In destination consulting, expert consultants share their local knowledge so you can hit the ground running in your new country. We met experienced professional Ursula Christen to find out more.
How do you set expectations for life in Switzerland?
Many expats struggle with the small house sizes in Switzerland. They associate living in an apartment with being a student and are used to having lots of space at home, more parking, and more services. But I find that perspectives can change over time. One American family I worked with was anxious about the prospect of living in an apartment. By the end of two years however, the wife told me she didn't want to go back to a house because it was too much work!
Another common struggle is with the lack of Sunday shopping. Similarly, I have heard many times that after adjusting to it, people begin to appreciate having Sundays to spend quality time with their family exploring Switzerland.
Let the experts handle it for you
Markus Widmann and his team of dedicated Move Managers at Packimpex will make sure your move to or out of Switzerland is stress-free, with nothing left to chance.
What does a typical Packimpex home search tour look like?
Well, every tour is different, that's what's exciting about this job! But generally, I pick the client up at their hotel and we spend the day visiting home options. I arrive with our visits mapped out. We make 6-10 home visits with each client and our goal is to meet as many as possible of the requirements we have mutually consulted and agreed on.
How do you prepare for a tour and how do you maximize your time?
Prior to meeting I speak with my clients on the phone to assess their needs and learn what is essential to them. I also utilize every moment of the day. Between visits we elaborate on the pros and cons of each housing option, otherwise, they would all meld together!
A lesson you've learned on the job?
From one of my first clients I learned to never accept no as an answer before trying again. This transferee was told there was no room for her two children in her preferred school. However, after a well structured, polite and persuasive cover letter submitted with their application, the school enrolled her children. I was impressed! There are a lot of rules in Switzerland but there is also more flexibility than you think. The key is asking politely.
Why is it important to have DSP consultants?
We are here to facilitate the relocation process and save our clients' time. While focusing on the emotional and intellectual stress of changing jobs and location, my clients can trust me to take care of their housing search and provide guidance on topics such as schooling, day care, culture and much more. I live in the city so I am their local guide.
You've been a consultant for 10 years now, why do you love it?
Every single day is different. I get to meet interesting people from all around the world and help them to feel comfortable and safe during a time of great change in their lives.
For guidance and support on relocating to Switzerland please contact: