New Town Magazine

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EDITORS Andréa Cocchiarale and Yvonne Lemmer

Graduated in Arts and Education and qualified in Visual Arts, Thais holds a postgraduate degree in Cinema and is currently attending a Master’s programme in Intercultural Relations at UAB – Lisbon. She has extensive experience in graphic design and as a documentary filmmaker. Thais has lived in Zurich for ten years, the city she is enamored with and attempts to unveil through audiovisual mediums.

ART DIRECTOR Thais Aguiar PHOTOGRAPHY Thais Aguiar and Andréa Cocchiarale WEB EDITORS Thais Aguiar and Andréa Cocchiarale PROJECT MANAGEMENT Andréa Cocchiarale CONTACT

Andréa is an expat living in Switzerland for the past ten years, six of them in the Zurich area. She has been working with expats since 2005, first at the Integration Office in Frauenfeld (TG), and then assisting executives who recently moved to Zurich. Andréa has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a Swiss Certificate of Advanced Studies in Event Management.

Yvonne was born and raised in the Canton of Zurich. She works in an international organisation in Zurich where she is in contact with many expats. Yvonne has a commercial education and is studying Business Communications alongside her job. She makes the Swiss part of the New Town – Zurich publishers’ team.

Published in January 2013 by Thais Aguiar, Andréa Cocchiarale and Yvonne Lemmer MANY THANKS We would like to express our gratefulness and thanks to the proofreaders of the content of New Town Zurich who helped us with their knowledge as native English speakers to make the content easy to understand and enjoyable to read. LEGAL NOTICE The contents and information given in this publication as well as on our Internet website are of a purely informative nature. Although we take great care to ensure that the information we provide is correct, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of our data. The contents of this publication may be changed without prior notice. We assume no liability for the contents of, or for the services offered on the Internet sites listed. Use of these sites is at the user’s own risk.


New Town Zurich is a must-read publication for expats considering moving to Zurich or who have recently moved here. We know that from the moment you take the decision until the day of your relocation to a foreign country, you experience various hurdles and you certainly must leave your comfort zone. It can be challenging to set up a new life in another country, learn a foreign language and become familiar with a new culture. This publication provides you with the most important information you will need to know in your first months in Zurich. You will find advice and information about housing, health insurance, transportation and where to learn German, to name but a few. We wish you a good read of the first edition of New Town Magazine and a warm welcome to Zurich. New Town Zurich team





We could start by talking about Switzerland’s neutrality, federalism and multilingualism, the Alps, Swiss watches or cheese – keywords associated with Switzerland – or inform you about Switzerland’s geography, history and climate, but assuming that you will have received a Lonely Planet or another guidebook containing loads of information about Europe’s landlocked island before coming to Switzerland, we will lead you straight to the most important things you need to know about life in Switzerland. History, geography, weather, government, elections, etc. History

LINKS Landesmuseum Zurich Guided tours Switzerland’s geography Switzerland tourism Swiss Federal Railways

To learn about Switzerland’s history, we recommend visiting the National Museum in Zurich (Landesmuseum), which is located right next to the main station. Take a look around the permanent exhibition on Swiss history on your own or join the guided tour in English that takes place every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. A visit will give you a good insight into the country’s history and if afterwards you want to know more, you can ask the tour guide to recommend some interesting books that you can get from a bookshop or library. Depending on which country you are from, you might be quite shocked to read that Switzerland only introduced women’s suffrage in 1971… Geography Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, one of which is the canton of Zurich, abbreviated to ZH. Swiss people are very conscious of the canton they live in. Inhabitants of the canton of Zurich, for example, make jokes about people from the canton of Aargau, saying that they cannot drive properly or that people from Berne are very slow in general. There is a certain rivalry between the cantons, which comes to light especially in sports, for example in football and ice hockey. Swiss people also often refer to the three different regions that make up the country: Deutschschweiz, the German-speaking part of Switzerland which is the biggest part, Westschweiz, Welschland or Romandie, the French-speaking part in the West, close to France, and Thirdly, the Tessin (Ticino), which is the southern part close to Italy in which Italian is spoken. For more information about Switzerland’s geography, visit the official website of Switzerland tourism.

An ideal hub for travel within Europe Switzerland is very centrally located and most European capitals and major cities are within easy reach for weekend trips by train or plane. Train travel from Switzerland is very comfortable. The TGV train, for example, takes you from Zurich to Paris in about four hours. Milan can be reached for a shopping weekend in less than four hours by train, and the good news is that the shops there are open on Sundays. You can read more about train trips to European cities on the Swiss Federal Railways’ (abbreviation SBB) website. Switzerland has three main (and some smaller) airports: Zurich, Basel and Geneva. If you do not manage to find a cheap flight from Zurich, check out the flights from Basel or Geneva. You can easily reach these two airports from Zurich by train.

