Category Archives: Blog

Would The Danish Schooling System Be Best For My Kids?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

FreddieBrown, Danish Students, Some Danish students who came to our school for the day

FreddieBrown, Danish Students, Some Danish students who came to our school for the day

 

When considering a move abroad a family with children will always want to know what the schooling system is like: Will it be better than the schools they already attend? Can they expect to achieve high grades? Will the qualifications be transferable to another country, should the family move on?

Ranked 21st in the Quality of Life Index in 2016, Denmark is a popular expat destination with much movement based on its work/life balance, despite (or because of) high wages and high taxes.

Because of the tax system, state education is generally thought to be of a high standard across the board – and of course, free of charge. Children start school at the age of six-seven, with five in six going to state school, and the other one attending private establishments. There are more than 24 international schools which tend to be filled with expat children.

Children begin their education in a ‘Folkeskole’ which is the municipal primary and lower secondary school. Children begin in a pre-school class before moving onto nine years of primary and lower, and one year 10th form. If you’re looking for a school for your child, first decide where you are moving to and then contact the municipality.

Within the Folkeskole curriculum children will study the humanities (including English), physical and creative subjects and science. Municipal International Basic Schools have been established in Denmark in order to encourage talent from overseas. They too cover similar subjects and the rules around compulsory education still stand.

Once your child has finished the primary stage of their education they will go onto Upper Secondary Education between the ages of 16-19 years old. Generally teenagers partake in courses that qualify them for higher education or those that prepare them for the labour market. See here for more details on courses studied.

Denmark itself is one of the biggest investors in education in the EU with its general government investment as a proportion of GDP standing at 7.2% in 2014 (compared to an EU average of 4.9%). Budgetary cuts have come into play in recent years but Denmark still ranks highly in terms of the early school leaving age, with this being only 7.8%. This is in comparison to the EU average of 11%.

It’s worth noting however that in the same Quality of Life Index Denmark itself had slipped down the rankings in regard to the Family Life category, which ranked it just 23rd out of the 45 countries surveyed. It came 27th within the Availability of Childcare and Education category, with 33% of those questioned feeling negative about the provision. That said, the affordability of education was considered more positively standing at around 51%.

Moving abroad is always a big step and taking your family to Denmark is certainly going to bring change. With a 99% literacy rate and a recent report ranking them number seven in mathematics and number 15 in both science and reading, you aren’t going to go too far wrong educating your children here.

If you are considering a move to DenmarkPSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

What You Need To Know About Living In Vienna

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Osamu Kaneko, vienna

Osamu Kaneko, vienna

 

As the capital city of Austria, Vienna is a very popular spot for expats thanks to its thriving quality of living. Ranked first for eight consecutive years running in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey Vienna offers the expat great restaurants, stunning architecture and prominent careers (both the United Nations and OPEC are situated here). There is also a huge number of conferences held in Vienna each year, bringing in some of the 3.7 million tourists each year.

Vienna is Austria’s largest city and is situated close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. It houses around 1.8 million of the Austrian population and has a thriving economic, cultural and political centre.

If you think Vienna could be the location for you, here are some essential facts and figures.

Language: The national language of Austria is German. The Viennese accent and some vocabulary may be different to that spoken in Germany. You will also be able to speak English here as Austrians learn it at school.

Currency: As in much of Europe the official currency in Vienna is the Euro. For more information on the current exchange rate, see here

Accommodation: Most expats choose to live in rental apartments in Vienna, rather than buy a property here. Renting is fairly straightforward in Vienna but experts recommend using a Real Estate Agent in order to navigate the rental agreements which can be binding. They can also give guidance on which of the 23 districts best suits your needs.

