Greetings from France

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Boulette2Viande
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Greetings from France

Post by Boulette2Viande » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:58 am

Hi everyone,

I'm a 20 years old french guy, my MBTI is INTJ, enneagram type is 5, and I'm libertarian.

I'm interested in RE since age 16, and discovered ERE last year. I've been reading the blog and the book regularly since then.

My main goal is to RE between age 30-35 to spend time doing things I like.

I'm currently studying software engineering in Denmark (exchange), and then I plan to do block release (I guess that's how it's called, when you go to school a few days, then work in a company and alternate like this) studies in engineering school to get a master's level engineering degree.

Then I plan to work in Switzerland while living close to the border in France, to enjoy the french low cost of living while having a high swiss salary (2 to 3 times more than in France), to keep 80% of my salary to invest it in stock market and real estate.

The final part is leaving France for a sunny low cost of living place such as Canary Islands or South-East asia to RE. I also consider moving there earlier and working remotely.

My main hobbies are :
- Calisthenics since 4.5 years (I'm also a trainer at the university sports club)
- Reading
- Biking
- Videogames

I have other hobbies that are occasional : hiking, parkour, rock climbing, playing chess, repairing computers, kick boxing...

I particularly liked the concept of Renaissance man that Jacob speaks about in the ERE book and thought this forum would be a good place to find such people who are open-minded and interested in many different subjects.

I hope to have many interesting discussions with you guys !

prognastat
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by prognastat » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:17 pm

Welcome to the forums.

Definitely sounds like you've got a decent plan on what to do. What's the cost of college/uni in France? I kind of assume it's like most of western Europe being heavily subsidized and quite affordable without having to go into debt.

wolf
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by wolf » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:50 pm

Welcome!

Jean
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by Jean » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:38 pm

Welcome.
If you plan to come in switzerland for the money while living in France, in a few year, you might complain on your journal that swiss aren't friendly.
People commuting over the border are generating a lot of traffic which is making people angry against the French.
More concerning to you might be that cost of living in France isn't low enough to offset what it will cost you to commute. I really suggest you run the number if you plan to do this. If you wan't advice about living in switzerland, I'de be happy to help you.

Boulette2Viande
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by Boulette2Viande » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:49 pm

Thanks for you welcome message guys !

@prognastat

It's free or almost free depending on your family resources if you go to normal public college (about 600€ per year).
If you go to some of the best public schools, you may even get paid to study there, but you have to be insanely good to get there, and then you are supposed to work for the government. Other public schools among the very best (engineering) cost 2-3k per year.

Private business schools cost about 10-15k per year, and private engineering schools about 5-8k. For business the best schools are private, but for engineering the best ones are public and you better have to avoid private schools if you are good.

I don't pay anything because I go to an average college, and my parents don't earn that much money.

I also have a scholarship which amount depends, once again, on family resources ( and if you have brothers / sisters still at home). 38% of students in France had a scholarship in 2016-2017 according to an article I've just read.

My parents are from working class, they don't earn that much, so I'm getting a lot each month.

Last two years as a student in France I had 450 € scholarship, I was paying 350€ for rent (25m² alone), and I was spending about 100-150€ per month for food.

This year, as I'm an exchange student in Denmark, I have 880€ per month of scholarship as you have more when you go abroad. I asked other french students, they have something like 100-300€ per month in average.

With those 880 € in Denmark, I'm spending 450€ for rent (with a roommate), and about 100-150€ for food.

That should give you a clear idea of a french student life cost. I can live very well as a student without having a job. I don't spend much compared to other students though.

How is it in the US for an average college ? I've just read an article that says that it is something like between 15k and 50k, housing and food included. I've also heard that infrastructures are very good, whether it is for studying, or for sports.

@Jean

Actually I've done a 3 month internship in Geneva. I didn't find that swiss people were not very friendly. In fact they were globally nice. On the other hand, french people were real jerks, just because they earn 5k per month when other french earn much less they were taking themselves for princesses, with a global disdain of people, it's a bit hard to explain.

Maybe the company I was in was bad compared to others, but there was seriously something wrong with them, and I can understand that Swiss don't like them if most of them are like that.

What's your feeling about that ?

