Category Archives: Zurich Living

Snuggles – Children’s Shoes & Accessories

Shopping for Children’s shoes in Zurich can be a thankless task so we were delighted to discover Zurich’s exclusive stockist of Start-rite and Clarks Children’s shoes, Snuggles. The Snuggles website has a great selection of Children’s shoes, in a range of sizes, halfsizes and width fittings from Children’s shoe brand favorites; Clarks, Start-rite, Tip-Toey Joey and Lelli Kelly.  Stock is regularly updated throughout the season and items can be purchased online for delivery throughout Switzerland.  Selling fast this month are the Children’s Wellies with fleece lining and the Children’s Winter Boots. Snuggles is the brainchild of expat entrepreneur Nicola Fylan-Hutchinson.  With a background in Change Management, Nicola worked internationally before settling with her family in Zurich.  On the backstory of Snuggles, Nicola told us, “I couldn’t find anywhere decent in Zurich to have my Children’s feet measured properly, I wanted good personal service and quality brands I knew and trusted.  When I couldn’t find any of this in Zurich, I talked it over with my husband and children and we decided, as a family, to set up our own ‘one stop shop’.  At Snuggles, we are passionate about providing Children with correctly fitted, quality shoes from baby pram shoes all the way through early walking and every stage of childhood.  Their little bones are still developing and need robust support, this is why we stock the market leaders in Children’s shoes.  All our styles are available through our website www.snuggles.ch plus we offer a personalised measuring service at our concession outlet in ‘4 Times Kids Boutique’ located in Hirzel.” In addition to Children’s shoes, check out the great range of Children’s accessories, including Zurich’s only supply of GroCompany products.  Zurich Expats particularly loves the 2.5 tog GroBag for snuggly winter nights and the GroAnywhere blind which has been our life saver on many trips. Snuggles are joining forces with Friendtex this Saturday 28th September to host a fashion and shoe Apéro event where you can meet Nicola and receive a personalised fitting for your Children’s feet.  For further details visit the Snuggles facebook page. Website:  www.snuggles.ch Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Snuggles.ch Email:  nicola@snuggles.ch

Do You Miss The Magazines From Back Home?

As an expat living in Zurich, getting the things you are used to “back home” can be difficult and / or expensive. One of the things that fall into this category is magazines. If you have tried to buy your favourite magazines in Zurich you know it’s not an easy task. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or miss articles about tips for a successful Halloween, sifting through the selection at the Kiosk, HB or the airport can be fruitless or shocking when you look at the price label! There is an answer, ZinioZinio lets you subscribe to digital versions of the magazines you love and read them wherever you are via your web browser or mobile device. And we have 9 FREE annual subscriptions to ANY publication available on Zinio for zurichexpats.com readers! We have checked it out and found it a great way of keeping one of your home comforts with you. The selection of magazines is as good as any newsstand and you will even save money on the cover price, not to mention avoid the hefty shipping costs which in the case of physical magazine subscriptions can be more than the cost of the magazine itself. Zinio is a great way to keep up with your interests, in a way that fits in with your lifestyle. You don’t need to carry magazines around, you can have your whole library in the palm of your hand. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning one of the FREE Zinio subscriptions, just do the following: 

 

    1. Visit Zinio and decide which publication you would like to subscribe to

 

    1. Fill in the form below

 

 

 That’s it! We will be drawing the winners on October 15th 2013 and if you have won one of the free subscriptions, you will be contacted by Zinio. In addition, Zinio offers an option called Z-Pass which allows you to read any 3 magazines each month for just $5 per month:300x250_zpassDisclosure: zurichexpats.com has received one annual subscription for their use.

Welcoming New Expats!

