This is part of an e-mail I recently wrote to some who has been offered a teaching post in Switzerland. As I have written on the TES Teaching Overseas forum, many times, your salary is just one factor (and quite a small factor) in the overall equation. Yes, it is nice to have lots of dosh coming in at the end of each month, but you also need to think much more seriously about your outgoings. What about accommodation? Is it really "free"? This word "free" seems to mean different things to different people. When I was teaching in Bucharest, my wife and I were supposed to have a "free" apartment provided by the school, but every month there would be more and more charges and expenses. Yes, the actual rent was covered by the school, but there always seemed to be more payments for the apartment, deductions for maintenance, charges for garbage disposal and fees for this and for that and for something else as well. And each month it was more and more! When I was teaching in Doha, I used to have a charming female colleague who had been teaching at a British school in Brussels. She said that she was paid a HUGE salary. There was, however, one little problem. The school did not provide her with an apartment and therefore she had to pay for it out of her own pocket. Renting an apartment in Brussels is very, very expensive. So how much money did she save out of her salary each month? Almost nothing at all. A "free" apartment does not necessarily mean a fully equipped apartment. You may find yourself paying for things like cutlery, bedding, furniture and electrical appliances. We certainly had to buy quite a few things for our apartment in Shenzhen. What about food? There are some shocking stories about the high cost of food in Switzerland. Eating properly is important for your psychological well being, as well as for your health. In China, there was plenty of cheap food (maybe some of it was a bit yucky), but I had to pay for my school lunch each day. Here in Bulgaria, the school lunches are meaty and substantial and free for the teaching staff, except when we have salmon on Thursdays. Then I have to pay one or two leva extra. What about utilities? In the UK, you can spend quite a lot each month on electricity, water and Council Tax. What is the situation in Switzerland? Here in Bulgaria, we do not pay for any of these things for our apartment in Sofia because the school pays for them. What about transport? When Mrs Hippo and I were in Qatar, we had to run TWO cars and this was a massive hole in the pocket. When we were in China, we never needed a car and I could walk to school each day. Incidentally, when I was in Qatar I knew a lady teacher who was given a transport allowance each month, in addition to her salary. This allowance was enough for her to buy a very nice new sports car! In Kenya, second-hand cars were very expensive and the roads were terrible, so you were always spending money on car repairs and using a lot more petrol. What about taxes? Are there any in Switzerland? Which ones? And how much? In Qatar, we did not have to pay any National Insurance or Income Tax and it was the same when we were in Saudi Arabia. What about medical care? If you were ill and you needed hospital treatment, would the school's medical insurance cover the full cost? When my wife and I were in the UAE, we were told that the school was providing "comprehensive" medical insurance, when in reality it was nothing of the kind. There was an exclusion clause for this and a get out clause for that. Lots of things were simply not covered at all and for some things the insurance company would only partly reimburse you after the treatment was over. When I was teaching in China, the gratuity or end-of-contract bonus was certainly worth having. It was the equivalent of a month's salary! And what about flights and your freight allowance at the beginning and the end of your contract? Do you get paid a "settling in" allowance? Some schools do this. What about the costs associated with your Swiss visa and / or work permit? Are there any costs or expenses and who is going to pay them? Getting those documents attested and having those apostilles stuck onto them can cost a small fortune. Therefore you are making a VERY big mistake if you are just focussing on the salary and only on the salary. As I have been teaching overseas for more than twenty years, I am advising you to look at the whole picture, not just a small part of it. Some costs can be relatively small and they are "one off". Some of your expenses could be very significant and ongoing.