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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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  #61  
Old 25.10.2014, 18:20
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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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)
That is quite shocking if you look at the bottom:

Quote:
Germany 26 0.43
Egypt 27 0.41
Thailand 28 0.40
Qatar 29 0.37
Saudi Arabia 30 0.35
Japan 31 0.35
Kuwait 32 0.33
United Arab Emirates 33 0.32
Switzerland 34 0.28
If you go down from the 26 (Germany) you find:

- 5 Arab countries, 4 of them in petro countries in the Gulf which are famous for their local population which live in a bubble of privileges.

- 2 Asian countries (Thailand, Japan) which have something in common: they have never been culturally colonized by Western powers. Whoever has traveled a bit in Asia has noticed that most people in Thai or Japan don't speak or have absolutely no interest to speak English. A shark contrast to South Korea or China where everybody is obsessed with that and way more open to foreign cultural influences. Thai and Japan are culturally isolated countries (even if they don't look like that) and proud to be that way.

- And Switzerland at the very bottom.
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  #62  
Old 25.10.2014, 21:11
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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Interesting that there is an almost equal split from opposite ends of the poll. Seems that either people are successful in making friends here quickly (within first year) or not at all.
Totally agree with this observation, I made my only two Swiss friends in the first year. I have many Swiss acquintances, but they are not what I would call real friends, although I can always hang out with them, do some things together and enjoy their presence, but thats it. Even so I feel lucky, because when I hear other expats complaining I feel like there is something I do much better than them. Maybe because I am very loyal and modest, I dont know.
Anyhow, most of my friends here are foreigners, like me.
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  #63  
Old 26.10.2014, 09:30
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Interesting thread.

Being a trailing spouse is harder than one that is working with people daily so opportunities are much different. We lived in Germany from 07-09 and we made a few friends there that were German but they were all colleagues of my working spouse. I didn't speak the language and we had no intention of staying in Germany that long but after the banks crashed in 08, we ended up staying another year before we were able to find other employment.

I plan to take language lessons this time and hopefully, that will bring opportunities to meet people and my spouse who is fluent in German, can help me with that. We have a couple of friends that we will see from Germany soon and that's a relief.

Making friends later in life is harder no matter where you live. If you don't have children (like us and can't have any at this stage in life) there are less ways to meet people with common lifestyles. Singles have a way of finding friends by going to clubs etc. Middle aged folks like us have different lifestyles. I look forward to finding ways to meet people no matter their background. This thread helped me think of new ways.
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  #64  
Old 26.10.2014, 13:59
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Having moved many times in my life, I have found that it takes 4-5 years to feel at home in place, wherever in the world you are. This includes making (true) friends. We have been here for just over a year now, and are "friendly" with many, but I would not consider any of them really friends yet.
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  #65  
Old 27.10.2014, 11:27
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

I usually made the most of my social contacts through co worker while working in a lab, this was the same in CH. However, since I've made the jump from science to the business side of work, and now all my co-workers are at least 15 years older than me. Have been doing various sports and gym, but not many social contacts there. Still the bar and club scene seems the best way to meet people--however the recovery period is getting longer :P
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Old 27.10.2014, 11:33
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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?
I have been here for two years and I have no swiss friends. I only have expat friends.

cheers
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  #67  
Old 27.10.2014, 11:40
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

My mate Kemal reckons you can attract Swiss friends quite easily.


He puts a trail of cigarettes and cans of Red Bull leading from the station kiosk to his cellar, and now he's got quite a collection of them.


Apparently, they're quite easy to stuff but it's hard to tell the stuffed ones from the live ones, he says.


I don't know, though, I mean, like, a stuffed one wouldn't be able to play Jass, no?
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  #68  
Old 27.10.2014, 11:53
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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My mate Kemal reckons you can attract Swiss friends quite easily.


He puts a trail of cigarettes and cans of Red Bull leading from the station kiosk to his cellar, and now he's got quite a collection of them.


Apparently, they're quite easy to stuff but it's hard to tell the stuffed ones from the live ones, he says.


I don't know, though, I mean, like, a stuffed one wouldn't be able to play Jass, no?

Seriously though, the only time I actually have a conversation with a Swiss person, is when they ask me for a cigarette and follow-up conversation. Perhaps this is why I never smoked before moving here, and now up to a pack a day
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  #69  
Old 27.10.2014, 12:46
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

There is such a wide definition of a "friend". It can range from someone you know with mutual sympathy and trust, to an intimate lover. I don't recall the last time, if ever, I shook hands and verbally agreed with someone to be a friend. These just develop over time through mutual rapport.

