As out of the London home she has been sharing with her ex-husband Prince Andrew to their £13m ski chalet in the luxurious resort of Verbier, interest has once again been sparked in what it is like to pack up one’s bags and move to Switzerland – even if you are not interested in the independence that Sarah Ferguson has been craving after five years of living with her ex-husband in order to keep their family together. Before you pack up your bags there are a couple of things you need to know. Here is a comprehensive guide about what the most important aspects of things to consider before moving to Switzerland are. These have probably not crossed your mind. Keep reading to find out more!
There is no denying the fact that moving is expensive. Even if you are simply moving from one end of your street to the other, you are going to feel it when it hits your pocket. Moving in your home town or city is easy and can normally be accomplished within a day. However, international shipping takes a lot longer. You need to decide whether you want to ship your furniture before you arrive so it can be there when you arrive or if you would prefer to have the movers come over when you are about to leave. If you are going to have things shipped before you arrive, consider staying with friends or family until moving. Similarly, if you want to have your current home packed up as you leave, you will need to find temporary accommodation while you wait for your furniture.
Furthermore, while you are allowed to import your personal possessions into Switzerland duty-free if you are moving there, you need to complete form 18.44 which is the Declaration/Application for Clearance of Relocation Goods. Keep it on you so you can hand it in at the customs office when you arrive. For more information on this, check out the Swiss Federal Customs Administration website.
Since the costs of moving to Switzerland can vary according to which shipping company you decide to use, it is also advised to get as many quotes as possible so that you can make an informed decision about what to pack and who to use.
No one wants to leave their beloved animal that is more like another family member behind. If you are bringing your dog or cat with you it will only be allowed into Switzerland if it has been vaccinated against rabies more than 30 days and no longer than one year before the move. This is important.
The schooling system is very different in Switzerland and while it is a great way for your children to learn about the language, it can be tough adjusting. This is especially true for older children and teenagers. It is worth considering enrolling your children in an international school if this is the case. The primary language of instruction in these schools is English which will also make things easier. Get on top of this as soon as you hear of your move as places fill up incredibly quickly.
You know how annoyed you get when people around you can’t speak English? The same can be said for you when you move to Switzerland. The three main languages spoken in Switzerland are French, German and Italian. Figure out what you region you will be living in and learn a few fundamental phrases. Even though most Swiss can speak superb English, the effort you have put in will be greatly appreciated. Considering that you will be trying to make new friends and settle, this could end up going a long way in your overall Swiss experience.
A word of warning – even though those living in the German area learn proper German in school, it is rarely spoken outside of the classroom. Until you are comfortable enough, ask people to speak hoch Deutsch which is what locals call proper German, until you learn Swiss German.
Moving country is a daunting experience and there is bound to be some culture shock at one point. Understand that this is par for the course and part of the game. Instead of mourning home all the time, get out on your bicycle and soak in the fresh air. Go hiking, try the food, take breaks in different parts of the country. You will not regret it.
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