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  #81  
Old 21.03.2012, 16:13
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I came here initially in 1998 for a 1 hour meeting. But ended up working here for 4 years, I had no intention whatsoever of working abroad or even traveling abroad and had to rush through an emergency passport application just to make this 1 hour meeting.

Returned to the UK when my future wife started a photography degree there.

We returned in 2007 as my wife wanted to return, looks like I'm here for the duration.
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  #82  
Old 21.03.2012, 16:17
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I came here as a trailing spouse (husband's company transferred us here) in 2005. I looked forward to and was excited about moving here and having another opportunity to live abroad as I'd done many years ago. I continued working with my US employer for awhile via remote access, but when it looked like we would stay longer, I decided to find work locally.

For the most part, I like my life here. I've adapted (though I still struggle with the language), made friends and enjoy the quality of life (though there are some annoyances, like anywhere else; not that I ever expected perfection), and it's been a journey of self-discovery. But, like Signlanguagemama, I'd say I miss my family, especially my mom, the most.

I'd like to say I call this home, but, frankly, the increasing anti-foreigner rhetoric here gives me pause and makes me uncomfortable.
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  #83  
Old 21.03.2012, 16:22
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

After having moved around Asia and Europe while studying and getting the first jobs after graduating, I got two jobs to choose from: one in Zurich and one in Brussels. Went to Brussels for a day, didn't like it at all, moved to Zurich without having been here even once. Didn't know anyone when I moved here.

Liked it since day one, met a Swiss girl a few weeks after moving here, have a bunch of friends by now and after only 3 months and 2 weeks here I'm not planning on going anywhere else! Love the country, the people, the weather and the lifestyle.
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  #84  
Old 21.03.2012, 17:09
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

We didn't go for CH, we went for 'Somewhere in Europe'. After living a couple of years in South Africa we wanted to be closer to family back in DK again (before South Africa we lived in France), especially because of our small children (two out of three born in SA) and their relationship to grandparents as to the rest of our family.

We fell in love with South Africa, however happy leaving it as well, and we now feel fortunate and happy living here in CH One day we will move on as we live as expats, but we feel lucky we got to experience CH and lucky because of this exact spot, where we got to live in CH with wonderful local neighbours and stunning landscape surroundings. CH is a wonderful place for our children without a doubt and coming here from Africa we all felt overwhelmed by all 'the green in nature' everywhere

However, CH does not hold everything for us. Not meaning to sound spoiled, but being Danes and used to be close to the sea all the times, we miss it. No matter it back there oftens means shitty, grey, rainy weather

We do not get the same calmness from the mountains and we feel more at home in wide, open landscapes, I suppose, being from the land known as 'flat as a pan cake'

But without a doubt, CH is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever been to, and me talking about missing the sea and the wide landscape is more a personal thing than objective speaking, I am sure.

I am a trailing spouse and sometimes feel I should have made a career on my own (hold a master degree and worked before getting children), though over all, I am happy and grateful for my life, my family and my personal choices along the road. We get to see the world happily together and home is where we are

Cheers,

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  #85  
Old 21.03.2012, 21:31
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

Interesting reads here!

I was part of a trainee program in Germany, upon graduation from uni in Canada, and was assigned here for 6 months in Fribourg. Fell in love with the country and was determined to come back. Trainee program ended and I had to pick between a few jobs either situated in Germany, Singapore, or Switzerland. The choice was clear! A local CHF-based contract helped made the decision easier.
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  #86  
Old 22.03.2012, 14:08
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

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Came of my own volition. It was Switzerland or Sunderland
When I first went to work in the UK Easter 1970 - I was supposed to get a placement in Hull. Then somebody said to me ' but you hate fish, and it stinks of fish up there'. So I insisted on a change of placement, and went to London instead. Still have never been to Hull- despite living 40 years in UK. The initial 6 months led to meeting a very nice Brit on the train - and the rest is history. But it was definitely my choice- to learn English, live the 70s London and go to the Isle of Wight in the Summer to see Hendrix.
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Old 22.03.2012, 15:42
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

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When I first went to work in the UK Easter 1970 - I was supposed to get a placement in Hull. Then somebody said to me ' but you hate fish, and it stinks of fish up there'. So I insisted on a change of placement, and went to London instead. Still have never been to Hull- despite living 40 years in UK. The initial 6 months led to meeting a very nice Brit on the train - and the rest is history. But it was definitely my choice- to learn English, live the 70s London and go to the Isle of Wight in the Summer to see Hendrix.
Groan

Hull is a great city! I spend a year there at the university. You must go someday.

