Switzerland has a large tourism industry and there are good opportunities to get jobs in the tourism industry in hotels and restaurants, especially during the ski season. You can also take an education at one of the hotel and restaurant schools in Switzerland. If you go to a vocational education, you can get an internship in Switzerland.
Switzerland is centrally located in Europe with borders to France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Italy. The country is one of the richest in the world and consists of 26 cantons (regions), which have a high degree of autonomy.
The country’s central location and the many mountain ranges mean that the climate varies a lot from region to region. This means, among other things, that tourism is one of the largest industries in the country, especially in connection with skiing. Other important industries are the chemical industry and banking.
As one of countries starting with letter S listed on COUNTRYAAH, Switzerland has four official languages and is divided into three language areas: German to the north, Italian to the south and French to the west. Most Swiss speak at least two of the official languages. The different language areas are also culturally different, as the individual regions are very much influenced by the countries to which they belong linguistically.
Vocational training in Switzerland
In Switzerland, there are the following types of vocational education, which are based on the 9-year primary school:
- Eidgenössisches Berufsattest / Attestation fédérale de vocational training / Federal Certificate of Vocational Training lasts 2 years. Teaching takes place at Berufsfachschule / Vocational school. The education is a basic apprenticeship with approx. 1 day of schooling per week.
- Fähigkeitszeugnis / certificat de Capacité / Attesto di Capacità / Federal Certificate of Competence is a 3-4 year vocational education with more emphasis on theory. Teaching takes place at Berufsfachschule / Vocational school. The education provides access both to employment and to the Höhere Fachschulen / higher vocational schools.
- Berufsmaturität / Maturité professionnelle / Maturità professionale / Professional Baccalaureate / Secondary School Leaving Certificate lasts 3 years. The teaching takes place at Berufsmaturitätsschule / Vocational matura school. The education provides access to higher education at the Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences).
If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.
If you are looking for an education in hotel and tourism, you can read more about the Swiss Hotel and Restaurant School Association at ASHE Switzerland.
Work in Switzerland
The weekly working time in Switzerland is between 41 and 44 hours. Switzerland mostly has full employment in almost all industries. Unemployment in Switzerland in 2012 was 4.2%. However, the unemployment rate among foreigners is 8.6%.
Danes, both skilled and unskilled, can often find employment in tourism in hotels and restaurants, especially during the ski season. You must have at least one of the three official languages: German, French and Italian.
Alpelandet.dk is a good website with lots of current information about moving to Switzerland.
You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while you apply for a job in Switzerland. See more about this in the article Job search abroad in the folder Paid work.
You can get information about working in Switzerland from the EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers.
In addition, you can also search the following job databases:
www.careerjet.ch (in German)
www.optioncarriere.ch (in French)
Work-and residence permit
Switzerland has concluded an agreement with the EEA countries on the gradual abolition of work permits. From 1 June 2007, there will be free movement for all EU citizens from EU15, the “old” EU countries to which Denmark belongs. However, you must still have a residence permit. Contact the Swiss Embassy in Denmark, or read more at www.ch.ch.
If you are a student and want to stay in Switzerland for more than 3 months, you must contact the local police authorities within 10 days of arrival to obtain a residence permit. You must bring admission documents from the university, a valid passport and proof from a bank or similar that you can finance your studies and your stay. You can only get a residence permit for one year at a time.
For more on this, see the article Visas, work and residence permits.
Other options for accommodation
Denmark and Switzerland have an agreement on the exchange of trainees (trainees). The agreement gives young Danish citizens the opportunity to travel to Switzerland to improve their skills in their field. To be approved as an intern, the applicant must:
- be a maximum of 30 years
- have a professional education
- seek further education in his subject
The stay can last 12-18 months, and you have to get a position yourself. Trainees are employed according to the same working and salary conditions as the country’s own citizens. Further information on internships can be obtained from the TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.