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issue 2 / 2017


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DISCOVER SWITZERLAND Go to for leisure and culture, what’s on and practical guides.

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Samantha Suarez-Maier

Mike Tomsett

Randall Barriga

Lukas Hayoz

Lina Bickel

Murielle Marascio

Dear reader,

FIND A HOME We can help you find a place to call home, review your lease and ensure stressfree relocation.

GET HELP FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS From opening a bank account, to importing a car, we can help you in English (and other languages too).

Summer has arrived. Whether you’re looking for cultural delights or just a good swimming spot, Hello Switzerland is here to help. In this issue, you’ll discover over 50 fantastic events that will put you in a summery mood! Samantha Suarez-Maier Editor

PLAN YOUR RELOCATION Get connected with local experts and schedule a free consultation.


GOODBYE SWITZERLAND Is your Swiss adventure coming to an end? Save time, stress and money and let us help you plan your next relocation abroad.

Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat:

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BE INSPIRED BY THE STUNNING REGION OF SCHWYZ Get your free copy of the English SCHWYZ SUMMER MAGAZINE:, order it by or call 041 855 59 50


TOP 10 SPOTS TO GO SWIMMING In summertime, when the mercury rises to the top of the thermometer, the best place to cool down is in one of the many rivers, lakes, swimming holes and water parks. Here are some of Hello Switzerland’s favorite spots to swim in Switzerland.




Such a special place, it’s hard to describe properly. It’s a beautiful river near Locarno. After walking across the much photographed Roman’s Bridge, you can lounge on the rocks next to the refreshing river.

Lake Sils is nestled in the Upper Engadin Valley. Enjoy swimming, water sports and excellent hiking, and cool off in the beautiful water.

This little lake overlooking the Rigi Moutain is perfect for families, as the water tends to be a bit warmer.

Locarno, Ticino

2. CAUMASEE A beautiful alpine lake near Flims, with swimming, rock jumping, and paddle boats. It’s a bit chilly at about 16∘C, so wait for a hot day in the height of summer to enjoy this scenic lake.

Flims, Graubunden

3. AQUABASILEA While the Säntispark near St. Gallen is perfect for families, Aquabasilea is fun for adults. There are warm relaxing pools with massage jets, a sauna, and poolside bar.

Grisons, Graubunden

Lauerz, Schwyz


6. AARE RIVER Winding through Berne, there are several spots where you can hop in the river. The currents can be strong, so take care and wear a floatie, if needed.

City of Berne

The Emme River winds through the Emmental Valley. For an exciting day out, head to Trubschachen to taste cookies at Kambly Factory and then cool off at a beautiful swimming hole off a garden path.

Trubschachen, Berne



This spa is the biggest thermal bath complex in the Swiss alps! Perfect for swimmers, families, couples.

Miss the sea? Head to the sandy beach at Yvonand on the Lake Neuchâtel. A favourite with locals!

Brig, Valais

Yvonand, Neuchâtel

Pratteln, Basel

Photo: © Jakob Edholm/Silsersee

4. BAINS DES PAQUÎS One of the most popular spots in Geneva, this is the perfect spot for relaxing and sunbathing during the warm summer days.

City of Geneva

For even more amazing locations, visit: 5


New rules introduced

In January 2016 the Swiss tax authorities introduced a general limitation on the tax deductibility of the costs for travelling to work. BDO explains. The changes affect many taxpayers in Switzerland, no matter if the taxpayers themselves pay commuting costs or if a company car is used. On Federal tax level, CHF 3,000 is now the absolute maximum amount of commuting costs that can be deducted in the tax return. Many cantons have introduced similar limitations. Impact in the tax declaration Previously, commuting costs were deductible with no upper limit. For example, if someone commuted from Zurich to Schaffhausen (50 km each way) using his own car, costs of approx. CHF 15,000 were allowed as a deduction. For the 2016 tax period, on the Federal tax level, a deduction of just CHF 3,000 is granted in exactly the same scenario. When filing a tax declaration, similar to the cap on the deduction for insurance premiums, either the actual amount claimed or the CHF 3,000 will be considered (whatever is lower). There is nothing additional that needs to be done by the taxpayers — but unfortunately, also nothing that can be done to reduce the hidden tax increase if you are affected. The limitation also impacts individuals using public transport if the costs are higher than CHF 3,000. For example, if you purchased a 2nd class GA travel card for CHF 3,655, in your 2016 tax return only CHF 3,000 can be subtracted from the taxable income for Federal taxes. Tax impacts when using a company car for commuting When using a company car for commuting, it is required to calculate an additional taxable benefit.

sum, CHF 3,000 (the FABI lump sum) are to be subtracted, giving the employee the monetary benefit of CHF 7,080 because he is using a company car. It is the taxpayer’s personal responsibility to declare this in his tax return as additional income if the annual wage statement has a cross in Field F. In addition, there is still the value of the private share of the company car (line 2.2 salary certificate), generally in the amount of 9.6% of the car’s net purchase price. This remains unchanged; the respective amount only reflects private use and not commuting costs. Conclusion Commuters, as of tax year 2016, suffer a financial disadvantage compared to the previous situation, when the costs they deducted for commuting in earlier tax periods exceeded CHF 3,000. This is already the case for a taxpayer living more than 10 km from his place of work and travelling twice a day there and back with his own car. According to the information received from tax administrations, the limitation may even apply for international commuting costs, i.e. trips to the family in the home country may only be deductible up to the amount of CHF 3,000. 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.

