Where to live: France or Switzerland ?
In addition to the usual options available in most European towns and cities when deciding on a suitable location to set up home, members of the CERN personnel have the choice of taking up residence in either France or Switzerland, subject to being in possession of the appropriate visas, if needed. The final decision is a matter of personal choice, taking into account family status, financial circumstances and life-style.
Town or country?
Geneva is a predominantly urban area with good public transport is highly developed, while nearby France is mainly rural area situated between the Swiss border and the foothills of the Jura mountains, interspersed with a number of small towns. When living outside Geneva, for example in the neighbouring Canton of Vaud, it is advisable to have a private car.
In spite of the considerable efforts being made by the local French authorities to improve the quantity and quality of public transport, only Ferney-Voltaire, Thoiry, Sergy and St-Genis-Pouilly currently offer regular bus services to Geneva. While buses from the latter three villages stop outside the main entrance to the Meyrin (Switzerland) CERN site, there is currently no public transport to the Prévessin (France) CERN site, nor between either site and Ferney-Voltaire.
Cost of living
Both accommodation and the overall cost of living are generally higher in Switzerland than in France. Fluctuations in the rents charged on either side of the border obviously depend on supply and demand at any given time.
For more information about the cost of living, please consult the HR pages.