The commute cost was 200€ per month by car for 90 km per day. It's not that much in terms of money, but it was taking hell of time, 3 hours per day. I probably wouldn't do that anymore, it's very annoying and makes every workday like slavery, waking up at 6 and arriving at home at 19.

If I succeed to get a job in switzerland, I will probably live very close to the border and go to my job with an electric bike if possible, but I'm afraid to bike in a big city like Geneva, I've already been hit by a car once while biking in my little city, so I suppose that in a big city like Geneva, there's a bigger probability that i'll experience that again.

Maybe if you're from Geneva you can tell me your insight about biking in such a big city ?

I feel lucky that I can ask a swiss guy :)

If biking from France to Geneva is too dangerous / annoying, I may probably live there close to my job.

Do you have an example of monthly spendings for a frugal guy in Switzerland ?

And also do you think that speaking german is a big value to have to get a job in switzerland ?

I've studied german for 5 years at school but I don't speak it that well. I feel like that if I make efforts and study it seriously for a while I could make good progress though. I can have simple conversations with german people but in a professional context that wouldn't be enough.

jacob
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by jacob » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:05 pm

I went to grad school in Basel and lived 4 years in Switzerland from 2000 to 2004.

Language-wise I also had 5 years of German at school, but the Swiss always switched to English as soon as they detected that German was not my native language (a weird situation since being Danish I can speak German with almost no detectable accent). You kinda see the same phenomenon in Scandinavia these days. People used to be mutually intelligible with some effort but nowadays everybody is so good at English that it's much easier just to switch. Since I didn't insist on speaking German, I never got much practice speaking German. Others got further than me by insisting on practicing. As for whether it helps to find a job, I don't know. I guess it depends on the job.

Should also note that German and Swiss-German are non-trivial to tell apart. Even Germans tend to struggle for the first few months.
Example of the Basel dialect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=yE9HBsnhEc8 (I understood about 80% of what she said.)

I started out spending 600CHF/month for a long term stay hostel (bedroom+bathroom+shared kitchen with about 10 others). After a few months, I moved into a dorm room for 355CHF/month sharing kitchen, showers, and bathrooms with 18 other people. This price included heat, water, electricity, and T1 internet (part of the university network).

Mandatory minimum health insurance was 110CHF per month.

Food was about 100CHF per month (food in Switzerland is $$$$$).
That was the lentil soup era: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/cooki ... han-4.html ... if you want meat and dairy, prepare to pay a lot more!

I think Geneva is considered more expensive than Basel which is pretty expensive in itself. I don't know how it is further out in the country side. There were several of my colleagues who lived in France and Germany respectively (Basel is right in the corner between the three countries.)

Jean
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by Jean » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Speaking german is a huge asset in switzerland. Maybe more than english, altough maybe not in Geneva. If you can learn some swiss german, then you'll be welcomed in the german speaking part of switzerland, which is great. I will be studying in geneva next fall, so we might meet. I don't know exactly what I'll do for housing, but I'll try to find someone who will let me camp on his property not to far from the Uni, If it doesn't work, I'll wild camp in some forest. For now, I live with about 300-500 per month. Switzerland is usually ok for city biking but I don't know specifically about geneva. Housing around geneva is expensive in France too. I would suggest you to look for other places in switzerland that might be cheaper.
Feeling about french isn't bad if they try to live here. People commuting over the border are seen as just taking advantage of whatever they can, and a hated. It is also true that many behave like jerk, and that i might be grieved against all french. But as you are able to see this jerk behavior, you probably won't reproduce it and shouldn't worry.

Edit regarding Jacob's number:
Health insurance got much more expensive since then. My plan cost 240 a month (but I get 175 refunded due to my low income), and it's the cheapest available where i live. For rent, you can still find room for 300 ish rent in small town, but probably not in geneva. In lausanne, 600 for a room in a shared appartment was normal 10 years ago. But I think you'de still be better of than living in France, because you can house yourself for much cheaper than that if you are creative, and commuting cost way more than 200 a month, you're car cost more than gaz, and as you mentioned, it takes a lot of time.

wolf
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by wolf » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:38 am


Boulette2Viande
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:13 am

Re: Greetings from France

Post by Boulette2Viande » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:47 am

jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:05 pm
(a weird situation since being Danish I can speak German with almost no detectable accent)
I suppose you were speaking high german with them, as you can't learn their dialect outside of Switzerland, maybe they prefer speaking english than speaking high german ?
jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:05 pm
You kinda see the same phenomenon in Scandinavia these days. People used to be mutually intelligible with some effort but nowadays everybody is so good at English that it's much easier just to switch.
I think young people can still do it though. I've seen a danish guy and a norwegian guy in my gym (we're all ~20 yo) speaking together, I asked the norwegian guy if he speaks danish, he told me that they can understand each other.

