Moving to Zug - mum to teenagers

(19 Posts)
loosfriend Wed 09-Feb-11 13:41:31

Hi. We're Brits but relocating to Zug in April from USA after 5 years here. Haven't found accommodation yet or even sorted schools. We have 2 dds 15 & 13 yo. We have ideas of living in a house but are we being overly optimistic? We know apartments are more available. My worst fear is having noisy neighbors or ones that complain about dds playing their piano ( i know that would have to be before 10 pm curfew) - they each practice an hour a day. As I write this, I'm starting to assume we have to go for a house if the girls really want to keep up with their piano playing. Alshat does anyone know about the International Womens Club of Zug (or is it Lucerne?) I've seen on their website they organize tennis on a weekly basis. Just trying to think of ways to meet new friends once we're there.

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giddybiddy Wed 09-Feb-11 18:11:24

Hi, me again. There is a really active PA through the ISZL school who organise weekly tennis, hikes, lunches, coffees etc so there is plenty of opportunity to meet people if you put yourself out there. There is also the IWCZ, though am not a member so not sure of what they offer. Houses are possible, but you may sacrifice modern decor for space, really depends what your budget is. If you want to live in Zug itself then an apartment is more likely, but there are many surrounding villages where you can find houses. I have friends who have pianos and it doesn't seem to be an issue, to be honest, neither does the 10pm curfew - it is very dependent as to what sort of neighbours you have as to whether you will need to worry about things like that!

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 10-Feb-11 08:49:56

Speaking as someone whom moved away from Zug seven months ago with very bad experiences of flat living and a young daughter. I would advise against a flat. Look at the surrounding villages, or even the next canton. Schwyz is much cheaper to rent a house in than Zug. Zurich is a bit cheaper but you 'll pay out more in taxes.
Can you try to find a relocation agent to help you out?
Bear in mind too that there are designated times to move flat/house. four times a year from memory but I can't remember which months they are. Sorry.

loosfriend Thu 10-Feb-11 17:11:17

I'll ask our assigned relocation agent what they are. Thanks for that advice. BTW Has anyone used Le Concierge relocation company? They're in Zug I believe. I spoke with them once on the phone when our move was only speculative. They were really very helpful giving me advice for about 45 minutes. The relocation guy (not at Le Concierge) assigned by my husband's future employer leaves me cold and unimpressed having spoken with him by 'phone twice.....and this person has our future home and dds schooling in his hands.He is going to have his hands full dealing with me...or so my husband says!
I'm wondering how amenable the company would be to us using our own choice relo company ie. Le Concierge.

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LIZS Thu 10-Feb-11 17:23:19

Hate to say it but if the relocation guy is Swiss he just probably has a fairly typical Swiss reserve which you have to get used to. It takes a long time to break down the formality.

ZIS similarly has an active parents association. You tend to find interest groups such as walking, dog walking, tennis, book groups etc among the expat community. Standalone houses are pretty rare and cost so you may have to settle for soemthing in a terrace or a garden apartment. Certain areas have high concentrations of expats where things like the curfews can be less strictly observed. If you vacate a rental between lease expiry dates (ours was April 1st and October 1st) you are obliged to try to find a new tenant yourself so families tend to advertise their properties and any surplus furniture and equipment(usually Ikea and fairly new) via the school weekly newsletters. Also look out for removal sales at the schools in May/June. You could ask the schools if they would give you access to these when you register.

loosfriend Thu 10-Feb-11 20:29:09

That's really useful to know LIZS, thanks.

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VictoriasHusband Sat 19-Mar-11 21:25:06

http://www.zugmums.com

and

search the yahoo groups for zugexpats/parents (you'll have to search as I forget the exact names of the groups). There is also a swiss schooling group.

ZIWC are an active group as are the international mothers and kids club IMKC. ZIWC organises lots of activities (many in Lucerne) . IMKC are mostly for children younger than your DC's though. If you are sending your children to an international school you'll find yourself pulled into lots of social actvities.
ZIS is an excellent school as is ISZL.