One piece of advice we can give expats is to bring warm clothes and good shoes for hard winters. All Swiss people have good winter boots at home and you can be sure you will use them more often than you might like. The most reliable source for weather forecasts is the website of the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology. Often, the weather in the northern part of Switzerland differs from the weather in the southern part. If the forecast predicts a rainy weekend in Zurich, it might be worthwhile considering a trip to the Ticino where it can be warm and sunny already.

This is a tough chapter. Even for Swiss people, it’s not easy to explain the Swiss government’s set-up and election procedure in just a few sentences.

Weather Be aware that many Swiss people check the weather forecast before they leave the house. Like in England, the weather is one of the most popular topics of conversation in Switzerland. Swiss weather is unpredictable. We do get cold and snowy winters, blooming springs and hot summers at times, but you can never really tell what the weather will be like next week.


Government, Elections

For a brief yet clear insight into the Swiss authorities and political institutions, we recommend reading the brochure “The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide”, which can be downloaded here. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation.

Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology Political organisation of Switzerland Parliament The Federal Council The Federal Administration


ZURICH You have chosen Zurich as your new place to live and work – certainly a good choice! And you are not the only one who has migrated to Switzerland’s largest city. Zurich is an international city with more than 30% of its inhabitants having non-Swiss passports. With a population of over 380,000, Zurich is Switzerland’s biggest city. More facts and figures and other useful information about the city can be found on the homepage of the City of Zurich.

The city is divided into 12 districts or zones and they are called “Kreise” in German. The most central is Kreis no. 1, which is the area around main station and includes basically the entire old town. You will need to know the Kreis numbers when looking for an apartment and when moving in. You will have to register at the Kreisbüro where your flat is based. The next chapters of this magazine will go into detail about life in Zurich and what you need to know to survive and enjoy living here.


Authorities in Zurich The most important authorities an expat moving to Zurich needs to know are the following: Federal Office for Migration for general information Quellenweg 6 3003 Bern-Wabern Cantonal Immigration Office / Migrationsamt des Kantons Zürich for residence permits Berninastrasse 45 Postfach 8090 Zürich Phone: 043 259 88 00 Fax: 043 259 88 10 Office for Economy and Labour (AWA) in Zurich for work permits Walchestrasse 19 P.O. Box 8090 Zurich Phone: 043 259 49 92 Fax: 043 259 51 71 Foreign Affairs - City of Zurich Stadthausquai 17 Postfach 8022 Zürich Phone: 044 412 37 37 Kreisbüro / District Offices in Zurich for Registration Within 14 days of your arrival in Zurich, you have to register at the district office (called Kreisbüro in German) in the area where your apartment is located, or – if you live outside the city – at the local residents’ registration office (called Einwohnerkontrolle in German) of the village or town you live in. Bring your passport or ID card, a passport photo and a foreigner’s identity card if available. There are 12 different Kreisbüros, each of them being responsible for its own area in the city (or Stadtkreis in German). You can find the addresses of district offices 1 to 12 at the link on the next page.


Swiss residence permits Moving to a new country is a very exciting experience, and it is important to know the country’s regulations and types of resident permit. All expats living in Switzerland must hold a permit, issued by the Migration Office of the canton where they will be working and living. There are different permits for EU/EFTA nationals and citizens from other countries. We have listed below all five types of residence permit: B: annual permit C: permanent permit Ci: residence permit with gainful employment G: cross-border commuter permit L: short-term residence permit

To find out more about the different residence permits, please select the EU/EFTA or NonEU/EFTA nationals links below.

LINKS  Federal Office for Migration  Cantonal Immigration Office for residence permits  Zurich district map  District offices 1 to 12  Federal Department of Foreign Affairs  Foreign Affairs - City of Zurich  EU/EFTA nationals  Non-EU/EFTA nationals


Withholding tax for expats

How to open a bank account in Switzerland

Taxes – not a beloved chapter, we know... Hence, we will keep it short and to the point and guide you to the most important information you need to know about taxation in Switzerland.

Once you receive your residence permit and employment contract (sometimes a confirmation letter from your employer is enough), you can open a bank account in Switzerland. But you might be thinking: where should I open a bank account?

