Relocating to Switzerland: How easy is it?

We recently interviewed two of our contractors, Lucy and Jana, to find out what it’s like to relocate to Switzerland. We asked what made them decide to move, how their experience has been so far and what advice they would offer to anyone thinking of making the move.


Q1. How easy did you find it to relocate to Switzerland?

Jana: The hardest part was to decide if I really wanted to relocate. After that it was easy. My agency were very helpful and prepared everything for my perfect start.

Lucy: It was very easy to get here and CK helped with everything.


Q2. Why did you decide to relocate to Switzerland?

Jana: I had a great job and colleagues in my previous company but I wanted to try something new and experience relocating and starting from the beginning.

Lucy: I wanted a new challenge and to be located more centrally in Europe. Switzerland is beautiful and people are very friendly.


Q3. What has your time in Switzerland been like so far?

Jana: I have been working in Basel for five months so far and the beginning was really challenging. New State, new rules, town, job, culture etc. However,  my company is very international and I felt welcome. I can say it was a great decision.

Lucy: It has been really great, I have made lots of new connections and had lots of new experiences. The food is great and the way of life is much more relaxed, natural and promotes personal well-being.


Q4. How did you find the process of securing a permit and accommodation?

Jana: My agency were very helpful, they helped me to find my first flat and secure a permit. After two months I have moved because I wanted to live closer to the company and shorten my commute. I managed to find a new flat and do all the paperwork on my own.

Lucy: The initial permit was easy and provided quickly. The longer term permit took much longer and prevented me from securing accommodation. If you are sub letting or letting a room in a shared house there is no problem, just be prepared that it will take some time.


Q5. What advice would you give to somebody considering relocating to Switzerland?

Jana: Do not be scared by it! Switzerland offers lots of opportunities as well as a high standard of living. Thousands of expats live in Switzerland and they know how difficult it can be to relocate. You can find many useful websites and forums where people will give you some advice.

Lucy: It’s a great move and I would recommend it. The cost of living is higher but this is outweighed by the amazing things you will see and experience. People are really nice and helpful here. There are so many expats here and groups and new people to meet. It is very easy to make new friends.


Q6. What do you like about living in Switzerland?

Jana: I like the high standard of living, everything has its rules and everything is working perfectly. And of course the Swiss chocolate and cheese!

Lucy: The focus on the well-being of people and the environment. You can live naturally with access to sports and organic food. The air is clean and you are never far from a mountain and a breath-taking view.


Q7. What do you do in your spare time?

Jana: I prefer physical activity, swimming and yoga after a day spent sitting at my desk. During the weekend I travel as much as I can to see the beautiful Swiss nature and towns.

Lucy: There are expat groups at work and we meet regularly for food and drinks. There are beautiful places to walk, shop and relax. On a rainy day, museums are open and often have free entry. I travel to other European cities also on the weekends as flights are cheap and short.


Q8. Do you have any language skills (i.e. French, German or Italian) and do you find this advantageous?

Jana: I speak German and it has been very helpful. It is much easier to find a flat or do paperwork if you speak German or French in Basel.

Lucy: I only speak English. For work this is no problem. I have quickly picked up some German to help in shops and restaurants. Most people speak English and are happy when you try.


Q9. How do you think relocating and working in Switzerland will impact your career?

Jana: Pharma industry is huge in Switzerland and there are many opportunities. I hope it will open many more doors for my career.

Lucy: I think it will be very positive to experience new ways of working, learning more efficiency  and working with people from all over the world. There are many opportunities for networking which is also advantageous when seeking new employment.


Take a look at the top 12 reasons to live and work in Switzerland

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