Integration into Zurich

Welcome to the city of Zurich!
This post is about integration into Zurich – the courses, information and events that will help a smooth transition to living in Zurich.

  1. Integration into Zurich
  2. German language course options
  3. Local travel – half fare card, travel passes
  4. Local phone companies
  5. Paying local bills

Information from Stadt for new residents:
The Zurich Stadt runs a free integration course/event in the evening, once every few months. The following links are handy:
Welcome Desk Zurich
Information event in English for new residents

 

German Language classes:
High German is taught in many language centres across Zurich. FlyingTeachers, Migros Club School, ECap etc are some centres where classes are taught. The courses are highly structured and take the learner from the basic A1 , A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 levels, in increasing order of fluency.  The Zurich Stadt also runs free German courses.

There are apps like Babbel as well that can help in practicing the language.

The local dialect varies a bit from the High German taught in the Language Centres, but as they say Practice is the key. Happy Learning!

 

Local travel in Switzerland: 
Public transport in Zurich and Switzerland as a whole, is definitely a very efficient way of getting around. Most people get the Swiss Half Fare Card, a card that gives discounts on tickets – both a monthly and a yearly option are available.

Zurich city is divided into various travel zones – Zone 110 covers the main city area of Zurich. The Zone plans are posted at the tram stations and train stations.  Annual and monthly travel cards are available.  The ticket machines have 4 language options – German, Italian, French and English. Zone extension cards can be bought, if you are travelling to a different zone. If in doubt, always go to the Ticket counters for information.

The SBB website and SBB mobile app are handy for timetables, ticket booking etc.

 

Local cell phones:
Salt, SunriseSwisscom, UPC are some of the local cell phone and telephone/internet companies.

 

Local Bills – Einzahlungschein – Payment Slips:
The Orange payment slips/bills that are sent by various services can be paid by debit card via internet banking, through the bank or the local post office. Local post offices do not accept any other bank card except their own ‘Post Card’ (the post office debit card) and cash.

 

Health Insurance:
Health Insurance is mandatory under the Swiss Law. Some employers may provide health insurance as part of the pay package. Some employers may have preferred Insurance companies. Please contact the HR of your employer for further details. Sanitas, Swica are some of the premium health insurance providers. To read more about health insurance, click here.