Calculation example: If an employee has a company car and his journey to work is of 30 km one way, the total is calculated with a deductible of CHF 0.70/per km or a deduction of CHF 7,080 for 240 working days in the Canton of Zurich. This value is given by multiplying 30 km x 2 x 0.70 x 240 = CHF 10,080. Of this

GET CONNECTED WITH TAX EXPERTS Quality support with personal compliance in Switzerland Swiss Relocation Helpline +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) Free advice from locals online chat: 6


Gordana Muggler

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


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

Audit | Accounting | Tax | Consulting

JUNE 2017

Outdoor concerts & a taste of Swiss wine 2 – 4 June

9 – 10 June

Open wine cellars

Openair Oberrieden Feel the beats at this small open-air music festival with an amazing atmosphere!

2 – 4 June

10 June

Street food festival

Celebrate your culture

Olten, SO

Arbon, SG

Various food stands present tasty food from all over the world, head outdoors and try something new!

The goal of this event is to bring together different cultures in Switzerland.

2 – 5 June

15 – 17 June

Street Artists Festival

B-Sides Festival

Ascona, TI


Enjoy the spectacle! Fire eaters and artists attract spectators for days on the streets of Ascona.

Enjoy non-commercial music of various genres during this annual summer event.

4 June

15 – 18 June

Slow Up Valais



Locarno Opera & Ballet Locarno, Ticino

For three days, Locarno becomes an oasis for opera and ballet lovers. This year features La Traviata, Romeo and Juliet, and Madam Butterfly. Enjoy a wonderful weekend filled with the beauty of opera and ballet! Call 0900 800 800 (1.19/min.)


18 June

Take part in an event where everyone cycles through the Canton of Valais.

Enjoy summer and good music at this year’s Neuchâtel Openair Festival.

Saas Fee, VS

6 – 11 June

15 – 18 June

Montreux Volley Masters

Art Basel


23 – 25 June

Gourmet Trail

Street food festival Lausanne

Summertime? Foodies? It is hiking season and for foodies this trail is a big ‘must’. Enjoy!

Who doesn’t love street food? Various food stands present tasty food from all over the world.


22 June – 1 July

25 – 26 June

Every year the world’s best volleyball players show off their skills near Lake Geneva.

This show brings the international artworld together, showing the work of over 4,000 artists

JazzAscona Ascona, TI

Kinderland Openair

7 – 11 June

16 June

Caribana Festival

Dance ship


Nyon, GE

Romanshorn, SG

Start the summer with music from artists including Sum 41 and Evanescence.

Break out your dancing shoes for this boat ride complete with snacks and drinks.

8 – 11 June

16 – 17 June

Greenfield Festival

Stars of Sounds

Interlaken, BE Start the summer with music from artists including Sum 41 and Evanescence.


Oberrieden, ZH

Visit one of the smallest but most famous vineyards in Switzerland and this day of open wine cellars!


Aarberg, BE Listen to top acts like Bastian Baker, Söhne Mannheims and Alvaro Soler.

200 concerts! From Traditional Jazz to blues, Ascona becomes an oasis of music!

Thun, BE Kids will have loads of fun at this event created especially for children.

CONGRESS CENTER, BASEL Sunday, May 21st, 2017 11 AM - 5 PM STADTHALLE DIETIKON ZURICH Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 11 AM - 5 PM Photo: © Opera & Ballet

Vully, FR

Cheeses from Switzerland. From mild to mature. Trust your good taste. Enjoy your favourite cheese.

Switzerland. Naturally.

Cheeses from Switzerland.

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 or email

JULY 2017

Music & festivals 29 June – 1 July

5 – 7 July


Zurich City festival

Rapperswil-Jona, ZH

Zurich, ZH

The festival on the lakeside promenade offers about 25 concerts on three stages.

From culinary food stands to dance shows, you can’t miss this city party and fireworks show.

29 June – 2 July

5 – 10 July

St. Gallen Openair Festival

Lausanne City Festival

St. Gallen


Enjoy top acts like Passenger, Lorde, George Ezra and Die Toten Hosen.

Discover Lausanne through listening to music, dancing and watching theatre.

30 June – 15 July

5 July – 11 August

Montreux Jazz Festival

Openair Cinema


Murten, FR

Visit this famous music festival with international top artists, like The Lumineers and Usher.

Are you a movie lover? Enjoy various exciting movies in a scenic location, under the open sky.

30 June – 8 July

6 – 8 July

15 November - 31 December

Festival of Sacred Music

Openair Frauenfeld

A wicked and wonderful version of Oz


Frauenfeld, TG

Theatre 11, Zurich

You should not miss one of the most important classical music events in Switzerland!

Do not miss Europe’s biggest Hip-Hop festival with artists such as The Weeknd and NAS!

1 July

7 – 8 July

Zermatt Marathon

Stars of Sounds

St. Niklaus, VS

Murten, FR

It is time to start training for a race from St. Niklaus via Zermatt to Riffelberg.

Listen to top acts like Amy McDonald and Gölä, right by the lake of Murten.