IMG_2654Most people have arrived back from their summer holidays. School has started again. It’s that time of the year where many expats arrive in Zurich. For some, the move has been a long awaited one. Other newbies would have never thought they’d be in Zurich for the second half of 2013. Assuming that housing and schooling for the children has already been arranged, what’s next now that you’re here!?Most newly-arrived expats enter the phase of exploration right at the beginning. Go local! Check out the shops, the restaurants, the surroundings. Travel to the places you read about within Switzerland – after all, is there anywhere in Switzerland that will take you more than five hours to get to by train?After realising that the train ride has cost you a small fortune – unless one already has an SBB half-fare card – most people enter the phase of getting organised. This happens fairly quickly. But what comes first and is there anything you should be aware of?Register with your local council: The first thing you should do is register with your local ‘Gemeinde’ – or city council if you live directly in town. You will receive a welcome packet with all the vital information like the opening hours of the council, when the recycling is collected and where to dispose of certain goods. You may also want to ask questions relating to your pension scheme (AHV). Although the local councils do not manage this sector they will be able to provide you with fundamental information and refer you to the appropriate councils for more in-depth inquiries. Each ‘Gemeinde’ has a website. Similar to the information pack this is generally only available in German. If you’re lucky you will even get a complementary calendar and a sticker featuring your local council’s emblem. But don’t get used to the generosity… Money matters: Whether you are in Zurich because of them, or whether other professional opportunities have drawn you to Switzerland’s financial capital, everyone has heard of those famous – and sometimes controversially portrayed – Swiss banks. Setting up a private current account seems to be one of the fundamental things to do whenever moving to a new place. What bank you decide to trust is of course up to you. The big international two – UBS and Credit Suisse – may be the right option for you if you are looking for international banking solutions. Naturally, all documents are available in English. The Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) is the bank of the canton of Zurich. Each canton in Switzerland has a bank – it wouldn’t be Switzerland otherwise! The Zurich Cantonal Bank is the largest cantonal bank within Switzerland and is also the country’s fourth largest. Retailers Migros and Coop also offer banking solutions. For people who prefer more local banks that are smaller in size, check out Raiffeisen and Clientis – although you may not find a lot of English around when interacting.There is an ample amount of private banks specialising in wealth management, asset management as well as offering other financial solutions. Julius Bär, Bank Vontobel, Bank Sarasin and HSBC being a couple worth mentioning. Insure your health: While everybody living in Switzerland is required to purchase health insurance by law, there are numerous companies offering such services. So… which one do you choose? Well… that would depend on what you are looking for. Basic health insurance will cover expenses related to essential health care. Premiums vary depending on company and the deductible (‘franchise’) that is selected. With a high deductible (by Swiss law a maximum of CHF 2,500.-) premiums are generally lower, with a low deductible (by Swiss law a minimum CHF 300.-) the monthly premiums are higher. Experts often recommend to select either a very high deductible – and save premium rates if medical services are scarcely used – or a very high deductible – and have the certainty that most medical expenses beyond your deductible amount will be covered. Alongside basic health insurance additional cover is also offered by all health insurance companies. While premium rates are higher when insured privately, it might make sense to look into these services as they often offer attractive additional cover – like paying for the gym membership – as part of their schemes to promote a healthy lifestyle. SWICA is one of a handful of health insurance companies that offers all correspondence in English. They are known to be one of the most established health insurance companies in Switzerland offering quality services and have done so to 598,587 clients in 2012. Most health insurance companies will require you to state your GP practice. An English-speaking GP is located in Zurich-Stadelhofen (www.drangelacaddick.com). Check out the following links to find out more about some of the more established health insurance companies in the country… www.swica.ch   www.helsana.ch   www.sanitas.ch   www.css.ch  www.mutuel.ch You can’t avoid those telecommunication companies: Some people decide they want a landline as well as a mobile phone contract. Others may just opt for one of the above. Aren’t you lucky that Swisscom offers both!? As the leading provider in telecommunications within Switzerland, Swisscom is a safe bet. Despite charging slightly higher tariffs than its competitors Orange and Sunrise, having used Swisscom for the past 13 years seems to have been the right choice. A reliable network, all documents available in English, including the customer service unit on a free hotline any day between 06:00 and midnight. Swisscom – as well as most of its competitors – offer internet as well as digital TV solutions (the most diverse selection of English channels is on Swisscom TV, in case you wanted to avoid setting up a digital satellite by Sky). Whatever provider and plan you decide to go with, the advice is to compare and avoid long-term contracts that tie you down. Especially at the beginning of your time here… www.swisscom.ch  www.orange.ch  www.sunrise.ch  If you need..…to rent or purchase real-estate – www.homegate.ch  …to purchase a car – www.autoscout.ch ..to buy a train ticket online – www.sbb.ch …to buy a ticket for public transport within the Zurich region online – www.zvv.ch …to compare prices in a given sector – www.comparis.ch 