I didn't know that before going to Denmark, that's very interesting.
jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:05 pm
Example of the Basel dialect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=yE9HBsnhEc8 (I understood about 80% of what she said.)
Woaaa 80% of it, that's awesome. I knew that they're speaking a dialect but I didn't know that it is so far away from high german. I understood something like 10% of it I would say. :D
jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:05 pm
I started out spending 600CHF/month for a long term stay hostel (bedroom+bathroom+shared kitchen with about 10 others). After a few months, I moved into a dorm room for 355CHF/month sharing kitchen, showers, and bathrooms with 18 other people. This price included heat, water, electricity, and T1 internet (part of the university network).

That was the lentil soup era: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/cooki ... han-4.html ... if you want meat and dairy, prepare to pay a lot more!
600 CHF is very impressive for a country like Switzerland. How could you find accomodation with shared kitchen, bathroom... ?
I just searched for such things on the internet but the only things like this I foud are student accomodation.

I should definitely give a try to that lentil soup, that would vary my diet a bit. These times in Denmark I eat pasta with a crème fraîche sauce with cheese and tuna, it tastes very good and it's cheap. Looking at my spendings since the beginning of this month, I've spent exactly 40 € for food eating mostly that with dry fruits. I also take a multivitamin and minerals supplements (negligible cost).

@Jean
The only thing with swiss german is that it's a dialect, so the only way to learn it is to go in swiss german speaking switzerland :(

If you come to Geneva I would be pleased to meet you :D

I wouldn't camp personally, that's a bit too extreme for me :lol:

If you are interested in accomodation for students in Geneva, I just found some stuff while searching for dorms with shared kitchen, bathroom etc...
These links might interest you :
http://cite-uni.unige.ch/fr/nos-hebergements/dortoirs/
http://www.ville-geneve.ch/themes/publi ... -logement/

I think you're right I should try to find cheaper places, the thing that counts is that I save as much as possible anyway, I should calculate and see when the time comes for me to work.

I also thought living in a RV, but the thing is I'm not sure if I would be able to find a place to park it without being annoyed in Switzerland. Maybe I can rent a garage and put it inside ?

For health insurance (by health insurance I mean mandatory social security) it's actually more expensive (relative cost) in France. If you earn minimum salary, 1718 € (what the boss pays) per month before social taxes, the cost is 213 € (=240 CHF) per month (part of social taxes), and you get 1167 € in your pocket according to an official calculator. And if you want to get your teeth / sight correctly covered you need to pay for a mutual fund.

I don't really know how it works in Switzerland, but let's say you can earn 4k CHF and pay 240 that would be more favourable than France, if service is equivalent or better.

If you earn more, the cost of it becomes much more.
As an example, if you earn median salary, you're paid 3220 € per month before social taxes, and you get 1800€ in your pocket after social taxes ( 600€ health, 600€ retirement, and few other things), and ofc you also have to pay income tax after this (and many other taxes).

And that's only if you work as an employee. Let's say you are independent, or are a boss of a company, the cost will be much more, and service is worse. For example, as an independant when you are sick, you are not paid, but if you are an employee, you are paid while sick.

@wolf
Thanks for these links, I'll have a look at them, it will definitely help me !

jacob
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Re: Greetings from France

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:12 am

Boulette2Viande wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:47 am
I suppose you were speaking high german with them, as you can't learn their dialect outside of Switzerland, maybe they prefer speaking english than speaking high german ?
I did get the impression that speaking hoch-deutsch was frowned upon but everyone was nice to accommodate it on request.

I was a phd student so I was allowed to live in a dorm. They charged me a bit more which I wasn't happy about (different prices for different people).

Also see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E042GHlUgoQ

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