Healthcare: If you are moving to Austria long-term you’ll need to register with one of the public health insurance providers. They do not have an NHS as the UK does. It is the responsibility of the employer to register you with a health insurance provider, and once they’ve done this you will receive an Austrian health card, referred to as an e-card. You’ll need to take this with you when you visit the doctor or hospital. As a member of the EU you’ll also have access to healthcare with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Employment: With Austria’s unemployment rate standing at over 10.6% there is stiff competition for jobs. Some public sector jobs are being cut but there is an increase in technology and marketing roles for those seeking work. Tourism is big news in Vienna so finding work within these sectors – although much is seasonal – will be easy for most. Find more information here.

Climate: Austria has a very temperate climate with winters (December-January) hitting the -1’s to summer seeing the dizzy heights of 19 degrees. You’ll also find the most rainfall in June and July. During the summer you’ll see nine hours of sunshine in July, but just one in December.

Education: It’s compulsory to send your child to school in Vienna on the September after your child’s sixth birthday. They are required to stay at school for nine years going through primary, secondary and then higher school. Many expats send their children to international schools in Vienna. For a full list, see here.

Transport: The transport system in Vienna is second-to-none. Reliable, clean and cheap experts stress that it’s easier for people to travel around the city on public transport. Buses, trams, trains and subways are all available. Cabs are also on hand and remain reasonable compared to other European cities.

If you are considering a move to Vienna PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Doing Business in Milan

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Daniel70mi Falciola Portello, Milano , Italia - photo by Daniel70mi

Daniel70mi Falciola Portello, Milano , Italia – photo by Daniel70mi

 

Milan may not be Italy’s capital city but is the central hub of the economy, leading the way in the likes of the arts, commerce, fashion and finance.

As in any major city there are certain rules best observed when doing business. The incorrect greeting or inappropriate clothing or comment could make or break a potential global deal.

It’s worth knowing that Milan’s most important dates are fashion weeks from January-March and June, September and October. There is also an annual furniture trade fair in early April. If you’re heading to the city during these months, be sure to book ahead as it can get very busy.

Business, The Milanese Way

Doing The Meet and Greet

Whilst many of the Italians you meet will be able to speak English it’s always best to start any conversation with a ‘buongiorno’ which means ‘good morning’. If it’s an afternoon meeting ‘buonasera’ will suffice. After which introduce yourself and offer your hand to shake. A goodbye (arrivederci) and another handshake are great ways to end a meeting. Remember it’s best to start with a formal greeting until you are told it’s OK to do otherwise.

Dress To Impress

Italian’s are a stylish bunch and what you’re wearing will be noticed. Those attending meetings need to make sure they are ahead of the style game with well presented suits for men and carefully considered outfits and jewellery for women. As Milan, alongside Rome, is considered the style hub of the country, you’ll get extra points if you turn up in designer wear.

A Matter of Time 

Punctuality is not always high on the agenda of priorities for Italians who may not frown upon you being a little late for a business meeting. (We’re talking about up to 10 minutes here, not hours, which would be considered incredibly tardy). That said, it would be thought of as rude if you arrived later than the most senior person in the room. They may also take a little time in getting back about a future project but this isn’t to be thought of as unreasonable. They will work through priorities as they see them and come back as soon as they can.

Let’s Talk

Business meetings can be lively affairs and you may find yours punctuated by colleagues debating simultaneously, and disagreeing with a passion. This is perfectly normal in Italian society and should be viewed as such. You may also not follow an agenda to the letter and mobile phones in general need to be switched off.

Working 9 to 5?

In Milan working hours in the private sector tend to range from 9am to 6pm as a general rule. That said, it’s not all work and no play and it would be usual to find yourself having an  hour or two for lunch most week days. As in many cities many employees work after 6pm and at weekends. Much of Italy holidays in August so it’s good to keep this in mind when booking meetings. There are also a number of main holidays listed here which will govern whether an office is open for business or not.

If you are looking for the UK government’s advice on the practicalities of doing business in Italy, please see their website here.

