-Where were you born?
-In which country and city are you living now?
-Are you living alone or with your family?
-How long have you been living there?For two years, although we have just relocated back to the UK now due to our son being born whilst we were living in Switzerland.
-What is your age?
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Switzerland?
-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
-How do you make your living there? Do you have any type of income generated?I was working full-time for my employer so thankfully did not have to look for work whilst there.
-Do you speak Swiss and do you think it's important to speak it?I learnt enough German to get by and the local area we were in was a Swiss-German speaking dialect. If I could roll back time I would definitely have learnt German to a more advanced level. A lot of Swiss and German people are multi-lingual, more so than English people seem to be so we didn't have too much trouble on a communication front. Most of the time we would start to speak in German and would be stopped mid-sentence as the local would break into English. They made it easy for us, but at the same time this meant we never progressed our language skills as much as we could have done.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?We still managed to see family and friends regularly as it's only an hour's flight, and a lot of them wanted to experience the Swiss lifestyle. Whilst in Switzerland we drove all over Europe, over the Alps, down through Italy, to Germany, France, Liechenstein - all over the place really. It's very central, and where it is such a small country it's very easy to drive over borders and visit new places.
-Do you have other plans for the future?We've just moved back to England. After our son was born in Switzerland we thought it made more sense to be around friends and family during his formative years.
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?We rented a 4 bedroom house in the Swiss countryside. The rental costs were around 2000 Swiss Francs each month which equates to around £1500 GBP monthly.
-What is the cost of living in Switzerland?Switzerland is very expensive. However, it's all relative to the actual wage you earn. In Switzerland the wages are very high, I think the highest in Europe. Being near the German border is good, because it's very cheap there... and when you take your Swiss money over the border you can shop like a king. We would go to Germany every weekend to do our shopping and really did well doing this.
-What do you think about the Swiss People?
Because we were so close to the German border we met lots of German people, who in our experience are very similar to the British. Swiss people we met seemed to be more private by nature but still very good to us.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Switzerland?
- Positive: The scenery, outdoor living, fresh air
- Negative: They don't so spicy food... they say that it is "sehr scharf"... but it's not.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Switzerland?Try to find some expat groups as at first you will find it hard to be-friend Swiss nationals. There are so many different nationalities living in places like Zurich that you will soon fit in.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about anything related to being an Expat in Switzerland?
The English Swiss Forum was a very helpful resource for when we first arrived. We met a few people on there that went on to become friends. If you go and live in Switzerland then make sure you sign-up. Now I am living back in England I've started my own company up which is called Expert SEO Bournemouth - if anyone wants help in getting more visibility online with their business then check that out.