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Old 16.11.2007, 06:09
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Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

this by no means is a negative question, but as i read more and more about switzerland in preperation of our 1st trip there i see many on this forum who are actually american citizens or at least dual. it just has me wondering what made you move there, why there and what keeps you there?

it seems like an interesting place, and i'm actually looking forward to visiting there more than the 6 other cites on the one month planned trip but i'd like to read why are you all there and is it for good?

As an american, what would be the one thing in zurich we should see? St. Moritz or Lucerne or is Geneva the place to see before crossing over to MIlan?
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Old 16.11.2007, 06:55
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

why does anyone travel anywhere ?
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:02
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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why does anyone travel anywhere ?
geeez, umm not 'travel' but 'live' is my question. Travel is something i've done all my life but actually pull up stakes and move half way across the globe and dig in, in such a small country is just curious to me. how does a suburbanite of st. louis MO decide one day... "hmmm i think i'll move to zurich for the rest of my life"

i guess my question is directed at those who were born and raised in middle america and who now live in a small centuries old town deep into europe.
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:12
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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geeez, umm not 'travel' but 'live' is my question. Travel is something i've done all my life but actually pull up stakes and move half way across the globe and dig in, in such a small country is just curious to me. how does a suburbanite of st. louis MO decide one day... "hmmm i think i'll move to zurich for the rest of my life"

i guess my question is directed at those who were born and raised in middle america and who now live in a small centuries old town deep into europe.
interesting that you say up sticks to a small country. The view here is that we are European (I am non Swiss). Switzerland is in the centre of Old Europe & the opportunities to travel & experience new cultures, architecture etc abound. Europe contains more than 320M people, across more than 30 countries.

regards my previous comment regards passport, it was tongue in cheek, but based on fact & personal experience. 75% of Americans do not hold a passport, 90% of Europeans do, my aunt in Kentucky, did not see the ocean until she was 45 ... worlds apart ...

you will find that most people that moved here wanted to experience something a little different & have grown to love the security, standard of life & beautiful / accessible countryside.

hope that puts things into perspective for you.

Last edited by Polorise; 16.11.2007 at 18:54.
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:27
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

i have filled 3 passports so far and i'm 42 now. Travel is an essential part of living but most of my travel has been in S.America, C. America and only a few cities in Europe such as AMS and CDG. This will be my first time traveling beyond the norm and into an area that we simply dont hear much about nor know anything about but i'm excited to learn it and that why i joined this forum, to learn as much as i can before actually going there.

Everyone i know here in the states holds a passport and that is many, so i dont know if i agree with that stat but be that as it may, i'm simply curious about the swiss and what makes them tick

thanks for your insight, and i liked what you said about it, i envy those who can make that change, unfortunately for me, i own an american corporation that must be located here in middle america so i have only one choice and that is to travel to discover but fortunately i have the means to do so.
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:33
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

It appears it's more like 20% of Americans who have a passport...
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:38
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

I think you will find that the majorityof American citizens here are working in either Finace or Pharma, with some in THE UN in Geneva.
Outside of that, many come to study or carry out Phd's at ETH in Zürich or here in Bern, a few are on this forum.

We have a surgeon here in Bern, who has taken a sabbatical before he starts his own practice, he wanted to expand his knowledge so i serving an internship at The Uni Spital to learn European practices.

& of course, many have met their SwissMiss or Man & have decided to settle here for the reasons previously outlined.

My feeling is that the size & scope (geographically) of the US, coupled with the distance of travel, inhibits many Americans from travelling here, so your trip is commendable. My only message to you would be not to concentrate on the cities too much & try & get out & see the countryside.
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:38
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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It appears it's more like 20% of Americans who have a passport...
thx ... saves me hitting Google ...
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Old 16.11.2007, 07:56
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

I can sort-of see why some people wouldn't go abroad from the US - there's a huge amount of variety in the places, climates, lifestyles, landscape, etc within the US itself without having to get a passport, buy expensive transatlantic of transpacific flights or (and this can be a major thing for some) have to learn another language.
You could almost imagine if the federal europe thing takes off, people having this conversation in 200 years saying 'What? You've never left Europe? I bet you don't even have a passport...'
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Old 16.11.2007, 08:16
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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I can sort-of see why some people wouldn't go abroad from the US - there's a huge amount of variety in the places, climates, lifestyles, landscape, etc within the US itself without having to get a passport, buy expensive transatlantic of transpacific flights or (and this can be a major thing for some) have to learn another language.
You could almost imagine if the federal europe thing takes off, people having this conversation in 200 years saying 'What? You've never left Europe? I bet you don't even have a passport...'
No ... that would be Yurrup

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Old 16.11.2007, 08:38
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

I guess I'm in the minority as I'm not here in finance or pharma nor am I on a lucrative expat assignment. We just up and moved. Of course, my wife is European (Czech) and I met her in Germany. So that may have something to do with it. But I wanted to live in Europe before I even met her. Marrying here just provided incentive as she wanted to return as well.

