Whether you're already living or working in Switzerland or just thinking about it - this is THE BOOK for you. Forget about those glossy guide books, excellent though they are for tourists; this book was written especially with you in mind and is worth its weight in Emmental cheese (and not just the holes!). Furthermore, this fully revised and updated 15th edition is printed in colour. Living and Working in Switzerland has been written to meet the needs of anyone wishing to know the essentials of Swiss life - however long your intended stay, you'll find the information contained in this book invaluable. In contrast to the wealth of information provided by Switzerland Tourism, reliable and up-to-date information specifically intended for foreigners living and working in Switzerland isn't so easy to find - particularly in English. Our aim in publishing this book was to help fill this void and provide the comprehensive, practical information necessary for a relatively trouble-free life. You may have visited Switzerland as a tourist, but living and working there's a different matter altogether.
Adjusting to a different environment and culture and making a home in any foreign country can be a traumatic and stressful experience - and Switzerland is no exception. Living and Working in Switzerland is a comprehensive handbook on a wide range of everyday subjects and represents the most up-to-date source of general information available to foreigners in Switzerland. It isn't, however, simply a catalogue of dry facts and figures, but a practical and entertaining look at life. Adjusting to life in a new country is a continuous process, and although this book will help reduce your novice phase and minimise the frustrations, it doesn't contain all the answers (most of us don't even know the right questions to ask!). What it will do, however. is help you make informed decisions and calculated judgements, instead of uneducated guesses and costly mistakes. Most importantly, it will help save you time, trouble and money, and repay your investment many times over. Although you may find some of the information a bit daunting, don't be discouraged. Most problems occur only once and fade into insignificance after a short time (as you face the next half a dozen - ).
Most foreigners in Switzerland would agree that, all things considered, they love living there. A period spent in Switzerland is a wonderful way to enrich your life, broaden your horizons, and, with any luck (and some hard work) you may even make your fortune. I trust this book will help you avoid the pitfalls of life in Switzerland and smooth your way to a happy and rewarding future in your new home.
David Hampshire's career has taken him around the world and he has lived and worked in many countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Panama, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. He is an authority on living, working and buying property abroad, and is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 titles. David lived in Switzerland in the '80s and '90s and visits the country frequently. He now divides his time between Bath and London in England.
1. FINDING A JOB Switzerland & the European Union Seasonal jobs Permanent positions Job applications Written applications Working illegally Salaries Contract jobs Self-employment Trainees Au pairs Languages 2. EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS Employment contracts Salary & benefits Working hours Holidays & leave Insurance Retirement & pensions Other conditions 3. PERMITS & VISAS Visas Work permits Residence permits Dependants Part-time workers Students Non-employed foreign residents Permit renewal & cancellation Leave of absence Changing jobs 4. ARRIVAL Schengen agreement Border control Customs Motorway tax Registration Church tax Embassy registration Finding help Checklists 5. ACCOMMODATION Location Rented accommodation Buying property Extra costs Garage or parking space House rules Keys Removals Utilities Waste disposal Home help 6. POSTAL SERVICES Business hours Letter post Parcel post Mail collection Change of address Paying bills 7. TELECOMMUNICATIONS Installation & registration Using the telephone Charges International calls Directories Mobile phones Public telephones Moving or leaving Switzerland Emergency numbers Service numbers The internet 8. TELEVISION & RADIO Television Radio 9. EDUCATION State or private school? State schools Private schools Holiday camps Apprenticeships Higher education Further education Language schools Day & evening classes 10. PUBLIC TRANSPORT Trains Buses & trams Ferries Cable cars & mountain railways Airline services Timetables Taxis 11. MOTORING Car importation Buying a car Serviceability test Exhaust test Car registration Selling a car Driving licence Car insurance Road tax General road rules Swiss drivers Winter driving Motorcycles Car documents Accidents Drinking, drugs & driving Car theft Petrol Garages Speed limits Road maps Car hire Motoring organisations Parking Pedestrian road rules Motoring abroad 12. HEALTH Emergencies Accidents Doctors Medicines Hospitals & clinics Childbirth Dentists Opticians Home care services Spas Counselling & social services AIDS & HIV Births & deaths 13. INSURANCE Insurance companies Insurance contracts Social security system Accident insurance Salary insurance Unemployment insurance Health insurance Household insurance Private liability insurance Dental insurance Life & annuity insurance Personal effects insurance Holiday & travel insurance 14. FINANCE Cost of living Swiss currency Importing & exporting money Banks Loans & overdrafts Credit cards Income tax Federal withholding tax Wealth tax Capital gains tax Inheritance & gift tax Wills Value added tax 15. LEISURE Tourist offices Hotels Self-catering accommodation Caravanning & camping Youth hostels Museums & art galleries Cinemas Theatre, opera & ballet Concerts Social clubs Discotheques & night-clubs Casinos Bars & cafes Restaurants Libraries 16. SPORTS Aerial sports Cycling Fishing Golf Hiking Mountaineering & caving Racket sports Running Skiing & snowboarding Ski variations & other winter sports Swimming Watersports Other sports 17. SHOPPING Shopping hours Shopping centres & markets Supermarkets Department & chain stores Newspapers, magazines & books Furniture & furnishings Household goods & appliances Laundry & dry cleaning Second-hand bargains Factory outlets Home shopping Internet shopping Shopping abroad Emergency rations Receipts Consumer associations 18. ODDS & ENDS Alarms Business hours Children Citizenship Climate Crime Economy & trade Geography Government Legal advice Military service Pets Police Population Referendums Religion Smoking Social customs Time difference Tipping Toilets 19. THE SWISS 20. MOVING HOUSE OR LEAVING SWITZERLAND Moving house within Switzerland Leaving Switzerland APPENDICES Appendix A: Useful addresses Appendix B: Further reading Appendix C: Useful websites Appendix D: Weights & measures Appendix E: Maps INDEX