To be honest, I can only afford to have a small handful of close friends. Friends are those I can devote a considerable amount of time with, and share intimate details of life with. Furthermore, friends are those who you would sometimes willingly carry and support. This includes putting up with all their baggages, hang ups, shortcomings, stupidity and faults. There are risks and responsibilities in a friendship. My available time and energy only allows for a few of these. The rest are borderline between friends and acquaintances I happen to know, wish well and like; but not necessarily committed to. You can afford as many of these as you'd like. Perhaps this is a facet of life in Switzerland. You have to be pretty industrious in Switzerland to keep life running smoothly, and it does not always allow for time to tend to the needs of others. Hence, i don't go out of my way looking for friendship, and am fine with the friends I already have now.

As for developing and nurturing friends, it goes back to the basic golden rule: You do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. If you are waiting for someone to be a friend to you, you may have to wait a very long time or may never find it. If you really want to find a friend, you have to go out on a limb and be a friend to someone in the way you want them to be a friend to you. I think this is a universal cosmic law that is proven to be true, and the Swiss are as subject to it as anyone else.
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  #70  
Old 27.10.2014, 15:17
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

It took me about two years. Given this, I was quite lazy for most of this time; more correctly, I wasn't alone - having moved here with my other half - so it wasn't a priority and work and getting set up took up a lot of my time.

So I did finally decide to branch out and meet people, I was already here a year and a half, quickly made friends and then eventually friends that have remained so since.

I think that asking how long it takes to make friends is a bit meaningless. Some people are simply not very good at doing so. Others are too lazy or distracted to make an effort. And ultimately luck is a factor; you might meet someone you hit it off with quickly or it could take you years to bump into someone you have anything in common with.

I would echo the comments on expats. Unless they have a connection to the country, most expats (and by this I mean educated, professional foreigners, here principally for work reasons), tend only to remain for two or three years.

As to the Swiss, I personally found that once you befriend one, you'll quickly befriend more - it's almost as if your friendship 'recommends' you as acceptable for others. This is not a Swiss 'thing' though; you'd be surprised how many people in other countries follow this same dynamic.
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  #71  
Old 27.10.2014, 16:24
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

It depends on how you define 'friends'.

The 1st month here i have already known many people, but till 1 year later now, i only keep closer with 3 of them who are also foreigners(such as go shopping together, invite to each other's home, cook together etc.).

After i join our village's sport club, travel together with them, work voluntairly making money for club, i am completely accepted by those local people,but i can't say i became friend with any of them.

1st is becuz of the language, my high German level is B1, but when they talk swiss german,i feel iam isloated.(i understand that they don't meant that, since iam the only foreigner there. and even not everyone in that club could speak high German).

2nd, locals are already have their social networking,they don't make friends intended.

Nevertheless, finding friends in switzerland is easy, but finding close, good friends takes time.
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  #72  
Old 27.10.2014, 17:15
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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Nevertheless, finding friends in switzerland is easy, but finding close, good friends takes time.
You are also required to put some effort into this relations and I personally have the feeling that some expats would expect the locals to treat them as guests like...permanently. Every sensible Swiss would figure when you are new and need some let's say guidance, and help, and at times they would get out of their way to make you feel welcome, but after a while this relation evolves and you are expected to do your bit.
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  #73  
Old 01.11.2014, 19:05
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

not long at all. people with common interests will always be drawn to each other. for me as a brit then it was the pub. started with some of expat places and then started trying the local bars in zurich. never really had trouble finding people to talk to there. and i would say just about all of my friends, be they swiss or otherwise, i met in the pub, or they are somehow related to people i met in the pub. most of my friends i have known for 10 years now.
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  #74  
Old 01.11.2014, 22:25
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

Join the Volunteer Firebrigade, you'll have oodles of friends after two 'Trainings' and a few beers. Fight a fire with them, or cut someone out of a car and they are friends for life!
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  #75  
Old 01.11.2014, 22:45
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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not long at all. people with common interests will always be drawn to each other. for me as a brit then it was the pub. started with some of expat places and then started trying the local bars in zurich. never really had trouble finding people to talk to there. and i would say just about all of my friends, be they swiss or otherwise, i met in the pub, or they are somehow related to people i met in the pub. most of my friends i have known for 10 years now.
I can't say I've ever met someone in a pub.