Expats normally pay the so-called withholding tax or tax at source, or “Quellensteuer” in German. This means that the fiscal amount is deducted from your salary and paid directly by your employer to the tax authorities once a month. Your employer is obliged to calculate and pay your tax. The withholding tax is calculated based on your gross earnings. Different tariffs apply – if you are single, it is tariff A that is relevant. All you need to know about the withholding tax (Quellensteuer) is summarised in a useful information sheet produced by the tax authorities of the Canton of Zürich. The information sheet is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. If in addition to that you have questions about the withholding tax, you can send an enquiry to the tax office by filling in the contact form on their website.

Without a doubt, Switzerland is the land of banks, so, as you can imagine, there is no shortage of financial institutions in Zurich. However, before choosing the first bank you come across, try to find out what other banks have to offer you. Click here to see a directory of Swiss banks in Switzerland.

LINKS Tax authorities of the Canton of Zurich Office for Economy and Labour (AWA)

Kantonales Steueramt Zürich Bändliweg 21 Postfach 8090 Zürich Phone: 043 259 40 50 Fax: 043 259 61 94


Basic, supplementary or compulsory health insurance Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland. Make sure you sign up for compulsory health insurance within three months of your arrival in Switzerland!

You will find a good overview of all the benefits of basic health insurance on Comparis . For the compulsory insurance, you can choose a socalled “franchise” (excess or deductible), which is the amount of expenses you have to pay out of pocket before an insurer pays any expenses for medical care, doctor's visits, etc. The franchises available are CHF 300, CHF 500, CHF 1.000, CHF 1.500, CHF 2.000 and CHF 2.500.

As a general rule, the higher your franchise, the lower your monthly insurance premium. For healthy, strong young people who do not have to see a doctor regularly, it definitely makes sense to have as high a franchise as possible. However, if you do get sick, be aware that you have to pay the doctor’s bills out of your own pocket up to the franchise amount you have chosen, so you should always have some money set aside just in case. The policyholder’s age and place of residence, the insurance company and the level of the franchise all influence your insurance premium.


INSURANCE Various insurance companies offer health insurance. Prices vary from provider to provider and premiums are usually increased once a year. If your insurance company raises your premium, they will inform you in writing in October of the new premium for the next year. If you then decide to go to a different insurance provider, check the notice period mentioned on the letter from your current insurance company.

Accident insurance Accidents – whether they happen at work or outside work – are covered by the accident insurance, which is paid by your employer if you are employed. If you are unemployed, you have to add accident insurance to your basic health insurance.

From a financial point of view, it makes sense to compare prices every year and then choose the cheapest health insurance. You can compare insurance premiums on Comparis.

If you get injured at work or in your free time, make sure you immediately report it to your employer. Your employer will then report your accident to the accident insurance company, which will pay compensation for your time off work and other costs related to your injury (doctor’s visits, x-rays, etc.).

Supplementary health insurance

Additional insurances

Supplementary health insurance on top of your basic insurance is optional.

Private liability insurance It is recommended to take out private liability insurance in order to be covered for damages caused by you or one of your family members to other persons or items.

Most Swiss people take out supplementary health insurance to cover health services that are not included in the basic health insurance, such as: Alternative medicine Massage Dental treatment Discounts on gym membership, yoga lessons, pilates, or other services that help you relax Glasses/contact lenses Private or semi-private hospital rooms Psychotherapy (without medication) If you decide to change your supplementary health insurance, make sure you have confirmation from the new insurance company that they have accepted you. Whereas basic health insurance providers do not carry out a check on new policyholders, supplementary health insurance providers sometimes thoroughly check your medical history and lifestyle (e.g. smoker or non-smoker).

Insurance providers usually offer packages that combine different types of insurances. A common package, for example, is the combination of the private liability insurance and the household insurance. Packages usually have a positive effect on the insurance prices/premiums. Household insurance Most Swiss people also take out an insurance on their household effects in order to be covered for damages at home that are caused by fire, water or theft, for example. Car insurance Should you be bringing your car to Switzerland or consider buying one here, check out the Comparis car insurance comparison.

Insurance offers can be compared on Comparis.




In case of emergency, dial the emergency number 144 for an ambulance.

University Hospital Zurich (“Unispital”) The hospital is based in the university area of Zurich and is easily reached by tram no. 6 or 9. All medical divisions are explained on the hospital’s website. Phone: 044 255 11 11 and phone for international patients: 044 255 54 54.

How to find a doctor Finding a doctor who suits you can take a while. Many Swiss people have a family doctor (“Hausarzt”) to whom they go first no matter what illness they have. In most cases, this doctor can help them, and if not he then refers them to a specialist. Some doctors do not accept new patients because their practice is full, but if they refuse to take you on as a patient, they might provide you with the name of another doctor. The best way to find a good doctor is to ask friends or colleagues if they can recommend anyone. You may also ask your employer if they can help you find a doctor. If you do not want to have a family doctor and do not mind going to a different doctor every time you need medical care, you can make use of the medical service centres that always take on new patients.