If you are considering a move to Italy PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

A Restaurant Tour of Paris

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Cafeterías Nebraska, Croissant , Croissant relleno

Cafeterías Nebraska, Croissant , Croissant relleno

Eating out in one of the culinary capitals of the world should be a highlight of any trip to Paris. From haute cuisine to steak frites and the perfect croissant you’ll be spoilt for choice as to where to find the perfect meal, whatever the time of day.

Here we’ve pulled together information on some of the best restaurants, bistros and cafes the city of romance has to offer.

Three Star Michelin Restaurant:

Alan Ducasse Au Plazza Athenee offers luxury dining in luxury surroundings. You won’t find heavy meats with equally heavy sauces though. This is more fish, vegetables and cereals. All the food is seasonal and vegetables picked from a cottage garden. Cotentin lobster, lentil caviar, sea bass and white asparagus can all feature on the menu.It’s considered one of Paris’ dining highlights. For more information see here: www.alain-ducasse.com/en/restaurant/alain-ducasse-au-plaza-athenee

The One With The View:

Eating your supper from the vantage point of 400ft up the Eiffel Tower is a view afforded to anyone dining at Le Jules Verne. Choose from roasted sole, truffled macaroni au gratin or marinated sea bream with citrus. There’s also an ‘Experience Menu’ which allows you to sample five or six of the dishes. There are also 430 French wines to choose from, so you’ll be able to find something you like.

Reasonably Priced Traditional French Food:

La Cave de l’Os à Moelle has been heralded by Time Out magazine as the place to head to if you want to eat your way through traditional food, including ratatouille, fish soup, chicory and ham and tripe. All served as a ‘help yourself menu’ you can pick your way through your culinary highs. There is also a great cheese board and selection of delicious desserts.

New Kid On The Block:

For a less stuffy, but no less delicious experience head to Septime, which is run by chef Bertrand Grebaut, and has one Michellin star. The menu is changed every day in the restaurant which is more casual and distressed than similar establishments. Bookings are only available three weeks in advance so expect high levels of competition, for one of the hottest seats in Paris.

Worth Getting Up Early For:

No-one can leave Paris without sampling the best croissants the city has to offer. Having won two awards for their buttered croissants, 134 RDT is the place to head for the perfect breakfast. Their baguettes are also award-winning, if that’s your preference for first thing in the morning.

A Parisian Classic:

There’s only one name on everyone’s lips when debating the best steak-frites on offer in Paris. Le Relais de l’Entrecote  which has three bistrots across the city reliably serve tender sirloin steaks served with its famous sauce and thick cut French fries. Wash it down with one of their many organic wines.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

A PSS Guide To The Best Countries For Relocation

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Jesse Millan, Waves from the ocean

Jesse Millan, Waves from the ocean

Each year PSS International Removals helps thousands of people move their belongings around the world. We can offer removals from the UK to countries across Europe, Asia, South America, North America and the Indian Subcontinent.

All of these areas offer great opportunities in terms of a change in career and a change in lifestyle. They may also allow you to earn more money, buy a bigger home or just fulfill a life long dream.

A recent UN report suggests that Brits like to emigrate to popular spots such as Australia and Canada but also countries such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Philippines and Sweden.

Here’s a quick guide as to what to expect from the top five countries for Brits according to this report.

Australia

With the likes of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to choose from, where you end up will very much depend on job opportunities and lifestyle choices. Sydney has a thriving economy, but as cities go it’s an expensive place to live. Consider residing in Perth if your career choice happens to be mining, but if you want milder, Mediterranean weather head to Adelaide.

United States of America

There are lots of things to consider when moving to America. The different time zones between east and west coast (and everything in between) can truly dictate conversations with the rest of the world, so it’s worth considering especially if you’re signing up to regular calls with Europe. For more ideas about where to live, see here.

Canada

Over 650,000 Brits live in Canada with many finding a permanent bases in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. Many of these areas have familiar British flourishes and with Canada still being part of the Commonwealth, you may never really feel that far from home. That said, with temperatures dipping to -30 you might want to consider whether you’re up for that kind of cold or not. See here for more details.