4 – 22 July

7 – 8 July

9 July

10 – 16 July

Cultural Festival

Rock and Blues

St. Gallen

Gossau, SG

Traditional Wrestling

New Orleans Jazz Festival

Rigi, LU

Klosters, GR

This event is a meeting point for music lovers of different genres. Enjoy a bit of culture!

A short train ride from Zurich/St. Gallen. Local and regional rock and blues bands give their best!

Experience some authentic Swiss culture! Enjoy this traditional event with wrestlers.

Get ready for a great Jazz event including 96 concerts by 17 bands.


Every story has two sides. The Wicked Witch of the West gets a chance to tell her side of the story. Accompany her along her extraordinary adventures, and prepare to be entertained! Wicked is an award winning production. You’ll enjoy stunning sets, music by a Grammy winner, and many positive reviews by theatre critics. Explore the other side of the Wizard of Oz with Wicked in this true modern classic. or Call 0900 800 800 (1.19/min.)

Photo: © Wicked

TAKE A JOURNEY OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Hello Switzerland is always updated the online event calendar online, check it out and find out what’s on in your city!




Summer & outdoor music festivals 2 – 12 August Locarno Film Festival Locarno, TI For one week the Festival del Film transforms Locarno into the Swiss capital of cinema.

3 – 6 August Brienzersee Rockfestival Brienz, BE Are you in the mood to rock? Check out the great Swiss rock bands, and international acts.

3 – 13 August Fêtes de Genève Geneva

3 – 27 August Open Air Cinema Basel This open-air cinema event features both classics and brandnew films, plus food and drinks.


3 - 29 October



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 at Theatre 11 in Zurich! To book tickets, visit: or Call 0900 800 800 (CHF 1.19/min)

9 – 13 August

11 – 13 August

13 August

18 – 20 August

Rock oz’Arenes

Thun celebrations

Concert at the Pavilion

Street food festival

Avenches, VD

Thun, BE


Aarau, SO

Party in an ancient amphitheatre! Marilyn Manson will be live, on Thursday the 10th of August.

Join the annual Thunfest with lots of activities, entertainment and a famous ferris wheel.

Listen to traditional Alphorn at the music pavilion on the National Quay; free of charge!

Various food stands present tasty food from all over the world. Which is your favourite?

11 August – 10 Sept

11 – 13 August

13 – 20 August

23 – 26 August


Heitere Openair Zofingen

International Folklore meet-up

Zürich Openair


Zofingen, AG


Glattbrugg, ZH

This exhibition at the Museum of Art promises unconventional projects about art and music.

Don’t miss out on this awardwinning summer festival in an idyllic area.

You can attend performances at different venues by people from all over the world.

Experience top artists such as Mumford and Sons, Major Lazer, Kygo and The Prodigy.

11 – 12 August

12 August

17 – 20 August

25 – 26 August

Open Air Basel

Street Parade

Open Air Gampel

3x3 World Tour Masters



Gampel, VS


During two festive days you will experience six bands, good food and an awesome after party!

One of the largest techno parties in the world! Don your neon clothing and party all day.

Popular Swiss and international artists will be on stage in Gampel for this annual festival.

Lausanne will this year be hosting one round of the 3x3 World Tour Masters in Basketball.


Photo: © Lindsey Best

Eleven days of events and attractions to enchant the young, the old and everyone in between.

SUMMER TIME IN SCHWYZ Authentic experiences in sunny Schwyz

Feel the fire of freedom in the region of Schwyz this summer. Whether you wish to quench your thirst, get down with nature or are looking to create some memorable family moments – the central canton of Schwyz is the perfect day-trip or vacation getaway for leisure enthusiasts. HIKING There are hundreds of hiking trails to be explored and vary for all ages and levels across the canton of Schwyz. For example, the car-free resort of Stoos is situated high above Lake Lucerne and is a leisure paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Once visitors reach the top of the mountain, there is no rush to appreciate the beautiful views. On a perfect summer day, your eyes can travel across an ocean of mountain peaks; Säntis, Glarner, Urner, the Bernese Alps, the Jura Mountains and even to the Black Forest in the north.

FAMILY FUN The Swiss Holiday Park resort is your one-stop-shop for families. The resort is located on the highlands of Morschach and overlooks the famous Lake Lucerne. There are plenty of ways to keep the kids cool and the parents blissful in the family resort. As parents indulge in the wellness facilities, kids will be kept entertained with all the water-park fun.

When planning your next excursion to the canton of Schwyz, look no further than the Schwyz Hiking App. Discover the region’s comprehensive footpath network with the touch of a button:

Photos: © Schwyz Tourismus

WATER SPORTS The perfect way to cool down this summer is by taking a dip in one of the region’s well-known lakes, including: Lake Lucerne, Lake Zurich, Lake Zug and Lake Sihl. Visitors can undertake a diverse range of water sport activities in the canton of Schwyz. Whether it be motorised water sports or slow and steady paddling, there is something for everyone to enjoy - windsurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing and even Stand Up Paddling.