Permanence Hauptbahnhof The Permanence is a private medical centre at Zurich main station. Anybody can go there without an appointment. You will get a ticket on arrival and usually you have to wait quite a while to see a doctor. However, due to its great location in the city centre and the advantage of not having to make an appointment, the Permanence is well worth mentioning here. Phone: 044 215 44 44. Ärztezentrum Sihlcity There is another clinic that offers convenient medical care at the Sihlcity shopping centre. Sihlcity is easily reached by public transport, i.e. tram no. 5 and 13 or the Sihltalbahn S4. Phone: 044 508 00 10.




LINKS Nanny and day care services

Babysitters and au pairs

Kinderkrippe /day care

Looking for a babysitter to take care of your children for a few hours or full-time? There are plenty of agencies in Zurich that provide English-speaking nannies for expat families. The minimum wage for a nanny in Zurich is CHF 15/hour for a student and CHF 40/hour for a professional.

Day care provides kids with an opportunity to develop their social skills because they spend the day interacting with other children. If you believe that this is the best solution for your family, you will certainly find many day care centres in Zurich and its surroundings.

Many families that require more regular support prefer to hire an au pair. However, before choosing this option, keep in mind that au pairs need a residence permit to live and work in Switzerland and, therefore, it is recommended that you contact an agency that can help you with the Swiss employment regulations.

Day care centres are usually open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (some of them close at 6:30 pm) and the daily fee includes three meals (breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack). Fees vary from CHF 90 to CHF 120 per day.

EU citizens can work as au pairs for a maximum of two years and citizens of other countries for a maximum of one year. The family needs to provide a room, all meals and approximately 30 hours of work a week and the au pair has at least one day off every week. The au pair must also attend German classes for a minimum of three hours per week and the family is obliged to pay for the course. Find on the left side of this page a list of nanny agencies in Switzerland. Please keep in mind that New Town Magazine does not have any experience in contracting a babysitting service with any of the listed agencies and therefore cannot make any recommendation.

Dogs: Courses and cantonal taxes If you are planning to have a dog in Switzerland, you need to know some basic rules: 1. First-time dog owners have to attend a four-hour theory course that covers the dog’s needs, how to deal with a dog and everything involved in owning a dog. 2. A training course is also a requirement when obtaining a new dog and this also applies to people who have owned a dog before. This course teaches the owner how to lead a dog, train it to recognise dangerous situations and what to do if the dog develops problematic behaviour.



4. An annual dog tax is mandatory and its amount depends on the size and weight of the animal. Contact your commune for more information about dog taxes.

When hiring a housekeeper in Switzerland, it is important to keep in mind that in addition to the hourly wage, the cleaner is also entitled to social security contributions and accident insurance, which costs around CHF 100 per year. The minimum wage for cleaners is CHF 25/hour and the employee is entitled to at least four weeks of paid vacation per year.

5. If you are planning to travel with your dog, make sure you have a Swiss pet passport issued for the animal.

Check the links on the right side of the page for further information about hiring a housekeeper.

3. Every dog in Switzerland must be registered by a vet in the Animal Identity Service (ANIS) database and tattooed or fitted with a microchip.

LINKS Dog licenses and identification Insurance for housekeepers Payment slip sample Employee registration form



How to find a flat We don’t want to scare you off straight away, but finding a nice and affordable apartment in the city of Zurich can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Zurich has become a very expensive place to live over the last few years and it seems that there are not enough apartments for the increasing size of Zurich’s population. The areas around the lake, the city centre/ old town and the Zürichberg area in particular are often out of reach for people on normal salaries. A modern two-bedroom flat of about 60 m2 in a central location, for example, can sometimes cost up to CHF 2.000 in Zurich. If you don’t mind sharing a flat, you might be better off money-wise if you look for a flatshare opportunity. The Swiss refer to a flat share as a WG, which is an abbreviation of the German word for flat share Wohngemeinschaft.

number of rooms and the maximum rent you are prepared to pay. Usually, the adverts mention the viewing dates for the apartments. When going to a viewing, make sure to be there early and try to make a good impression on the tenant. Ask for the application form and find out what other documents the landlord expects to receive from applicants. If you like the apartment, fill in the form immediately and send it off to the landlord or the real estate agency in charge of the building. At the same time inform your employer that you have applied for an apartment. Some employers then issue a recommendation letter to the real estate agency to help you get the apartment.

