You'll find everything you need to know about the Swiss education system, from pre- and primary school to university, on the federal authorities' education website:
When you go to live in another country you have to negotiate a lot of administrative hurdles. You can find out about your obligations as a person entering Switzerland, the papers you have to bring and the permits you have to obtain, on the website of the Swiss authorities.
In Switzerland, rental as well as condominium apartments are generally fully equipped and come with kitchen appliances and laundry facilities. The laundry room is frequently shared with neighbours, but rental units sometimes have a washing machine and tumbler directly in the apartment.
Information on Swiss tenancy law:
If you're interested in buying you'll find key information for acquiring property as a foreigner here.
Switzerland offers a huge range of things to do in your spare time. From beautiful mountain hikes to day trips for families with children and museum lovers, the Switzerland Tourism website has a wealth of exciting information on the history and culture of Switzerland for you to explore. It's well worth surfing for the country's biggest offering of leisure activities.
Switzerland is a confederation with direct democracy. This brochure from the Swiss federal administration explains precisely how the system works: «The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide».
Just like in English, there are various words in Swiss German for a driving or driver's licence. Officially it's called a "Führerausweis", but most people refer to it as a "Fahrausweis".
To get a Swiss permit for your vehicle you have to report to the road traffic department (Strassenverkehrsamt/service des automobiles/servizi della circolazione) of your canton of residence. You'll find your local road traffic department here:
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. French is spoken in western Switzerland, also called the Romandie. Italian is spoken in Canton Ticino in the south. Romansh (Rhaeto-Romance) is still spoken by a small number of people in the Graubünden Alps.
In addition to the national languages there are also many different dialects, especially of Swiss German. Each village has its own nuances of pronunciation.
Foreign employees are subject to income tax at source. Employers will generally deduct it direct from your pay. Only once you receive a C settlement permit as a resident of Switzerland do you have to file an annual tax return and pay tax bills.
The rates of tax and tax at source charged by different cantons vary; you can find out about the rates from the tax administration in your canton.
Persons residing in Switzerland automatically receive an invoice from SERAFE AG for compulsory TV and radio fees. The fee is CHF 365 per household per year.
Health insurance including cover for accident is obligatory for anyone resident in Switzerland. It's also advisable to take out a private liability policy and contents insurance for each household.
Owners of motor vehicles must take out motor liability (third-party) insurance; you can also take out comprehensive insurance as required.
Please also read our summary sheet about Social Insurance in Switzerland.