My social circle was sourced from geek events and personal introductions. "Oh, crazykittylady can help you fix/mod/solve this problem you're having, give her a call." or "Crazykittylady, you should call person X, they can help you fix/mod/solve this issue you're having with this."

Just goes to show, we all have our own niches.
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  #76  
Old 05.11.2014, 22:31
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

as my husband had worked here a bit before we came, I had a whole group of ready-made swiss friends waiting for me... but they are certainly more his friends (frankly, they are a bit boring for me ) but i made my own (swiss) friends quite quickly- my best friend within the first month (and language wasn't an issue, i spoke none and we connected when she invited me to meet for a beer once and week and practice french) and a good many since then.

i don't have a lot of expats friends, actually any at all- though i do have a handful of friends who immigrated and call switzerland home without a contract to push or pull them anywhere else. honestly, i did meet quite a few expats around here, but i just don't have much in common with them. and can the different language regions really be soooooo different in terms of making friends with swiss? even if we are here in romandie, at least half of my swiss friends are originally swiss-german and they are really open, warm and nice people. if you want i can share them with those of you who are swiss friend-less if you'd like
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  #77  
Old 05.11.2014, 23:26
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

My wife made few friends yesterday but they are gone now ... They came to visit in my tummy for few minutes
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Old 05.11.2014, 23:57
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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My mate Kemal reckons you can attract Swiss friends quite easily.


He puts a trail of cigarettes and cans of Red Bull leading from the station kiosk to his cellar, and now he's got quite a collection of them.


Apparently, they're quite easy to stuff but it's hard to tell the stuffed ones from the live ones, he says.


I don't know, though, I mean, like, a stuffed one wouldn't be able to play Jass, no?

So that he is on DU UND DU with the local police Corps ?


************************************************** **************************************************


Friends ? In London back in 1972 for 3 months I had friends from
Iran
Kuwait
Lebanon
Morocco
Spain
Portugal
in the meantime, here, I got friends in
Britain
France
Germany
Italy


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Seriously though, the only time I actually have a conversation with a Swiss person, is when they ask me for a cigarette and follow-up conversation. Perhaps this is why I never smoked before moving here, and now up to a pack a day
-
and when you moved over here you enthusiastically joined a shrinking minority ? Or did you come to Switzerland before 1965 ?


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  #79  
Old 09.11.2014, 14:16
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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If you are waiting for someone to be a friend to you, you may have to wait a very long time or may never find it.
ITA, i think you have to take some initiative..

I want to post to this thread again because my social life here has taken off a bit more recently

I recently signed up my oldest child to a sports club, and while sitting in the foyer have got chatting to a group of people- here i did have to take initiative and kind of crowbar an introduction in via interrupting their conversation which was previously just between them. I can do this without being rude though and they were very accepting of me after that. One of them (one of the Swiss ones!) have exchanged numbers with and am going to visit in 2 weeks (when we are both free)

Secondly we decided to throw a Halloween party, and invited all the kids from school. We really went to town on the outfits we bought and we got lots of decorations and about 5 pumpkin lanterns lol. I had my German tutor help me with the invites and handwrote them all in perfect German. It went really well, and since the party I have texted each one of the parents to suggest playdates and have got several lined up!!! I know this is primarily my daughter's social life but it means potential in my eyes as I had previously made some very intimate friendships in the UK via our children!

My husband has made a friend through work who has an American wife she is really lovely and easygoing and has the same name as me... i invited her to the party as well and she has a baby at the moment so cant really come out partying yet but she has hinted that she will once the baby is a bit older so i just need to hang fire for a year or so, and nevertheless in the meantime we can do daytimey things with the kids or evenings together but more chilled and at home

Lastly someone on this forum finally offered to take me out around Zürich and show me the nightlife and I went out this weekend and had a wonderful time and met 4 new people, with the opportunity to do it again,,

i definitely do not feel isolated here anyway (y) but I definitely think had I sat here and just waited for people to flock to me it would not have happened, i feel i have been proactive and it is paying off!
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Old 09.11.2014, 14:33
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Re: How long did it take you to make friends here?

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I can't say I've ever met someone in a pub.
I met my first wife, as well as several friends, at a pub in Zurich, nearly 30 years ago, some days or weeks after moving here.

My wife has since passed away, and my friends are still my friends and live a few km away, in fact we're spending the weekend with some of them.

Tom
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