The best way to find a flat is to take it over from a friend, an acquaintance or a work colleague who is moving out. So if your employer has a pin board where you can post an “I’m looking for a flat” notice, make use of it.

Also check out Ron Orp’s “A roof over your head” section. Ron Orp is a website that provides information about various cities, including Zurich. You will find useful information about going out, finding a flat, finding friends and cultural activities on this website. You may also want to subscribe to Ron Orp’s newsletter.

Otherwise, you can start looking for a flat on a real estate platform, such as Homegate or Alle-Immobilien. Choose the district (Kreis) where you want to live, the minimum

If you have a well-paid job and are too busy to search online for a flat and go to viewings, you may want to engage an agency to help you find a place.


Shopping for furniture When living in Zurich, the best place to go furniture shopping is Dübendorf, a town about 10km from Zurich. Hire a car or take the train/bus to Dübendorf (bus stop Hochbord) to go there. In Dübendorf, you can find INTERIO (modern, fashionable interior pieces), KARE (fashionable, cheap), Micasa (good prices and good quality), Möbel Pfister (good quality, not as expensive as it seems at first sight), Mobitare (high-end products, beautiful pieces but expensive), Tip Top (cheap furniture) and Lumimart (lamps and lamp shades only). And in Dietlikon, which is not far from Dübendorf, you will find FLY (young, fashionable and cheap) and IKEA, which has ideal opening hours from Monday to Saturday until 9 p.m. Taking out a mobile phone contract You need to present your residence permit or passport to sign up to a mobile phone contract. Foreign nationals holding a B, C, L or G permit can take out a monthly contract, but some exceptions might apply to L and G permits. Holders of other types of permit will only be able to request a prepaid contract. The contract will specify when you can cancel the subscription. Make sure you check this information before considering switching to another provider. When changing operators, you can request the transfer of your current mobile number to the new supplier. Mobile providers: Swisscom, Orange, Sunrise, Coop Mobile powered by Orange, M-Budget Mobile, Yallo and Lebara. Billag – Swiss TV and Radio licence in Switzerland If you have a TV, a radio (even if it is in your car), a mobile phone on which you can watch TV or listen to radio, or a tablet or computer on which you can watch programmes on the internet, you have to pay a monthly licence fee for the service. The licence fees are CHF 14.10 per month for radio and CHF 24.45 for television, and you will be invoiced annually by Billag.



Swiss people are very fond of their extensive railway network. The Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) website is one of the most visited websites and is extremely useful when planning a journey, whether it’s a trip within the city of Zurich by tram or bus or a longer journey to the Ticino. You can also download the SBB App free of charge for your mobile phone. Public transport in Zurich

LINKS Swiss Federal Railway (SBB)

The tram is the easiest way to get around Zurich. Trams 2 – 17 bring you to different spots in the city. The tram routes are explained on the ZVV website (Zürcher Verkehrs Verbund). ZVV is in charge of public transport within the canton of Zurich. There is also a free ZVV App free of charge for your mobile phone.

Getting a travel pass You can buy a ticket from the ticket machines that you will find at bigger tram stops or at the station. It is not possible to buy a ticket on the tram so make sure you have a valid ticket before getting on. If you are thinking of using public transport regularly, you can buy a pass at the SBB counter at main station, Stadelhofen or any of the other bigger train stations. There are different passes available and the SBB staff will explain all the options (Zurich city only, the whole canton of Zurich, all Switzerland, etc.). Check with your employer first if they contribute to your public transport pass – many big companies in Zurich do.

SBB App Zürcher Verkehrs Verbund (ZVV) ZVV App

Again, you can plan your journey within Zurich by using either the SBB timetable or the one on the ZVV website, whatever suits you best. Tickets cover transportation by tram, train, bus and boat (Limmatschiff and Zürichseeschifffahrt).

For train travel outside the city or the canton of Zurich, it is advisable to get a half-price pass (Halbtaxabo), which costs CHF 165/year and allows you to travel throughout Switzerland for half the regular price. If you travel twice a year to the Ticino, for example, you will already have got your money’s worth from the half-price pass.