You wont struggle to make friends in Zug although your friends will be likely to be other international mums.

Re: the piano playing. You may have a problem with that. My advice is to invite all the neighbours around for drinks when you arrive and butter them up a bit. Any sort of noise between 12-1pm and after 7pm will not go down too well.

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gordonpym Mon 21-Mar-11 20:11:33

I had a great time in Switzerland, but some rules concerning the noise are just absurd. no shower after 9pm, no washing machine allowed in the flat (you must use the one in the basement on a specific day), so be careful with the piano!!

loosfriend Mon 21-Mar-11 21:32:39

We've been extremely lucky and found somewhere that has a fair number of expats in the apartment complex. We'll find out exactly how many once we get there. Perhaps they'll be a bit more forgiving!

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kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 23-Mar-11 08:29:12

Don't bank on it, IME some of the xpats are more Swiss than the Swiss.

loosfriend Wed 23-Mar-11 19:44:47

Forewarned is forearmed! Thanks for that...at least I should be able to understand what they'll be ranting on to me about!! (assuming most expats in Switzerland speak English - or is that too rash an assumption?)

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goodasgold Sat 26-Mar-11 00:43:30

Loos we are in a very similar position, not in Zug though we did have a look. Have you got your school places yet?

loosfriend Sat 26-Mar-11 00:50:58

Yes, we have only just heard the girls both have places at ISZL starting August. Are your children teenagers? I've been told repeatedly that the 2011/12 10th grade is heavily oversubscribed, especially at ZIS, this year.

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goodasgold Sat 26-Mar-11 01:10:13

Meh. My dd is 12, heart set on ZIS. 6th grade I think. We have a flat which is good, my dh has been out there since Jan so we are looking forward to all being together again. Five weeks now. Well done on your school places, your girls must be super. Are they August places? We are considering local schools now. We also have two much smaller children who will go to local schools.

loosfriend Sat 26-Mar-11 12:11:03

Yes, August. With the places at these international schools, as far as I know, it's nothing to do with ability or character, it's just where you are in the queue. As far as I can see, it's pot luck depending on when a famiiy decides they are finally going to move over. My experience has been that it's best to put your child's application in as soon as possible. ISZL's admissions department has been wonderful during this process, however, it is in the end, a waiting game. Unfortunately, there is more demand than supply for school places at these international schools due to the growing influx of companies to this area of Switzerland. Saying that,if my oldest was 12 years old, I would choose local schools as they would learn both High & Swiss German much more quickly than in international schools. Whether you're moving to Switzerland short or long term, immersion in the country is the best way to learn a language. Also, I see our move as a chance to experience another culture first hand.England is our home, but there is the possibility of enjoying life away from it! Swiss education as a country is regarded very highly. Being abroad gives the adults a different perspective on life. Well let's face it,IME it has been the girls and I experiencing the differences in day to day life.....my husband just " changes offices" ! In the end, I see our moves as giving our children the benefits of a worldwide education in living.

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goodasgold Sun 27-Mar-11 22:03:48

I have always been happy with the idea of dd1 going to local school, dh not so much.

When are you moving? Are you going to give your girls a very long summer break?

loosfriend Tue 29-Mar-11 03:48:11

Haven't decided for certain yet when exactly we're moving..

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loosfriend Tue 29-Mar-11 03:56:35

.....depends on a few different things including our financial situation in the US. Rather complicated but at least we'll be there for the summer. What do kids do during July/August? Guess I should be taking a look at the usual expat forums before asking that question....so I will!

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kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 29-Mar-11 08:06:05

Zug in July/August will almost certainly be centred around the lake. There are several 'badi' where you can get into the water. DD was initially sceptical and scared as she was used to sea swimming, she really misses the lake for that reason.
It would be worth visiting the Gemiende to see whether they have any courses or events running. They quite often do and the cost is minimal.

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