Spain

We’ve all heard about expats heading to southern Spain for a life of sunshine and sangria and there’s no doubt that life on one of the ‘Costas’ (Brava, Blanca, Calida, Almeria, Sol etc.) is certainly appealing to many. House prices, like so much of the world, can now dictate where good relocation options are situated. Take a look here to work out where’s best for you.

New Zealand

With the offer of great open landscapes, a world class education system and temperate weather it’s not hard to see why New Zealand is so popular with Brits. The laid back lifestyle comes into its own here. According to Mercer’s 2015 Cost of Living Survey, London was the 12th most expensive city in the world to live, while Auckland was 61st and Wellington, 83rd. For more reasons to move to New Zealand, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Looking At Job Vacancies in New Zealand

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Andrea Schaffer, Wellington

Andrea Schaffer, Wellington

It’s good news if you’re looking to find work in New Zealand in 2017. An increasing number of job vacancies have appeared across a range of key industries, many of which will welcome applicants from overseas.

The figures come from Jobs Online which published its report at the end of last year after measuring changes in online job advertisements from three internet job boards – SEEK, Trade Me Jobs and the Education Gazette.

Its key findings concluded that month on month the following statistics were revealed:

- Vacancies increased in six out of the eight industry groups. The main contributors were construction and engineering (up 2.2 per cent) and healthcare and medical (up 1.2 per cent).

- Vacancies increased in all eight occupation groups. The largest was seen with labourers (2.1%) and machinery operators and drivers (1.9%).

- All five skill levels also saw vacancies increased, with unskilled jobs taking up the biggest increase (2.3%) and the low skilled with 1.4%.

- Eight of the ten regions also saw an increase of vacancies. Auckland’s grew by 1.6%, Otago/Southland, 1.5% and Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay, 1.2%. There were vacancy falls in both Canterbury and Wellington.

Year on year the statistics were also promising:

- Within industry groups all eight saw an increase in vacancies, with hospitality and tourism (up 17.2 per cent), followed by construction and engineering (up 15.9 per cent, and education and training (up 15.7 per cent).

- Over the year, job vacancies increased in all eight occupation groups. The biggest increase was for machinery drivers and operators (up 25.8 per cent), followed by labourers (up 24.0 per cent).

- All skill level saw an increase in vacancies. The biggest increase was for unskilled (up 21.6 per cent), followed by low skilled (up 14.8 per cent) vacancies.

- Nine out of ten regions saw an increase in vacancies with the Bay of Plenty (up 25.7 per cent) and Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay (up 25.2 per cent) taking the top two spots. Only in Canterbury did vacancies fall, down by 2.3%.

It also found that the occupations growing most quickly over the year were as follows, showing the percentage change from November 2015-November 2016.

- Management,  Conference and Event Organisers, 57%

- Professional, Environment Scientists, 98%

- Technicians and Trade Workers, Other Building and Engineering Technicians, 83%

- Community and Personal Services, Security Officers and Guards, 52%

- Clerical and Administration, Other Clerical and Office Support Workers, 102%

- Sales, Checkout Operators and Office Cashiers, 43%

- Machinery Drivers, Delivery Drivers, 81%

- Labourers, Concreters, 109%

For more information about careers and salaries please see here.

New Zealand operates a strict immigration points system and those wishing to emigrate there need to be able to fulfil visa requirements. This will involve looking at the ‘Skills In Demand’ list and being able to offer these services to the country. The Point System allows for Expressions of Interest to be ranked so applicants who have the most to offer can be extended an invitation for emigration to New Zealand.

Points are based on employability, work experience, qualifications, family ties and age.

