Moving to Switzerland
The cost of living in Switzerland is one of the highest in the world, especially in cities dear to expats hearts: Geneva and Zurich. You could find some interest in exporting your goods when moving to Switzerland rather than buying them locally at full price. Shipping goods to Switzerland is much quicker than most other countries, with an average timeline of only seven days, though this could be longer for those moving from far away.
At the heart of Europe is a small country that is one of the biggest draws of the continent - Switzerland.
It is a 41,290-square kilometer area landlocked by Germany in the north, Italy in the south, France in the west and Austria and Liechtenstein in the east. Its Alpine range is its most famous attraction and covers more than half of the entire country towards the south.
It is Europe's main watershed with the rivers Rhine, Rhone, Ticino and Inn flowing into Switzerland's largest lakes: Lake Geneva on the southwestern border and Lake Zürich, Lake Neuchâtel, and Lake Constance on the east. Its highest point is Darfur Peak, which towers at 15, 217 feet above hilly lowlands and forests that comprise the rest of the country's landscape. Everything is set in a temperate climate that varies greatly from north to south.
Aside from its striking scenery, Switzerland's geography contributes significantly to the diversity of its people. Of the total 8.2 million populations, 63.7% speak German, 20.4% speak French, 6.5% speak Italian and the remaining 0.5% speaks Romansh. Religion is another point of difference among the Swiss, who are predominantly Christians with minority groups of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Baha'is. This multiculturalism and multilingualism are believed to be a product of the associations with neighboring countries: France, Germany and Italy. This is advantageous for new visitors to the country because expatriates feel more welcome in a place where diversity is inherent.
Even with this diversity, the Swiss share a common history and remain united by social and practical ties, they share a passion for food, folk music, dance, theater, poetry, embroidery and carving. Their textile industry is highlighted by the elaborate embroideries characteristic of national costumes and folk tunes produced from the alphorn, the violin, and the clarinet add a distinct dimension to their traditions.
"I noticed that city folks are friendly but tend to (although not always) keep to themselves and like their autonomy. Small-town mentality is different. Here they are friendly but more on a personal level. You are called by name at the grocery store, post office and other places you frequent."- Lisa B, Expat in Switzerland
Although the cuisine in Switzerland is diverse because of the varied geographical influences, the Swiss have a long tradition of being world-class makers of sweets and chocolates. The national sport is swhwingen or Swiss wrestling and a stone-throwing competition, steinstossen, is unique to the Alpine population. Most of the Swiss are big soccer fanatics and can be very passionate about their national team. The country is one of the biggest hosts of winter events including skiing and hiking, paragliding, golf, ice hockey, mountain biking and swimming. Expats draw great pleasure from these events, which are not as common in other parts of the world due to geographical limitations.
Switzerland is also the home of many world-renowned architects, artists, scientists, and writers, including Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein and bestselling 20th century authors Max Frisch (Homo Faber) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (The Pledge).
The government is technically a confederation, but its structure resembles a federal republic. It is composed of 26 states known as cantons, all under a collective head-of-state called the Federal Council.
Switzerland is an easy choice to make for expatriates who seek a life of peace, economic stability, technology, political neutrality, and simply want to be a part of something big and beautiful in central Europe.
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