Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. As a matter of fact, as one of the Swiss expats in Switzerland, you will encounter a unique blend of cultural richness, stunning landscapes, and an efficient lifestyle. To help you settle in smoothly, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide covering essential aspects of expat life in Switzerland. From opening a bank account to finding the best restaurants in major cities, we’ve got you covered!
How to Open a Bank Account for Expats in Switzerland
Opening a bank account as expats in Switzerland is straightforward, and there are several online banks to choose from. Here are some popular and FREE options:
- CLER/ZAK (Link: https://www.cler.ch/ / https://zak.ch/): CLER and ZAK offer free online banking services, making it convenient for expats to manage their finances.
- YUH (Link: https://www.yuh.com/): YUH is another online bank that provides user-friendly digital banking solutions with no account fees.
- Neon (Link: https://www.neon-free.ch/): Neon is known for its mobile banking app and competitive services for expats.
Health Insurance in Switzerland
Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland, and as one of swiss expats, you must arrange for adequate coverage. Furthermore, consider options from reputable providers such as:
- Assura (Link: https://www.assura.ch/): Assura offers a range of health insurance plans tailored to individual needs.
- Helsana (Link: https://www.helsana.ch/): Helsana is a leading health insurance provider known for its comprehensive coverage.
- KPT (Link: https://www.kpt.ch/): KPT provides various health insurance options to suit expats’ requirements.
To compare health insurance plans, use Comparis (Link: https://en.comparis.ch/health-insurance/default).
Liability Insurance and Rental Deposit Guarantee for expats in Switzerland
Before renting an apartment, consider getting liability insurance (RC) and rental deposit guarantee (garantie de loyer) to protect yourself and your belongings.
Also, here are some of the best liability insurance (RC) and rental deposit guarantee in Switzerland, along with their benchmarks, pros and cons, and price:
As you can see, all five providers offer competitive prices and a wide range of coverage. The main difference between the providers is their customer service and price.
- Helsana has the best customer service, but it is not the cheapest option.
- Axa is the cheapest option, but it does not have the best customer service.
- Zurich is a good middle ground between Helsana and Axa, offering good customer service and a competitive price.
- Swiss Life is slightly more expensive than Zurich, but it offers a wider range of coverage.
- Mobiliar is the most expensive option, but it has the best customer service.
Ultimately, the best liability insurance for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you are looking for the best customer service, then Helsana is a good choice. However, if you are looking for the cheapest option, then Axa may be a better option. If you are looking for a wide range of coverage, then Swiss Life may be a better option.
Please note that this is just a comparison of some of the most popular liability insurance providers in Switzerland for swiss expats. There are many other providers available, so it is important to do your own research to find the best policy for you.
|Price||Starts at CHF 120 per year|
Starts at 0.9% of the rental deposit
|Starts at CHF 100 per year|
Starts at 1% of the rental deposit
|Starts at CHF 110 per year|
Starts at 1.1% of the rental deposit
|Starts at CHF 130 per year|
Starts at 1% of the rental deposit
|Coverage||Wide range of coverage||Good coverage||Wide range of coverage||Wide range of coverage|
|Customer service||Rated slightly higher||Rated slightly lower||Rated slightly higher||Rated slightly lower|
|Comparis score||4.3/5 stars||4.2/5 stars||4.1/5 stars||4.1/5 stars|
|Micro2media preferred options based on surveys and score metrics||–||YES||YES||–|
Rental deposit guarantee
|Feature||AXA Switzerland||FirstCaution||SwissCaution||3A Kaution|
|Price||Starts at 0.9% of the rental deposit||Starts at 1% of the rental deposit||Starts at 1.1% of the rental deposit||Starts at 1% of the rental deposit|
|Coverage||Wide range of coverage||Limited range of coverage||Wide range of coverage||Wide range of coverage|
|Customer service||Rated slightly higher||Rated slightly lower||Rated slightly higher||Rated slightly higher|
|Acceptance by landlords||Widely accepted||Widely accepted||Widely accepted||Widely accepted|
|Micro2media preferred options based on surveys and score metrics||YES||–||YES||–|
Ultimately, the best liability insurance and rental deposit guarantee for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. It is important to compare different providers and policies before making a decision.
Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing a liability insurance or rental deposit guarantee:
- Coverage: Make sure the policy covers all of your liabilities, including property damage, personal injury, and legal fees.
- Customer service: Read reviews of the provider’s customer service to make sure you will be able to get help if you need it.
- Price: Compare the prices of different policies to find the best deal.
Finding Schools for Children
As a matter of fact, Switzerland offers an excellent education system. To find suitable schools for your children, contact the local education authorities or international schools in your area.
- University of Zurich (UZH) – Website: https://www.uzh.ch/en.html
- University of Geneva (UNIGE) – Website: https://www.unige.ch/en/
- ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) – Website: https://ethz.ch/en.html
- University of Lausanne (UNIL) – Website: https://www.unil.ch/central/en/home.html
- University of Basel (UNIBAS) – Website: https://www.unibas.ch/en.html
- University of Bern (UNIBE) – Website: https://www.unibe.ch/index_eng.html
- University of Fribourg (UNIFR) – Website: https://www3.unifr.ch/home/en/
- University of St. Gallen (HSG) – Website: https://www.unisg.ch/en
- University of Neuchâtel (UNINE) – Website: https://www.unine.ch/en/
- University of Lugano (USI) – Website: https://www.usi.ch/en
Main Cantonal Schools:
- Zurich Cantonal School (Kantonsschule Zürich) – Website: https://www.ksz.ch/
- Geneva Cantonal School (Collège Calvin) – Website: https://www.college-calvin.ch/
- Vaud Cantonal School (Gymnase de La Cité) – Website: https://www.gymnasedelacite.ch/
- Bern Cantonal School (Gymnasium Neufeld) – Website: https://www.neufeldgymnasium.ch/
- Basel-City Cantonal School (Kantonsschule am Bruderholz) – Website: https://www.kab-bruderholz.ch/
- Lucerne Cantonal School (Kantonsschule Alpenquai) – Website: https://www.ksalpenquai.ch/
- St. Gallen Cantonal School (Kantonsschule am Burggraben) – Website: https://www.kshsg.ch/
- Fribourg Cantonal School (Collège Saint-Michel) – Website: https://www.collegesaintmichel.ch/
- Ticino Cantonal School (Liceo Cantonale di Lugano) – Website: https://www.luganoliceo.ch/
Finding accommodation in Switzerland can be competitive. Contact reputable real estate agencies in major cities like:
- Homegate is one of the most popular real estate websites in Switzerland. It offers a wide variety of apartments for rent, as well as houses and condos.
- ImmoScout24 is another popular real estate website in Switzerland. It offers a similar range of properties to Homegate, but it also has a wider international reach.
- Comparis is a comparison website that allows you to compare prices of apartments from different agencies. It is a good way to find the best deal on an apartment.
Requesting an Extract from the Debt Enforcement Office
To request an extract from the debt enforcement office (extrait de poursuite), contact the local debt enforcement office in your canton or you can request it online:
- National and online request of an extract from the Debt Enforcement Office
- Demander un extrait du registre des poursuites – Geneva
- Demander un extrait du registre des poursuites – Vaud
- Extrait du registre des poursuites – Bern
- Betreibungsauszug vom Betreibungsamt – Zürich
Registering with the Resident Registration Office
Upon arrival, expats must register with the local resident registration office (contrôle des habitants). Visit the relevant office in your canton to complete the registration process.
To find the official websites of the “contrôle des habitants” (resident registration office) in the main cantons of Switzerland, you can use search engines and enter the name of the canton along with “contrôle des habitants” or “Einwohnerkontrolle” (in German) or “contratto degli abitanti” (in Italian) or “contrôle des habitants” (in French).
For example, you can search for “Zurich contrôle des habitants,” “Geneva contrôle des habitants,” “Bern Einwohnerkontrolle,” “Vaud contrôle des habitants,” etc., to find the relevant official websites.
Government websites in Switzerland often end with “.ch,” but it’s essential to ensure that you are accessing the official website of the cantonal government to find information about the resident registration office and the registration process in the specific canton.