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If you interact with international business partners or head up an international team, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the various modes of behavior. Technical and linguistic proficiency alone do not suffice No matter where a professional assignment abroad takes you, being well prepared is essential to better understand the country, culture and its people. Between greeting someone and seeing them off, there are a myriad of social pitfalls afoot as values and conduct standards can widely vary from country to country. Be it with time, quality, hierarchies, respect, communication or etiquette, your own expectations can differ greatly from the reality of country-specific conduct norms. The right greeting unlocks many doors A cordial greeting is always essential. While your own greeting customs are familiar, you will encounter unfamiliar greeting rituals in many countries. Typically, it is normal to approach the host openly and amicably, no matter how detailed a countryspecific greeting seems. Openness, attentiveness and curiosity are helpful traits to unlock the proverbial door in any situation. A guest among strangers No matter the position abroad, you are always a guest. When speaking with foreign partners, it is always appropriate to conduct yourself in a collegial, direct, yet friendly manner. Characteristics from around the world Russia If you have been to Russia, for example, you have surely encountered the warm and enthusiastic joie de vivre. Mirroring the intensity of a typical Russian greeting and its firm handshake is the intensity found on the job itself. Russians can be a loud bunch at work, so it is no surprise that they often speak loudly and clearly about the job itself. In Russia, on-thejob performance is what counts.

USA Americans like to speak about success. If they can, they’ll flaunt it, too. In the job world, specialists are highly sought after. A friendly exchange of experience with a difference of opinion is commonplace. Asia In Asia, rules and customs differ in many countries. While on holidays feasts abound, modesty and cordiality is typical throughout Asia, from India to China. It is especially important to not only familiarize yourself with the customs of your host country, but to accept them as well. Not talking about your feelings at work is as essential as it is to be diligent on the job.


The growing tendency of deploying employees abroad, as well as the global interconnectedness among firms, forces thousands of Austrian and Swiss workers to travel abroad for brief or extended periods of time every single year. With any trip abroad, there are new customs, traditions, modes of behavior and communication standards, all of which must be observed.

France Not even in Europe is it the same everywhere. The French, for example, place a great deal of importance on friendly and open interaction, but are very casual when it comes to work and free time. Punctuality is not as important as it is in Austria or Switzerland. For the French, external appearances are more important—from fashion and fine food to classy social interaction. Greetings and goodbyes are typically warmer and a peck on the cheek is standard for close confidantes—which also applies to most Mediterranean countries in Europe and many regions in southeast Europe.

To read a longer version of this article, and find many other helpful articles, you can go to: www.helloswitzerland. ch/-/how-to-survive-and-thrive-living-abroad

Bernardin Generalao Center Director

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE - 10% OFF Take 10% off Berlitz courses, simply call the Helpline today! Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

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



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Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Institute of Finance and Management

Ultra-fast internet, TV 2.0, and great mobile coverage

Volvo Cars — amazing discounts for expats

Get connected with Swisscom quickly and easily simply by contacting the Swiss Relocation Helpline. You’ll enjoy quality service from our specialist advisers, from product advice to how to switch from your existing provider. Plus, you’ll always find the latest Swisscom special offer on the Hello Switzerland website.

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 by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

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!

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.



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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.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Discover Bern 50% off UNESCO Old Town Stroll The best way to discover the unique beauty of Bern’s Old Town is on the UNESCO Old Town Stroll. Join us on this walk and hear facts, anecdotes, the humorous, and the serious about the past and present. Simply present this voucher at Bern train station’s Tourist Information. Valid 1 Aprilst – 31st October 2017, tour starts at 11a.m.

*For detailed information regarding this offer, please see the legal disclaimer p.24

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

Berlitz language training 10% off

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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!

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Available by contacting the Relocation Helpline.

Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

Call: +41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) Skype: helloswitzerland.helpline (free) Mail: Web: Chat with us online!

INSPIRING INTERIOR DESIGN AND BUILDING RENOVATION WORK At Balogh Design, we have years of experience in designing spaces and managing contract work on all kinds of real estate — from family homes to vacation houses, from office spaces to company buildings and even factories. PROVIDED BY: ZSUZSANNA BALOGH, OWNER OF BALOGH DESIGN

Have you been in Switzerland for some time already, but still don’t quite feel at home in your new place? Have you purchased a flat or a house, are looking for a new home, or are planning to build your own? Are you looking to update your office or business property? Did you know that good design can boost productivity, provide a more relaxing hospital stay — or increase the market value of a property? Balogh Design is a dynamic design practice that goes beyond just fittings and furnishings. We plan interiors in almost every type of building according to our clients’ wishes, provide colour consulting for unique spaces, and can even plan and coordinate building renovations. This includes offices, hospitals, schools, retirement homes or private residences. Since 2010, owner Zsuzsanna Balogh and her team have been working with satisfied international clients in all regions of Switzerland. Let Balogh Design help you effortlessly realize your ideal home or business environment according to your specific needs and individual tastes. Working with us will cost you a minimum of time and effort. Besides quality interior design, Balogh Design will coordinate and manage any contract work that is necessary to complete the project, including budget control. Balogh Design and its trusted partners deliver a Swiss quality standard. Thanks to our timeless design, our high Swiss standards, and our international outreach, Balogh Design is your partner for all of your interior design needs in Switzerland. Allow us to help you make a home in Switzerland or breathe new life into a commercial space.

