No Place like Swiss. Make Your Move.

If you read my previous post about “The Best Country Brand” and FutureBrand’s latest Country Branded Index (CBI), why not consider a move to Switzerland? Remember, this country is geared around its people and their needs and aims to create an emotional and cohesive connection. Ultimately, my post displayed the branded identity that Switzerland brings to the table other than their authentic and resilient international Swiss exports. So, with new business opportunities and the Swiss image, how else can one market a country? In my opinion, a big part would be a game plan for what to expect with migration.

Additionally, I believe it’s inherent to recognize and understand what non-citizens have to go through. So, for the lists below, I encourage you to read through the list below so as to give a better perspective of the laundry list migrants must undergo to live in another country.

Swiss, switzerland, mountains, water, sea, blue, grassy

An aerial view from the foot of the Swiss Alps.

In order to migrate, I believe non-citizens must acknowledge how to actually transition from their rooted cultures to the land within the Swiss borders. Through articles prescribed by Expatica.com, a Swiss-driven news source, I discovered the best ways for non-natives to move to Switzerland.

The Top ‘Must Knows’ Before moving to Switzerland

1. New Licenses

If your license is foreign to Switzerland, the country still recognizes your native license and will allow most to drive for up to 12 months with their existing license. Also, the license must have been issued by a competent authority abroad. According to Expatica.com, it must be valid and have been acquired lawfully. Lastly, the owner must be old enough to hold a Swiss license in the same category (18 for cars).

swiss, license, switzerland
2. Physically Moving: Overseas Shipping
According to Expatica’s forum, “When moving to Switzerland, there are three possibilities: leave with noting, leave with something, or leave with everything.” More guidelines to consider follows:
  • Hire a relocation company, or prepare for a full-time job.
  • Apparently, not hiring a company to take care of your paperwork, moving to another country can become a full-time job. “If you want to do this on your own, get ready to spend several weeks calling companies for quotes and filling out paperwork for customs, port documents, insurance and more,” says one Expatica editor who moved her household belongings overseas by sea container.
  • You definitely need insurance. With the rare occurrence of a storm, insurance will cover the entire loss of the container for the arrangement.
Swiss, cargo, barge, water, Atlantic, storage
3. Electricity, phone, T.V., and Internet
When renting a house, utilities are usually excluded from the monthly rent. Apartments, however, commonly include heating and hot water in the rent.
To set up Internet or telephone services, make sure you provide a copy of a residence permit (or other photo ID) and be sure you’re ready for a one-time connection payment. The service can usually be installed within a few days.
Mobile phones can be paid with a one year to two year subscription or by prepaid card. Some providers have facilities for recharging the card at train ticket dispensers, the post office or ATMs.
prongs, electricity, chord, electric, power
The Swiss pay a TV tax and radio tax. The annual cost allows an unlimited access to t.v. and radio programs. Not paying may result in fines. Swiss regions have their own respected programs. For wider ranges of programs, check out monthly cable services that allow national and international channels. Also, satellite dishes are an option if you must have a specific channel selection.
4. Living outside your comfort
  • For many, seeking a mentor to stay informed is very effective to assist in career paths, and aid visibility within the company while away and when you return.
  • Create a ‘transition fund’ that allows you to use money toward unexpected costs during a transitionary period.
  • Expect values and beliefs to change. After any new experience in other countries, it’s sometimes difficult to come back to what one always knew.
  • Consider changes in relationships. Sometimes colleagues and friends may be envious of international experience and unsure of new differences.
5. Stay positive and be happy
  • Hold on to your positive and adventurous attitude. Though you’ll face challenges, it’s part of the experience. It’s important to remember the reasons one moved abroad in the first place.
  • According to the 2011 documentary “Happy” 50% of happiness stems from genetics, 10% from extrinsic value (income, socioeconomic status, class rank), and 40% from intentions to be happy. So, do something you haven’t done before. Skydive, ski, go canyoning. Or, do something you’ve never even heard of and play the sport that’s famous in Bern. It’s called Hornussen.
So you think you’ve got what it takes to live abroad? If you need a new environment, remember that this country aims for connectedness and strong bonds with its citizens. It’s not just the exports and Swiss Alps that make a name for Switzerland. At it’s core, it’s the interpersonal relationships that give this country a brand of its own.
What about you? Is there anything stopping you from dropping everything in the states and moving to an unknown territory to start over?
As said before, this list may not meet your current needs and desires. But, I believe it is important to spend 10 (or 10,000) miles in someone else’s shoes. Read thought the lists again. While doing this, think about others that you know that have studied abroad. Then, I encourage you to come up with ways that you can facilitate a transitionary period for a non-citizen.
So let’s be honest: The time to take advantage of these extraordinary opportunities –whether studying abroad or not — is now.