Moving to switzerland

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    Does anyone have advice about how to integrate successfully into swiss culture. I went over there a number of years ago and really struggled as they're quite a reserved lot. Also, can anyone tell me what the gay scene is like over there particularly in Zurich?
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Dec 20, 2012 12:29 PM GMT
    I think it depends which part of Switzerland you'd be living in. The German and French-speaking parts are definitely more reserved than the Italian-speaking part. But yeah--the Swiss are definitely very focused, rule-bound, detail-oriented people, and they don't share their emotions with people outside of their inner circles. I think for Americans that can be hard to digest, because we tend to be the dopey Golden Retreivers of the world.

    Zurich has the biggest gay community, but it's surprisingly charmless in comparison with other Swiss cities.

    If you love nature and being physically active outdoors, Switzerland is heaven. Most Swiss are very active and put a premium on good health.

    Oh, and you'll have to make a shitload of money to live there.
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Dec 20, 2012 12:35 PM GMT
    New Zealand is so much better than Switzerland though
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 12:49 PM GMT
    FitGwynedd saidNew Zealand is so much better than Switzerland though


    But nothing is better than the UK of course....
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Dec 20, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    Isugemi said
    FitGwynedd saidNew Zealand is so much better than Switzerland though


    But nothing is better than the UK of course....


    RULE BRITANNIA! Maybe Canada, but thats with a big maybe...
  • drypin

    Posts: 1798

    Dec 20, 2012 1:13 PM GMT
    I worked in Zurich quite a bit this year on an ongoing project. It has that quality of a financial city, where a great many Swiss people you'll meet aren't from Zurich, and plenty commute from as far away as Basel and southern Germany.

    The population struck me as remarkably young on average, and fairly good looking. A lot of people jog, hike, cycle, row, and climb. The prices for rent and dining out are astronomical; and I say that living in one of the more expensive cities in Germany.

    The city has some pretty bits, but it's the nature there that really steals the show.

    I found the people easy to get along with, but I had to give them a little while to warm to me. And no matter how hard I tried to ignore it, Swiss German speakers sound like we do when we make fun of them. I had to stop myself from smiling at least once per visit.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 1:57 PM GMT
    jayj014 saidDoes anyone have advice about how to integrate successfully into swiss culture. I went over there a number of years ago and really struggled as they're quite a reserved lot. Also, can anyone tell me what the gay scene is like over there particularly in Zurich?


    My boyfriend is from Switzerland, though he is from Genève. The Swiss are very straight forward and always on time....so get used to that. In fact when we went, he told me not to smile to much cause it will make me stand out like a tourist. And if you don't already like cheese, you better learn!
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Dec 20, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    musclemedic702 said
    jayj014 saidDoes anyone have advice about how to integrate successfully into swiss culture. I went over there a number of years ago and really struggled as they're quite a reserved lot. Also, can anyone tell me what the gay scene is like over there particularly in Zurich?


    My boyfriend is from Switzerland, though he is from Genève. The Swiss are very straight forward and always on time....so get used to that. In fact when we went, he told me not to smile to much cause it will make me stand out like a tourist. And if you don't already like cheese, you better learn!


    Indeed--the only place I've been more oppressed by cheese is the Netherlands.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 2:41 PM GMT
    I lived in Switzerland for a few years not too long ago(the french part) but like you said the culture and boring people got to me and I came back to the states.
    Its an amazing place to be outside and the swiss take their recreation very seriously. You can be hiking something nasty and a 60yo woman will pass you like your standing still.

    I made quite a few good friends joining outdoor clubs and at the gym, but it takes some serious effort to get into the Swiss inner circle.
    Be patient and persistent. Invite some people to your house for dinner, but make it intimate..... get to know people and make serious talk. They will open up if your a deep sea diver and don't gloss over everything and avoid conflict... be yourself and be honest.

    Good luck with it and enjoy the country, eat good cheese, and follow each and every rule!
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 20, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    talk a lot about how stupid americans are
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 7:01 PM GMT
    Its the same story with all the mainland European countries. You need to speak their language in order to integrate well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 7:09 PM GMT
    Shagglot saidIts the same story with all the mainland European countries. You need to speak their language in order to integrate well.


    I think it's the same story in almost every country in the world... Can I be integrated in the US if I don't speak English?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    Isugemi said
    Shagglot saidIts the same story with all the mainland European countries. You need to speak their language in order to integrate well.


