Keeping your accompanying family happy is the top goal for a successful move and a pleasant stay. When resettling, the mood that a family brings with it from the outset usually pervades through the whole process. It is therefore vital to include all family members in the big project and show each of them individually attractive prospects for their future.
As a result of Switzerland’s tradition of excellence in schooling, it also has a large selection of internationally recognised schools, including local state institutions and private international institutions. Parents must therefore be open-minded, well-informed and organised. There are many important factors which require their consideration in order to be able to make the right decision.
Parents who choose a private school will look for a place to live close to the school, whereas a decision in favour of a state school will hardly affect the choice of where to live. The allocation to a state school at your place of residence will be based on cantonal criteria, above all on capacities and mixing.
The child’s age is decisive for the choice of school. Children up to the age of ten can attend a state school without difficulty, as they generally learn languages easily up to this age, therefore also including the local Swiss-German. From the age of eleven, however, integration proves more difficult, also because the subjects studied become increasingly more complex and require a sound knowledge of the German language. Optionally, the child can repeat a school year. For children over primary school age, we recommend that further education options be looked into.
If you are contemplating a private or international school, you should seek to register and secure a school place early on. Private schools in particular have long waiting lists.
If you enrol your child in a state school, you can delay the start of schooling for up to a maximum of two months. This may be necessary if your family moves into temporary accommodation first of all until a suitable permanent solution is found or your household effects arrive. The delay must be communicated to the relevant residents’ registration office as well as to the relevant education authority in writing, briefly stating the reasons.
For children aged ten or over who move to Switzerland without any knowledge of the local language, we recommend Schoolfinders for checking the education options.
Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Even the best school model ultimately depends on the family and, of course, the child. Swiss education system is conducted at cantonal level by regional education authorities. On the careers advice website you can find further information on the various options after primary school.
Advantages local state school
Considerations local state school
Private and international schools: international school database
Advantages private international school
Considerations private international school
In Switzerland, domestic staff are expensive, and local conditions of employment have to be strictly complied with. If you wish to employ a nanny or an au-pair, it is best to enquire at the following providers:
In Switzerland, childcare up to kindergarten entry at the age of four or five, as the case may be, is the responsibility of the parents themselves or is organised and financed by them. Every municipality has numerous daycare centres for meeting the growing demand for daycare places. In addition to numerous German-speaking daycare centres, there are also some that are conducted in other languages. Family daycare is also an equally common option in Switzerland.
If a family wishes to move to Switzerland with a pet, this must likewise be initiated in sufficiently good time because the pet’s entry may possibly be subject to a waiting period following any required inoculation. Additionally, the Bundesamt für Veterinärwesen [Federal Veterinary Office] should be consulted, as the pet entry requirements differ greatly depending on the type of pet and the country of origin. Further information can be read on the website of the Bundesamts für Veterinarwesen or be obtained from the goods removal company.
Apartment searching can be somewhat more difficult if you have a pet. Not all owners and landlords will accept your cute comrades.
Switzerland is economically stable and offers attractive and modern employment opportunities also to foreign professionals. Nevertheless, job searching can be arduous. Additionally, it must be borne in mind that not all family members accompanying third-country nationals are permitted to work in Switzerland. In such case, «family reunification without gainful employment» is noted on the permit.
Most job offers are published on jobs.ch.
On Salarium, the Swiss salary calculator, you can find out your own market value.
Further links for supporting your job search: