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issue 1/ 2017

70 FUN EVENTS AROUND SWITZERLAND 5 WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS FOR THE BETTER TIPS ON FINDING YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE

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NEW! Dear readers,

RELOCATION SERVICES PLAN YOUR RELOCATION FOR FREE

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The Hello Switzerland you know and love is growing. With new beginnings in mind, we are proud to announce our new Hello Switzerland Relocation Services team. Hello Switzerland is here to help you smoothly transition to and from Switzerland — no matter what step of the journey you are on, all while saving you time and money. We are proud to welcome a new featured partner to our expert partner network – BDO. Together, we aim to provide you with helpful advice covering tax and social security, immigration and residency topics. This step completes Hello Switzerland’s comprehensive global mobility services, making Hello Switzerland the ideal provider for the international community’s relocation and settling in needs. Samantha Suarez-Maier Editor

GET HELP WITH ADMIN

Hello Switzerland is committed to being the ultimate service provider that helps you make the most of your Swiss adventure, with the right partners and the best deals.

Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals Call: +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free) Mail: helpline@helloswitzerland.ch Web: helloswitzerland.ch/helpline

FEATURED PARTNERS

AND INTRODUCING OUR NEW FEATURED PARTNERS

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Samantha Suarez-Maier Editor

Mike Tomsett Publisher & COO

Randall Barriga Graphic Designer

Lorena Gross Marketing Assistant

Lukas Hayoz Community & Partnerships Manager

Lina Bickel Private Client Manager

Murielle Marascio Private Client Manager

Sabine Renger HR & Global Mobility Sales Manager

CONTACT FOR ADVERTISING & PARTNERSHIPS INQUIRIES Lukas Hayoz | partners@helloswitzerland.ch | +41 58 356 16 27 Magazine Distribution: 20,100 copies throughout Switzerland

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FEBRUARY 2017 Art, music & festivals 9 Jan - 10 Feb Baby swimming Zurich Teach your little one how to swim! Swim with your baby or toddler, experience water in a playful way.

1 - 19 Feb Castles & knights Geneva Explore the knightly ideal, 14th century castles and amazing depictions of traditional scenes.

3 - 9 Oct Blue Man Group

RECOMMENDED

1 - 26 Feb

Zurich

Ice skating in Bastions Park

The worldwide sensation comes to Zurich! Art, music, comedy – a multi-coloured, technical visual spectacle! Difficult to describe with just simple words, you have to experience visual magnificence of the Blue Man Group!

Geneva Head outdoors! Enjoy the winter atmosphere with ice skating, sure to delight, plus free entry.

www.musical.ch/de/bluemangroup

1 - 4 Feb

30 Jan - 3 Feb

4 Feb

23 - 28 Feb

Contemporary Dance Days

Gourmet Festival

Titlis Earlybird

St. Moritz

Engelberg, Obwalden

Monster parades

Geneva With 12 different stages around the city, over 4 days leading Swiss dancers will perform!

Pamper yourself at this truly special culinary event. Taste global gourmet delights!

Head up to the mountain for a spectacular view, and a great brunch menu!

The largest event of Lucerne’s Carnival! Enjoy the music, and don’t get caught by a monster!

2 Feb

3 - 5 Feb

18 - 19 Feb

23 - 28 Feb

Romeo & Juliet

Storytelling Festival

Watch a movie in an igloo

Grab your mask

Geneva

Jungfrau

Erlenbach im Simmental

Bellinzona

The classic ballet! A beautiful spectacle in two acts, inspired by the tragedy of Shakespeare.

Be captivated by storytellers. Both in English and German, you’re in for a fairy tale of a time!

Enjoy an entire movie festival while you enjoy the cozy ambience of an igloo.

Carnival in Ticino! See over 50 floats, Guggen groups and a traditional mask contest.

18 - 21 Feb

25 Feb

Rock‘n’Beat Festival

Orchestra of Geneva

Nyon

Geneva

Les Hivernales Rock‘n’Beat Festival is a four day event, featuring pop-rock and electro.

Music lovers rejoice! You’re in for an exceptional concert from the Chamber de Genève.

20 - 26 Feb

28 Feb

Classical Musical Festival

Carnival in Ascona

Villars-sur-Ollon, Vaud

Ascona

The 21st annual event is a must for music lovers, hosted in a very unique environment. Enjoy!

Ascona’s carnival festivities are a bit more special than other Swiss festivities — enjoy a bit of risotto!

REACH THE GROWING INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY! Publish your event on our website, app and newsletter event calendar and enable our readers to connect, experience and discover Switzerland! For an advertising proposal contact: Lukas.Hayoz@helloswitzerland.ch or call +41 (0) 58 356 16 27

Lucerne

Find more events and weekly updates at www.helloswitzerland.ch/events 4

WHAT’S ON


MARCH 2017

Museums, snow & local traditions 13 Dec - 31 March

5 March

Cross country skiing

More doughnuts

Lauterbrunnen, Bern

Zug

On this classic trail, stop and admire the frozen waterfalls. Enjoy the last snow!

A romantic tradition! People sing romantic songs, and are rewarded with doughnuts and wine.

1 March - 28 May Staying in line

10 - 11 March

Museum der Kulturen, Basel

Tonart Festival

Explore many cultures of creation! From the masks from Papua New Guinea to the Gods of the Aztecs.

Musicians from all over the world meet in Uri to perform live on stage.

Altdorf, Uri

1 Feb - 19 March

RECOMMENDED

Mary Poppins

1 - 12 March

10 - 12 March

Zurich

Paul Klee & the surrealists

Slow Food Market

Bern

Bern

Enjoy the final days of this stunning exhibition, with works by Miró, Giacometti and Dalí.

For gourmets! This market brings all the lovely regional Swiss produce to Bern.

The multi award-winning musical turns “Theater 11” in Zurich into a magical world. The English speaking version can be seen only until 19th of March 2017. musical.ch/marypoppins

1 - 12 March

12 March

12 - 19 March

20 March

Dinosaurs!

Fish Festival

Arosa Electronica

Geneva

Muralto, Ticino

Arosa

Car seat Headrest

Take the kids to see the final days of this 1000 m2 exhibition, a must see for dinosaur lovers!

Join in a fishing competition, followed by a celebration, with music and games for children.

Do you love electro? Enjoy this cool electronic music festival with international DJs.

1 - 26 March

15 March

17 - 19 March

Striking patterns: ikat

Alvaro Soler

AndermattLive!

Basel

Lausanne

Andermatt

Explore the traditions of ikat and how Indonesian women weave global ideas into local designs.

What better way to welcome spring than enjoying an evening of great beats from Alvaro?

Music and snow! This music festival includes the perfect music with an alpine feel.