    I think it's the same story in almost every country in the world... Can I be integrated in the US if I don't speak English?


    US is predominantly English spoken country. On the other hand in these European countries they do speak more than one language, English being one of them. For example among all the non native English speakers Swedish have the best English according to a survey and Swiss people aren't far behind. Being an Indian I can say you can integrate quite well with just English among English speaking Indian people but it isn't true in such European countries.

    Anyway my first comment wasn't criticism but more of suggestion.
    I also support the view that you should learn the local language or at least give it a try. Its fun and I think you improve also your native grammar when you try to learn a completely new language.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 8:39 PM GMT
    Eat lots of Swiss Chocolate. icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 8:50 PM GMT
    Swiss-Chocolates.jpg
    Link
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    Do you ski? One of my favorite places to ski in the whole wide world is about 175 miles from Zurich: Verbier. Some of the very best off-piste runs will kick your ass & demand all your endurance & skill. What a blast. Mont Fort is where I've seen the hotter, studlier, most advanced gay skiiers - and the late-night after ski mischief will keep you 'up' till sun-up the next morning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 20, 2012 9:42 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 said... and the late-night after ski mischief will keep you 'up' till sun-up the next morning.


    Do tell....icon_twisted.gificon_eek.gificon_lol.gif
    fester
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 21, 2012 12:47 PM GMT
    Haha looks like I am the first Swiss guy commenting that thread !

    I'm going to LA in two weeks, this will be my first time in the US so I can't do any comparison, but all I can say is : be yourself. We really don't like fake people (who does ?) and prefer having a few good friends than knowing thousands of people. The gay community is pretty good, at the beginning try to meet some guys just for a coffee or a beer (as friends), no date no sex... I would build my own friends circle before having sex with anyone, just because they all know each other icon_rolleyes.gif

    Many here seems to answer the question "how to be a good Swiss guy" but it's about being a good American in Switzerland icon_biggrin.gif I think I can say we love Americans because you're usually joyful, so don't try to be like every other Swiss people, just try being yourself while respecting the main cultural differences you could come across.

    All in all we are not that bad haha ! If we are demanding it's because we want to be able to rely on people... And if we are disappointed by someone we'll show it icon_wink.gif It's really al about being genuine and respectful.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 23, 2012 1:32 PM GMT
    *Generalisation Alert*

    I spent three, one year stints living in Switzerland for both studies and as a financial emigrant. Enjoying the experience really depends on your emotional make-up: personally, in my case I found Zurich mind-numbingly dull with about as much spontaneity and excitement as the Pope's Christmas address.

    The Swiss value meaningful conversation (like pension funds and life assurance options) so you'll find engaging in chit-chat a fruitless exercise. At my work place, asking random colleagues "Wie gaaat's?" (How's it going?) can even come across personally invasive. On the flip-side, on a regular basis in the photocopying room, I did quite enjoy playing "how-long-can-we-ignore-each-other-in-a-tiny-space-without-talking". When Switzerland throws you lemons...

    I lived in Niederdorfstrasse, arguably the most happening part of Zurich which also doubles up as one of the gay districts. I went to the bars a couple of times, the main one being T&M which I found as aloof as the city itself.

    As for the language, don't worry, the Swiss are more than happy to use every waking opportunity to pimp you out for your English skills. Even though my Swiss German was pretty good I found myself in constant linguistic face-offs with people who wanted to practice English. Most mention worthy of these was one of my former house mates who constantly insisted I clean the kettle after every use to avoid a build-up of chalk. (I soon found my own pad..)

    All in all Zurich and Switzerland are very beautiful places and a paradise for outdoors activities however I did find the experience a bit like going on a date with a very hot guy with no personality. And you'll probably end with a pretty pricey dinner bill.

    My advice: enjoy the wages, do a lot of rail travel, and use it as a platform to visit other nearby countries. I've lived in five or six other countries (including Germany - which is like Carnival in Rio by comparison) and even though I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek, I've never quite endured anywhere like Zurich.

    Good luck!

    Plus points:
    Lots of immigrants which spices things up.
    Efficient.
    Younger people in particular are quite friendly and polite.
    Environmentally aware.
    Socially quite liberal.
    Good animal rights and food regulations.
    Good rail discounts.
    Salaries.
    They're also a very attractive nation.