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Old 21.05.2006, 09:30
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Carrie Carrie is offline
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Carrie has made some interesting contributions
Re: Why I HATE Switzerland.

Also, you could maybe setup a trade otherwise, get a local to teach you, and you teach them English, for free. The Cambridge Institute in Berne may be a good source of interested people. Or put up signs in supermarkets, Free English Tuition in exchange for... etc.
I would strongly suggest this, too! A lot of foreign students here do something called a tandem program. You teach someone your mother tongue (or language you know very well!) in exchange for lessons in the other person's language. This sounds like what you will need to do if not able to pay for language courses out of pocket at the moment - find someone who speaks German or French who wants to learn or improve in English.

Otherwise, insist on using the second language wherever and whenever possible. Don't fall into the trap of letting other people speak shoddy English to you. Good, shoddy, whatever the level may be, their English will improve and your second language won't. Be tough and insist!

With your baby, couldn't you find other people with children to talk to, such as Spielgruppen (play groups)? I think you'll find more than just boring moms there - there will be women waiting to get back into professional life, just like you. Maybe even the occasional father, too. I'm not speaking from experience on this one, but lots of people told me I should have a baby in order to meet other people when I was having language difficulties. I didn't go that far, but seeing as you've already got the baby, why not? If nothing else, it'll be an outing for you and the kid and the kid gets socialization, too.

Lastly, I just want to applaud gurutalon for going out on a limb and sharing his frustration with us. In this country, it just isn't acceptable to say to ANYONE that you are going nutso, even if you are! It's even rarer to see someone receiving so much compassion and useful advice - so thanks to everyone here at this forum, too! This is such a proactive bunch! I think we've all been there before in some way or another, or else we wouldn't be able to sympathathize with you.
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