2 - 4 March

17 March

18 - 19 March

25 March

Carnival magic in Bern

Museums’ Night

Igloo Festival

Bern

Bern

Engstligenalp, Adelboden

Rock the slope

Once a year, the city of Bern turns into a fairy tale. See the funny and colourful costumes!

Visit all the cultural institutions of Bern! Medieval buildings will be magically illuminated.

Head up to the Swiss Alps with your family to enjoy this cool experience, and lots of fun!

Mascotte, Zurich Catch this indie rock band from the USA, performing their only Swiss show. Having reached cult status on YouTube, you’re in for an evening of poetry. With passionate vision Toledo’s energy is unfiltered and honest. Check out Car seat Headrest at the Mascotte in Zurich!

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Les Crosets The coolest music festival of the year. An excellent musical line up, all with a breathtaking view.

FIND OUT WHY MORE THAN 40,000 PEOPLE VISIT OUR WEBSITE EVERY MONTH Discover a world of amazing content

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WHAT’S ON

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APRIL 2017

Beer, snow and Swiss traditions 24 March - 22 April

4 - 8 April

Interlaken Classics

Zermatt Unplugged

Interlaken

Zermatt

One of the oldest classical music festivals in Switzerland. This series will focus on young talent.

Experience this legendary music festival in person! With stars like Nelly Furtado, don’t miss it.

31 March - 8 April

4 - 9 April

International Movie Festival

Blues Festival

Fribourg

Basel

A beloved tradition in the Fribourg region. Enjoy a week of Swiss and international movies.

Basel is getting blue. With local talent and international stars, check out the free concert too!

1 - 30 April

7 April

10 April

27 - 29 April

Mummies: a mystery

Freestyle spring session

The match for Africa

Basel

Laax, Graubunden

Zurich

Beer days

Mummies offer a way to decipher the mystery of our origins and our shared history.

Get the last fresh powder of the season! Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, free style.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray play against each other to benefit the Roger Federer Foundation.

1 - 17 April

7 - 9 April

14 - 17 April

Matterhorn Brewery

Beer Festival

Easter bunny riddle

Zermatt

Zurich

Estavayer-le-Lac, Fribourg

Discover the art of beer brewing and tour the Zermatt Matterhorn Brewery.

Enjoy a beer, or two. Featuring both local breweries and international brews.

Discover the Old Town of Estavayer-le-Lac and try to solve the riddle of the Easter bunny.

1 - 30 April

9 April

16 April

Learn how to tour ski

Zurich Marathon

Haute-Nandaz, Valais

Zurich

Swiss traditions: Schwingen

Head up to the mountains! Take a tour ski course and enjoy the beautiful mountain panorma.

No matter which distance you choose, being a part of the event is a great achievement.

25 – 30 Apr

Make the beautiful journey to Ballenberg and observe this most beloved sport of the Swiss.

Zurich

Sechseläute Engelberg, Obwalden Say goodbye to winter and watch the exploding snowman! Watch the parades with the guilds.

Irish Celtic Zurich Feel the energy of the Irish with this exciting show. From traditional folk songs to fairy melodies, to stormy dancing, a five-piece live band is sure to transport you to the Green Isle! www.musical.ch/de/irish_celtic

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WHAT’S ON

30 breweries invite you to come celebrate the Swiss beer culture, after a long winter.

Hofstetten b. Brienz, Bern

24 April

18 – 23 Apr

Solothurn

Evita Travel to Argentina and enjoy the story of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. Follow Evita’s story of life and death and enjoy the stunning music. www.musical.ch/de/evita

26 April - 4 May

30 April

Pink Apple Festival

slowUP

Zurich

Lake Murten

Enjoy a selection of acclaimed gay and lesbian films with international film premieres.

Walk, bike, skate, jog or run around the lake. On the way, you can enjoy different activities.


MAY 2017

Romance & carnival fun 1 - 7 May

6 - 7 May

Stadiums: a perspective

Geneva Marathon

Lausanne

Geneva

Catch the last week of this exhibition that displays how stadiums develop over the ages.

This marathon takes a scenic route through Geneva with 26 kilometres to be disovered.

1 - 7 May

7 May

The Pahari collection

Cheese Festival

Zurich

Gruyères, Fribourg

This exhibition is devoted to the magnificent collection of Indian Pahari paintings.

Gruyères-Moléson invites you to the 15th Cheese Festival, held in the beautiful medieval town.

1 - 26 May

14 May

Bees: a wonderful world

Blues Gala

Winterthur

Bern

Learn more about this useful creature of nature, and the 600 species found in Switzerland.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with ladies who sing the perfect blues, taking place at the Bern Schweizerhof.

5 - 6 May

18 May

21 April

Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Elvis returns

Soy de Cuba

Geneva

Zurich

Basel

See the famous novel by Victor Huge performed live! With music from Riccardo Cocciante.

Straight from Graceland, the King live on the screen! Enjoy the classics, meet with Priscilla.

Soy de Cuba

5 - 6 May

19 - 20 May

Whiskey Festival

Country Night

RECOMMENDED

28 April Zurich Soy de Cuba tells the story about dance and love. Accompany Ayala, a spirited, beautiful dancer as she conquers the dance scene. Although she quickly becomes familiar with the shadows of this dazzling world, Ayala does not give up: she will prove herself as a dancer and conquer the heart of her great love.

Jungfrau

Bettenhausen, Bern

For whiskey connoisseurs as well as whiskey beginners, taste, learn about and buy whiskeys.

Visit the Wild West: line dancing, horse ranch, saloon, coffee bar, jail and a camp fire.

5 - 7 May

20 May

26 May

28 May

Dance Festival

Party like you’re over 40

Flying illusions

Spring Market

Fribourg

Kloten/Zurich

Zurich

Nyon

Dance together in theatres, cultural centres and public spaces. A unique, fun event.

Dance to the music of your youthful days. This is a special dance night for those over 40.

Breakdancing with an urban dance vibe, this dramatic show mixes classic beats with a flair.

Enjoy those first days of spring at this lovely local market. Discover all the beauty that spring brings.

Be transported to the exotic atmosphere of Havana for an evening!

www.musical.ch/de/soydecuba

TAKE A JOURNEY OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Discover a world of amazing culture, tradition & fun

relocation guides - lifestyle inspiration - events - directories - deals & offers - newsletter

www.helloswitzerland.ch/events

WHAT’S ON

7


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APARTMENT LIVING: THE SWISS WAY OF LIFE Close living sometimes calls for cooperation BY: KAREN RUDIN

There I was, pouring water from a flooded flowerpot into a watering can. Oops! The water had a mind of its own and splashed to the balcony floor and over the edge, through the balustrade slats and onto the terrace below. I peered over the railing to find my new neighbor glaring up at me. She had been sunbathing, when suddenly she was being showered...I apologized profusely and put some chocolate in her mailbox the next day.

