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Old 22.08.2011, 11:32
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Homesick Partner

Hi There,

While I am already very settled in Nyon, and Switzerland generally my fiancee is really struggling at the moment, does anyone have any tips of what to do, I am obviously being supportive but just wondered if anyone had any insight as I keep saying the same things to encourage her that its normal and ok, but she is still really low...she has a job and some friends already but is missing the UK badly...

Many Thanks
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Old 22.08.2011, 11:41
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Re: Homesick Partner

Has she tried joing a sports team or club? Maybe getting together with some expats? I am American and have a few American girlfriends here and always have a great time with them which is completely different from hanging out with work colleagues. At first I struggled as well but joing a sports team and hanging out with people who naturally understood, experienced the same culture hock/homesickness from time to time was really helpful. Also, take a weekend to play tourist and go somewhere together that you coud not so easily access from home to help her really appriciate your current location. Maybe a small town or vineyard in France or Italy would work nicely for a weekend trip.
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Old 22.08.2011, 11:44
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Re: Homesick Partner

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Hi There,

While I am already very settled in Nyon, and Switzerland generally my fiancee is really struggling at the moment, does anyone have any tips of what to do, I am obviously being supportive but just wondered if anyone had any insight as I keep saying the same things to encourage her that its normal and ok, but she is still really low...she has a job and some friends already but is missing the UK badly...

Many Thanks
Been here long? Places change & are not the same as you remember so a trip back to the UK might show the place she is homesick for does not exist anymore.
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Old 22.08.2011, 11:44
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Re: Homesick Partner

I know the title technically doesn't apply (yet) but some great advice in this thread:
Tips for Trailing Spouses
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Old 22.08.2011, 12:46
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Re: Homesick Partner

All great advise , many thanks, we've only been here a few months but it is still easy to romanticise how great the UK was, I love it here but there are a few things that give me a pang for home, trying to get more things for us to do together with other people but its all confidence I suppose
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:26
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Re: Homesick Partner

...romanticise how great the UK is? It doesn't have to be great, it's home.
I've been here for over forty years, happily married, lots of Swiss friends, but show me a picture of green fields with a nice hedge between them...

Some folk find the adaption easier than others but it helps sometimes to know that LOTS of folk felt, or feel, the same way.
Have a good look in the Trailing Spouse thread MathNut linked to as there are some brilliant ideas to help the transition.
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:31
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Re: Homesick Partner

It takes at least a year to get used to a new country. No matter if you work or already have many friends. There is not much you can do for homesickness, usually it tapers off to a manageable "every now and then" blues, sometimes it doesn't. A visit home, or a visit from someone home only helps for a bit. For me making the house homely really works. Thinking "Oh I am only here for a couple of years why bother" is wrong, it means you come home to a strangers house every day.
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Old 22.08.2011, 13:36
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Re: Homesick Partner

Get out.

Be out constantly. Get a GA and get to know everything about everything about your/her new home. Feeling at home is a full time job. Go on ALL the social events on EF (not just one or two) to find which you/she likes.

Get a phrasebook. Speak to people. All the time. Say Gruezi* to everybody and always smile!

For me, this is the best way to cure homesickness.

*Bonjour

Last edited by economisto; 22.08.2011 at 13:36. Reason: noticed....in Geneva
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Old 22.08.2011, 14:11
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Re: Homesick Partner

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It takes at least a year to get used to a new country. No matter if you work or already have many friends. There is not much you can do for homesickness, usually it tapers off to a manageable "every now and then" blues, sometimes it doesn't. A visit home, or a visit from someone home only helps for a bit. For me making the house homely really works. Thinking "Oh I am only here for a couple of years why bother" is wrong, it means you come home to a strangers house every day.
I am a trailing spouse, I've been here now for four years, my husband eleven. When I first moved here I was constantly in tears, missing my sisters, nephews and nieces and my parents. After a couple of weeks I booked a flight home and stayed with one of my sisters for a week. I had a lovely time, but missed my hubby and Switzerland. I realised I could visit family at regular intervals (obviously a bit more difficult if you are from the USA etc), we text and email, phone each other and my family have holidays here, which is really great. As you say, sometimes I still feel homesick, but I have come to love Switzerland, I am happy in my own company, which helps as I'm not working, and I am making the most of my time here, as even though we would like to stay here when hubby retires it may not be possible, and by then I think I may want to be home with loved ones in England, especially my parents who are getting older.
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Old 22.08.2011, 14:24
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Re: Homesick Partner

