Its been 3 months since my husband and our four legged family stepped off the plane in Zurich to begin our Swiss adventure, and there has been a lot of things happening during that time.
During this initial period my husband attended an intensive German classes, and apparently is a linguaphone, we bought a car, our cat has been treated for cancer, and we have sucessfully navigated the Swiss registration process. The above coupled with a full time job, make me very ready for a holiday; which is actually perfect timing. In Europe, the onus is on employees to take their holidays, and we are very much looking forward to taking our dog who now holds a Swiss pet passport and can travel in the EU, to discover the delights of Tuscany, Italy, as this is only 6 hours drive away!
The first thing that my husband and I did when we got here was to get him registered at the local Gemeinde (city hall). This involved presenting all his documents showing he was approved to be in Switzerland through family reunification, after which he received a temporary registration document. We then had to wait for our appointment with the local migration authorities to get his ID card issued. Without this card, he could not really leave Switzerland, particularly during COVID, so we were very much waiting for this!
We also had to register my dog with the authorities and pay the annual fee for him; which at least ensures that there are no stray animals. The cats also had to be registered, but this was done at the vets, and they were entered into a database. We found a nice local vet who speaks a mix of english and german, and has been able to help us sort the animals out, and get them all Swiss pet passports, which will enable us to travel internationally with them.
We also admitted our cat for surgery for cancer at the TierKlinik in Basel, and have been working with them to help bring our 3 legged boy back to good health. I will say that the Klinik has been excellent in terms of care, my surgeon speaks english and german, and the staff have been great. This has been quite a stressful experience to go through having just arrived in a foreign country and having this resource has been helpful.
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? well yes if like my husband you enrolled in an intensive german language course. As we were waiting on my husband’s Swiss ID card to be issued, we enrolled him in a language class. He had already started learning before he left the US and although it was hard work, he studied every day for 9 weeks and the improvement was wonderful. He is now at A2 level, and engaged with learning german, and keen to learn, which is wonderful to see!
Finally we bought a car, and actually this was pretty painless! We used a dealer to support with getting a second hand car, which is enough to get us to be able to do the trips and exploring we want to do in Switzerland and beyond. We have one year to drive on our UK/US licences and then its a simple translation to a Swiss licence. We are very much looking forward to this!
We are starting to settle in, and enjoy living in Switzerland, and now that my husband finally got his ID card, allowing him to work! He will now begin to look for a job, but after the summer holidays, after all this Europe!