To find out more please see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

The 5 Best Worldwide Locations for Valentine’s Day

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Angela, Heart

Angela, Heart

Valentine’s Day on February 14 is a chance to celebrate love. Whether you’re married, with a partner, or admiring someone from a far, it’s an opportunity to gush about the way you feel – and hopefully get together with the object of your affection for a special date.

If you really want to push the boat out, consider a trip to one of the most romantic places in the world. Either romantic in the dreamy, Hollywood sense; or in a way that’s personal to you. Here are 5 places we recommend for a memorable Valentine’s getaway:

Paris: Our list simply had to include Paris, considered by many to be the most romantic city in the world. This graceful city is glamorous and cosmopolitan, yet steeped in history. Full of mysterious nooks and surprises, it’s the perfect place for loved-up couples. You can laze in beautiful gardens, get intimate in candlelit wine bars, or wander the bank of the Seine arm-in-arm at sunset. 

Don’t miss climbing the twinkling Eiffel Tower after dark to enjoy panoramic views of the city’s bright lights from the top-floor champagne bar. Other romantic spots include Montmartre, the gardens of the Palais Royal and the Canal St Martin.

Venice: What a breathtaking place this is, with streets and canals lined with majestic palazzi, historic monuments and churches. Venice’s other-worldly grandeur has attracted lovers, artists and poets throughout its colourful history. As you stroll hand in hand with your love, following meandering pathways and crossing bridges, you will be enchanted by the classic Venetian scenes you encounter.

Sightseeing musts include St. Mark’s Square, home to the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and St. Mark’s Basilica. And no romantic trip would be complete without being sung to by a gondolier as you glide down the waterways.

London: London is an inviting city for so many people. For lovers, the city offers a blend of cool, spectacular and charming things to do and see. Impress your date with panoramic views of London during Valentine’s Day dinner at Aqua Shard, catch a West End show, take a stroll through cobbled streets, snuggle up in a cosy pub, or soak up some history and culture at one of the city’s many galleries and museums.

There really is something for all tastes in London: cocktails in a Soho bar, a stroll through manicured parks and fine palaces, shopping at Selfridges or Harvey Nicks, or tea at the Ritz. Planning a getaway that’s personal to you should be a breeze.

Florence: An art-lovers’ paradise, the historic centre of Florence is full of eye-popping masterpieces. As you take to the streets, you can walk through the whole history of the city, from the ‘Roman quadrilateral’ in the Piazza della Repubblica area, to the narrow streets of the medieval city, onward to the splendours of the 16th-century Pitti Palace.

It’s worth taking a short taxi ride to the 15th century Belmond Villa St Michele, which boasts a facade designed by Michelangelo. Lunch at the restaurant here is rather special, with sweeping views of Florence. Take drinks outside to the “Lover’s Corner” in the garden – a perfect spot for a proposal or declaration of love!

Amsterdam: With great food, night spots, history and culture, Amsterdam is a vibrant city for a getaway. Its romance is best enjoyed by taking a walk along the waterways, weaving throughout the old city centre. The backdrop of centuries-old stately structures towering, and in some cases teetering precariously, over a network of slowly flowing canals, is both captivating and calming.

If you are an early riser, it’s fun to explore in the stillness of the early hours, when a soft light washes over the buildings. But if you’re a night owl, it’s also magical to take a stroll at sunset and watch as an orange glow descends on the canals. Even the least romantic soul can’t fail to be touched by this breathtaking scene.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Where To Reap The Rewards As A Career Expat

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

 

Corporate Traveller, Business People

Corporate Traveller, Business People

Moving around the world, to further career prospects is one of the main reasons people leave home and start a new life in another country.

A new global survey by HSBC, Expat Explorer Achieving ambitions abroad talked to 27,000 expats in 190 countries and territories. Their subsequent report, which has just been published, produces some key findings about jobs and careers around the world. So if you’re thinking of changing jobs and countries this year, take a look at the information below to find out what your best options are:

Singapore comes tops as the best country to live, work and bring up children.