Ok when i was there it was the worst city in the UK and they did tell me if i was going to go out of the campus at night i wouldnt be coming back but still....
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  #88  
Old 22.03.2012, 16:00
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I lived in the Midlands, in Stoke-on-Trent - when the Shelton Steel bar still looked like a Lowrie painting- and in Leicester, one of the most multicultural towns in the UK - and loved both- so perhaps I would have loved Hull too. Really want to go and visit Northumberland, so will pop in when I'm there
I imagine Hull is very different now to 1970, perhaps
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  #89  
Old 22.03.2012, 17:00
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

After our 2 years' experience of living in Germany, we caught the "travelling bug" again and wanted to give our children a more "European experience", away from the Europhobia displayed in the British media. We were also getting concerned about the increasing "sexualisation of children" in the British modern culture, something that made us feel worried for our 9 year old daughter. Zurich (Mrs T.'s work) was in competition with Geneva (my work). We both applied at the same time and we went to wherever we would get the job offer first (Hence Geneva!). Love it so far, planning to sell the house in England and settle here for good.
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Old 22.03.2012, 17:03
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

They kept saying that about Nottingham too ("most violent city in England...", yet the first crime of which we fell victim was in Geneva! (minor, but still, unexpected!)
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Groan

Hull is a great city! I spend a year there at the university. You must go someday.

Ok when i was there it was the worst city in the UK and they did tell me if i was going to go out of the campus at night i wouldnt be coming back but still....
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  #91  
Old 22.03.2012, 18:48
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I come here bcause of my husband's work...He attended to swap program so we will live here for 2 years....for the moment,I havent a fatal problem

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Just wondering what the proportion of EF members

actually chose to come and live here, and % of those who were 'sent' here?

And perhaps to what extent this impacts on how you feel about your experience in CH.
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  #92  
Old 23.03.2012, 09:49
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

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Same here! I keep in touch with my family and friends via Skype* Even the ones who don't have computers, you can call their landlines. The rates are quite reasonable, too.

That's how I'm able to talk to my mom nearly every day without breaking the bank

(*Disclaimer: not affiliated)
We've been Skyping, but with her work schedule, my schedule here shuttling the kids and the OH around, and the time difference, I'm lucky if I get to talk with her on Sunday evening! I guess what I miss is the convenience of direct dialing her on my cell phone while the kids are out of the house. We'll get it figured out eventually, I'm sure
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  #93  
Old 23.03.2012, 09:54
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I came here for love and since my man is Swiss I think that helps a lot with my desire to integrate and appreciate the culture. I understand how hard it can be to feel accepted or get along with the language barriers, but for me this is my home now and it's in no way an "Us vs Them" type of thing. I'm also invested in the lifestyle here because it is not necessarily temporary. We may move abroad for awhile, but Switzerland is home and the only country I've ever been really homesick for.

That and my personality and mentality seems to fit in well in Swiss German society.
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  #94  
Old 25.03.2012, 15:51
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

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% of those who were 'sent' here?
This brings up images of a child being sent off to boarding school... I mean, who else is "sent" anywhere?
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  #95  
Old 25.03.2012, 17:53
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

Some are sent, some seek, some long for the chance, some induced, some seduced, some trail some are dragged ...
Some do it for love (fools that we are!), some transfer that love to the place when the person has long faded out of focus, some never can, some never quite get what the big deal is and keep focusing on far away.

