You want to change your life and you are thinking about living in Switzerland? I have an old friend who has done it, and he is very happy with his new situation.
In this article, I talk about 6 good reasons for moving across the border to our Swiss neighbors. Maybe it will make you want to accomplish the project that is on your mind!
The experience of a friend who moved to Switzerland
A few years ago, I attended the concert of the band Emperor, at the Hellfest festival. Well, it doesn’t speak to you, that’s normal : it’s Norwegian black metal, it won’t please many people. Anyway, I was attending the concert of this band, and at one point, between two songs, I turn around and I fall face to face with an old friend, not seen for more than ten years.
He’s a guy from my hometown, and when we became adults, our lives took different paths. I left everything behind to travel, and I didn’t really know what had become of him until I ran into him that day, completely by chance.
The encounter was pleasant, we told each other a little about our lives, and I learned that he had left to live in Switzerland, in order to make a more comfortable situation for himself than what he had in France (where he was doing a succession of poorly paid jobs). And what he told me could almost have convinced me to join him in this country that he described with great enthusiasm.
What you will find in the rest of this article is based on what he told me and on the information I was able to glean from my meetings with Swiss people during my various trips.
Here are the main reasons for living in Switzerland.
Living in Switzerland allows you to seriously increase your salary
One of the main reasons why more and more French people consider moving to Switzerland is to get a better salary. I had a hard time finding precise statistics on the minimum wage and the average wage in Switzerland, but overall I don’t think I’m too wrong in saying that depending on your sector of activity you can double, triple or quadruple what you earn in France, in net salary. This is enough to improve your life significantly!
…But the cost of living is also higher
With higher salaries, one should not forget that the cost of living also climbs. So, of course, everything seems expensive in Switzerland, even if in reality daily expenses are proportional to salaries, which means that when you live in Switzerland and receive a local salary, you can live without difficulty with this hyper high cost of living. On the other hand, just taking a vacation in Switzerland when you come from France can quickly hurt your wallet, because everything is multiplied by three, and sometimes even more in some of the most exclusive areas of the big cities (Geneva, Zurich, …).
Living and working in Switzerland allows a greater capacity to save
The big advantage of having a higher salary, despite the high cost of living as well, is that on a purely financial level, you can put aside larger amounts each month. Example.
When you earn 1000€ per month in France, and your monthly expenses represent 80% of your salary, that is 800€ per month, you can put aside a maximum of 200€.
When, for the same job in Switzerland, you earn 4000€, even if you also give up 80% of your salary to maintain your lifestyle (so 3200€), your savings are 800€ per month. While you have exactly the same lifestyle, the same job, etc.
In short, from a purely financial point of view, it is really interesting to move to Switzerland.
Moving to Switzerland: an easy move
Switzerland being a border country, it is very easy to set up a move to this country. This is especially true if you live in the south-eastern part of France. The professionals are used to this type of request, and the formalities are not complicated.
Before choosing to move to Switzerland, I still advise you to take a closer look at what life is like in this country. The atmosphere in Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich or Basel is very different from one another and it would be a shame to choose the wrong city.
This is especially true since the cost of a move should not be taken carelessly: depending on the amount of furniture you have to move, you can get away with anywhere between 1000 and 6000€. That’s a wide range, for sure. That’s why it’s important to ask for several quotes before you start, to compare the offers and to see what each service provider can offer you.
In short, moving to Switzerland when you live in France is relatively easy: you can easily make several return trips to this country to explore the different cities, visit accommodations, and put all this in place quietly, without pressure.
Living in Switzerland allows you to enjoy its beautiful landscapes
One of the arguments that I find really valid when it comes to living in Switzerland is for the nature, which is really exceptional in this country. If you like mountain landscapes, living in Switzerland is really nice: from any city or village, you are never far from majestic places, where it is nice to hike or to rest to recharge your batteries and admire incredible views.
Personally, I could see myself working during the week in one of the dynamic cities of the country, and once the weekend arrives, go hiking and trekking in the incredible and grandiose alpine landscapes of “deep” Switzerland.
According to my old friend I mentioned at the beginning of this article, even after 10 years of expatriation in Switzerland, you will always have places to discover and explore, whether in the Valais, the Bernese Oberland, the Lavaux or other cantons. It’s beautiful everywhere, or almost.
Living in Switzerland to learn foreign languages
You’ve probably noticed if you’ve ever been to Switzerland: it’s an amazing country when it comes to language. German (for the most part), Italian and French are spoken here (as well as Romansh, although it is only spoken by less than one percent of the overall population).
So, these languages are not spoken as in the countries of origin, of course: Swiss German is slightly different from German spoken in Germany (a young woman I met in Georgia tried to explain the nuances to me, but as I do not speak the language myself, I would be unable to transcribe them to you). Swiss French, on the other hand, is easily understood by us, speaking metropolitan French.
In fact, Swiss people understand us very well too, even if to their ears we have a surprising accent.
Moving to Switzerland is therefore an opportunity, depending on the region where you want to live, to learn a new language: German or Italian, mainly. Don’t panic if you are going to live in a canton where it is one of the official languages and where nobody speaks French: most Swiss people also speak English very well.
Switzerland: experience a foreign country in a familiar setting
If you have never lived abroad, it is an experience that can be frightening: leaving your home, leaving your loved ones, completely changing your habits, … An expatriation has good sides, but you must also expect, sometimes, to live difficult moments (I know something about this: I have 3 expatriations on my record, and none of them was perfectly painless).
The advantage of Switzerland compared to other countries, in terms of expatriation, is that you are not too disoriented when you decide to live there. The reference points are more or less the same as in France, including the language if you choose to settle in the French-speaking part of the country (which will be easier to find a job). It is far from the culture shock that those who go to live in Thailand or Japan, for example, are confronted with.
Living in Switzerland: other reasons
I could list many more advantages.
For example, another thing I like about Switzerland is its central location in Europe, which makes it easy to visit a lot of interesting countries without having to blow up the odometer. Italy, France, Germany, but also Slovenia or Austria are in the immediate vicinity (or not very far). For travel lovers, this is great!
There is also the general quality of life, in Switzerland, which is to be taken into account. I’m not talking about salary or professional opportunities, but about the general quality of life: people are cooler in Switzerland than in France, more relaxed. There is also less delinquency, even if on this level, Swiss cities are rapidly deteriorating (some areas of Geneva in particular).
On a purely personal level, as far as the functioning of the country is concerned, I also really like the principle of “votes”, which is in my opinion the closest thing to a participative democracy.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons for living in Switzerland.
The major assets of Switzerland are its landscapes and its really interesting salary possibilities.