ABOUT ZSUZSANNA BALOGH Zsuzsanna is the owner of Balogh Design. She has over 10 years of experience in designing interiors for private clients and for the corporate sector all over Switzerland. She has lived and worked in 3 different continents, and holds a Master’s Degree from Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and Michigan State University (USA). 18   LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND

Balogh Design Zsuzsanna Balogh Stauffacherstrasse 6 3014 Bern +41 79 768 7304

Photos: © Balogh Design

Interested in learning more? See more projects in our portfolio on the Balogh Design website, or contact us now for a first nonbinding consultation.

IS THERE A BEST WAY FOR YOUR CHILD TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? The benefits of bilingual instruction Fluency in more than one language is a valuable asset in today’s mobile society. But what determines successful language acquisition? Starting age? Quality of instruction? Time? PROVIDED BY: AMBROS HOLLENSTEIN, CEO SIS SWISS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS GROUP

official school languages, children acquire both German and English in a natural way. According to Simone Pfenninger, Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics at the University of Salzburg, studies have shown intensive exposure to the foreign language and high-quality input by native speakers as provided by SIS to be more beneficial to students than an early starting age. Other research suggests that immersion in a foreign language may also have advantageous effects on the development of other cognitive skills, self-confidence and learner autonomy. THE EARLIER THE BETTER? When moving abroad with your family, as a parent you are likely to experience moments of envy when you notice the ease and speed with which your children pick up words and complex structures in the local language while you still struggle to order a drink in a restaurant. Considering this observation, it may come as a surprise that according to recent studies and contrary to common assumption an early starting age of foreign language instruction in school is not necessarily the key determinant and certainly not the only factor influencing language competence. Research has shown that other factors such as quality and intensity of instruction or native-speaker input might be more important than the question of when the language learning began.

Read more on the subject in Professor Pfenninger’s article “On the ‘how’ rather than the ‘when’ in the foreign language classroom” on the Hello Switzerland website at: ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ambros Hollenstein is the CEO of SIS Swiss International Schools Group. SIS operates 16 bilingual, private day schools in Switzerland, Germany and Brazil with more than 3,500 students attending classes from kindergarten through to college.

Photo: © SIS Swiss International School

THE MORE OPPORTUNITIES THE BETTER At SIS Swiss International School, teaching follows the immersion method with half of the lessons being taught by a native speaker of English, the other half by a native speaker of German. Since all interaction takes place in the

Ambros Hollenstein CEO SIS Swiss International Schools Group

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

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND



TEMPORARY ACCOMODATION WITH SERVICE AND STYLE Everything you need to feel at home during your business travels Established in Switzerland in 1999, VISIONAPARTMENTS specialises in developing and renting premium furnished apartments with service and style. PROVIDED BY: JENS DÜNNEBACKE OF VISIONAPARTMENTS

VISIONAPARTMENTS has grown quickly from a start-up to become a European market leader, currently offering over 1,000 tailor-made temporary living solutions. • Central city locations in Lausanne and Zurich • Official partner houses in Zug and Davos • New locations planned in Basel, Geneva, Lausanne (St. Sulpice) and Vevey • Best available rates for long term rentals

FULLY EQUIPPED APARTMENTS An enjoyable living experience awaits you. From cutlery to toiletries — VISIONAPARTMENTS has everything you need from day one, with stunning interior design concepts. GLOBAL TEMPORARY ACCOMODATION SOLUTIONS VISIONAPARTMENTS’s global partner network makes it easy for you to arrange stays around the globe. We offer over 18,000 serviced apartments in over 120 business destinations worldwide.

SERVICED APARTMENTS VISIONAPARTMENTS are fully serviced homes. This includes all ancillary costs, weekly cleaning with change of bed linen and towels, TV, free Internet access and local support team assistance — with no extra charges. We offer a wide range of tailor-made services such as additional cleaning, laundry service, parking spaces as well as additional equipment and furniture. FURNISHED APARTMENTS Our fully furnished apartments provide all the comforts of a home away from home. Design-oriented interiors created with high quality materials come in different styles and sizes. You are sure to find an apartment that matches your needs and tastes. Whether you are seaching for an ideal temporary accomodation for an individual or a family, there is a solution for you.

Jens Dünnebacke Steinmühleplatz 1 CH-8001 Zurich +41 44 248 34 69

MEET JENS DÜNNEBACKE Jens works as a Local Sales Agent with VISIONAPARTMENTS in Zurich. He will be happy to assist you and help you find an apartment that suits your needs.

Open in 2018: 123 apartments Basel Zurich Zug

Opening in 2017: 60 apartments

Davos Lausanne St. Sulpice



Opening in 2017: 101 apartments 20   LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND

Modern living in Zurich, Switzerland

Photos: © Visionapartments

An elegant bathroom oasis

Tranquil and relaxing: stylish living concepts

Contemporary kitchen

Stunning interior design with touches of the East

Stylish sleeping quarters



Explore the world with Bonviva credit cards The world is full of exciting places just waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t have to be a trip around the world. Many beautiful cities let you turn a weekend into an enjoyable mini vacation. Nothing can go wrong with Credit Suisse Bonviva credit card offers and travel tips. Bonviva Credit Card* Advantages at a Glance • Foreign exchange rate advantages • Security • Cost transparency and overview • Additional insurance benefits Travel Booking Discounts You can benefit from credit card advantages even before leaving on your trip. Book your vacation with a Bonviva credit card — the easiest and most rewarding way to do so. When selecting your destination and hotel, you benefit from many discounted partner offers, such as Amex Selects. Foreign Exchange Rate Advantages Credit cards are the ideal means of payment all over the world. This is because, when abroad, you always pay in the local currency with your Bonviva credit card — without having to pay the local exchange rate. The local exchange rate is usually higher than that offered by Bonviva credit cards. Security and Cost Control With the Bonviva credit card, you do not have to carry cash and thus do not have to convert money. Don‘t forget to apply for a higher credit limit before your departure – just to be on the safe side. You are also protected in the event that you lose your credit card abroad. If you lose your card, we make sure you receive emergency cash and a replacement card. Additional insurance benefits Transport accident insurance: With the Silver, Gold, and Platinum banking packages, you are insured against accident with the respective means of transportation. Simply buy your airplane and public transport tickets with your Bonviva credit card.

