is responsible for setting the curriculum and learning hours of each of their state schools, so you’ll find that the subject material in Geneva’s schools will be different to that in, say, Bern.
From the upper secondary level onwards, pupils are able to choose from either general education covering a range of subjects (this includes the baccalaureate schools), or more specialised vocational training. The former is the best option for those planning to go to university to do an academic degree rather than pick up a professional qualification. School days can be fairly long compared with what you might currently be used to, and there also tends to be more homework to complete outside of school hours.
International schools in Switzerland
For parents living in Switzerland, here’s a rundown of what you need to know about international schools in Switzerland, a list of top schools by city, and information about how to enrol your child in the Swiss education system.
If you are moving to Switzerland with children in tow, you’ll have your pick of many quality local Swiss schools as well as a number of private and top international schools in Switzerland catering to the needs of expat children and international families. Some international schools teach bilingual or multilingual education, and they typically offer international education diplomas so your child can continue their schooling back home or in another international school abroad.
With a reputation for high teaching standards and strict discipline, Swiss international schools are among the best in the world. Some 44 international schools in Switzerland are part of the Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS).
They include primary and secondary schools, day and boarding, and offer various teaching methods such as Montessori and Kumon and a variety of curricula including international, Swiss, UK, US, German, French and Japanese education.
In addition to the British and American schools in Switzerland, there are other foreign international schools which use curricula set by the education authority of the home country as the foundation for the education, with classes in the home language plus English, French or German. For example, the Swedish School of Geneva is trilingual, with instruction given in French, Swedish and English
Relocation agencies in Switzerland
Helpxpat specialise in helping people move and are set up to relieve employees of the issues that occur when moving to Switzerland and we offer a wide range of services and provide aid in every aspect of your relocation – from visa struggles and work permits, to transport and finding housing.
Relocating without any assistance and help can quickly evolve into a matter of frustration, confusion and surrender – Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!
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