Living in a foreign country as an expat is never a simple task: you’ll surely have to deal with some doubts about which documents are required or how the Swiss health-care system works.
So, at the beginning, you’ll mostly face out the legal and bureaucratic facets involved in your Lugano adventure!
1. Seek your accommodation in advance
Finding an accommodation in Lugano is one of the greatest initial challenges that each expat faces out, so don’t worry if it may appear a bit more complex than expected!
You have two main options when looking for your new home:
Checking the Lugano online portals, where you’ll find a lot of options and make an idea of the expenses you should cope with. Some of the most popular ones are Homegate, Comparis.ch, ImmoStreet and ImmoScout24;
Relying on a real estate agency, if you are willing to face a slightly higher expense, but get the help of an agency that would count on a network of contacts and know the Lugano market.
2. Identify the area you’d rather live in
Lugano offers both a vibrant city center and some districts that are nestled in nature!
The most prestigious – and costly – areas, with plenty of luxury accommodations and a stunning view of the city, are Brè-Aldesago and Cassarate, but also districts like Loreto and Villa Luganese are quite popular.
Anyway, once you find the district you like, never forget to move fast, because the Swiss real-estate market is quite competitive and you’ll have to convince a potential landlord to choose you on as a new tenant!
3. Be familiar with the health insurance
Living in Lugano means benefiting from a state-of-the-heart health quality, but also coping with an expensive and private healthcare system.
As for the basic health insurance’s costs, called “Cassa Malati”, you should pay an insurance premium that’s up to 8% of your income, while the minimum annual threshold averages at 300 CHF.
Then, in case your annual treatments overcame the threshold, you will have to pay also a 10% of collaboration quote (for up to 700 CHF per year).
In other words, if you need any other specific treatments, you have to open some additional insurance policies that aren’t included in the basic packages.
4. Pay attention to the language gap
In Lugano most citizens speak Italian, but you can find locals who speak German and French too.
A lot of people speak English quite well, but – despite this – there are some practical reasons why you should study a little bit of Italian: in fact, the Local Migration Office’s website is available only in Italian.
5. Be conscious of the Swiss-Mediterranean weather
Lugano is characterized by a lovely Mediterranean weather, with a warm and temperate climate: summers are almost sweltering, but you can often enjoy the snow during winters.
Generally speaking, always consult the short-term weather forecast and be prepared also for some rainfall!