Changing Your Driving License
To change your foreign driving license to a Swiss one, contact your cantonal road traffic office (Service des Automobiles et de la Navigation).
Best Deals and Restaurants in Major Cities
Switzerland’s major cities are known for their vibrant dining scenes and shopping opportunities. Discover the best deals and restaurants in cities like:
- Anibis (https://www.anibis.ch/): Anibis is a classifieds platform where you can find a wide range of items for sale, including second-hand goods, electronics, furniture, and more.
- PetitesAnnonces.ch (https://www.petitesannonces.ch/): Similar to Anibis, PetitesAnnonces.ch is another platform for classified ads where you can discover various items and services.
- TripAdvisor (https://www.tripadvisor.com/): TripAdvisor is a popular travel and restaurant review website where you can find user-generated reviews and ratings for restaurants, hotels, and attractions in Switzerland.
- Groupon (https://www.groupon.ch/): Groupon offers deals and discounts on various products and services, including restaurants, activities, and experiences in Switzerland.
- LocalDeal (https://www.localdeal.ch/): LocalDeal is a platform that offers daily deals and discounts on restaurants, wellness, leisure activities, and more in Switzerland.
- Eat.ch (https://www.eat.ch/): Eat.ch is a food delivery platform where you can order food from various restaurants in Switzerland.
- TheFork (https://www.thefork.ch/): TheFork is a restaurant booking platform that allows you to browse and reserve tables at restaurants across Switzerland. It also features reviews and ratings.
- LaFourchette (https://www.lafourchette.ch/): Same as previous link. LaFourchette is a restaurant booking platform that offers discounts and special offers at restaurants in Switzerland.
Explore the local culture, savor delicious cuisine, and make the most of your time as a Swiss expat!
Switzerland and the Ecology mindset
Switzerland is renowned for its stunning landscapes, thriving economy, and strong commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. As a nation, Switzerland places great emphasis on ecological responsibility and has numerous NGOs and initiatives that actively promote projects aimed at preserving our planet. This eco-friendly approach makes Switzerland an attractive destination for expats seeking a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
The country’s pristine lakes, majestic mountains, and picturesque countryside make it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Swiss cities are also known for their cleanliness and green spaces, reflecting the nation’s dedication to environmental preservation. Expats who value ecological living will find Switzerland to be a supportive and welcoming environment, offering a plethora of opportunities to engage with various sustainable projects and initiatives.
Commitment to sustainability
Switzerland’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its borders. The country is an active participant in global environmental initiatives and hosts several international organizations focused on sustainability, such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) based in Geneva. This international engagement further highlights Switzerland’s dedication to promoting ecological-friendly practices worldwide.
Expats in Switzerland have the chance to participate in a wide range of ecological initiatives and NGOs. Many organizations focus on wildlife conservation, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. Volunteers and professionals alike can engage with these initiatives, contributing to a positive impact on the environment both locally and globally.
Moreover, Switzerland’s strong economy supports the growth of environmentally friendly businesses and startups. Many companies in Switzerland incorporate sustainable practices into their operations, and expats with expertise in sustainability-related fields will find numerous opportunities to work in these forward-thinking industries.
Promotion of projects that enhance social responsibility and inclusivity
In addition to environmental initiatives, Switzerland also actively promotes projects that enhance social responsibility and inclusivity. Many NGOs in the country are dedicated to humanitarian causes, supporting disadvantaged communities and championing human rights.
Overall, Switzerland’s dedication to preserving the planet and promoting eco-friendly initiatives makes it an appealing destination for expats who prioritize sustainability and wish to contribute to meaningful environmental projects. Living in Switzerland provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in a culture that values the well-being of the planet and actively takes part in shaping a greener future for generations to come.
As a Swiss expat, your journey in Switzerland promises unforgettable experiences. This guide offers valuable insights and essential information to help you settle in smoothly. From managing your finances to finding accommodation and exploring the local culture, embrace the Swiss way of life and make the most of your time in this beautiful country. Welcome to Switzerland!
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