Moving to Switzerland
Expats moving to Switzerland quickly find that clichés about clocks and cleanliness don’t do it justice. Pastoral scenes and mountain vistas transition into bustling cities with seamless beauty, in a country that’s a crossroads of European culture.
Switzerland has four official languages – French, German, Italian and Romansch – and is divided into 26 states called cantons. Each canton has its own laws and public institutions, so expats will need to research the region they’re moving to.
In addition to the diversity of the local population, Switzerland welcomes the outside world with open arms. Its stable economy and banking laws have attracted international investment for decades, and close to a quarter of its population was born outside of the country.
Unemployment has stayed down and the economy has continued to grow. It’s home to internationally-renowned banks and businesses, and several of its industries attract highly skilled expats.
However, immigration quotas are getting stricter and locals are known for being quite insular. The cost of living is also among the highest in the world.
That said, most expats are drawn in by the quality of life in Switzerland. Its public transport system is punctual and comprehensive. Public and private hospitals offer high standards of healthcare, and all residents have access to good, free public schools and excellent private education.
Integrating into the local culture can be a pleasurable experience, thanks to its collection of museums, art galleries and restaurants. There are few better backdrops than the crystal waters of Lake Geneva and the towering slopes of the Swiss Alps.