Having said that, I made another boo-boo re the neighbors downstairs. A hefty storm swept a plant off the balcony railing into a planter on their terrace. The man downstairs carried it upstairs for me. We got to know each other a bit better. I see them as helpful and they see me as that old lady upstairs who gets a little carried away with her balcony gardening. Not tragic, as the Swiss say. All the best to you in your Swiss apartment life!

Most of us English-speaking expats lived in houses with gardens back home. Most of us are living in apartments, with balconies, here in Switzerland. Most of us are living in apartments, with balconies, here in Switzerland. Carelessness or messiness that went unnoticed except by family members back home ranges more widely here – onto the neighbor’s terrace, for example. The Swiss seem to manage this close-living lifestyle quite well; what conclusions can we draw about this? Consider the structure of Switzerland itself, a country divided into 4 very different cultural units. There is little melding of these different cultures; Switzerland is not a melting pot. Underneath the disparity, however, a sense of Swissness transcends cultural differences. This national experiment in multicultural living with an official stamp started more than 700 years ago, identifying neither with individuality nor uniformity, but rather with consensus. The basic attitude when differences arise is “how do we work this out?” rather than “I am going to get my own way”. An admirable system – are there disadvantages as well? With the necessity of arriving at consensus comes a certain lack of spontaneity and zaniness. Sometimes obedience to The Rules becomes too important. So what does this have to do with apartment living? One can exercise one’s individuality within one’s four walls, but cooperation with one’s – possibly disparate – neighbors is essential.

INTERESTED IN READING MORE?

Find more articles at: www.helloswitzerland.ch/lifestyle

MEET KAREN Avid balcony gardener Karen Rudin has also enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing in Switzerland. She was a chemistry teacher and is now a translator, while her passionate interest in the environment has found expression in many articles and presentations. Cooking, writing skits and painting are further enthusiasms.

NEW TO SWITZERLAND? WE CAN HELP YOU STEP BY STEP

Check out Hello Switzerland’s Relocation Guides relocation guides - lifestyle inspiration - events - directories - deals & offers - newsletter

www.helloswitzerland.ch/relocation-guides

COMMUNIT Y WALL

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8 REASONS TO JOIN TCS Peace of mind on the road PROVIDED BY: PHILIPPE AEBISCHER OF TCS

With over 1.5 million members, you can trust Switzerland’s #1 breakdown assistance. Driving a car in a new country requires good planning. As a Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) member, you can depend on 24/7 breakdown assistance and roadside recovery, 365 days a year, rain or snow or shine. With over 620 roadside patrols and partner garages, you can be sure that you’re covered in the case of a roadside emergency. Your membership protects you in any vehicle you drive, both cars and motorbikes, and comes with many advantages:

1. 2.

QUICK RESPONSE & 24HR BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE TCS patrols are there for you 24/7, all year round, with an average waiting time of 35 minutes. TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

No matter the make, engine type, of your vehicle, our experts know how to get you back on the road.

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EXPERIENCED PATROL TEAMS

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220 patrol members handle around 280,000 assignments every year. They know what they’re doing! Members enjoy special discounts:  Discount of up to 25% on cable cars and mountain railways  2.5 cent savings per liter of fuel at BP  2% fuel discount at Tamoil  Save up to CHF 100 at Ada Touring and Premio when purchasing four tires

Become a TCS member for just CHF 87: www.helloswitzerland.ch/tcs

5. 6.

PROTECTION FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

With TCS, you don’t need to worry about your family members driving your vehicle. Family members in your household can get coverage for driving a vehicle registered to the policyholder. SAFE TRAVELS GUARANTEED In 8 out of 10 breakdowns your vehicle will be repaired on the spot. If your vehicle cannot be repaired straight away, we will arrange for a comfortable onward journey.

PEACE OF MIND ON THE ROAD Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals 10

SAFE TRAVELS

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch

7. 8.

PEACE OF MIND

Did you lock your key in the car? Have you run out of petrol? There’s no need to worry about these little problems — the TCS patrol will come to your rescue (even if you might be at fault). SERVICES

Before you leave on a road trip, or at the onset of winter, your vehicle will be checked by experts at one of 19 TCS technical centers at a favorable membership price.


Language skills to feel at home quickly PROVIDED BY: BERNARDIN GENERALAO, CENTER DIRECTOR OF BERLITZ LANGUAGE CENTER IN ZURICH

If you’re new in Switzerland, you know how important language skills are. Business might be done in English, but everyday life runs in the local language of your area. Get it right the first time Sometimes people try to just “pick up” a language, but that’s seldom effective. Sure, you might be able to handle simple situations, but you won’t make a good impression and you’ll miss a lot of what’s going on. Professional language training is a must to feel at home quickly. Professional language training for expats Berlitz is an experienced, reliable partner for learning a language quickly. The Berlitz Method® is not dry book learning — our native-speaker teachers make you speak at least 50% of the time. We offer different types of instruction to fit your needs.

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Private instruction (face-to-face or virtual) You get the full attention of an instructor for rapid results. Lessons are planned around your schedule. By selecting the lesson topics, you can choose what is important for you. We offer private instruction face-to-face as well as virtual (online) for those who travel a lot. Semi-private group This combines group motivation with a private atmosphere and individual support. You increase your skills quickly as you immerse yourself in the new language. Intensive group instruction You enjoy the motivation of a group as well as lower rates. You learn with others who are at the same level, with the support of an instructor.

Bernardin Generalao bernardin.generalao@berlitz.ch www.berlitz.ch/helloswitzerland

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+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch DAILY LIFE

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Sunrise has the best network. The “connect� network test confirms that we have the best mobile network in Switzerland. More information at sunrise.ch/connect

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SECTION


Since 2012, when it launched its network program together with technology partner Huawei, Sunrise has invested over CHF 1.3 billion in the expansion and upgrade of its network. Nearly all of this money has been funneled into its mobile network. The investment, the absolute focus on reaching the highest level of network quality and the attention paid to customer feedback have increasingly paid off in the last few years. While its mobile network was rated “VERY GOOD” in the past two years and ranked as the best network in the “mobile calling” category, Sunrise is now the winner in the overall score and has been rated to have the best mobile network as well as the fastest mobile Internet in Switzerland and in the DACH region. Sunrise has extended its lead in “mobile calling” category, and outpaces its market competitors when it comes to fast mobile Internet (data). It also comes in first in individual sectors, offering the best mobile network as well as the fastest mobile Internet in cities and on transfer routes. Additionally, it is among the leaders on trains. In summary, Sunrise has the best mobile network in Switzerland! With the highest “connect” score ever achieved, Sunrise sets a new record. In the 23-year history of “connect” network testing, there has never been a mobile network in Germany, Austria or Switzerland that has achieved a score this high. Appropriately,

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the Sunrise mobile network, previously rated “VERY GOOD”, became the first network to receive the highest distinction — a rating of “OUTSTANDING” (950 points or more). It is no coincidence that Sunrise has the best mobile network in Switzerland. In the largest independent customer survey conducted by Bilanz Telekom Ratings (Swiss economic magazine), the Sunrise network earned distinction as the best mobile network in Switzerland as well. Enjoy being on the phone and surfing on the best mobile network in Switzerland.

