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Moving to Switzerland: A Dutch Citizen’s Guide

Home 9 News 9 Moving to Switzerland: A Dutch Citizen’s Guide

Considering a move from the Netherlands to Switzerland? This blog post is your essential guide! We’ll cover everything from the cost of living and job hunting to healthcare and housing. Ready to jumpstart your Swiss adventure? Let’s dive in!

Consider the Cost of Living in Switzerland Compared to The Netherlands

According to Numbeo, the average net salary in Switzerland (after tax) is almost 2.5 times higher than the average Dutch salary (CHF 6,301.85, which is approximately €6,680.96, compared to €2,784.94 in the Netherlands in 2024).

This sounds fantastic, until you realise that the cost of living in Switzerland is significantly higher too. Here are some key areas where you will notice the difference:

% more expensive
In Switzerland than in the Netherlands
Consumer Prices 54.25%
Rent Prices 85.51%
Groceries 60.34%
Restaurants 68.96%
Purchasing Power 27.97%

The higher-than-average salaries in Switzerland will offset some of the increased costs, of course, but the impact on your finances will depend on your personal situation and lifestyle.


Look Into Job Opportunities in Switzerland for Your Profession

Research Job Opportunities in Switzerland for Your Profession
Thanks to its diverse economy which includes banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, and hospitality, Switzerland is home to almost every profession. This is especially true in its largest cities, Zurich, and Geneva.

One of the most effective methods to find a job in your sector is to conduct an online search, as many companies advertise their vacancies on internet platforms. Websites like Work.swiss, the public employment service provider in the country, and jobs.ch, Switzerland’s leading online job portal, can be invaluable resources.

Your prospects can be significantly improved if your role appears on the Swiss Government’s occupation list. This list contains professions considered to be in high demand in Switzerland, and Swiss employers are more likely to hire foreign workers for roles they struggle to fill with local talent.

As a Dutch citizen, you are entitled to work in Switzerland due to the agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the European Union and Switzerland. However, you will still need a work permit, which is usually initiated by your prospective employer once you have an employment contract.


Familiarise Yourself with the Healthcare System in Switzerland

The level of medical care available in Switzerland is arguably one of the highest in the world, but there are some key points to know before accessing Swiss health services:

  1. Mandatory Health Insurance: Health insurance is compulsory for all persons residing in Switzerland (within three months of taking up residence or being born in the country). This is known as the L’Assurance Maladie (LAMal) system, which ensures that everyone has access to medical care when they need it.
  2. Private Insurance Companies: The mandatory health insurance can be purchased from around 60 different private insurance companies (public health insurance is not available). Each company must offer a basic package and cannot refuse applications for this package based on age or health conditions.
  3. Premiums, Deductibles, and Co-Pays: The cost of insurance premiums varies by insurance company, the individual’s age, and the region where they live. In addition to monthly premiums, there are annual deductibles and co-pays. Deductibles are the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance starts to cover costs, and co-pays are the percentage of the costs you cover after meeting the deductible.
  4. Choice of Healthcare Providers: Switzerland operates on a free choice of healthcare providers. This means you can choose your own doctors and specialists. This is different to the Netherlands, where you usually need a referral from a general practitioner before you can see a specialist.
  5. Supplemental Insurance: For more coverage beyond the basic package, such as private or semi-private hospital rooms, alternative therapies, dental care, etc., individuals can choose to purchase supplemental insurance.
  6. Emergency services are available to everyone, regardless of their insurance status of ability to pay.

For more information, visit the Federal Office of Public Health or the website of a Swiss health insurance company.


Research the Housing Market, Including Rental Prices, and Owning a Home

Research the Housing Market in Switzerland
In Switzerland, owning a home is less common. In fact, the homeownership rate is between 36% and 47%, far below the European Union average, with most Swiss opting to rent for the duration of their lives.

Rental prices can vary greatly depending on the location and amenities on offer. Some cities may have a higher cost of living overall, while others may have a more competitive rental market.

If you do decide to take the plunge into homeownership, remember that there are some limitations in place for non-Swiss citizens buying property, unless you hold a residence permit of type B or C and are a citizen of the EU.


Top International Schools in Switzerland

Well-known for its high-quality education system, there are several top international schools that cater to expatriate families moving to Switzerland:

International School of Geneva (ISG)

About: One of the oldest and most prestigious international schools in Switzerland, offering a multicultural environment and comprehensive education.
Location: Multiple campuses in Geneva, Switzerland.
Languages: Instruction is primarily in English, with additional language support available.
Curriculum: Offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program from primary through to high school, focusing on academic rigor and holistic development.
Facilities: Modern facilities, extensive extracurricular activities, and resources for students’ overall growth and development.

Institut Le Rosey:

About: Renowned as one of the world’s most exclusive and prestigious boarding schools.
Location: Rolle, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Language: Bilingual instruction in English and French, with additional language options available.
Curriculum: Offers a meticulous academic program, including the IB curriculum, with a strong emphasis on arts, sports, and cultural enrichment.
Facilities: Historic campus, state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive amenities.

Zurich International School (ZIS):

About: One of the largest and most diverse international schools in Switzerland, offering a dynamic learning environment in the vibrant city of Zurich.
Location: Zurich, Switzerland.
Language: Instruction primarily in English, with additional language support and language programs available.
Curriculum: Offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, along with Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the Swiss Matura program for Swiss students.
Facilities: Modern campus facilities, extensive sports and extracurricular activities, and innovative learning resources.


Transport Options in Switzerland: How to Get Around Efficiently

Transportation Options in Switzerland
Did you know? It’s possible – and often preferable – to get around Switzerland using public transportation exclusively.

Switzerland is known for its efficient public transportation system, which includes buses, bikes, trains, and trams, and the website of the Swiss Federal Railways offers various passes that allow unlimited use of public transport throughout the country.

There are numerous car rental companies available if you prefer to drive. Just keep in mind that Switzerland has strict traffic laws and access requirements, and parking can be expensive.

Whatever your transportation preference, getting around Switzerland is convenient, safe, and enjoyable.


Learn About Swiss Culture, Including Customs, Language, and Etiquette

Swiss culture is a fascinating world full of customs and languages that are unique to the people of Switzerland.

When it comes to etiquette handshaking and kissing on the cheeks are the norm, and it’s important to greet someone correctly. Punctuality is crucial, so make sure you arrive on time for appointments and meetings. Additionally, it’s important to have good table manners when dining.

Swiss German is the most widely spoken language, but French, Italian, and Romansh are also spoken in different regions of the country. For example, French is the primary language in Geneva and Lausanne.

To enhance collaboration with your colleagues and increase your likelihood of employment, it is recommended, if not required, to be proficient in English.

By learning Swiss customs, language, and etiquette, you’ll be able to make the most out of your experience in this beautiful country.


Move to Switzerland with AGS Netherlands

From a robust job market to a high standard of healthcare, and from efficient public transportation to a unique housing market, Switzerland offers a lifestyle that you’ll find distinct yet comfortable. However, the process of moving abroad can be complex and requires careful planning.

As a moving company based in the Netherlands, we understand the intricacies of international relocations. Our team is here to simplify your move to Switzerland, handling everything from packing your belongings safely to ensuring they arrive at your new Swiss home on time.

We’re also more than happy to advise you on any aspect of your move, including immigration and settling in, using our extensive knowledge and experience to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Remember, moving to a new country is not just about transporting your belongings from one place to another. It’s about starting a new chapter in your life. And we’re here to help you turn the page. Get in touch with us today for your free quote.

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