Why Switzerland?

By Chantal Panozzo

IMG_9811 copy

Last night I was walking to a movie theater in Zurich when I heard a group of three Americans talking loudly. Ok, loud wasn’t a surprise, but American English was. I’m always amazed how many languages I hear in Switzerland that aren’t even one of the four “official” ones. But when you’ve got a foreign population of around 20%, I guess it’s only natural to hear non-official tongues.

Sometimes I wonder why Switzerland has such a high percentage of foreigners and I’ve come up with the following conclusions:

-Good Pay. Compared to neighboring countries like France, Italy, and Germany, Swiss salaries are higher. Of course, the cost of living in Switzerland is also higher, but nevertheless, it pays to live in Switzerland.

-No Need for a Car. While public transportation is sufficient in most European cities, in Switzerland, it’s good enough even for villages. The Swiss transportation network covers the entire country, from the mountain restaurant in the middle of nowhere to the farm village twenty miles from the nearest city.

-Work/Life Balance. At least compared to the way people work in the United States, there is a much better work/life balance in Switzerland. Family time is respected and valued, and stores and businesses all close down on Sundays and for a week over Christmas.

-Accessibility of Nature. In the U.S., I had to drive to get to the closest hiking trail. But in Switzerland, there are hundreds of paths right outside my door. The Swiss know how to build cities around nature, and so the nearest outdoor adventure is always just a walk away.

-Many Neighbors. Switzerland is bordered by five countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Lichtenstein. All of these countries share an official language with Switzerland, making it easier for people speaking French, German, or Italian to work and live in Switzerland.

Why do you think there are so many foreigners in Switzerland?

Chantal Panozzo is a writer and blogger in Zurich, Switzerland. She’s the author of One Big Yodel, a blog about life in Switzerland, and Writer Abroad. She also blogs for Affordable Calling Cards, a new expat community blog. This blog offers affordable calling cards in Switzerland as well as information about living abroad in Switzerland and in many other countries.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Powered by WP Hashcash