Moving to Switzerland | Switzerland Moving Tips | Moving to Switzerland from UK
Moving to Switzerland – The Pros and Cons
At Schepens we’ve been moving clients to Switzerland for over a century now, and we’ve developed a huge affection and respect for the country in the process. Clients move to Zurich, Geneva or Bern as part of a business relocation. Or they may be fulfilling a lifetime dream of retiring to enjoy the Alps, the skiing and magnificent food and drink.
Whilst our primary role is to provide stress-free removals to Switzerland, we’re also fascinated to find out how the story continues once our part is fulfilled. Occasionally clients stay in touch, move again, or contact us if they need local storage in the UK. Often they tell us about their new lives, and reveal the pros as well as the cons of living in Switzerland.
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We thought it might be helpful to share some of the insights into life in Switzerland that we heard over the years:
The Pros of Moving to Switzerland
1. It’s a Beautiful Country
Sounds obvious, but the stunning beauty of the Alps or Lake Geneva are just the start. Switzerland is a country that reveals itself over time, and the initial ‘picture box’ quality gives way to a more profound awareness of the landscape and culture.
2. It’s an International Hub
Whilst the lure of alpine remoteness can be appealing in the abstract, the international community is a major selling point for the country. There’s a huge expat community to connect with in the big cities, and a constant influx of visitors from around the globe.
3. It’s a Great Place for Families
If the idea is to get your kids away from their mobile devices, and exploring the great outdoors, this is the place to do it. The local culture supports engagement with a range of outdoor activities – it’s a major part of how people meet each other, and socialise.
4. Great Education
The Swiss education system is considered to be the best in the world – and if you send your children to a state school, it’s free. For older children completing their UK studies, there’s an excellent international educational infrastructure, offering independent and international schools which teach the UK curriculum..
5. Second-to-None Healthcare
Switzerland provides its citizens with excellent universal healthcare. You need insurance to access the system, and there are 60 government-approved non-profit providers to choose from. The system is well-designed to keep costs affordable for individuals.
The Cons of Moving to Switzerland
1. Switzerland Isn’t a Sum of its Parts
The country is made up of 26 cantons, each with its own constitution, courts, tax rates and police. They’re also distinguished by whether their dominant language is German, French, Italian or Romansh. Dependent on which canton you live in, you’ll have a very different experience of the country.
2. It’s Hard to Meet Swiss People
It’s not easy to get to know your Swiss neighbours, as they’re quite reserved. In your first few years living in Switzerland you could have a friendship group made up of people from numerous countries across the globe – but no Swiss!
3. It’s Really Expensive
It takes a bit of financial planning to move to Switzerland, as the cost of living in many of the cities is on a par with Singapore, Oslo, Copenhagen or Hong Kong. Many Swiss families cross the border into their neighbouring European country for a cheaper weekly shop.
4. Renting is a Time-Consuming Process
Finding the place you want to live is just the start. You then have to apply, provide extraordinary levels of documentation, and attend an interview. Rented accommodation in Switzerland comes without any added extras. You won’t find lightbulbs or curtains in your new flat, so budget accordingly.
5. Banking is Easy, But Expensive
You’d expect it to be easy to open a bank account in Switzerland. You will, however, pay to do so. It’s far easier to incur bank charges in Switzerland than the UK, so it’s worth doing a bit of research before you start the process.
Schepens Helps Families to Move to Switzerland
Many of the families we move to Switzerland are understandably anxious about the sheer logistical challenge they’re facing. We’re committed to minimising the anxieties associated with moving, so we allocate a dedicated Move Co-ordinator to each client. They’re assigned because of their knowledge of your destination, and they’ll help with planning your removals.
Tailored Removals to Switzerland
At Schepens we provide bespoke removals packages, based on your specific requirements. Once we know what you need, we’ll create a tailored plan, made up of the range of services we provide. These include:
- Packing. Our BAR trained packing professionals can pack up your home, carefully label your boxes, and provide a detailed inventory.
- Insurance. Your goods will be fully insured whilst they’re in transit. If you require additional Accidental Damage, or Extended Liability cover, we can provide this.
- Non-Standard Goods. If you’re planning to ship a musical instrument, a piece of fine art or a valuable antique, we can provide bespoke packaging and shipping.
- Storage. Schepens has local storage facilities, should you wish to store furniture or goods. We provide a door-to-door service and a secure, climate controlled environment.
- Removals Vehicles. Your goods will be shipped in one of our state-of-the-art removals vehicles which maintain a constant temperature and humidity, run on air ride suspension and boast an adjustable bearing system, which ensures little or no movement of vehicle content.
Great Customer Service
As a leading European removals specialist, we take great pride in the quality of our customer service. Our removals teams are trained professionals who have extensive experience supporting and proactively managing problems if and when they occur. We have a reputation for ‘going the extra mile’ – and that’s exactly what we aim for, every time.