Living in Switzerland – Guide for Families of the Lac Léman region

Bikes in Vevey

New to Switzerland?  Welcome!

If like me you have elected to live in the Suisse Romande (French speaking area) on the shores of Lake Geneva (as it is known in English), this guide is for you. Having recently relocated and done much research, I thought I would share!

From the East (Villeneuve) to the West of the lake (Geneva), this is a far from exhaustive resource for families, local or foreign, looking for information in English.

For once, the local language is on my side, so I hope you find what you are looking for but if you don’t, feel free to drop me a line at: parentingeastwest (at) gmail.com

 

 

FUN FOR THIS WINTER SEASON:

Magazine LOISIRS.CH – Packed with fun things to do with the family, available at most newsagents. Here is their webpage: http://www.loisirs.ch

Topics from Loisirs.ch to read online: affordable skiing, thermal baths – activities for February half termlocal Carnivals and much more.

About Carnival, I do have to say that the best of them all and our family’s all time favourite is still the Fasnacht in Basel…!: http://www.fasnachts-comite.ch/en/

 

INFORMATION & FORUMS:

Anglo Info – The Global Expat Network:  http://geneva.angloinfo.com

English Forum – English Language Community website:  www.englishforum.ch

Hello Switzerland – Relocation and Living in Switzerland Guides:  www.helloswitzerland.ch

Know-it-all – Events & Activities for Children and Adults:  http://www.knowitall.ch

Time Out Switzerland:  http://www.timeout.com/switzerland

 

NEWCOMERS GROUPS:

GLocals – Choose your city and join your interest groups in Lausanne or Geneva area:  www.glocals.com

Geneva American International Women’s Club – AIWCG:  http://www.aiwcgeneva.org

InterNations: Connecting Global Minds:  www.internations.org/switzerland-expats

Lausanne region International Women’s Club – IWCL:  http://iwc-lausanne.org

Lausanne Meet Up group: http://www.meetup.com/Lausanne-Baby-Mama-Meetup/

Meet Up website. Type in your location and find out which groups exist in your neighbourhood: http://www.meetup.com

Nyon International Women’s Club – IWCN:  http://www.iwcn.ch

 

ONLINE INFO FOR FAMILIES:

Genève Famillehttp://www.genevefamille.ch

Lausanne Mom – Things to do with kids in Lausanne:  http://www.lausannemom.com

Living in Nyonhttp://livinginnyon.com

La Family – Centre d’Informations en Français pour les Familles de Suisse Romande.  Select your location: Genève, Neuchâtel, Vaud, Valais: http://www.lafamily.ch

Mothering Matters – Insights on other expat families parenting challenges in Switzerland. (activities are mostly based in Swiss German cantons) : http://motheringmatters.ch

Vaud Famille – with a few links in English: http://www.vaudfamille.ch/N353684/welcome.html?M=353685

 

ONLINE FORUMS:

English Speaking Mums in SwitzerlandA MUST JOIN!  Very helpful active forum on Facebook where you can ask any questions. You can also find out if there are any specific groups who meet in your area. Apply to this closed group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/englishspeakingmums/?fref=nf

Raising Bilingual/Multilingual Children – another Facebook group not specific to CH, but this is a multilingual country after all!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/106547209394767/

I have since found out that many groups of Mum Entrepreneurs exist around the lake. Depending on your location, do a Facebook search for:

Mumpreneurs in Vaud, Geneva and Surrounding France – Geneva Womenpreneurs – Swiss Riviera Womenpreneurs – The Entrepreneurs Club Lausanne/Vevey/Montreux – Expats Thriving Connect – etc…

 

HEALTH:

Health First – First Aid Training and Health Education in English in Switzerland:  health first.ch

 

EDUCATION:

International Schools:

Education Guide Switzerland – is a comprehensive school listing. This book of 400 pages is updated regularly. The 2nd edition came out in May 2014 :  http://www.knowitall.ch/education-guide

The Swiss Federation of Private Schools website:  http://www.swiss-schools.ch/index.php/en/vsp-mitglieder?orderin=cities

