Bas’ experience in Switzerland
I am Bas, 28 years old and by now working in healthcare in Switzerland for more than two years. I was completing my studies in February 2017 and the job market in the Netherlands did not look so rosy, in my eyes. By chance, I saw a vacancy on the internet for an interesting job, where, to be honest, I only read later that it was in Switzerland. After several conversations over the phone and Skype, I went to see Switzerland a few months later. Since I had never been there before and knew little about life there, that was step one for me.
After a positive visit, some months of self-study in German and a whole relocation plan, I moved to Switzerland with my girlfriend at the end of July. What played a role in that choice for me was; the job security at a nice place to work (after three months’ permanent contract), the nature in Switzerland (mountains, winter sports, climbing), the high standard of living (comparable to the Netherlands) and, of course, the financial aspect also played a role. I think it is common knowledge that wages are higher in Switzerland and taxes are favourable. All this added up to convincing me to move to Switzerland for at least one or two years.
Arrangements CareToMatch helps you with
There is a lot involved in moving to Switzerland, which requires good preparation and planning. The most important things are a job and accommodation. Both are fortunately not scarce in Switzerland, although rents can be high. The rest is a matter of completing to-do lists during the process of ’emigrating’. Things like, checking out and registering with the municipality, residence permit, family doctor, health and other insurance. Once you work in healthcare in Switzerland, you also need to register with the Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz (SRK).
Living in Switzerland brings nice advantages. There are many mountains and lots of varied nature. It offers opportunities for hikes, climbing, cycling, water sports and winter sports. I live in canton of Lucerne, around here there are mostly sports opportunities nearby. I started hiking, climbing and snowboarding here in Switzerland. In summer, I go into the mountains on weekends and in winter I go snowboarding on weekends. Switzerland’s location is also favourable, with Italy, Austria, France, Germany and Liechtenstein as neighbours, you can easily get away for a weekend.
Difference with the Netherlands
You notice the differences from the Netherlands over time. People in Switzerland are a bit more closed-minded. They are friendly and polite, but sometimes it can seem difficult to build friendships. It takes a bit longer with Swiss compared to the Dutch. Whereas we Dutch are known for our ‘boorish’ honesty and directness, Swiss are more known for being reserved and correct. However, there are plenty of exceptions and Switzerland also has many labour immigrants and expats. There are expat communities and facebook groups with monthly meetings and parties.
The language takes some getting used to, Swiss German is a dialect which differs from region to region. It is not an official written language and so everyone writes it as they were taught at home. It can be very helpful to read written Swiss German out loud.
Family and friends
I have lived here for a year and a half now, which I like very much. I work 80-90 % (34-38 hours) a week and have divided my schedule so that I have a long weekend once every fortnight. This makes it easy for me to visit the Netherlands or go away for the weekend. I visit Holland about 6-8 times a year. Also, friends/family visit once in a while. So I never have to miss my friends/family for long either. I have decided that I want to stay here for at least another year, maybe longer but I’ll see from time to time.
High demand for medical staff
As mentioned, well-trained medical personnel are in high demand here in Switzerland. Should you be looking for a job and open to a new experience in your life, I would definitely recommend Switzerland.