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PHONE, TV AND INTERNET MADE EASY Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch GET CONNECTED

13


5 WAYS LIVING IN SWITZERLAND HAS CHANGED MY EATING HABITS BY: CAITLIN BALL OF TEASPOON LIVING

Moving to Switzerland was an eye opener for me in more ways than I could have imagined. I knew there would be cultural differences that I’d have to get used to, but I didn’t realize that my eating habits would change completely, and for the better. Since moving to Switzerland and traveling around Europe, I’ve witnessed a different appreciation of food that has fascinated me, and inspired me to make some changes in my own way of eating. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far: 1. PRODUCE IS EXTREMELY SEASONAL Growing up in California, I didn’t have much knowledge of seasonal fruits and vegetables, seeing as I could get whatever I wanted year-round. After moving to Switzerland, I quickly learned which produce is in season during which months because I literally cannot buy them otherwise. Silly me tried to find asparagus in August. No way! It had already come and gone for the year. I have learned to love eating seasonally, because it forces me to change up my meals, adding variety and creativity to my home cooking. Plus, I get more excited for the change of seasons! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, don’t you know? I’ve never loved asparagus so much as when it is only available two months of the year. 2. RESTAURANT DINNERS ARE LONG AND LEISURELY I tend to complain that the waiter is never in sight when I want to pay the bill, but the pro side is that is they aren’t pushing me out the door, trying to flip the table for the next customers, like in my home country. When I reserve a table at a restaurant, the table is mine for the whole night.

3. BREAD IS FRESH The bread aisle in the grocery store usually has more fresh bread than packaged bread. It seems that everyone in this country loves their bread, but they eat the fresh stuff. 4. CHOCOLATE CONSUMPTION IS THE NORM I show every single visitor the huge chocolate aisle in the grocery store so they can stare at it in awe. I’m so grateful to live in a place that loves chocolate as much as I do. But you see, it seems that Swiss keep chocolate in the house at all times, and they eat it when they want it. The bars are 100 grams of goodness, but meant to be eaten one or two squares at a time, not a whole bar at a time. I think the fact that Swiss don’t restrict it or feel guilty about eating it, they are able to enjoy it a little bit at a time, when they are truly craving it. I’ve adapted this habit, and am much better off because of it! 5. MENUS ARE LIMITED Because of this you are assured that you are being served something fresh, not something that sits in the freezer until someone orders it. I’ve found that restaurant dining is actually more relaxing when you have fewer options to decide between. I’ve finally adapted a non-restrictive way of eating that has made food fun again. I get most of my produce from the farmers market and eat seasonally. Thanks to some European influence, I truly take pleasure in every aspect of food from purchasing, cooking, sharing, and savoring every bite. MEET CAITLIN Caitlin Ball is a health coach at teaspoon living, helping women repair their food relationship by getting rid of the diet mentality while adding in delicious whole foods and excitement to their life. She can’t live without dark chocolate or red wine and doesn’t think anyone should have to! Join her Real Food First Community to chat about living the good life without food restrictions.

GET YOUR NEXT SWISS ADVENTURE STRAIGHT IN YOUR INBOX Sign up for Hello Switzerland’s newsletter

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14

HEALTHY LIVING


PRIORITISING YOUR HEALTH Fitness is a key part of work-life balance Hi Jonas, I am an executive in an insurance company. I always try to train regularly. Unfortunately, daily training is not always possible when dealing with daily professional stress. How do you, as an entrepreneur in the fitness area, manage to do regular training while balancing your professional life? - Erika from Zurich (34) Hello Erika, In today’s world, it is a real challenge to integrate regular training in everyday life. You’re certainly not alone in facing this problem — I also have experienced this situation. Before I started my company more than 5 years ago, I worked as a sport’s instructor at a secondary school in Zurich. Because of the nature of that job, I was able to incorporate regular training sessions into my fixed schedule and working with my students allowed for lots of movement. But when I built my first fitness club, it seems like overnight I became glued to my office chair. With a daily flood of emails, meetings, telephone calls and the business travels and on and on, the day seems to pass way too quickly. There’s not much of a chance of moving about much — never mind seriously training. So what can I recommend? Schedule workouts as fixed appointments in your agenda! It’s not easy, and you might ask yourself, “Does it have to be like this?” But if you think about the advantages, it’s definitely worth it. Enter two, or even three, fixed training sessions per week. Mark them with a special colour. Look forward to your time at the gym, a quick jog, a special training session. Don’t cancel them or postpone them — treat them with the highest priority. Your training dates on your agenda have earned the highest priority. Working out is crucial to staying fit and being healthy. And your health should always be a priority for you. After all, health is the basis for productivity in the job and life.

Photos: © INDIGO Fitness

I wish you every success in integrating regular training into your everyday life!

Jonas Caflisch Owner of INDIGO Fitness Clubs jonas.caflisch@indigofitness.ch bit.ly/INDIGOInsta indigofitness.ch

TRY 2 WEEKS FREE AT INDIGO FITNESS Test your local club in Basel, Lucerne, Zug & Zurich bit.ly/helloindigo

HEALTHY LIVING

15


EXCLUSIVE RELOCATION HELPLINE DEALS

Banking services free for two years*

Free tax & social security briefing

New customers save CHF 149

Bonviva Banking Packages from Credit Suisse give you an immediate advantage. You receive all major banking services from a single source — at an attractive fixed price. As a Hello Switzerland customer you will get the Bonviva Silver Package for free for two years, worth CHF 360.

Your free one-hour briefing meeting with a BDO expert includes a general overview of the tax and social security system in Switzerland, and focuses on the tax & social security implications of your relocation. After the briefing, you will receive a brochure explaining the Swiss tax and social security system.

All new Sunrise Home customers booking both internet and TV will receive a free CHF 100 Coop voucher. Want to save another CHF 49? Sunrise waives the activation fee for the Hello Switzerland community. You win, saving CHF 149.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

*For detailed information regarding this offer, please see the legal disclaimer p.27

Free advice The right partners The best deals YOUR ADVANTAGE Speak with Confidence

Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

Call: +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free) Mail: helpline@helloswitzerland.ch Web: helloswitzerland.ch/helpline

Berlitz language training 10% off

A worry free start for just CHF 90

Boost your skills! Hello Switzerland clients get 10% off Berlitz language courses — Private Face-to-Face or Virtual, Semi-Private Group, or Intensive Group. Call the Hello Switzerland helpline for the promotion code.