Mobility “Car sharing is the clever way to be mobile” according to Swiss car-sharing company Mobility. You have access to 2,600 cars all over the country if you sign up for Mobility membership. Most of the cars are located in central spots like train stations. The rental fee depends on the model of the car (the better and bigger the car, the more expensive), the duration of the rental and the distance you drive. You are billed after the rental, and you get an invoice from Mobility once a month if you have used the service. However, you can also calculate the approximate cost of a rental on their website before making a reservation. Fuel, car service costs and insurance are all included in the price. If you don’t need a car regularly, Mobility is an ideal way of having access to a car without having to bother about car insurance, parking and fuel. You can get a four-month trial subscription to find out if Mobility is worthwhile for you. Buying a bike Getting around by bike in Zurich is very convenient. Just beware of the trams and tram tracks! You can buy a cheap second-hand bike at one of the bike markets (called “Velobörse”), which usually take place in spring and summer. Check out the Pro Velo Zürich website for dates. If you want to buy a brand new bike, have a look online by searching for bike shops in and around Zurich. There are plenty of small bicycle shops that sell all kinds of bikes. Bigger sports stores also sell bicycles at good prices. LINKS: Mobility Pro Velo Zürich



Subscribing to magazines from home

International TV channels

Nowadays it’s very easy to have access to media from home on the internet. However, a lot of people still like to buy magazines from their home countries to keep up to date with the latest news on a range of topics. If this is the case for you, you have three options in Zurich:

Most of the channels in the German part of Switzerland are in German, but a large number of international channels are available through digital television services. Several cable operators offer international TV channels, internet and telephony. To find out your cable network, you just need to visit the Swisscable website and enter your address.

Kiosk: Most of the big Kiosks in Zurich sell international magazines in German, French, English, Italian and Spanish, but the price for a single copy is usually very high.

The most popular TV subscriptions are with the following companies:

International subscriptions: Check the publisher’s website — some of them offer very good deals on international subscriptions. Hearst Magazines is one of the publishers that offer annual subscriptions to American magazines delivered in Switzerland with excellent discounts. You can pay by credit card and the magazines arrive every month without any problems. It ’ s much cheaper to subscribe to one of their magazines than to buy them at the kiosk .

UPC cablecom: This is the largest cable network operator in Switzerland. They offer analog and digital television as well as radio, internet and telephony via cable. There is a big range of channels in English and the option to add other channels in several languages (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, etc.). Upc cablecom also offers films on demand. Before subscribing to upc cablecom, you need to check on their website whether their services are available at your specific location.

You can also check for international magazine subscriptions at Presseshop.

Swisscom TV: Swisscom TV offers digital TV as well as internet and fixed and mobile telephony. There is a big variety of channels in English, German, French, Italian and 13 other languages. Swisscom also offers films on demand.

Apps: Many international magazines offer free apps for androids and iPads. Once you download the application, you will have the option to buy individual issues or take out a subscription.

Sunrise TV: Sunrise offers TV, internet and fixed/mobile phone packages as well as iPad with TV and video on demand.


The company offers more than 160 channels, 80 in German, 33 in French, 31 in Italian, 26 in English and the rest in several other languages. Orange TV: Orange offers over 80 TV channels, most of them in German, French and Italian, for mobile phone, tablet and PC/Mac as well as replay TV. You also have the option to watch movies in English on iTunes. You just need to download the software from the Apple Store, create an account, select Films in English and choose one of the categories (action, comedy, drama, horror, etc.). Most of the movies can be rented (you can also buy them for a higher price) and the payment is made by credit card or iTunes card.

Swissinfo Swissinfo is an information platform produced by the Swiss public broadcasting corporation and its content is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. You’ll find information about politics, the economy, arts, science, education and tourism. This is a very good source of information for expats living in Switzerland as it offers up-to-date and reliable facts.




” Jobs So, you’ve decided it’s time to look for a new job but you’re not sure about how to apply for a new position in Switzerland. The first thing you need to check is the type of permit you have. Some work permits are connected to the current employer and therefore you are only allowed to work for this company. Please find more information in the chapter Swiss Residence Permits on page 11. After checking your work status, you need to prepare your application to send to headhunters or human resources managers. Make sure you write an effective cover letter and a complete CV and enclose all relevant diplomas, certificates and reference letters to your application. Cover letter Always personalise each cover letter according to the job description. This will give you a better chance of being invited for a face-toface interview. Make sure that your letter contains: A contact person: Never start a cover letter using Dear Sir/Madam, To Whom It May Concern, Dear HR Manager, Dear Recruiter, etc. If the contact person is not included in the job advert, visit the company’s website and look for the name of the HR manager.

Failing to address the letter to a specific person shows that the candidate has not made an effort. The name of the job you are applying for and where you found the job advert, i.e.: “Marketing Manager position advertised on”. What you have to offer to the company, your experience and skills. However, don’t copy and paste your CV into the cover letter. Make sure you attach your diplomas and certificates. Keep your letter brief and make sure there are no spelling mistakes. When submitting your CV by email, provide it in PDF format. Avoid using a Word document or any other format unless requested in the job advert. Provide a mobile or a phone number where you can be reached at any time. Check your voicemail; most HR recruiters leave a message when trying to reach you by phone. Suggest an interview.