Adventures Around Zurich

When you think of Switzerland, what comes into your mind?Certainly watches, chocolate, and cheese! And probably also our majestic mountains and our picturesque landscape.Having said that, it is much easier to experience chocolate and cheese or buy a watch than to enjoy Switzerland’s magnificent nature. Most people are not even aware of variety of fun activities including river-rafting, paragliding, skydiving, kayaking or canyoning that can be experience right at the border of Zurich. That’s why for adventure enthusiasts, we have recently launched www.kusuru.com – an online marketplace for adventures. Currently, more than 30 providers of adventures advertise their offering through their platform and make it accessible to both, national and international customers. Get inspired on www.kusuru.com and book your next adventure directly through our platform! We offer a 10 CHF discount for the first 100 bookings! Just use this voucher code: KULAUNCH10

Childhood Trilingualism Lecture In Zurich

One of the most impressive attributes the Swiss possess is the ability to switch between more than one language so easily. Certainly those who work in international companies take for granted that they can sometimes hear colleagues talk two, three or more languages in a working day with no problem in switching. Dr. Sarah Chevalier will be holding a lecture on the subject of Early Childhood Trilingualism at the University of Zurich on Monday September 16th at 17:00. The lecture is also relevant to parents looking to rise bilingual children. More information is available from the attached flyer.

Time Poor And Need Help? Try Jacando!

Need help? Why not Jacando!Many of us who moved to Switzerland or relocated anywhere else in the world are starting a life in a new environment, where we need to settle a new routine and adopt new life.You are lucky if you speak German, if you come from Western Europe, if you already have friends or relatives who help you to integrate into the Swiss society. Most of us are left dealing with the life arrangements all by our self. Every expat mummy at one point of this chaotic process faces similar questions: where do I find a nanny for tonight, when I go to the cinema? How do I help my kids to improve their German, where do I find a piano tutor or how to start the birthday party planning? If you are a single professional lady, then surely at one point you decide to redesign your apartment, what normally happens? You are left with already unwrapped closet and the instructions, thinking what are you going to do with all these little screws?  What if you leave on short notice, but you did not find any trusted hands for your pet? Are you a businessman who desperately needs help with groceries, shirt ironing, and household, because you just cannot find a free time between over planned working days and fun planned weekends. Does that sound familiar for you, too? What can you actually do in this situation? You can ask your friend or working colleague to share their Putzfrau with you, maybe they will agree. You can go online and search using Google translator, identifying some key words, and maybe you will succeed. You can call an agency who would charge you fees and send the first available person to you. In the end, it all will cost money and valuable time. Is that really so sad looking? Hold on for a moment… For a couple of years there have been solutions for your problems – there are online platforms that can help you to find any service person for all needs possible. TASKRABBIT TaskRabbit is an American online marketplace, where users name the task that needs to be completed, and they also name the price they are willing to pay. The information goes through the network to the available “TaskRabbit” in the appropriate region, who helps the user to complete the job.. FIVERR  Fiverr is another online marketplace based in the US. They offer services for users for a starting price of $5 per job.

The company has a whole range of services, and they are famous for offering ridiculous and eccentric services such as “to receive travel tips for visiting Paris” or “post 500 likes on your facebook page”. But we are not in the US, what is left for us? JACANDO Jacando is a start-up company based in Switzerland, who started in 2012, and is a fast growing business. Jacando offers a market place for social mini-jobs for every need, taste, and requirement. User-friendly trilingual menu leads you through the required registration process. Every user can place an offer with an expectation on the price for the services. Every time somebody applies for a job, the job sponsor receives a confirmation email. Through the transparent review and rating system the sponsor can choose his favorite candidate and immediately after completing the selection process, he receives the contact details of his jobber. This easy system allows the sponsor to find the best person within a couple of hours and satisfy both sides. An online marketplace is maybe not for everyone, but it is worth trying it. Even if you are not a mum, professional lady or businessman, there are most certainly some daily tasks that you would like to be done without your participation. Why do not try it out now!