Of those surveyed:

- 73% of expats in Singapore feel confident about the local economy

- 62% of expats living in Singapore say they are earning more than they would in their home country.

- 60% of expats living in Singapore say they can save more money than they did in their home country.

- 62% say it’s a great place to progress their careers and 58% say it’s a good place to start a business.

- Expats living in Singapore are also likely to enjoy higher incomes: USD139,000 per year on average, compared to the global average of USD97,000.

London and New York are attractive to expats looking to boost their careers

Of those surveyed 71% of expats working in the two cities say it will boost their careers and improve their job prospects when they go home.

Expats in Hong Kong, Dubai, Zurich and Shanghai enjoy the best financial rewards

65% of expats moving to Dubai or 68% of those from Hong Kong say their disposable income has risen, compared with 56% globally.

.. that said, if you want to earn the most money… move to Zurich

Head to Switzerland where 44% earn more than USD200,000 per year, compared with a global average of 11%. Shanghai expats also have good salaries, with 30% reporting an income of over USD200,000.

Millennials want to change careers and move abroad to do it

22% of expat millennials (aged 18-34) move to find a purpose for their career. Those heading to Japan (22%), Taiwan (22%) and UAE (20%) were the most popular destination for those searching for a better career purpose.

…. they also embrace the lifestyle to improve their career prospects with 37% saying this was a reason to move. 49% say they earn more in their host country and 45% say job security is better.

Expat finances thrive in the Middle East

If you’re hoping to increase your salary as well as your career prospects head to the Middle East. The report found that the highest levels of disposable income were in Qatar, Bahrain and UAE. This allowed expats to save the most money.

-  77% in Saudi Arabia, 70% in Oman and 65% in Bahrain say they are able to save more than at home, compared to the global average of 53%.

If you are considering a moving abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

What You Need To Know About Living In Switzerland

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Viktar Palstsiuk, Geneva

Viktar Palstsiuk, Geneva

Switzerland is in western-central Europe. It is land locked. Italy sits to its south, France to the west, Germany is in the north whilst Austria and Liechtenstein are to the east. The capital city (or federal centre) is Bern but the most powerful economic centres are Geneva and Zurich. Both of the latter cities have helped put Switzerland in the top ten of Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2016. 

Switzerland is an expensive country to live in but also one of the most developed in the world with the highest nominal wealth per adult.

So what else can you expect from a life in Switzerland? Read our guide below to find out.

Language: Switzerland has four official languages. German (spoken by 63.3% of the population in 2014); French (22.7%) in the west; Italian (8.1%) in the south and Romansh (0.5%).

Currency: The Swiss Franc is the currency of Switzerland.

Accommodation: It is incredibly common for people to rent properties in Switzerland. This makes it difficult for locals, and expats alike, to find somewhere to live. As in all competitive markets, being organised and ready to move is key, especially in the large cities of Geneva and Zurich. You may be asked for a great deal of information in order register with a landlord or leasing agency, so be prepared and plan in advance. You’re most likely to rent an apartment for a period of 12 months. You may need to give three months notice before leaving.

Healthcare: Unsurprisingly health care provision in Switzerland is outstanding. Individuals pay through health insurances schemes, which in law they are required to have. This can be an expensive business but it is essential for citizens and expats alike. There are varying rates for adults, children and babies but you will receive a high level of care for everything from GP appointments to major operations. You will need to take your insurance card with you every time you visit a medical institution.

Employment: According to the OECD Better Life Index, 80% of people aged 15-64 in Switzerland have a paid job. This is one of the highest rates in the OECD. 85% of men are in paid work, compared with 75% of women. EU citizens have the same working rights as those in Switzerland. You’ll need to think about languages however if you wish to work in Switzerland. Some large international companies may not require you to speak a native language but in smaller nationals might. The good news is that you’ll be paid well. The average entry level salary is £66,671 in Switzerland compared to £27,199 in the UK.