Helvetia welcomes all newcomers with its Welcome Package, which includes all insurance products that a new arrival needs to get off to a perfect start in Switzerland. 90 days for CHF 90 and it includes all mandatory insurances required. Be well insured from day one!

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.


EXCLUSIVE RELOCATION HELPLINE DEALS

Try INDIGO Fitness 2 weeks free

Affordable storage options starting at just CHF 25 per month!

Breakdown coverage when you need it

If you are looking for affordable storage solutions in the Bern and Fribourg area, Packimpex has the perfect offer for you. All storage containers are temperature controlled, reinforced steel that are stored in our secure warehouse in Bösingen. Get in contact today to secure your personalised quote!

If you’re on the road, travel with peace of mind. For just CHF 87, you can have one year of 24 hour breakdown coverage, whenever or whereever you need it. TCS offers breakdown coverage on the spot. With their experienced teams providing support across Switzerland, you can be sure that help is less than 35 minutes away.

bit.ly/helloindigo

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

Volvo Cars — amazing discounts for expats

Go for it and try out INDIGO Fitness clubs in Zug, Lucerne, Basel or Zurich. You can try 2 weeks for free and the trial is non-binding. As a Hello Switzerland reader you are going to receive a free two week pass and take advantage of many luxurious amenities! Sign up your free 2 week trial by going online. Get fit with INDIGO Fitness!

Institute of Finance and Management

CHF 55 for 7 days of unlimited access

IFM University is a renowned business school located in Geneva, Switzerland. IFM offers Bachelor’s and Master’s (MBA) degrees in Business Administration, Management, Finance, International Business, Consulting, Trading and Marketing. Our teaching methods combine academic excellence, practical skills and realworld relevance. IFM has a triple accreditation and enjoys a solid reputation among recruiters.

Ready to look and feel great? Yoga is a lifestyle, not just a workout — come and join the global phenomenon in Basel. Bikram Yoga is the only place in Basel to offer Bikram Hot Yoga, but we teach other Yoga classes as well, such as Hot Vinyasa, Yoga Flow, and even meditation and Pilates. Try our special deal for CHF 55 for unlimited access to all classes, 7 days in a row.

www.universityifm.com

www.bikramyogabasel.ch

Looking for a new car? Look no further! Discover discounts of up to CHF 45,000 off a new Volvo thanks to Volvo’s unique Expatriate Sales Program. This deal is only available via Volvo Expat Switzerland.

Available only through the Swiss Relocation Helpline.

DEALS AND OFFERS

17


DISCOVER SWITZERLAND WITH EXCLUSIVE VOUCHERS

CHF 15 discount for Foxtrail

MOB panoramic or classic – 20% off

2 for 1 at Chillon Castle

Have fun together and see Lausanne in a new light. Interpret clues and unlock tricky secrets with your family or friends, and discover fascinating facts and places in the Olympic capital!

Seated comfortably in one of our legendary “Panoramic” or “Classic” trains, you can relax while the magnificent scenery unfolds before your eyes. You will discover the beautiful and unique “GoldenPass Line”. This deal cannot be combined with other offers.

Discover the most visited historical monument in Switzerland! Chillon Castle has stood proudly on its rocky island since the 12th century, appearing to float on the surface of Lake Geneva.

Present this voucher at a MOB station. Not valid on Mobilis and Frimobil tickets. Expires 28.02.2017

Present this voucher at the cashier. Only adult tickets. Not valid during events. Expires 28.02.2017

Railbon Number Payserie: 0216 0000 2899

Book on foxtrail.ch (min 2 pers.) and present the voucher at the CFF/SBB counter. Expires 30.9.2017

Discover

a world full of passion

VOUCHER CHF

50.–

Minimum purchase of CHF 200.− required This voucher is valid in all Mövenpick Wine Cellars, and good only for a single transaction by a single customer; any remaining amount is not exchangeable with cash or another voucher, and will be automatically forfeited. Not valid on already discounted goods, or wine subscriptions. Valid until 30 April 2017. Code: 371_voucher

∙ Selection of over 1,200 quality wines from all major winemaking regions of the world ∙ Daily tastings with up to 20 wines, free of charge ∙ Excellent service with professional advice, customer parking, gift service, and sale of single bottles ∙ Satisfaction guaranteed, with full returns policy Find a Mövenpick Wine Cellar near you: moevenpick-wein.com

International School of Schaffhausen We keep your child motivated, curious and eager to learn according to our motto:

« Each mind has its own method » We are an authorized IB World School offering the three International Baccalaureate Programmes, including a Child Care Centre and a Boarding Programme.


INSURANCE IN SWITZERLAND — WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK

Needs analysis Helvetia’s advisors clarify the insurance needs of customers in a personal consultation. This enables us to offer them the right insurance and pension solutions. Offering for private customers Helvetia offers a complete range of insurance solutions for private customers. From insurance for property such as household contents or motor vehicle insurance to life and pension insurance, for both individuals and families. A good feeling For customers who have just moved to Switzerland it’s especially important to have a partner to talk to who understands your special situation. “Having worked abroad for more than ten years I can easily put myself in my customers’ shoes,” says Marcus Vinti. But he and his colleagues also assist expats setting up their own company in Switzerland. Helvetia for corporate customers Helvetia offers corporate customers protection against all kinds of operating risks: from professional liability insurance to group daily sickness benefits insurance and accident plus occupational benefit schemes.

Switzerland. The traditional Swiss company takes an international approach and offers newcomers a Welcome Package that provides a comprehensive solution with the most important insurance cover from day one.

FEATURED PARTNER: INSURANCE

“What I find fascinating about my job is the opportunity to meet interesting people. People who dare to do new things and bring new entrepreneurial impetus to Switzerland. I can assist these people and support them as they start out in Switzerland”, says Marcus Vinti, specialized advisor for newcomers at Helvetia, one of Switzerland’s leading insurance companies.

MEET MARGO, OWNER OF COACHING WITHOUT BORDERS Margo McClimans is one of Marcus Vinti’s customers. She travels around the world for her company “Coaching Without Borders”. Here she recounts her experiences in Switzerland and how, thanks to Marcus Vinti’s advice, she quickly found her feet in her new country’s insurance landscape. bit.ly/MargoHS

MEET MARCUS VINTI Marcus Vinti works as an insurance and pension advisor at the Zurich Centre general agency and specializes in advising both newcomers and international staff.