CV • When updating your CV, make sure you include the following: • A recent photo Your contact details: name, address, phone, mobile phone and email Additional personal information: nationality, marital status, date of birth and type of Swiss permit Job objective: a sentence explaining what kind of job you are looking for Example: Highly self-motivated and goaloriented professional committed to pursuing a long-term career in Switzerland as a Marketing Manager. Education (start with the most recent): name of the course, name of the school/university, beginning and end of the course, location of the course (city, country). Please see example below: 05.2008 – 06.2010 Masters in Marketing The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

• •

Analysis of customer research, current market conditions and competitor information Develop and implement marketing plans and projects for new and existing products Manage the productivity of the marketing plans and projects Monitor, review and report on all marketing activity and results

 Languages: list all your languages and the level of the proficiency according to the European Language Portfolio, including all diplomas and certificates obtained: • • •

English: Mother tongue German: Goethe-Zertifikat C1 French: Advanced, Level C1

 Additional courses (including computer skills)  Interests: personal interests, volunteer work, freelance work, etc.  References: available upon request Job search engines in Switzerland

08.2002 – 07. 2006 BA (Hons) Business Administration London School of Business and Finance, London, UK Work experience (start with the most recent): name of the company and location, job title, duration of the job, description of responsibilities. Please see example below: 01.2010 – Present Company ABC, Zurich, Switzerland Marketing Manager •Manage and coordinate all advertising and promotional activities •Conduct market research to market requirements for existing products

marketing, staff and determine and future

LINKS European Language Portfolio

Popular job search engines

There are many job search engines in Switzerland, some offering the possibility to create a job profile and receive daily or weekly emails with a summary of current job adverts. On the right side of the page there is a link to the most popular ones. International companies in Zurich and the vicinity A great number of multinational companies have chosen Switzerland as their headquarters due to its location in the heart of Europe as well as for taxes purposes. As Zurich is the Swiss city that is home to the most international companies, if you are looking for a new job in Switzerland, you will probably find one here. We have put together a list of the largest multinational companies in Zurich and the surrounding area.


German and Swiss-German courses in Zurich You won’t have many issues speaking English in Zurich, but if you’re planning to live in the German part of Switzerland, it is highly recommended that you learn German (High German). This will help you deal with daily issues and integrate into your community. There are many language schools in Zurich that provide all kinds of German courses for foreigners. Find here a list of schools.

But keep in mind that German is not the spoken language in the “Deutschschweiz” and therefore, after you achieve at least an intermediate level of (High) German, you should consider learning to understand Swiss German, the spoken dialect in Switzerland. Although this is not a written language, it is possible to attend Swiss-German lessons in Zurich (Züridüütsch Kurs). Swiss German people are very proud of their language and culture and therefore it is very important to make an effort to understand Schwiizerdütsch. International schools in Zurich and the vicinity Most expats with family living in Zurich enrol their children in international schools. This is probably because the international school will be following the same syllabus and curriculum as in their home country and the school environment will be similar to the one they are already accustomed to. However, due to the high demand, there is a shortage of place in Zurich’s international schools. There are six international schools in the Canton of Zurich:

LINKS School Holidays in Zurich

Zurich International School Education levels: Kilchberg (pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, grades 1 to 8 ), Adliswil (upper school grades 9 to 12) and Baden (from pre-school to grade 8). ICS Inter-Community School Zurich Location: Zumikon (Volketswil from August 2015) Education levels: Primary and secondary school. SIS Swiss International School Location: Zurich, Zurich-Wollishofen, Männedorf, Winterthur, Rotkreuz-Zug, Tamins-Chur, Schönenwerd, Suhr and Basel. Education levels: Kindergarten, primary school, pre-college/college. Swiss International School North and West Location: Wallisellen (North) and Schlieren (West) Education levels North: Nursery (age 2.5) to grade 10 (age 16) and Education levels West: Nursery (age 3) to grade 5 (age 11). Tandem International Multilingual School Location: Zollikon, Zurich and Uetikon Education levels: Pre-school to primary school. Early years from 6 to 18 months and daycare are also available. International School Winterthur Location: Winterthur Education levels: From Kindergarten to grade 12. Early years from age 3 is also available. French children have also the opportunity to study at a French school in Gockhausen, approximately 10 km from Zurich: Lycée Français de Zurich Location: Gockhausen Education levels: Nursery, primary and secondary School



HSK (Heimatliche Sprache und Kultur) courses HSK courses are courses in the native language and culture developed for multilingual children living in Switzerland. The courses are developed by embassies, consulates or private organisations and are coordinated by the Swiss School Authority and the Department of Education of each canton which provides the classroom and teacher training course. HSK courses are offered in the following languages: Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Kurdish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish and Turkish. Most HSK courses are organised by volunteer parent coordinators. Please visit the HSK website for more details about their courses.