Luggage insurance: Pay for your entire vacation with the Bonviva Gold or Platinum credit card. This ensures that the luggage of all insured persons on the trip is insured against theft, damage, and destruction. Global & Gold Assist: With the Gold and Platinum banking packages, you have access to a free assistance and emergency service. It will assist you in medical, legal, and personal emergencies around the clock. Furthermore, Global & Gold Assist will advance you money if you lose your means of payment or are faced with medical bills. Priority Pass: With Bonviva Platinum, you have access to 700 comfortable airport lounges, where you can relax and watch your layover fly by. Bonviva Travel & Concierge Services: As a Bonviva Platinum client, you benefit from the exclusive Bonviva Travel & Concierge Service, which will take care of anything you don’t have time for, around the world. You can find more information at

TRAVEL TIPS • Before your departure, verify your current credit limit and, if necessary, apply for an increase. • Verify the country settings for your Maestro card in Online Banking and, if necessary, unblock blocked countries. • Keep the credit card blocking number handy. We offer a 24/7 service and will send you a replacement card, within three business days whenever possible. • Always pay in the local currency, even if a debit in Swiss francs is offered. • Download the new Cardservice app to stay informed of all credit card transactions and account balances. * Credit cards issued by Swisscard AECS GmbH

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.



Photo: © Credit Suisse




In January 2016 the Swiss tax authorities introduced a general limitation on the tax deductibility of the costs for travelling to work .

More is more. In banking, too. Get yourself a comprehensive Bonviva Banking Package with preferential interest rates on your salary and savings accounts, free cash withdrawals throughout Switzerland, payment transaction fees included (except for third-party charges), and a wide variety of rewards.

Sign up now at Copyright Š 2017 Credit Suisse Group AG and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.



INTERNATIONAL FAMILIES ON THE MOVE Transitions, no matter what kind, are at the best of times challenging. Leaving what you are familiar with and stepping into the unknown can be overwhelming. PROVIDED BY: ICS ADMISSIONS & COMMUNICATIONS, INTER - COMMUNIT Y SCHOOL ZURICH

Year-round support

International moves don’t necessarily coincide with school terms. A transition programme that can quickly be put into place makes entry possible throughout the year and helps families to quickly adjust to the new situation. Support for parents: ICS Parents’ Assocation

When it comes to settling down in the new community, an active and engaged Parents’ Association is crucial to help parents cope with the unique challenges of settling into a new culture. At ICS, in addition to a number of welcome events, parents can sign up for activities and clubs throughout the year and take advantage of a network of country representatives to meet others with similar backgrounds. Recognising and responding to the challenges families face when moving from one home to another led the InterCommunity School Zurich to develop a comprehensive Transition Programme for international families. This programme was created to make new families part of the school’s community as quickly as possible as a way to optimise academic performance. “This is what we excel at,” says Mrs. Campbell, Head of School. “We take a strategic and systematic approach to making the experience of ‘joining and leaving the school’ as successful as possible to ensure a smooth and stressfree transition for both children and their parents.”

Preparation is key to success

Moving? Then, preparation is the key to success; a well organised Transition Programme plays a role. For ICS, the Transition Programme has proven to be vital. It not only helps families cope with the inevitable sense of loss but also helps them to explore and prepare for a new chapter in their lives.


inter-community school

Developing a personalised learning pathway

Support for students

School counsellors also get in touch with families to answer questions, discuss Secondary students’ subject choices, or simply to allay any fears or anxieties. Student Ambassadors also reach out to Secondary students, often during the holidays, to answer questions or just be a friend. A Buddy Programme will go into action to support Primary school children from their very first day at school. 24   LIVING WELL IN SWITZERL AND

zurich Facebook: Twitter:

ABOUT INTER-COMMUNITY SCHOOL ZURICH The Inter-Community School Zurich (ICS) is the longest established international school in the Zurich area. A private co-educational day school, established in 1960, we provide a world-class international education for students aged 3 to 18. We welcome applications from prospective students throughout the year. Please contact us at if you have questions or would like to visit our campus.

Illustration: © ICS Zurich

Preparing to welcome a student to a new school is a process of sequential steps that starts well before the child’s first day. The Admissions Department provides parents with resources and crucial information while educational specialists make the appropriate age-level preparations to develop a personalised learning pathway, including specialised support for non-native English speakers.


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. 3. 4.

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. EXPERIENCED PATROL TEAMS

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



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. 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.

7. 8.


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). 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.