One thing you have to realize about being an expat is that, in general (and this has been shown...at least the one study I read) you start out loving a new country, then you end up hating it for a bit, then you sort of settle into some sort of realistic happy medium.
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Old 22.08.2011, 14:57
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Re: Homesick Partner

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just wondered if anyone had any insight
Get a satellite dish or other means of getting British TV. Even if she wasn't a big TV addict in the UK, it acts as some kind of "lifeline" to "home" (or did with me).
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:09
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Re: Homesick Partner

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...but show me a picture of green fields with a nice hedge between them...
You mean something like this:

homesick-partner-rubbish.jpg
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:15
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Re: Homesick Partner

I'll ignore the rubbish in the 'Gebührensäcke' but THAT, dear sir, is not a hedge. Hedges are neatly kept with the branches of the bushes bent over sideways and interwoven. Beside a hedge there is a ditch. The greenery in your picture is unkept 'Gestrüpp'.
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:21
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Re: Homesick Partner

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All great advise , many thanks, we've only been here a few months but it is still easy to romanticise how great the UK was, I love it here but there are a few things that give me a pang for home, trying to get more things for us to do together with other people but its all confidence I suppose
Ummm... copy some of the rioting scenes and put them on replay on the TV. That'll soon cure any notions of "romanticism"...

Anyway, you just need to hang-on in there until the RWC, then there'll be plenty to distract her with... hope she likes Rugby as much as you do...
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:32
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Re: Homesick Partner

i've been living abroad for four years now. i miss my country, but now not that much. here's what i did:

1. i make my home as homey as i can, as if i'm about to settle down. e.g. hang paintings, put nice things.

2. i try to build a daily routine. i find that routine helps you get settled.

3. find a good/best friend (a wing man or a partner in crime) to go out with and show you around and do things with. someone you could talk to.

4. go out regularly and try to speak the language even if you sound like tarzan.

5. this is probably the most difficult: try, as much as you can, not to contact home or look at things that remind you of home, at least for a few months. instead, put your attention to the local scene.

6. hangout with other expats. it makes things better. build a circle of friends.

7. do your best to do things like how the locals do. as they say, when in rome, do as the romans do. try to copy the local's mannerisms, body language and speech patterns and if you can as you learn the language copy the accent too.

8. do physical activities that has a social component like sports. or just working out in the gym. it helps.

there you go. i hope this helps. i find that it helped me a lot in adjusting to life away from home.

Last edited by cog; 22.08.2011 at 15:39. Reason: added item#8
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:39
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Re: Homesick Partner

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Get out.

Be out constantly. Get a GA and get to know everything about everything about your/her new home. Feeling at home is a full time job. Go on ALL the social events on EF (not just one or two) to find which you/she likes.

Get a phrasebook. Speak to people. All the time. Say Gruezi* to everybody and always smile!

For me, this is the best way to cure homesickness.

*Bonjour
Not going to do the OP's partner much good saying 'gruezi' in Geneva. She'd probably be much better off saying 'hello'
I think the tv idea is good.
I would hate to be without BBC Radio 4, but it comes at a price!
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Old 22.08.2011, 15:54
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Re: Homesick Partner

Hey !!! It's a part of the game - Culture Shock!!
As someone here mentioned, it usually takes a year to settle in.
For the first few months, we are uncomfortable doing even the simplest of tasks, for fear of what we might be doing wrong!!
What does she like doing? What's her favorite hobby,interest?
Take her to nearby France and Geneva often. Take other likeable people along!!

All the best!!
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Old 22.08.2011, 16:02
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Re: Homesick Partner

Your fiancee might also like to join the American International Women's Club in Geneva where there are many different nationalities and lots of English women, not only Americans, and the language of the club is English.
She'd certainly make friends, and there are also various activity groups, if there is something specific she's interested in, e.g. tennis, hiking, reading, music-appreciation.
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Old 22.08.2011, 16:30
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Re: Homesick Partner

Obviously you are not shagging her enough! Do try a bit harder please.
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Old 22.08.2011, 16:36
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Re: Homesick Partner

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Obviously you are not shagging her enough! Do try a bit harder please.
We're off
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