Everything depends on where you came from, where you are coming from, and where you know you want to go.
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Old 25.03.2012, 18:09
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

I've been hijacked 7 years ago and since i'm trying to prison break
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Old 25.03.2012, 18:15
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

Some very interesting responses, thank you so much- I've really enjoyed reading them all. Ever since I was a small child, I was fascinated by those who were 'different'- the new immigrants, the gipsies, the circus people, the visiting Vicar from Africa (the first black man I ever met- I asked if I could touch his hair- he laughed and bent down- I was about 5). I so loved my area and had a wonderful childhood- and yet always knew I wanted to travel. My initial 6 months in London was supposed to be followed by 6 months in Berlin, then to Quebec and slowly down to South Africa. But I didn't get far, lol. After a few weeks in London I got on the wrong train late at night (couldn't understand the Cockney train guard..) and met Mr O - and the rest is history (that was exactly 42 years ago, Easter 70).
At the end of my 6 months contract, I had to return to CH (no reciprocal agreement then, and getting a work permit extended was very difficult) - teary Good Byes. But he came to CH and asked me to return, with a ring on my finger- we only knew each other for 5 months and I was 19 - crazy, I know.

Ever since I wrote my first thread here 'Is there ever any excuse for learning the language' - I've become very aware that some people are not 'travellers' in their soul, and not fascinated by languages and other cultures- and that some have had 'travelling' forced upon them by all sorts of reasons, be it their work, or love. I now realise that for them, being away from the comforts and security of home must be very hard and at times painful - and that knowing they might have to 'up and go' again soon, is a real barrier to getting involved, making friends, learning the language and culture, etc. Your stories have humbled me- made me think and have much more sympathy for what sometimes can be seen as aloof or even arrogant (from a distance) attitude to living here.

Thanks a million - and hope your dreams come true and that Switzerland will somehow grow on you ... a bit. Bonne chance. Sincerely.

Last edited by Odile; 25.03.2012 at 19:13.
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Old 25.03.2012, 20:45
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

Great words, Odile, especially the traveling soul bit. There is a great Italian poet, Vincenzo Cardarelli, who compares himself to seagulls: he loves and longs for the great sea quietness, but his destiny is to live battling the storms. As for me, the world is my home, today I am here, tomorrow who knows, but while I am here, I'll try to absorb the life of the place, and make it mine.
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Old 25.03.2012, 21:34
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Re: Was coming here your choice- or were you sent?

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Some very interesting responses, thank you so much- I've really enjoyed reading them all. Ever since I was a small child, I was fascinated by those who were 'different'- the new immigrants, the gipsies, the circus people, the visiting Vicar from Africa (the first black man I ever met- I asked if I could touch his hair- he laughed and bent down- I was about 5). I so loved my area and had a wonderful childhood- and yet always knew I wanted to travel. My initial 6 months in London was supposed to be followed by 6 months in Berlin, then to Quebec and slowly down to South Africa. But I didn't get far, lol. After a few weeks in London I got on the wrong train late at night (couldn't understand the Cockney train guard..) and met Mr O - and the rest is history (that was exactly 42 years ago, Easter 70).
At the end of my 6 months contract, I had to return to CH (no reciprocal agreement then, and getting a work permit extended was very difficult) - teary Good Byes. But he came to CH and asked me to return, with a ring on my finger- we only knew each other for 5 months and I was 19 - crazy, I know.

Ever since I wrote my first thread here 'Is there ever any excuse for learning the language' - I've become very aware that some people are not 'travellers' in their soul, and not fascinated by languages and other cultures- and that some have had 'travelling' forced upon them by all sorts of reasons, be it their work, or love. I now realise that for them, being away from the comforts and security of home must be very hard and at times painful - and that knowing they might have to 'up and go' again soon, is a real barrier to getting involved, making friends, learning the language and culture, etc. Your stories have humbled me- made me think and have much more sympathy for what sometimes can be seen as aloof or even arrogant (from a distance) attitude to living here.

Thanks a million - and hope your dreams come true and that Switzerland will somehow grow on you ... a bit. Bonne chance. Sincerely.

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