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Forums in Geneva > Geneva > What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome
 
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What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome

Hi all,


My husband and I are looking at relocating to Geneva later this Spring from the U.S. I've been doing research on living there, and have been thankful for the knowledge on this site and on other expat focused sites. Even with lots of other international experience, I do find myself every now and again discovering things I didn't even think to investigate: For example, kitchens that don't come with applicance (really?) or fees for a basic banking account (yikes!). For those you who have relocated to Geneva, especially with a U.S. perspective, what did you uncover that was an unexpected difference about living in Geneva or something you wished you had known before relocating?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

The text you are quoting:

Hi all,


My husband and I are looking at relocating to Geneva later this Spring from the U.S. I've been doing research on living there, and have been thankful for the knowledge on this site and on other expat focused sites. Even with lots of other international experience, I do find myself every now and again discovering things I didn't even think to investigate: For example, kitchens that don't come with applicance (really?) or fees for a basic banking account (yikes!). For those you who have relocated to Geneva, especially with a U.S. perspective, what did you uncover that was an unexpected difference about living in Geneva or something you wished you had known before relocating?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


Sarah MMar 17, 2017 @ 15:13
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Re: What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome
Post 1

Some small things:


Laundry is usually a communal affair, with apartment residents rotating laundry shifts. 

Laundry detergent doesn't come with measuring cups like in the U.S. I have observed many people guesstimating how much detergent they need for their laundry.


Windows do not have insect screens.


Stores close early. UBS (bank) closes at 4:30 PM on weekdays. Stores at the airport and Cornavin train station open for longer, usually. 

You need "assurance civil" as a tenant (it's mandatory under Swiss law). 

The text you are quoting:

Some small things:


Laundry is usually a communal affair, with apartment residents rotating laundry shifts. 

Laundry detergent doesn't come with measuring cups like in the U.S. I have observed many people guesstimating how much detergent they need for their laundry.


Windows do not have insect screens.


Stores close early. UBS (bank) closes at 4:30 PM on weekdays. Stores at the airport and Cornavin train station open for longer, usually. 

You need "assurance civil" as a tenant (it's mandatory under Swiss law). 


Justin C, Mar 17, 2017 @ 20:31
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Re: What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome
Post 2

Sarah, you're in for a huge change from your american life and lifestyle.


 


i'll leave it at that...it will take time getting used to.

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Sarah, you're in for a huge change from your american life and lifestyle.


 


i'll leave it at that...it will take time getting used to.


Catherine s, Mar 17, 2017 @ 22:54
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Post 3

I agree. Probably so much that it would be difficult to cover in thIs sort of venue. 

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I agree. Probably so much that it would be difficult to cover in thIs sort of venue. 


intlrep1, Mar 18, 2017 @ 10:37
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Post 4

I agree with Catherine and Intlrep1 in general, but just how much and in what ways depends on where in the US you come from and what your lifestyle was there, and most of all, what is important for you. When I moved here 10 years ago, a colleague told me it was "sooooo boring" here. "What else is there to do but hiking, and skiing" and he left out sailing, great music and theatre (but you need to learn French), Jazz festivals at Montreux and Vienne, summer music concerts, TV with no or little commercials, easy access to European cities and historical sites. It all depends on what you value.


It will be different indeed. But it is also an opportunity to reassess, for example, if you really need to do shopping on Sundays.... or if you appreciate the quiet and calm once a week.


You should also be aware that, even though both Switzerland and France are different from the US, you have a choice between life in Geneva or in neighboring small French towns -with lower prices, great quality of life- and easy access to Geneva. The culture is different in France than in Switzerland and hence so is daily life. No fees for your bank account. Kitchens without appliances? Are you kidding? I mean, kitchens in France, where food is serious business? Cheese that tastes like something, made with "live" milk. Affordable wine, great fruits and vegetables year round. Bread that tastes of bread.


So, one unexpected difference I found about working in Geneva, is that I could live in France.

The text you are quoting:

I agree with Catherine and Intlrep1 in general, but just how much and in what ways depends on where in the US you come from and what your lifestyle was there, and most of all, what is important for you. When I moved here 10 years ago, a colleague told me it was "sooooo boring" here. "What else is there to do but hiking, and skiing" and he left out sailing, great music and theatre (but you need to learn French), Jazz festivals at Montreux and Vienne, summer music concerts, TV with no or little commercials, easy access to European cities and historical sites. It all depends on what you value.


It will be different indeed. But it is also an opportunity to reassess, for example, if you really need to do shopping on Sundays.... or if you appreciate the quiet and calm once a week.


You should also be aware that, even though both Switzerland and France are different from the US, you have a choice between life in Geneva or in neighboring small French towns -with lower prices, great quality of life- and easy access to Geneva. The culture is different in France than in Switzerland and hence so is daily life. No fees for your bank account. Kitchens without appliances? Are you kidding? I mean, kitchens in France, where food is serious business? Cheese that tastes like something, made with "live" milk. Affordable wine, great fruits and vegetables year round. Bread that tastes of bread.


So, one unexpected difference I found about working in Geneva, is that I could live in France.


JR M, Mar 18, 2017 @ 15:52
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Re: What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome
Post 5

Hi there! I am a Texan living in Geneva, and it is very different. i would say it is very hard to find a decent apartment within a budget. Our place came with appliances but we had to install all light fixtures-that is typical. It is much cheaper to live in France, but my husbands company says he must live in Geneva ( even though he is French). It is very quiet here but if you look for things to do you will find them. even though people told me how expensive this city is I still wasn't prepared. So, fair warning, it is expensive!!!! Health care is especially pricey. Hope this helps! 

The text you are quoting:

Hi there! I am a Texan living in Geneva, and it is very different. i would say it is very hard to find a decent apartment within a budget. Our place came with appliances but we had to install all light fixtures-that is typical. It is much cheaper to live in France, but my husbands company says he must live in Geneva ( even though he is French). It is very quiet here but if you look for things to do you will find them. even though people told me how expensive this city is I still wasn't prepared. So, fair warning, it is expensive!!!! Health care is especially pricey. Hope this helps! 


Shell M, Mar 19, 2017 @ 18:52
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Re: What's different in Geneva? American perspectives welcome
Post 6

Here are some good insights on what it is like to live in Geneva:


 


https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-live-in-Geneva-Switzerland


 


 


 

The text you are quoting:

Here are some good insights on what it is like to live in Geneva:


 


https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-live-in-Geneva-Switzerland


 


 


 


Liga E, Mar 20, 2017 @ 09:04
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