Climate: You might think that Switzerland is very cold and covered in snow. Of course, in some regions you’ll find snow-capped peaks over the Alps but much is governed by mild maritime air from the Atlantic. In low areas such as Lake Geneva, the Rhone Valley and Ticino you’ll find Mediterranean weather in the summer. 

Education: Swiss kids are very smart. The average student scored 518 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is higher than the OECD average of 497. Children begin at Kindergarten, then move onto Volksschule (Elementary school), Gymnasium (Secondary school), Universität (University) and Fachhochschule (University of applied sciences). Most children go to pulbic schools as private institutions are very expensive.

Transport: You’ll find a vast network of public transport in Switzerland with trains, trams, buses and boats covering the entire country. You’ll be able to drive easily around the country but if cycling is your preferred option, the routes are easy to find and use. Swiss Federal Railways run the train system. You’ll need to make sure you buy a ticket before boarding, otherwise you’ll be fined steeply.

If you are considering a move to Switzerland PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

A restaurant tour of Sydney

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Nicki Mannix, Vivid

Nicki Mannix, Vivid

Sydney is a foodie haven. From a delicious smashed avocado breakfast, to a Thai lunch and Korean supper, there is something for everyone of varying tastes and budgets.

Time Out has listed its top 50 Sydney restaurants here, but if you want a quick guide to the best brunch, pizzas, cocktails and gourmet dining read on.

A good brunch with excellent coffee is not hard to find in Sydney. Think poached eggs, sourdough and a bit of rocket on the side and you won’t be disappointed. If you like the idea of some baked ricotta and Baba ganoush thrown in you may have found your food nirvana. Check out legendary chef, Bill Granger who has his own restaurant Bill’s at Bondi. The full Aussie breakfast includes scrambled eggs, cumin roast tomatoes, miso mushrooms and pork, chili and fennel sausage.

If you’re lucky enough to hit Sydney at the height of summer (and even if you’re not) the best place to get a good view, and a good meal is on the waterfront. Freshly cooked fish and chips at The Avalon on The Beach – The Kiosk and direct access to Avalon Beach is certainly a good way to spend a couple of hours, after an obligatory surfing lesson or attempt to cruise the waves. Pizza is always a great way to stave off any hunger pangs before dinner and Pizzaperta based in Pyrmont offers great tasting Italian street food and al fresco dining. Think authentic pizzas with a twist. The Waterfront Cafe at Church Point offers seafood to die for with buckets of prawns, oysters and calamari dominating the menu. The cocktail menu offering Mojitos, Bellinis and Martinis doesn’t look too shabby either.

A truly unique way to spend the day exploring Sydney’s greatest foodie destinations is an all-inclusive Taste of the Opera House tour, which takes place throughout 2017. You’ll get masterclasses in sushi and cocktail making, as well as a specially prepared lunch from Portside Sydney’s ‘hatted’ head chef Lauren Murdoch. A great one-off experience.

Unable to last between lunch and dinner, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are a variety of high tea options. A number of the luxury hotels including The Langham Sydney, The Westin Sydney and Park Hyatt offer a varying array of delicious cakes and finger sandwiches. For a more low key, but no less delicious, alternative The Gunners Barracks Tea Room offers spectacular views, peach flavoured white tea, samosas and creamy mango pudding.

Dining out in Sydney offers everything from Cantonese delights at Mr Wong’s , Middle Eastern food such as halloumi, egg plant and warm hummus at Kepos & Co and roast barramundi, ricotta ravioli and fennel salami at low-key Italian joint Sagra. Thai and Chinese restaurants feature heavily too but Time Out voted French influenced Hubert, the best of the Sydney bunch. Eating takes place in a number of different areas. So you can have a Normandy burger at the bar or share a chicken or a Riverine rib-eye in the main restaurant. All offer an excellent culinary experience.

If you are considering a move to Sydney PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.