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View Poll Results: How long did it take you to make friends here?
Less than a year 54 45.76%
1 - 2 years 19 16.10%
3 - 5 years 10 8.47%
5 - 7 years 0 0%
Over 7 years 4 3.39%
Still haven't made any friends (specify how long you've lived here) 31 26.27%
Voters: 118. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old 19.10.2014, 09:52
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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Made my first Swiss friend very quickly. An anglophile. We bonded over marmite.
I love marmite.
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  #42  
Old 19.10.2014, 13:00
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

I have made friends while in Zurich, but are pretty much people at work, or who I used to work with. Making friends outside of this circle would be great
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  #43  
Old 19.10.2014, 18:45
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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I love marmite.
Tried Cenovis yet?
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  #44  
Old 19.10.2014, 19:26
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

I don't care of the background of people I am friend with. They can be from anywhere in the world.

I also don't want to be friend with expats anymore, I find it too heartbreaking when they leave.

We have great friends here from all around the world, we had them before we left and they just slip back in our lives like we never been away.

I officially call myself an immigrant now. I have been an expat for the last 10 years but now that we came back here, on our own wishes with the goal to stay and make it our home.

I have the luck to have wonderful friends who share the same goal.
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  #45  
Old 19.10.2014, 20:08
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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A common complaint among expats in Switzerland is that it is difficult to make friends with the Swiss. Many say it can take several years.

I am wondering how long it took most people to make friends with the Swiss?
Hi there,

On our side, we arrived here and were working quite hard during the first year - meaning living early in the morning and arriving late at home. We didn't see many people around our home in the beginning. But we found friends at work.
The key that changed a lot was when we got children. This is a damn boost to sociability!!! We got to know our close neighbors that are true friends by now.

I think there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer as it depends a lot about you, your job, if you are here for 1 year of for your entire life, etc.
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  #46  
Old 19.10.2014, 21:20
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

we made friends relatively quickly with fellow expats. the rest were made once I joined a club and started hanging out with dudes who shared a common interest with me. generally speaking, my "Swiss" friends are either dudes who lived a year (or more) abroad or they are secondos, but who cares? friends are friends.

I left Switzerland after 2 years with more and closer friends than I made living 9 years in the small town in the US that we moved back to, if that is any comparison.
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  #47  
Old 19.10.2014, 21:25
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

@crazygrindo I think your last sentence is typical actually. For having lived abroad in Canada during half a year, I can tell you I made more friends too there than where I was living in France during 5 years.
I think that's due to a mindset you get when you move abroad, you want to discover all and everything. Which of course makes you meet people - and is great!
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  #48  
Old 19.10.2014, 23:10
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

One of the first things I did when I got here was to sign up for an intensive 6 week language course. Everyone in the class became friends. None of us were from the same country, none of us Swiss, but we wandered around the city together speaking the worse german you can imagine to each other. "Habe du problem?"
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  #49  
Old 20.10.2014, 00:09
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Ahahah, I hear you from here with the funny accent
You should try french classes and hang out in Lausanne afterwards!!!
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  #50  
Old 22.10.2014, 15:39
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Almost a week here, no friends explained by me being sick and staying in most days. Will make a wholehearted try to come out the bat cave after I get over this cold
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  #51  
Old 23.10.2014, 10:17
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Switzerland will entice you to cocoon, especially with this weather. Nothing better than sleeping in, nice and warm. But be careful, because this can drag you to becoming a hermit or even depression. You really have to make a concerted effort to get out and meet people.

What worked for me in the beginning was to set a quota for myself - Hold at least 1 conversation per day with someone I don't know, get on a first name basis with at least 3 people per week. I started in my neighborhood; kiosk cashier, bus driver, cafe barrista, etc. Soon, everywhere I turned, there was someone to greet and chat with. Some turned from acquaintances to friends. After a couple of hundreds, it became a habit and stopped being a quota.

This made a HUGE difference in quality of life in Switzerland.
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  #52  
Old 23.10.2014, 18:34
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

I have found adults to be much easier than kids. My boys are great when with expat children but any team event or camp or organized sport they are picked on and teased making it hard to stay here as a family unit.
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  #53  
Old 23.10.2014, 19:23
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

All the friends started hibernating for winter now and seems like there's no wireless for them to be contacted in their dens.