As a leading Swiss insurance company, Helvetia Insurance provides the best prerequisites for a successful start and continuation in

Marcus Vinti +41 58 280 86 64 marcus.vinti@helvetia.ch www.helvetia.ch

GET SWISS INSURANCE RIGHT Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch INSURANCE ADVICE

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BUSINESS MINDS The brain power behind Geneva’s new eat&out app BY: SUNITA SEHMI

There is an incredible energy between Myke Penseyres and Massaki Chraiti. The dynamic duo newly graduated from the Geneva School of Economics and Management sit down with Hello Switzerland to discuss their work, their passion and the future. eat&out was launched by Penseyres and Chraiti. eat&out is an application which every noon there is an offer in a restaurant near the University of Geneva.

Names: Myke Pensey res and Massaki Ch raiti Alumni: Geneva Sch ool of Economics and Management (GSEM ) Occupation: Founde rs of eat&out

What got you into entrepreneurship? Massaki: We’ve always been excited about the idea of tackling new challenges while creating our own project. We haven’t been too enthusiastic about working in a big organization where hierarchy is absolute. It is essential for us to have a lot of flexibility, and what’s better than being your own boss?

What’s the next challenge for your generation? Myke: One of the next challenge our generation will face is a nontraditional path to success. We need to comprehend that there is not only one way to be successful. Everyone has a different ability and thus a different approach! We will need to take that into account in our future society and implement this within organizations.

Could you tell us more about your app, eat&out? Massaki: For users, our app eat&out is a new way to discover new places while saving (decision) time and money! For our partners, it is an innovative way to communicate to students and have direct feedbacks on what they offer. Moreover, they know on which specific day they can expect additional clients.

What’s next for you? Massaki: We will carry on developing eat&out and expand it, while also working on our other project: MykiStudio. A few months ago we created this video production company for promotional and educational purposes. We are also starting our own events in November. Notably coffee and wine tastings. We have 45 partners, and our application has more than 2,600 users. Work, work, work and a lot of fun too!

What is eat&out all about? Myke: Our app offers two daily deals for students: One in a restaurant nearby the university for lunch and a fun activity for the evening. We organize meetings with our members to improve the panel of proposals. We have to think about things like, who is a vegetarian? Who would like a bowling party? All opinions are taken into account. The idea is to make them an offer. You decide in ten seconds if you like the restaurant of the day, and you should be in the restaurant within five minutes. It takes a great variety of places to please everyone.

NEW TO SWITZERLAND? WE CAN HELP YOU STEP BY STEP

Check out Hello Switzerland’s Relocation Guides relocation guides - lifestyle inspiration - events - directories - deals & offers - newsletter

www.helloswitzerland.ch/relocation-guides

20

BUSINESS MINDS

MEET SUNITA Sunita is the founder of Walk the Talk and is an executive coach. She offers career coaching and consults on emotional Intelligence, cross cultural communication and leadership development. For more information, see her website: walkthetalk.ch


FIND A WARM WELCOME IN SWITZERLAND Settle in and start well PROVIDED BY: ULRIKE LÉGÉ, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AND CAREER CONSULTANT AT SPOUSE CAREER CENTRE

Do you have the feeling that you often get the cold shoulder in Switzerland? You are not alone. The 2016 “Expat Insider Study” revealed that 67% of foreign residents find it difficult to make friends. One third perceive a negative attitude towards expatriates. Christian Buser, Head of the Basel Chamber of Commerce, admits: “Globalization has come to us but we have to succeed much better in integrating the expats in our region”. And yet, take heart. Feeling at home in this beautiful country is within your reach. Through the “Spouse Career Centre”, during the past 16 years — we have helped several hundreds of expatriates to settle happily into Switzerland. We encourage and support you to:

ABOUT THE SPOUSE CAREER CENTRE

1. Start learning the local language like children do, playfully and curiously, and find the courage to reach out. Even if your language skills are still patchy, your new Swiss contacts will be delighted to share their favourite places to go and things to do.

The Spouse Career Centre supports expats and their accompanying partners to integrate socially and find meaningful new professional paths. A dedicated team of 15 consultants with diverse backgrounds is ready to help you find a warm welcome in Switzerland.

2. Keep in mind that Swiss people make new friends through sharing a hobby. Every small village offers a wide range of sports clubs, choirs, charities and more. Find those local activities you enjoy most and watch your new friendships grow. 3. Most importantly, search for a meaningful occupation. You could volunteer, set up your own business, work part-time or pursue a fully-fledged career in Switzerland. Studies show that once you have found your professional calling, you are three times more likely to feel happy, healthy and welcome as an expat.

MEET ULRIKE Ulrike has worked for over 20 years in marketing communications. She built her strategy expertise as consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and holds an MBA from INSEAD. She has lived and worked in 7 countries. She is passionate about managing expat activities and writing about life abroad.

We believe life in Switzerland holds amazing opportunities for you despite the challenges. By knowing which steps to take and getting the necessary support, you will find a warm welcome eventually.

READY FOR A NEW CAREER? Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals 22

LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch

Ulrike Légé Spouse Career Centre info@spousecareercentre.com www.spousecareercentre.com


LEAVING SWITZERLAND? WE CAN HELP! CALL +41 58 356 17 77 Design your own departure package starting at just CHF 299.

« The approachable and professional

staff at Packimpex provided us with ongoing support throughout our entire relocation process.

»

Alexandre Areias & family ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Market Access and Pricing

Plan your free consultation with a departure specialist No matter your reason for leaving Switzerland, you can tailor your own departure package to suit your requirements and budget. Before you purchase anything, you are entitled to a free personal consultation with a relocation specialist on leaving Switzerland. You can pick and choose which services you would like to purchase in the Hello Switzerland Departure Store. This innovative approach allows you to combine the steps that you’d prefer to handle yourself, along with an affordable range of services that you can purchase, saving you time and money. We’re redefining relocation — find out more at www.helloswitzerland.ch/departure-store or email helpline@helloswitzerland.ch


