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Moving to Switzerland: What to Expect

Switzerland is a mountainous country with a stunning landscape of natural beauty.  It has a diverse population that has long been open to foreigners, and temporary workers make up nearly a quarter of the population.  If you find yourself moving to Switzerland, you should know of a few cultural differences before going in order to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Shopping in Switzerland

Make sure to get all your shopping done early as stores generally close in the early afternoon, sometimes by 2pm.  Swiss farmers are among the most highly subsidized and protected in the world, even more so than the US farmer, and because of this there are plenty of local markets with fresh produce, bread, beef, and poultry.

Switzerland’s Social Scene

The Swiss people are generally reserved and may even seem cold at first, but will open up to you upon closer inspection.  They normally will not approach you or invite you out unless a friendship is already established.  It helps to learn the language, especially if you are looking for a job, as most jobs are filled by social networking.  Be punctual and attend all community functions.


The majority of Swiss rent rather than buy and subletting is quite common.  There is an excellent train system so you can live generally anywhere you can afford it and get to work or school in a reasonable amount of time.


The Swiss eat more than 10 kilos of chocolate per year!  Any given market will have a better selection of fruits and vegetables than you are used to.  Crime is remarkably low, the scenery is breathtaking, and there is a general feeling of harmony and peace.

Enjoy your time in Switzerland, I know I would!

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