Meeting new people seems to be at random and unexpected, making friends even more mysterious thing. Sometimes when we need them the most they are not there for us and no matter how hard we try it is impossible to get their attention. Then there comes a day out of nowhere when people start piling up at your doorstep and paying spontaneous visits. It reminds me of our neighbour's visit the other day and same week we had other friends around almost everyday. Now, I just don't plan anything and do not wait in anticipation, they might come anytime so let them be.

When the sun comes out again and it surely will, the folks will be more willing to socialize. Now it's turn of the season so everyone gets somewhat irritated and needs personal space. You just let this passive phase come to pass like a woman's period. Things will be looking up soon, I'm sure.
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  #54  
Old 23.10.2014, 23:15
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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To make friends in Switzerland can't compare with "to make friends" in the US, Japan, Italy or Russia.
Friendship has a different interpretation here.
This aspect is worth considering.

Just my 2 cents
My partner recently told me that my interpretation of friendship is a lot deeper than anything he's seen among his Swiss friends. He says the traditional Swiss like to keep people at arm's length.

That being said, I don't like to keep people at arm's length, those aren't friends, they're acquaintances. I'm a pretty devout friend and it has not been difficult to make friends here.
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  #55  
Old 24.10.2014, 08:18
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Like others here I find the distinction between friend and acquaintance stronger here than I did back in North America.

My two swiss friends (who significantly happen to have spent much time abroad) invite me into their lives on a much more personal and regular level. They express that they feel "distanced" from other swiss, and seem to appreciate the shared anglophone references and inclusion into expat culture here. They kind of seem to feel as "other" here as we do - thus, I believe, the bond.

My swiss acquaintances (who number only a handful) are generally neighbours, parents of kids who go to school with ours, and other people we run into on a regular basis based upon proximity. With them there is a mutual (I hope) regard, some of the sociability and all of the kindness of friendship but also a gap of understanding and shared experience - a certain indefinable distance that feels like it will never be bridged. And they did not just "happen" - I had to get out there and let it be known that I am trying really hard to be a part of the community and to integrate into their culture. Their regard seems to be growing but something tells me it will never bloom into full-fledged friendship.

I am completely fine with this distinction. The acquaintances may never become "besties" but I cannot tell you how good it feels to have them in our lives - to run into a friendly face or two at the local Denner. They certainly make us feel more at home here.
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  #56  
Old 24.10.2014, 09:56
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

There are still "du" friends as well as "Sie" acquaintances despite the more prevalent use of "Du" in everyday speech. I think that reflects normal reality. You know its a good sign when someone you've known for a while tells you their first name, then holds out their hand for a handshake. It means they are getting comfortable with you and are starting to consider you a friend. Sometimes it may take years for some people to do that.

Despite the Swiss being initially aloof, I find that once they open up and accept you as a friend, they are sincere about it and will not easily flake. I like how they take their friendships earnestly. It is more genuine then, "It was great to meet you. Let's do lunch! Text me! Ciao!", and then never to see them again.
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  #57  
Old 25.10.2014, 14:32
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Been here 6 years, got zero swiss friends. I was lucky that my first job here was at an international company with mostly expats working there, all around 27-35 and single, so it was a bit like going back to college. Most of my friends today are people i worked with there and it is heartbreaking when some leave.

Had I started at an über-swiss company like my last employer i probably would've had zero friends to this very day. Ive never seen such anti-social behaviour. The come in, they work, they leave. God forbid a couple of people from the team would go out for an after work or something.
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  #58  
Old 25.10.2014, 15:01
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Interesting la Tribune de Genève article. We learn that:

out of 34 countries, Switzerland is ranking

33rd for finding an apartment ; only in Kuwait it's harder to find one
33rd for social life; only Saudi Arabia is doing worse
27th for entertainment
34th for finding a friend (whether local or ex-pat). Kuwait: 33rd, Japan: 32nd

http://www.tdg.ch/societe/Les-expats...story/18279860 (in French)
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  #59  
Old 25.10.2014, 15:10
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

I'd be curious to know how many people who find difficult to make friends don't speak french or german/swiss-german or italian, and didn't try to do the first step to befriend people ?

Being Swiss, I have a few really good friends towards expats, but it took me some courage (to participate to such forums) but I'm not really a good example...
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  #60  
Old 25.10.2014, 17:37
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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I'd be curious to know how many people who find difficult to make friends don't speak french or german/swiss-german or italian, and didn't try to do the first step to befriend people ?

Being Swiss, I have a few really good friends towards expats, but it took me some courage (to participate to such forums) but I'm not really a good example...
Well, all grad students at the university do their research in English...

Even with my French friends, we always end up speaking in English.
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