Micro-Donations

Small donation – big effect

With Credit Suisse Micro-Donations, give small amounts regularly, easily, and quickly to the charitable organization of your choice. Detailed information is available at:

credit-suisse.com/microdonations


DIGITAL INNOVATIONS

Donate with Every Purchase Do a good deed every time you use your credit card or Maestro card. You can use the innovative service of Credit Suisse Micro-Donations to donate tiny amounts with each payment you make. The Credit Suisse Micro-Donations concept relies on the simple principle of rounding up. When you pay with your credit card or Maestro card, the purchase amount is automatically rounded up to the next franc, or to the next multiple of five or ten francs. So, if someone uses their card to make a purchase of CHF 83.30, this person automatically donates CHF 0.70, 1.70, or 6.70, depending on the level of rounding selected in advance. Credit Suisse Micro-Donations can also be used to donate the interest income from savings accounts. Clients pre-select the type of donation and the amount rounded through Online Banking. They can also select one of ten charity organizations there and specify a monthly maximum amount. Credit Suisse clients thus do something good with every purchase, and many of their small donations add up to something really great. Cash Withdrawals Using Your Smartphone Cardless Cash is another smart, user-friendly innovation. This is a new feature in the Credit Suisse Private Banking Switzerland app. With Cardless Cash, a smartphone can be used to make cash withdrawals and deposits at most CS and Neue Aargauer Bank (NAB) ATMs. Cash is withdrawn at ATMs on your mobile phone using a QR code, which is first created in the app. The QR code can be stored on a smartphone, printed or sent electronically, for example via email or MMS to another recipient. Cardless cash is ideal if you want to have money dispensed to your children or someone else, for

instance. However, this innovation is also very practical if you do not have your wallet with you and need cash. Cash is dispensed at an ATM equipped with a QR code reader. There, you simply hold the QR code generated by the app under the reader and the pre-specified cash amount can be withdrawn from the ATM. The Most Unique IBAN in the World The last of the innovative services that will make our lives easier in the future is called MyIBAN. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is one of the most important requirements for transferring money quickly, reliably, and economically, both within Switzerland and abroad. With MyIBAN, Credit Suisse became the world’s first financial institution to offer the option of choosing or creating your own IBAN. Private individuals and companies can thus add their very own personal touch to their payments. Specifically, CS clients can now use MyIBAN to pick the last twelve characters of their own IBAN. For instance, they can select their name or a combination of numbers that is easy to remember. MyIBAN can be used by all Credit Suisse clients for national and international payment transactions with no restrictions, and it ensures that the IBAN is easily recognizable for the holder.

FEATURED PARTNER: BANKING SERVICES

Our lives are becoming more and more digital. Tools, programs, and other smart bundles of information are making our everyday lives increasingly simple. Just this year, Credit Suisse (CS) introduced three useful innovations to the market: Credit Suisse Micro-Donations, Cardless Cash, and MyIBAN.

You can find more information on MyIBAN at credit-suisse.com/myiban. For more information on Cardless Cash, please visit credit-suisse.com/cardlesscash, and at you will find all the information on the straightforward donation opportunity provided by Credit Suisse Micro-Donations at

credit-suisse.com/microdonations.

Legal Notice: The reader acknowledges that the information provided in this publication is only intended for distribution and use by persons who are residents of Switzerland. In particular, it is not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by or for the offer or solicitation of any products or services directed to, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability, use, offer or solicitation would be contrary to applicable law or regulation or which would subject Credit Suisse to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction Credit Suisse will not treat readers of this publication as its clients by virtue of them accessing it. Readers of this publication should seek the advice of their independent financial advisor prior to taking any investment decision on the basis of any information contained herein and no information herein constitutes general or specific investment, legal, tax or accounting advice of any kind.

FREE BANKING FOR TWO YEARS Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch

FINANCIAL ADVICE

25


THE BENEFITS OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION: SIS STUDENTS EXCEL IN ISA BENCHMARKING TESTS PROVIDED BY: DR. URSUL A GEHBAUER TICHLER, CEO OF SIS SWISS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

It is part of the quality management at SIS Swiss International School that all students from grades 3 to 10 participate in the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) benchmarking tests on a yearly basis. Developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research, ISA is based on the internationally endorsed PISA frameworks for reading, mathematical literacy and scientific literacy and provides a means for international schools to objectively measure their students’ performance against other schools with a comparable proportion of native English speakers in their student body. SIS schools in Switzerland have been participating in the ISA benchmarking tests since 2011, and their students have achieved better results than the control groups on a regular basis. Over the past six years, the average results of SIS students have exceeded those of the respective control groups by at least 5.8%, and in 2016, the overall results of SIS students in reading, narrative and argumentative writing and mathematics were up by 9.5% compared with the results of the control group. While it may not come as too much of a surprise that students who are able to successfully pass through the challenging bilingual educational programme at SIS — 50% of all classes are taught by a native speaker of English, the other 50% by a native speaker of German — may have a gift for languages and letters in general, the above-average results in mathematics are indicative of the beneficial impact that bilingual instruction following the immersion method

can have on student performance in other subject areas as well.

based learning in two languages and ensure that bilingual education at SIS does not come at the cost of the development of critical-analytical thinking skills or scientific and mathematical competencies. To read a longer version of this article, and find many other helpful education articles, you can go to: helloswitzerland.ch/education ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr Ursula Gehbauer Tichler is the CEO of SIS Swiss International School in Switzerland. SIS operates 16 bilingual, private day schools in Switzerland, Germany and Brazil with more than 3.400 students attending classes from kindergarten through to college.

SIS teachers come from diverse cultural backgrounds, and they are therefore equipped with a wide range of teaching methods and techniques that enable them to show different types of learners a variety of ways to approach and solve problems. Moreover, the carefully developed SIS Curricula provide the rich and structured foundation for systematic, problem- and competency-

LET US SEARCH FOR YOUR PERFECT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals 26

LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch

Dr. Ursula Gehbauer Tichler CEO

info@swissinternationalschool.ch www.swissinternationalschool.ch


pfister.ch


«Creating added value together.» BDO – Global Mobility Services

Contact us: BDO LTD BDO LTD BDO LTD BDO LTD BDO LTD

Entfelderstrasse 1, 5001 Aarau Route de la Corniche 2, 1002 Lausanne Landenbergstrasse 34, 6002 Lucerne Biberiststrasse 16, 4501 Solothurn Fabrikstrasse 50, 8005 Zurich

Phone 0800 825 000 www.bdo.ch

Audit | Accounting | Tax | Consulting


CLAIMING YOUR TAX BENEFITS The tax at source rectification Foreigners moving to Switzerland are — at least initially — subject to the wage tax system, i.e. a tax at source deduction on their employment income. This system has significant advantages but also some pitfalls. In many situations, the situation is rectified by the requirement to also file a tax declaration, including actual income and deductions. Individuals not filing a Swiss tax Declaration If the annual employment income is below CHF 120k (Geneva CHF 500k) or if one is resident abroad (e.g. working in Switzerland as a weekly commuter), filing a tax declaration is not required (or even not possible). Often, the tax at source deducted is accepted as final burden in such a situation. This is not wrong as such, as standard deductions are incorporated in the tax tariff (e.g. insurance deduction, professional costs deduction etc.), which is why an additional tax benefit can only be claimed in exceptional circumstances. Such exceptional situations are, however, not as rare as many may think. Tax deductions that need to be requested As mentioned, the standard deductions are incorporated in the tax at source tariff, there is no need, for example, to claim a tax refund because of the employee contributions to the OASDI system. On the other hand, there are costs that only specific individuals occur which is why they cannot be considered in the tariff. The most important ones are:

• • • • • •

Alimony payments Pillar 3a contributions or buy-backs to pillar 2 Childcare costs, maybe even actual child deductions Costs for weekly commuting (double housing, transport) Debt interest deductions Others (e.g. donations, education etc.)