Ensure peace of mind on the road! Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat: SAFE TRAVELS


THE EXPAT’S GUIDE TO TV IN SWITZERLAND Don’t miss a moment of your beloved programmes from back home! When you get tired of hiking the beautiful Swiss alps, and just want to lounge in your home with good television on a lazy Sunday, Hello Switzerland is here for you. In this feature we outline our favourite programmes and give some tips for expats in Switzerland! Netflix Do you miss Netflix? Don’t! You can use Netflix in Switzerland too. You can access it on digital TV such as Swisscom’s TV 2.0, via your computer, or on the smartphone app especially useful for commuters. Hello Switzerland recommends on Netflix Looking for a few Netflix recommendations? Our resident Netflix expert makes a few suggestions. Crime lovers: Fargo is a crime drama focusing on a car salesman who gets himself in a financial jam, and things turn from bad to worse. Drama lovers: Elementary is a drama series featuring modern-day Sherlock Holmes solving crime in New York. Family friendly: Family adventures on Netflix makes family entertainment easy. There are tons of movies and series available on Netflix for little ones to enjoy. Best of all, you can download content to view offline!

Don’t miss a moment of the big game

Teleclub for sports fanatics Do you love sports? Teleclub offers tons of live sports programmes. Most major European soccer leagues are covered. Are you a tennis or golf lover? The ATP Tour (e.g. Wimbedon, French Open) and all PGA tours (e.g. Majors, World Golf Championship) are also live! Other programmes include international ice hockey (such as NHL), and World of Freesports, featuring extreme sports. Dual audio Did you know that many Swiss and Austrian channels offer many programmes in their native language? All you have to do is click a magic button on your remote. For Swisscom users, simply look for the “options” button on your remote. You can access the latest programmes like Modern Family, Big Bang Theory and No Reservations all in English!

HOMESICK FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TV CHANNELS? Don‘t be. Hello Switzerland can help! Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals 26


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

Photos: © Swisscom

There’s always something to enjoy

Swisscom: Video On Demand In the mood for a good film, but don’t want to take the trip to the movies? No problem! With Video On Demand, you can get all the latest releases right on your Swisscom box. Our personal favourites? Bridget Jones’ Baby, a funny rom-com, which is perfect for girl’s night! La La Land is the perfect choice for date night at home. Are you a Harry Potter fan? You can see Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!

A guide to Swisscom TV 2.0 Using cutting-edge technology, Swisscom TV 2.0 is a complete entertainment system. It bases on a smart box that connects to your TV and transmits at ultra high definition (UHD) picture quality. No satellite dish, no oldfashioned cable TV, just pure advanced home entertainment technology. You are no longer tied to the fixed times of the TV schedule. As an additional benefit, Swisscom TV 2.0 subscribers can access TV 2.0 on a computer via the web, or on mobile devices using the excellent mobile app. Swisscom offers unrivalled cultural diversity With Swisscom TV, we enjoy the best programmes from around the world. More than 300 channels, in over 36 languages, offer unbeatable cultural diversity. Enjoy more than 140 channels in crystal-clear HD quality. Ideal for business travellers 7-day Replay lets you easily watch shows that have already aired. With up to 2,400 hours of recording, you are no longer tied to the TV schedule. Combined with the excellent Swisscom TV smartphone app and the Swisscom TV Air website, here in Switzerland we are re-discovering TV. We access both live TV and our recordings from wherever we are, and manage our recording schedule while on the go. The dream of TV On Demand has finally arrived.

Photo: © Swisscom

All the entertainment you require in a box The Swisscom TV box boasts over 300 radio stations, allows screen casting from mobile devices, and offers TV apps like YouTube, Facebook, a web browser, or Netflix. There is even a version that works as a household media hub. There’s no need to buy another box!

You can pay your Netflix subscription securely and without a credit card through your Swisscom bill. Teleclub: perfect for families, sports fans, movies Teleclub offers a wide range of packages, available right on your Swisscom TV box. Whether you’re a film fan, sports fanatic or simply an entertainment guru, you never need to miss a moment of your favourite programmes.


Premium TV tech from Swisscom

System in English, state-of-the-art remote control Swisscom TV 2.0 can be used in English, French, Italian or German. The remote control is state-of-the-art: There is no need to point it at the box, and uniquely, it offers excellent voice control for English, French, Italian, German and even Swiss-German dialects! Getting Swisscom TV 2.0 Swisscom TV is available at Swisscom Stores across the country, and on the Swisscom website. Also, Hello Switzerland readers can access the Swiss Relocation Helpline - you‘ll enjoy fast service and free consultation in multiple languages on all Swisscom products.

WE LOVE SWISSCOM TV “I love the interface on Swisscom. The box comes with a ton of cool functions. You can open apps like YouTube directly on the box!” – Andy, IT Manager, Berne “I travel a lot for business, and the Swisscom TV app is really good for me. I watch my news and favourite programmes on the train. Don’t tell my boss!” – Michael, Executive Manager, Zurich

Perfect for binge watching: Netflix and Teleclub Some of the world’s most entertaining TV series are on Netflix, while Switzerland’s famous Teleclub service offers movies, family shows, global sports and other entertainment.

“I love that I can watch CNN, or a US series on Swiss TV using the dual tone option, and then can switch to Netflix in just a few seconds.” – Nichole, Communications Associate, Burgdorf

Netflix on Swisscom Discover award-winning Netflix Originals, movies and documentaries in UHD in the comfort of your own home with Swisscom TV. With no additional hardware or installation required, simply open the Netflix app at the touch of a button.



