Bureaucracy Taxonomy


Today (or last night) I celebrate Canada day with moving into a new apartment sous-gare in Lausanne! Correlated with this, I have been reviewing all of the various companies and paperwork which I’ve had to fill out due to existing & moving in Switzerland.


  • ECA insurance against natural disasters (mandatory, in all of Vaud canton)
  • Responsabilité civile a.k.a stupidity insurance (e.g. pays if I break a friend’s TV)
  • Assurance ménage for my household items, was mandatory along with RC for my new apartment
  • Health insurance (mandatory in all of Switzerland) — deal through EPFL PhD/postdoc union is not bad for people under 30


  • Went to Lausanne contrôle des habitants to register my new address and extend my work/residence permit
  • [Also had to go to Ecublens office first to uninstall myself there]
  • Previously got a affirmation from the offices de poursuites to show my landlord I’m not a criminal
  • Went to the post office so they will forward any mail to my new address


  • Updated address w/Mobility car sharing program (similar to Zipcar in Canada/USA) which I used to move
  • Got a monthly metro pass to complement my all-purpose Swiss “1/2 price” rail card
  • Changed my bank address, my address on file with EPFL, various addresses in Canada

Living here is definitely building up my already-well-worn skills at filling out forms! But this drawback compared to the nice living conditions is a pretty reasonable tradeoff. À plus!


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