For example, if you contribute to the Pillar 3a (say CHF 6,000 which can easily give you a tax benefit of CHF 1,000), you will only get the tax benefit if you inform the relevant authorities. Otherwise, there is no tax impact, even worse, you will likely occur a partial double taxation as this money is subject to

tax (again) at withdrawal. If there are such costs and they cannot be claimed via a tax declaration, it is important to make use of the alternative procedure used by all cantons, the so-called “tax at source rectification” procedure. The tax at source rectification The aim of this procedure is to provide a simple way to reflect actual purchasing power. Mot cantons provide an overview on their homepage which costs can be claimed and what documentation is required. As an example, the Zurich tax administration provides a form which is built up as follows:

• • •

FEATURED PARTNER: TAX CONSULTING

Many foreigners who are subject to tax in Switzerland waste money by not claiming their tax benefits, even though doing so is relatively simple.

Personal data A summary of income List of specific deductions

All deductions that may be claimed are listed, including the information on what amount is already considered in the tariff, what the requirements are in order to get the deduction and what supporting documents need to be provided. If, for example, someone paying taxes in Zurich occurred costs for childcare (“Kinderkrippe” or similar), such costs may be claimed via the tax at source rectification procedure. There is no amount for such costs incorporated in the tariff. The tax administration requires the following documents: proof of payment, copy of birth certificate indicating names of parents, breakdown of costs. The procedure If you identify costs that may be deducted, the request has to be filed before 31 March of the year following the tax year (e.g. 31 March 2017 for the 2016 tax year). This deadline cannot be extended (very few exceptions in specific cantons). To claim the benefits, simply send the completed request to the tax administration enclosing the required documents. Based on this, the authorities will assess the request. It may be that additional information

GET CONNECTED WITH TAX EXPERTS Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: helloswitzerland.ch FINANCIAL ADVICE

29


is required, but in this event, the authorities would send a corresponding request. At some point (the process may take up to two years), the authorities will issue an assessment and make a payment to you, if your request was justified. If not, your tax burden usually just remains at the previous level. The pitfalls The tax at source rectification procedure can basically only work in the taxpayer’s favor: additional deductions are being claimed; if accepted, the tax burden is lower, leading to a refund, if not, there is no additional tax. In specific circumstances, however, asking for a tax at source rectification may still not be advantageous:

If only claiming insignificant deductions, the costs for the preparation of the request may exceed the tax benefit. The requests are only available in the official languages of the cantons, which sometimes makes it difficult for foreigners preparing the request without help. Starting 2016, there is a new system in Switzerland, reducing the costs that may be deducted for commuting. If you own a company car, there is the risk that a additional benefit is assumed under this regime, leading to an even higher taxable income (!). There are additional rules which may restrict the deductibility of some of the aforementioned items:

SIMPLY THEATRE For whatever roles you play in life Act, Sing, Dance with Simply Theatre Academy Enrolments for 2017 and Summer Camps now open! www.simplytheatre.com 30

FINANCIAL ADVICE

childcare costs, as outlined above, can be claimed but in many cantons only if both parents work. Conclusion If you do not file a tax declaration you may miss tax benefits. This is a pity, as there is a relatively simple way to ask the authorities to check if you are entitled to additional tax deductions. You should not miss this opportunity, as F.J. Raymond already said: “Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.” ABOUT GORDANA MUGGLER Gordana Muggler is Head Global Mobility and HR Services at BDO Switzerland. BDO’s experienced specialists are here to advise and support you and your family members on all aspects of international assignments, be it concerning the arrival to Switzerland or the deployment abroad, from the beginning of the preparations through to the return home.

Gordana Muggler gms@bdo.ch www.bdo.ch


THE NEWCOMER’S GUIDE TO GENEVA A city for all seasons WRITTEN BY: SOFIA BALIÑO

Geneva newcomers may initially find this lakeside city to be small amd sleepy. However, the eclectic francophone city is full of hidden gems that can appeal to myriad interests, from artists to athletes. The lake is one of Geneva’s best known landmarks, with its familiar Jet d’Eau, the restaurant at Bains des Paquis, and the early morning concerts on summer mornings. Looking further afield, various other cultural activities abound. For those seeking artistic self-expression, aspiring actors can join the Geneva English Drama Society or Geneva Amateur Operatic Society, while music aficionados can hear artists at annual festivals like Fête de la Musique and the Antigel Festival, or year-round at Alhambra and AMR. For art fans, the Nuits des Bains gives free access to various galleries on select Thursdays. Geneva is home to several museums, while being a popular stop on the circus circuit, including the famed Knie and Nock. For foodies, the dining scene is booming with the food truck movement and services such as Smood and La Fourchette. The city is surrounded by wine country, whose vineyards open their doors in May for the “caves ouvertes,” with many also offering wine tasting year-round. Outdoor lovers can enjoy hiking the Saléve, along with the Jura and Alps. Cyclists can ride along well-marked local paths, while snow adventures can be had at resorts such as Chamonix and Verbier, along with locally at La Dôle. With so many options on hand, accessing them all may seem daunting. Yet with Geneva’s excellent public transport network, all these possibilities are within easy reach.

INTERESTED IN DISCOVERING MORE? Learn more about Geneva, Zurich, Basel and other cities at: helloswitzerland.ch with the Swiss City Guide tool!

MEET SOFIA Sofia Baliño is an American writer and editor who has lived in Geneva since 2011. Sofia currently works in the NGO sector on trade and sustainability issues and has an academic background in literature, economics, and policy. She is also an avid runner and cyclist and is always looking out for new Swiss adventures.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GENEVA

Go to helloswitzerland.ch/living-in-geneva City guides are available for: Bern - Basel - Fribourg - Geneva - Lausanne - Lucerne Neuchatel - Schaffhausen - Solothurn - Ticino - Zug - Zurich

www.helloswitzerland.ch

CIT Y GUIDE

31


WELCOME TO SWITZERLAND! Book now: Language Training for you.

Save now with Berlitz!

Private Instruction (Face to Face) • Private Instruction (Virtual Classroom) Semi-Private Group • Intensive Group Instruction Berlitz Basel +41 61 226 90 40

Berlitz Bern +41 31 310 08 80

Berlitz Geneva +41 22 718 38 90

Berlitz Lausanne +41 21 341 03 50

Berlitz Zug +41 41 560 00 16

Berlitz Zurich +41 44 254 20 70

www.berlitz.ch/helloswitzerland


Hello Switzerland Issue 1/2017