Moving to Switzerland: First step – Find a Job

Before start writing I want you to know that I don’t want to be a spoilsport. I just want to advise those who are thinking about leaving his country and moving to Switzerland about the importance of getting a job before moving out or planning very, very well the first months of the adventure in order to make it successful.

Time ago I saw a graphic joke on the Internet that it said “today the best start line is… taxi’s line that takes you to the closest airport”. Jokes apart, in 2012 more than 80.000 people went out of Spain to find a job. Among the people that left the country there are those who got a job before moving out and those that took the risk and start their adventure.

In general, I think that leaving a country without any job guarantees is not a good idea because we are not anymore considered cheap handwork (nor want to be) and all Europe is fighting the economic crisis too.

And Switzerland, which is not a part of the European Union, is in the same situation.  Leaving aside language differences, the most evident impediment, there are another factors to keep in mind before thinking in packing your bag and crossing the border:

No, Switzerland is not a part of the European Union Continue reading

Things you can find in a vending machine in Switzerland

Switzerland is a very avant-garde land but in a lot of aspects very conservative too. For example, Swiss are technologically very advanced but it is mandatory to send some kind of documents -like CV or an application form for renting a flat- by postal mail.

Well, you can find it is the opposite just paying attention to a vending machine. Do you think Swiss people are serious and conservative? Take a look and judge it yourself…

The first thing that called my attention among all beverages and junk food inside a vending machine was this can of C ICE, “Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea”. I know that today is normal to find derivatives from cannabis but I didn’t expect to find something like that in Switzerland (remember, this conservative country…) Continue reading

Renting a flat in Switzerland

ImagenLet me share with all of you one of my best news ever since I came to Switzerland: we got a flat in Winterthur!!! It was a little bit hard but finally we get one 🙂

Before coming to Switzerland I looked for information about how to get a flat and after reading other’s experiences I quickly understood that it was not going to be a “walk in the park”. Everybody I asked told me the same thing: “getting a flat in Switzerland is very difficult so just do your homework and be patient”.

Now I can tell you. It is possible and not as hard as I though. That is the reason why I can share my experience with you step by step. I hope it is useful for you!

Step 1: where to look for a flat

I think the best way is on Internet. There are many web sites that you can consult but I recommend you, a “collector” that publishes all the housing advertisements you can find in another webs. If someone publishes an advertisement on or -other good websites to look in you can see it on Comparis. Continue reading

Five Things That I Miss From Switzerland When I Go Back To Spain

20121119MaletaViajeroIf you ask me what is the biggest curse that follows any emigrant I wouldn’t hesitate to answer: “the feeling of not being completely happy anywhere”. Because when you are an emigrant, you add all the good things that you discover in the foreign country to the sweet memories of your homeland, almost without thinking about it. And no matter where are you, always miss something from someplace else.

According to my personal experience, when I’m in Switzerland I miss Spain (and miss it so much!) and, when I go back to Spain, I miss ‘der Schweiz’. Miss it more than I expected. I hate to make a comparison between one and another country but I can’t help it. It is almost impossible. Instinctively, you look for the contrast, notice that “this thing doesn’t happens there” and miss people, places and in general, the way of living.

Of course, family and friends are on the top of the ranking. Food could hold the second place. I think it is a common feeling to all of us. Because of that, I will try to go further. Continue reading

The Swiss Health Care System: how does it work!?

medicoExpats arriving to Switzerland must to solve many doubts but nothing compares knowing how the Swiss health system works: understanding the schweizer Gesundheitssystem is a necessity and also a big challenge.

In our case, we decided to consult to an expert in health insurance who explained us all regarding the Swiss health system. Do you want to know what she explained us? Find out more!

First step: understand how the System works

In Switzerland, the Healthcare System is public but private… or vice versa: the State guarantee medical assistance to all people but private insurance companies (krankenkasse auf Deutsch) is the responsible of providing assistance. Or maybe I must say “commercializing” since everybody has to pay for it (at that point Healthcare System seems more private than public, right?). Continue reading

5 events in Switzerland you don’t want to miss this summer

111I’m sure you will agree with me there is nothing like summertime in Switzerland. In addition to nice weather, sunshine, crystal clear water to swim… this wonderful country give us a wide variety of activities that make any weekend feel like holidays!

That’s why we decided stay here this summer and enjoy all that Switzerland can provide us (a lot, I must say).

Then, let me share with you 5 events I won’t miss for nothing.

National Day in Switzerland (31st July / 1st August)

Swiss National Day was celebrated in 1897 for first time to commemorate the Helvetian Confederation foundation. Since then, every 1st of August the whole country celebrates it with a big party.

In the German part of Switzerland, there are two highly-recommended celebrations:

– Basel: the French-German-Swiss city celebrates its National Day the day before, 31st of July, with a festival on the banks of the Rhine River that starts around and involves good food, live music -on a floating stage over the river- and the traditional fireworks at 11pm. Live music accompanies the party till its end around 2am. Continue reading

Gasthaus Rössli, an excellent restaurant in Winterthur

Fresh news: the move is over! We are already living in Winterthur 🙂 Moving  was a little hard but we finally finished… and we deserved to go out and celebrate it!

So last Saturday my husband and I decided to go out for a nice treat. We looked up in Lonely planet’s “Swiss guide” that my friends gave to me as a birthday present (thanks  girls!) and we found the Gasthaus Rösslien (Steiggasse 1, almost in front of the Technikum in Winterthur), a small and cute restaurant where, as the guide say, “they cook the best ‘wiener schnitzel’ you can find in Winterthur”. It sounds good, don’t you think?

Sorry, maybe you are asking yourself what (the hell) is a ‘wiener schnitzel’?  A ‘wiener schnitzel’ is an escalope (very thin breaded slice of veal fried in oil) and served with lemon and french fries. Simple but delicious!

We arrived to the Gasthaus Rössli and the first thing I thought was “this is such a charming place”. Small but warm and familiar. We didn’t had a reservation but we were lucky and got a table (but making a reservation is a good idea that I will remember next time). Continue reading

About ‘Living the Swiss life’

Wilkommen! My name is Sara and I am another Spanish woman moving to Switzerland. “Oh god, another one!” you will think. Yes it is, my friends, one more Spanish woman in Switzerland… or one Spanish woman less in Spain, how do you look it.

Since I decided to change Spain for Switzerland I though seriously about writing a blog to help people who might be in the same situation in the future, sharing my experiences in a practical and objective point of view, when it is possible. Hence the word “neutral” 😉

So here it is ‘Living la vida en Suiza’, a blog about my landing on the “deustch” Switzerland and where I will try to explain all about living, working, housing, public transportation, cultural differences, History, leisure, gastronomy… at the end, any issue that deserves to be explained and could be useful to any new emigrant.

Finally, I don’t want to let go by the opportunity to recommend, express my gratitude and send my best regards to those bloggers who have helped me during the last months in a disinterested way… and they still continue doing so every day!