What is it like to immigrate to Switzerland?

Switzerland is as they say a wealthy country with magnificent mountains, swiss watches, and not to forget some of the finest chocolate. This wealth is to be recognised in both its stunning sights as well as in the way of life. Its inhabitants are in the large middle to upper-middle class.

The stable government and strong infrastructure causes the country to be outstandingly safe, this I figured out as soon as I got on the bus to school on the swiss’ first school-day. I sat on the bus as it stopped and a toddler was waiting to get on the bus, she was alone without any guardian, this astonished me and I later found out it was not allowed for a child around 3–4 years old to be dropped off at school by a parent.

Multiple more incidents prove to me the stability of Switzerland’s government. Usually I would bring packed lunch to school but one morning I ran out of time and figured I could just buy a sandwich at school, I get to the cafeteria look at the price and I see it costs 7 euro’s! I could not believe it, 7 euro for a sandwich! Not only do the sandwiches cost much but everything is expensive. The reason why is because the average person earns more, to be precise, the average wage is around 29 swiss francs an hour.

After being in Switzerland for a while, starting to understand the language a little, and after getting in contact with many Swiss people it became obvious to me that they aren’t easy to integrate with nor to their way of life. They tend to be hard working, fairly reserved and not very outgoing. Don’t get me wrong, the Swiss are genially good people and are up for a small conversation, but that of course they want in their own language; swiss-german. Even as an advanced german speaker do I not understand it properly, it is a whole new language which is spoken-only.

Schwiizerdütsch Büechli = swissgerman booklet (Chuchichäschtli being the most typical swissgerman word, meaning kitchen cupboard)

Because of these social and cultural barriers, many foreigners soon give up on getting comfortable around the Swiss and fall back on their fellow foreign communities.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Charlotte Quintiens’s story.