ONE WORKOUT IS BETTER THAN NO WORKOUT There is no excuse for not doing fitness training! Some people might feel demotivated because they do not have the time to do many workouts with a busy schedule. But some professional advice might inspire you to get active at least once a week. Recently an acquaintance told me that he would like to start fitness training, but he simply does not have the time. He stated, visibly ashamed, that he could only train once a week. And he concluded with resignation that only one training per week wouldn’t achieve the kind of results he was looking for. One would have to get active at least two to three times a week to get results, everyone knows that. My friend, of course, is not wrong. I would also recommend that you train two to three times a week – or even more frequently. Two intensive strength units and two endurance units in an interval range would, in my view, achieve the most desirable outcomes. But be honest: do you train three, or even four times, a week? Or are you similar to my friend and train at the most once a week?

Make it your business to work out

Therefore, I do not accept the excuse that there is no time for fitness training. You can find time for at least one weekly training session. It is worth it... Because at least one training per week is so much better than none!

TRY 2 WEEKS FREE AT INDIGO FITNESS Test your local club in Basel, Lucerne, Zug & Zurich Register here:



Jonas Caflisch Owner of INDIGO Fitness Clubs

Photos: © INDIGO Fitness

Then I have here some good news for you. Only one training session per week can make a big difference. The biggest training effect actually takes place between no training at all and a single weekly training. This is because the untrained body responds to a training unit much more quickly than the trained body. Conversely, this also leads to the fact that the increase in output, for example, from four weekly units to five is very small.

REACH THE GROWING INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY! Publish your events 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@ or call +41 (0) 58 356 16 27




L AYOUT PARTNERS Thank you to our 10 layout partners for allowing us to publish the quarterly Hello Switzerland Magazine. Asian Express Shanghai – Asya International Movers Chess Hanley's Sydney – The Family Movers Trafimar Relocation Services Mexico Franzosini Milan – Transportes Fink Rio de Janeiro

Have you ever wondered how you could break free from those behavioural patterns that are holding you back, or how you could reach your true potential? Take advantage of this great opportunity today as I complete my certification. Prices start at 80 CHF a session

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Working techniques

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Kindergarten / Primary School Bürgerliches Waisenhaus Theodorskirchplatz 7, 4058 Basel Phone +41 (0)61 683 96 01 E-Mail: Secondary School (all levels) Wildensteinerhof St. Alban-Vorstadt 32, 4052 Basel Phone +41 (0)61 278 98 88 E-Mail:


A must for every newcomer “I’ve got a job in Switzerland and am taking my family with me. How can I protect myself in case I’m unable to work?” Thomas Kohler and Martin Baggenstos are both advisors for newcomers to Switzerland. They deal with this and many other questions about insurance and pensions almost every day. With questions like these, it is important to completely clarify the needs and the actual situation involved. Earning disability resulting from an accident or illness: a significant difference In the case of earning disability resulting from an accident, benefits from disability insurance (IV/AI), accident insurance (UV/AA) and the pension fund may be claimed. These usually cover at least 80% of your annual income, up to a maximum of CHF 148,200. Many newcomers – and some HR managers – do not realize that cover in the first few years is relatively modest, particularly in the case of earning disability resulting from illness. In these cases only the disability insurance and the pension fund would pay a pension. And in the first year of employment the employer is only obliged to continue paying a salary for three weeks. For this reason, several employers take out collective daily benefits insurance for their employees so that in the event of illness at least 80% of the salary will continue to be paid for two years. Thereafter, newcomers are only entitled to a minimum disability pension and benefits from the pension fund. However, as several pension funds make their benefits dependent on the saved capital, this pension is usually not enough to cover ongoing costs.

CONNECT WITH SPECIALISED ADVISORS Thomas Kohler and Martin Baggenstos are insurance and pension advisors. They work at Helvetia’s Schwyz-Uri general agency and specialize in advising newcomers.

Martin Baggenstos +41 58 280 64 73

HELVETIA INSURANCE: A COMPREHENSIVE RANGE Helvetia Insurance has been one of Switzerland’s leading insurance companies for over 150 years. Helvetia offers customized solutions for a wide variety of insurance needs including private pensions or occupational benefits, indemnity insurance and mortgages. Find out more here:

Both advisors therefore recommend that their customers “should obtain information from their HR office about earning disability benefits. With this information we can then – together with the customer – estimate the additional need for benefits and offer them an insurance solution.” This type of solution also includes partners whose main role is looking after the family.

GET SWISS INSURANCE RIGHT Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals 30


Thomas Kohler +41 58 280 64 78

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

Leisure in Switzerland. Discover Switzerland with RailAway. Purchase the RailAway combined offers at any railway station or online at



Photo: Trübsee


* E.g. combined offer «Rochers-de-Naye near Montreux»: public transport fares (20%) to Montreux, return cog railway (20%) Montreux–Rochers-de-Naye. Valid until 31 October 2017.

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

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Berlitz Zug +41 41 560 00 16

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Hello Switzerland Issue 2/2017  

The perfect magazine for Switzerland's international community. Read articles that contain important and useful information about topics suc...

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