Too many schools to list but here are some of the main ones in alphabetical order:

VAUD

Aubonne: La Côte International School http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/aubonne

Etoy: GEMS World Academy:  http://www.gemsworldacademy-etoy.com

Founex: Ecole Internationale La Châtaigneraie:  http://www.ecolint.ch/our-campuses/la-chataigneraie

Lausanne: International School of Lausanne:  http://www.isl.ch

Morges: Lac Leman International School:  http://www.llis.ch/en/2100/homepage/

Nyon: Collège Champittet (4-12 yrs):  http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/en/our-schools/champittet/nyon

Nyon et Genève: Ecole Moserhttp://www.ecolemoser.ch

Pully: Collège Champittet:  http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/en/our-schools/champittet/pully

Vevey: Haut-Lac:  http://www.haut-lac.ch

GENEVA

Collège du Léman:  http://www.cdl.ch/home_en

Ecole Internationale La Grande Boissière:  http://www.ecolint.ch/our-campuses/la-grande-boissiere

Genthoz: Geneva English School (3-11 yrs):  http://www.geneva-english-school.ch

 

Bilingual Kindergartens:

Lausanne/Saint-Sulpice: L’Ecoline – (3-6 yrs) – http://lecoline.ch

Morges & Gland: Little Green House – English, French, German:  http://www.littlegreenhouse.ch/en/

 

Boarding Schools:

Pully: Collège Champittet (12-18 yrs old – part of Nord Anglia group):  http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/en/our-schools/champittet/pully/boarding

Rolle: Le Rosey http://www.rosey.ch

Villars sur Ollon: Aiglon Collège:  http://www.aiglon.ch

Villars-sur-Ollon: Beau-Soleil (now part of the Nord Anglia group):  http://site.beausoleil.ch/Home-English

 

SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMMES:

Geneva: All Special Kids – ASK, a one-stop resource:  http://www.allspecialkids.org/wp/

Nyon: Oak Hill School – Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD:  http://www.oakhill.ch

 

FOREIGN FOODS FROM HOME:

Alimentation Asiatique (Asian Supermarket) THAO, in Lausanne. Ave des Jordils 4 – 021 617 25 54

American Market, British and American Food Store in Nyon: http://www.americanmarket.ch

Jim’s British Market in Gland (VD):  http://www.jims.ch

Ly Thanh Sarl (Asian Supermarket) : http://www.lythanhsarl.ch                                                                                                Morges: Rue des Charpentiers 9 – 021 801 09 49 / Vevey: Rue du Centre 9 – 021 922 79 59

BUY CLUB: Fun group buying deals based around Geneva, Lausanne (and Zurich) – http://www.buyclub.ch/

 

RELOCATION:

Events helpful for Newcomers:

Expat-Expo – in Geneva (October):  www.expat-expo.info

Leman International Fair in Lausanne (November):  http://www.lemanevents.ch/index.php

Baby & Kid Planet – Lausanne (October):  A good place to gather local information on everything to do with Early Childhood, shop for baby equipment, attend conferences and demonstrations by professionals. There are even activities for children (under 8).   http://www.babykidplanet.ch/fr/Visiteurs/Visiteur/

 

NEWS IN ENGLISH:

Le News:  lenews.ch

The Local:  www.thelocal.ch

Zattoo TV – Where you can catch many European TV channels: http://zattoo.com/highlights

 

SKYPE CHAT:

Wether you are new to this part of the World and feeling overwhelmed or still contemplating a move to the shores of the Lake, I will be happy to talk with you via Skype.

I have moved several times, including to China where language was a huge issue, so I understand exactly what you are going through. This last move took me back to the country I originally came from. For once, language is not a challenge but after more than 20 years abroad, I am no longer certain this country feels more like home than any of the previous ones!

Feel free to contact me at: parentingeastwest(at)gmail.com.

Looking forward to the opportunity to meet newcomers to the shores of Lac Léman.

Lyliane

 

 

 

 

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