Why Switzerland is the top location for expats

Honor Jackson, a 29-year-old doctoral assistant on the College of Neuchatel, has lived in Switzerland since 2018.

Honor Jackson

Gorgeous surroundings and top quality training are simply a few the reason why expats get pleasure from residing in Switzerland.

The findings of a HSBC survey of 20,460 expats from 46 international locations confirmed that Switzerland was the favourite place to reside and work for the third yr in a row.

Some 93% of respondents reported an improved high quality of life since shifting to Switzerland and voted it one of many prime three international locations, together with Australia and New Zealand, for general wellbeing.

For Honor Jackson, a 29-year-old doctoral assistant on the College of Neuchatel, one of many massive attracts to Switzerland is its “lovely pure options,” with loads of mountain hikes and gorges to discover.

“It is simply lovely, it is such a shocking nation,” Jackson advised CNBC by way of phone.

Jackson additionally famous how a lot cleaner the air was compared to the U.Ok. capital of London, the place she moved from in 2018 along with her associate Alex, who’s a full-time stay-at-home dad to their two-year-old son.

The price of residing is excessive, however she mentioned there is a deal with promoting domestically grown produce and fewer imported items, and everyone seems to be paid “fairly effectively.” She earns round 70,000 Swiss francs ($76,303) a yr. In 2020, the Swiss canton, or area, of Geneva launched a minimal wage of 23 Swiss francs an hour, mentioned to be the very best on the planet.  

Jackson mentioned she and her associate pay about 1,100 Swiss francs a month to hire their three-bed flat in Neuchatel. Based on the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the typical hire in Switzerland in 2019 was 1,362 Swiss francs a month.

Swiss residents do not pay a nationwide insurance coverage tax and different taxes are “comparatively low,” and Jackson mentioned the price of well being care was “very costly.” In Switzerland, residents legally should pay for well being care insurance coverage to reside within the nation. Knowledge from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office discovered that in 2019, 801 Swiss francs was spent per particular person a month on well being care.

Jackson mentioned the standard of well being care in Switzerland was “superb” however that the associated fee was a “shock” coming from the U.Ok., which has the tax-funded Nationwide Well being Service.

She additionally favored how “household pleasant” Switzerland is and the truth that it provided her son the chance to change into bilingual, studying French at “creche,” whereas additionally talking English at residence.

On the similar time, she mentioned there might be some “conservatism.”

“For instance, Alex is a stay-at-home dad and there could be a little little bit of confusion as to who works and other people will have a tendency to deal with Alex because the particular person in control of the cash and stuff like that,” she defined.

Jackson and her household are quickly resulting from transfer to Los Angeles for a yr, as she’s been given a grant by a nationwide Swiss physique to fund some analysis depart, however they plan to return to Switzerland afterwards and keep long run, if doable.    

“There is no approach, if I’ve an possibility, that I am leaving,” she mentioned.

‘Extortionate’ well being care

Paula Thiebaud, a 39-year-old freelance English trainer, additionally favored that the Swiss training system would allow her three youngsters to change into bilingual.

She moved over from York, within the U.Ok., in 2006 to work as an au pair for a yr after which stayed after getting a job at a residential web site for individuals with disabilities, which was the place she met her husband.

Thiebaud additionally favored how protected it was the place she and her household lived in Neuchatel and the slower tempo of life.

“Every thing’s shut on a Sunday, you’ll be able to’t do something on a Sunday other than go to the swimming pool or go to the cinema — it makes you kind of prioritize a bit otherwise,” she advised CNBC by way of phone.

Whereas Thiebaud believed the price of well being care insurance coverage in Switzerland was “extortionate,” she mentioned the system did provide sooner entry to companies than may need been doable by the U.Ok.’s NHS, similar to an evaluation for her son’s ADHD.

One disadvantage, she mentioned, was that the kid care system might be sophisticated, notably for somebody who works within the sector. In Switzerland, colleges do not sometimes present lunch, so youngsters return residence or mother and father have to search out youngster look after that a part of the day.

Thiebaud mentioned she arrange a lunchtime youngster care group, the place children may additionally come to be taught English. Nonetheless, she mentioned in her county restrictions acknowledged that solely 5 youngsters may attend her group, which included her personal children, whereas different areas did not have the identical guidelines.

Thiebaud, who earns between 2,500 and three,000 Swiss francs a month, additionally mentioned the price of meals, notably meat, might be costly however that she favored the standard and seasonality of merchandise in Switzerland.

She mentioned she would ultimately like to maneuver again to the U.Ok. and purchase a home, because it wasn’t “economically viable” to take action in Switzerland. Actually, Switzerland had a house possession price of simply 36% in 2019, in response to the Swiss Federal Statistical Workplace. By comparability, British government data published in 2020, confirmed that 63% of households in England owned their residence in 2018.


Sam Bourgeois, 34, is a lecturer on the College of Lausanne, incomes round 3,000 Swiss francs a month. He lives within the city of Biel, often known as Bienne, along with his spouse Katherin and their son, having moved over from the place he was learning in Texas in 2013.

One benefit of Switzerland, Bourgeois advised CNBC on a video name, was the truth that it is fairly “secure,” notably when it comes to politics.

“I imply, it’s good that issues within the establishments operate and you’ll depend on them,” he mentioned.

Nonetheless, he added there might be a little bit of cultural “reservedness” that comes with that stability.

“So I imply, once I go climbing, if I dare step off the path, there is a little bit of a ‘oh, you’ll be able to’t go off the path,'” Bourgeois defined, saying that he missed among the “American wildness” of the place he grew up in Vermont.

Bourgeois mentioned he discovered the health-care system in Switzerland way more “liberating” than within the U.S. as a result of it wasn’t tied to your job.

“Many individuals I do know hold jobs purely due to well being care, though they’re fully sad there,” he mentioned.

Bourgeois is making use of for a two-year tutorial grant within the U.Ok. however can also be making use of for Swiss citizenship.

“The one cause I might return to the USA, for instance, can be as if someway I used to be provided one thing … it must at the very least be the equal life-style if higher, which is unlikely to occur,” he added.

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