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Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

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  • Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

    I've got an opportunity to possibly move to Switzerland for 3 years to complete my dissertation, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. My application would likely be very strong, given the application deadline is over and the project heads haven't found any suitable candidates to fill out all the positions and have asked my advisor to recommend a PhD student to them. He'll recommend me if I'm interested.

    So my question is: What's living in Switzerland like?
    How much does it cost to live there? Can I get by without knowing French or German?

  • #2
    Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

    When I lived in VA, I worked with a girl that went pretty often and stayed with family there. A few times a year I think. Her grandparnets and other folks still live there, and I met them once on a visit here. I don't think they spoke English. I haven't talked to her in about 2 years since I moved back to NC, but will check if she still uses her gmail account and would mind giving you the low down. May take a few days to get up with her.

    LINKS

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    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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    • #3
      Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

      Cool, thanks Bamboo.

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      • #4
        Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

        I have a friend who when asked said, "Dude! Do not pass up this opportunity! I spent a lot of time in Sweden and Switzerland and they were both great! Cost of living is higher but definately worth it! You don't have to speak their lingo either...english is fine."

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        • #5
          Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

          Man, Switzerland is the European country that intrigues me more than any other. I would love to live there for a few years!
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          • #6
            Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

            This news story reminded me of this thread: Time.com
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            • #7
              Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

              Sordavie, I would definitively go. The universities there have a very good reputation and a lot of foreigners stay there. A friend of mine moved there (from Germany, USA, UK).
              From what I hear the Swiss are friendly but will stay to themselves pretty much. The landscape is beautiful and it is just an hour in the car to get to France, Italy, Germany or Austria. Food is very good.
              PM me if you want to talk to someone who lives there...

              You should be able to survive without German or French although it would probably help with shopping.

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              • #8
                Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

                Unfortunately, a degree from Europe won't count for much in my field in the US. I'd have to make sure they'd be willing to allow me a double-badged or joint degree or to just get my US degree at the completion of the program.

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                • #9
                  Sordavie, there are times when life offers you opportunities to learn more than any formal institution can teach you. This may be one of those times. Don't let a silly piece of paper stop you from experiencing all that this world has to offer.

                  Or: Are you crazy? Have you seen Swiss women?
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                  • #10
                    Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

                    Even if it means I would not be able to get a job in my chosen career, which would likely mean even fewer opportunities down the road? Professors do get winters and summers off and enjoy lots of opportunities to travel when presenting research and attending conferences. So I don't think it would be a good idea to forego future job security to study abroad for 3 years.

                    I did find out that joint or double-badged degrees are possible but would require an agreement between the two universities - nobody seems to know how long it would take and how hard it would be to get through the academic bureaucracy. So there's hope yet.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

                      I have family living in Switzerland since about 30+ years and when I was younger I used to visit them every winter.

                      The biggest obstacle for you I would say is the language. If you don't speak either german (switzerdeutsch), french or italian (pending a bit on where in Switzerland you are) you will be limited since there arn't that common that they speak english (or if they do, they usually arn't that good at it). Naturally, at the university, english is more common so if you mainly intend to stay within the university circles you should be ok (?).
                      When I count, there are only you and I together
                      But when I look ahead up the white road
                      There is always another one walking beside you
                      Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
                      I do not know whether a man or a woman
                      - But who is that on the other side of you?

                      /The Waste land by T.S Eliot

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                      • #12
                        Re: Anyone living or been to Switzerland?

                        Don't overlook the doors that would be open for you from having studied internationally. Even if it takes some extra time, you will have a global experience that others will not have when competing for positions or grants.

                        My family came to the US from there, but too many generations back to have a solid link. I spent 11 wonderful days biking along the Aare one summer, and found even my basic German enough to get the locals to be more than helpful. If you go, and you should, you can pick up the language.

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