Out of town

Take one of the tours recommended by Zurich Tourism to learn more about the city and its past. There are guided city walks and bus tours, or, if you’re looking for an active and unconventional way of getting to know the city, try the city tours by bike or Segway, or sign up for a jogging or hiking tour.

Make sure to go on a boat trip on Lake Zurich. Boats depart from Bürkliplatz and stop at different villages around the lake. To be recommended is a trip by boat to Rapperswil, known as the city of roses, where you will find a lively lake promenade with heaps of cafés and restaurants and a romantic castle on top of the hill. Many people get married there…

Places to visit in and around Zurich

Leisure activities – Sports

On the city tour you will already get a glimpse of the most attractive places in town, such as the old town, the shopping mile, and the places by the lake and river (Limmat).

Zurich has sports clubs to suit everyone and all tastes. The city of Zurich website can point you in the right direction. Mountain biking

Nice views In addition to that, you can get a wonderful view over the old town from Lindenhof square. It can be reached from Bahnhofstrasse via Rennweg.

The city’s landmark mountain Üetliberg offers an extensive mountain bike network with thrilling downhill trails. Check out the bike trails on the city of Zurich website.

Another way of seeing the city from above is taking the lift to the 35th floor of the newly built Prime Tower, Zurich’s first skyscraper situated in Zurich West, right next to the Hardbrücke train station.

LINKS Tours Prime Tower


Hiking Üetliberg is also ideal for short hikes, as are Zürichberg and Adlisberg. If you go a little bit out of town (taking S18 Forchbahn), you will also find nice hiking trails on Pfannenstiel. The best way to look for and plan a hike is to have a look at Wandersite, where you can select the area and choose from one-day hikes to longer ones. Water sports For swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), check out the city of Zurich website. Indoor pools Outdoor pools

LINKS Public holidays in Zurich Yoga

If you are interested in learning to sail on Lake Zurich, refer to Zürichsee Tourism website. Information about other water sports like sailing and canoeing can be found on the Lake Zurich tourism website . Yoga Need to unwind? Try a yoga class. Most of the schools in the city have teachers who are fluent in English. There are classes for everyone from beginners to experienced yogis. Annual events in Zurich You may have heard of the Streetparade, the Zurich Marathon or the Zurich Film Festival… But there are plenty of other annual events in Zurich. The unique Sechseläuten, for example, where we burn a snowman and count the minutes until the snowman explodes in order to say goodbye to winter and find out whether we will have a nice summer or not… Learn more about this and many other events on Zurich Tourism’s website.



HOME AWAY FROM HOME LINKS Immigrant Associations

According to the Swiss Confederation (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft), the total migrant population in Switzerland in 2010 was 1,766,300 inhabitants, representing 22.4 % of the total Swiss population in the same year. Most of the immigrants come from the European Union (EU27) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and the top three nationalities are: German, Italian and Portuguese. The situation in the city of Zurich is not different. The foreign population in 2011 was 121,017, representing 165 nationalities. The largest immigrant group in Zurich is from Germany, followed by Italy and Portugal. The top ten immigrant groups in Zurich are: 1 Germany 2. Italy 3. Portugal 4. Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo 5. Spain 6. Austria 7. Turkey 8. Great Britain 9. France 10. USA

31,124 13,144 8,225

7,772 4,844 4,251 3,915 3,163 2,846 2,096

Immigrant associations in Zurich Immigrant associations are mostly run by veteran immigrants who dedicate some of their free time to promoting their language and culture as well as helping new immigrants integrate into the local community. The associations are a good point of contact if you would like to keep in touch with your roots, meet compatriots or need to know more about life in Switzerland. These associations are usually funded by membership fees, donations and voluntary work and some of them have financial support from their embassy and government. The Cantonal Offices for Migration sponsor projects aimed at promoting integration. The main activities and services provided by immigrant associations are free advice, personal accompaniment and assistance in dealing with bureaucratic difficulties, language and integration courses, libraries, organisation of workshops and seminars, assistance in writing CVs, translations, organisation of social activities and much more. The city of Zurich has a regularly updated online list with most of the immigrant associations in the greater Zurich area.

Sources: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Migration und Integration – Indikatoren and Statistik Stadt Zßrich, BVS


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