China to Switzerland - a family adventure
China to Switzerland - a family adventure
Stories shared by our customers and advice for future expats looking to relocate

A few years ago, Packimpex relocated Bin Fu and her family from China to Switzerland. Later on, we sat down with Bin Fu and she shared the story of their adventure and how Packimpex helped them settle in.

Relocating to Europe: the decision-making process

"When I was offered the chance to transfer from Bosch in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China to Solothurn, Switzerland, it came as a complete surprise. My family and I had only three months to decide and move. It was such a narrow timeframe, but also a great opportunity, so we needed to consider everything very carefully.


It was extremely important for me to get my daughter’s buy-in for this exciting new phase. I wanted her to be comfortable with the move and I knew that it may be harder for her to adapt. So instead of simply packing up her toys and jumping on a plane, we attended “information days” together and visited Switzerland before deciding.


I firmly believe in the importance of preparing yourself and your family with the right expectations before relocating. Coming from a completely different culture, I wanted a “taste” of Switzerland before saying "yes". I liked what I saw during our short discovery trip and, thankfully, my daughter said she was on board, too.

Arriving in Switzerland - how to get settled-in quickly and stress-free

We knew from the very beginning that we needed help with this move, so we never even considered handling everything on our own. The paperwork alone is daunting (especially since we didn’t speak the local language), not to mention finding a home and a school for my daughter.


Packimpex's DSP Arrival Services, including registration at the local authorities, support with schooling, and the home search service, were indispensable. I don't know how people manage to relocate on their own! Packimpex is specialised in handling the challenges that foreigners encounter when arriving in a new country, and we were delighted to notice that our consultant anticipated almost all our needs. We virtually didn’t have to ask or struggle with anything – our consultant told us exactly what to expect and warned us about the most common challenges.

Settling in – how a relocation consultant can help you make a smooth transition

All we had to do prior to our relocation was to offer our consultant some basic information about our family, our needs, and our expectations. Ursula, our relocation consultant, brought clarity and focus to our priorities in the move.


She managed to find a great school for our daughter within walking distance of a nice apartment, located in an international area where many residents spoke regular German (not Swiss German - you’ll see, there's a tremendous difference). We enrolled my daughter in public school and thanks to this, we got to know our new community. We opted for a public school on the advice of our consultant, who told us that it was the best way to speed up our integration. As expected, she was 100% right.


More importantly, my daughter felt safe walking to school (as is the custom in Switzerland) and we got to spend more time together as a family when she came home each day for lunch. The public school was great – they received my daughter with open arms and involved her in various activities from the first minute. The school principal got the kids really excited about my daughter’s first day and she felt very welcome.

Fitting in challenges and the constant longing for home

Despite the warm welcome, the first three months were tough on my daughter because of the language barrier. I told her that a smile is international and if that's all she can manage right now, it’s perfectly alright. But kids are extremely resilient, so after no more than six months she was playing and communicating with the other children as if she was born in Switzerland.


There are things we miss about home. For example, my husband misses the fish and I miss the huge variety of vegetables available in China. But we've been lucky to have family and friends come to visit and this made our longing a bit easier.


All in all, I would definitely make the same decision again. The quality of life in Switzerland is exceptional. There’s so much nature,it all looks beautiful. And I love the discipline and safety of the country.


If I had to do things all over again, there is one thing I would change: I would learn the language (at least the basics) before arriving here. Learning a new language, plus managing a relocation and a new job was a bit too much to juggle comfortably at one time.


After three years, we are now transferring back home to Hangzhou, but we have had a wonderful Swiss adventure and we have built memories for a lifetime."


Do you want to learn more about how Packimpex can support you or your company? We’d love to tell you about how we work and what you can expect once you book a relocation project with us.

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