Culture Shock in Switzerland



Switzerland’s multiculturalism is evident in the existence of four languages which are all considered official - German, French, Italian and Rumantsch. This is attributed in part to the great influence brought in by people living along its borders.

Any expat in Switzerland will find this an advantage because it shows how the country can be very open to cultures around the world, and this makes fitting in a much simpler process.

The Swiss are generally disciplined people, especially in terms of business, and they can be less outgoing than expats who may come from more relatively liberal countries such as the United States. Making friends, however, is not difficult as long as one knows how to live with the locals and this means respecting their laws, customs and a few internal rules. For example, in certain blocks or communities, there are days when one may not wash his car or do his laundry. An expatriate in Switzerland may find this to be something "new," but getting along with locals requires that these small rules are observed. Getting to know at least one of their official languages is also a good way to promote better dealings with them.

When living in Switzerland, an expat cannot help but notice the tradition of perfection as the country is one of the finest makers of timepieces in the world. The Swiss are particular about doing things right. Children, for instance, are made to start saving money in piggy banks or real banks from an early age. In fact, there are initiatives to introduce the subject of economics in primary school.

Perfectionism appears to be a driving element in Swiss culture, but locals do know how to have a good time when they want to. Undoubtedly, this same culture of perfection is responsible for the Swiss' remarkably high quality of life which expats are only too happy to have the opportunity to enjoy. Hence, there are more of them moving to Switzerland each year.



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