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Moving to Switzerland with a newborn - are we mad??!

(11 Posts)
ng1412 Sun 15-May-11 16:35:21

Just want some reassurance guidance on moving to Switzerland is not a completely stupid thing to do. My DH secured a role there whilst I was pregnant and now we have our newborn dd, I am just a bit nervous about the move.

Any advice/experiences would be helpful smile.

LIZS Sun 15-May-11 17:49:16

lots of good reasons to go - better healthcare and access to speicalists, quality of life but £££. If you are near one of the citiies there will be an expat community to help you find your feet and make friends. We lived there when ds and dd were younger.

5moreminutes Sun 15-May-11 17:53:16

We live in Germany not Switzerland, but I would think it is a safe bet that as long as you make triple sure you have the right health insurance in place you will have no problems! On the emotional side you may of course be lonely and miss having a support network - are you used to having your mum or other family or long term close friends around the corner and willing to help with your dd, or do you live hundreds of miles from family and long term friends anyway? I think what you are coming from makes a difference to how you cope in a new country in the emotional sense.

I moved to Germany 6 and a bit months pregnant with DC2 and with a 19 month old dd, and barely spoke any German and moved to a tiny village miles from nearest city, so no ex-pat network or English speakers, but I was fine (after a week or so of utter dismay at the rural location, which improved once I got my own car, and improved more once we got teething troubles with getting any internet access at all sorted). I missed my fairly recently built up circle of "mum friends", but I am not close to my family and have not lived near them since I moved out at 18 though, I think people who are used to (and like to) see family very frequently may struggle more with moving overseas with small children. We are still here very nearly 4 years on and no plans to move back - DD will start local school in Sept, she and DS1 are well established at local Kindergarten, and I have just had another baby here, so we are quite settled!

Hope you get replies from people in Switzerland, and good luck with the move (and congratulations on the new baby).

ng1412 Sun 15-May-11 18:28:25

Thanks both, we don't currently live near family or best friends (family 200+ miles away and best friends both in Oz and NZ) so we are used to not having a support network round us.

I am very excited about going and the opportunities it will afford our dd but after a traumatic labour recently and struggling to cope I am getting jitters in case I am going to be completely alone over there with no one to help out.

But like you say 5more, I don't have that network over here now so it won't be as difficult to transition.

I am very excited about the prospect, it's just good to know that others agree with me and don't think I am a crazy old bat grin.

LIZS Sun 15-May-11 20:21:04

have you joined this group?

ng1412 Sun 15-May-11 21:39:20

That's great thanks Lizs, will check it out!

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 16-May-11 08:57:55

Which part of Switzerland are you moving to? I know that there are some Swiss members of MN. I moved from Zug last year. It is a very beautiful country, but there are some dreadful rules.
Try to ensure that your DHs job offer includes health insurance. That is hideously expensive.
As well as the one that LIZS linked to, have a look at
Some of the posters are a bit childish, but it does have a lot of info.

ng1412 Mon 16-May-11 16:54:19

Hi Kreech, we are moving to Basel. Thanks for the additional info. We are not sure long term whether to settle in France or Switzerland but initially it will be Basel then see how we get on.

MmeLindor. Thu 19-May-11 18:06:15

Switzerland is, in my experience, expat lite. We are in Geneva, where there are more English speakers, but I guess that Basel will have a fair few too.

Generally, CH is great with kids. Do make sure that your DH's package includes decent healthcare, as the others have said.

Read the small print with the insurance. Check out this website - some of it is not available in English, but it is great.

You have to watch that you chose the right insurance policy - don't be charmed by a low monthly payment - that could mean that you have a high deduction, ie. initial payment each year. So if you have a large bill, the insurance won't start paying until you have reached the deduction.

Housing is expensive, so make sure that the salary is enough to cover it. Or would the company cover housing costs?

Childcare is also expensive.

Generally life is really great here if you have these things set up. There may be an international womens' club in Basel, google that. They are good when you have young children.

ng1412 Fri 27-May-11 18:28:36

Thanks Mme, we have been warned about the high cost of insurance, thanks for the further info.

We will be paying for our own housing costs unfortunately. I have done a bit of quick research and it seems that apartments are very expensive to rent out like you say. Moving from a large detached house to a city centre apartment will be a bit of a shock but we hope to find somewhere to live in a more rural area after the first three months.

Let's hope the quality of life makes all the expense worth it smile

TheBride Sat 28-May-11 02:41:53

Basel has loads of English speakers because it's dominated by Roche and Novartis, both of which have a lot of expat employees.

I think (something like) 20% of Basel residents have English as either their first language, or are fluent English speakers who are not native Swiss German speakers (i.e. their "social" language is English)

I was going to move there about 10 yrs ago. Didnt in the end as I was at the wrong life stage (mid twenties, single) but for families, it's got a lot to recommend it.

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