I've lived several places in the US. I grew up just outside New Orleans, I went to Uni in Kentucky for a few years, then finished back in Lafayette, LA, then onto Dallas. In fact, since high school, I have completely uprooted myself and moved to a different state every 5 years or so. Truthfully, I've never wanted to stay anywhere "forever". I could just easily ask you "how does someone live in St. Louis for any period of time?" If I had to live in St Louis (or Dallas, or Lexington) for the rest of my life, I would go crazy. It's a big world. There's a lot to experience, and visiting a place for 2 weeks on a package tour doesn't cut it.

Plus, we have a 2-year-old, and I think it will benefit her greatly.

Last edited by bozothedeathmachine; 16.11.2007 at 09:17. Reason: My spelling sucks
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Old 16.11.2007, 09:05
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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As an american, what would be the one thing in zurich we should see? St. Moritz or Lucerne or is Geneva the place to see before crossing over to MIlan?
In zurich, take a walk from the main railway station, over the river, through the old part of zurich, called "Niederdorf", all the way to the lake and have some, maybe a nice bratwurst sausage and a beer somewhere en route.

Many tourists go and spend a day in Lucerne, and take a trip up a mountain called Pilatus, which is very picturesque. Its a nice trip, recommended, with a nice view of the alps on clear days. Dont bother if its foggy and cloudy though.

St Moritz is a ski resort of course and best if you are a skier. Geneva is on the other westerly side of switzerland and on the french border, zurich is in the north... they are about 3 hrs train ride from each other, on switzerlands very comfortable public railway service.

Any other questions, feel free to ask!
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Old 16.11.2007, 09:20
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

You live in Chicago? - lucky, lucky man! Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world imho. I had the good fortune to live there for 6 months, and I absolutely loved it - so much going on!

Things will be quite, quite different in this part of the world. Good luck!
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Old 16.11.2007, 09:38
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

came for work. What do I like about Switzerland, the number one thing for me is the outdoor activities. If I wasn't into outdoor activities, I personally would find it kind of boring. but thats my opinion.

The other great thing compared to US, is how easily you can travel to all parts of Europe and Africa.

Travel and outdoors activities keep me happy me happy here.

Apart from that, I would it is litte things I appreciate that are diffent from the US and the one I find is that people generally still trust each other here, a few times I haven't have forgotten my money at the bakery and the butcher and they just said I could pay them later. I don't find this in the US any longer, even with small towns. Also, being able to break a 200 Franc bill for a 2 Franc item at the local convenience mart.

Personally, what I get from it is just the personal experience and perspective from living in a country not your own. You will start, if you are open, questioning some of the crazy things us Americans do, while equalling laughing at the crazy things the Swiss do. I think the experience helps you grow as a person.
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Old 16.11.2007, 09:53
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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.....a few cities in Europe such as AMS and CDG.....
I assume you've been (though?) Amsterdam and Paris? We tend to call cities here in Europe by their full name, you know.

You will survive quite easily here - ignore those who suggest you need to bring toilet paper and chocolate as we have those now Even electricity, running cold and hot water are common in today's Europe. The water closet has made it into the house - for a long time, going Number Twos in winter was only for the brave.

Maybe you can learn some reasons to leave the country from your friends in the 51st State? Truth is, it's actually quite nice over here.
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Old 16.11.2007, 10:11
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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It appears it's more like 20% of Americans who have a passport...
I'm surprised it is so high (and I'm an American). I would have thought the number would be in single digits. I wonder what the percentage was before the current ID requirements on the Canadian and Mexican borders came into place. Most Americans that travel internationally generally only do so to Canada and/or Mexico. In fact I was in my mid-20s before traveling to someplace outside of these three countries.

I was reading the article and how the author estimates the number of passports. He mentions being quite generous on the numbers. There are folks out there that might have diplomatic or official government passports in addition to their tourist passports. I'd expect that military folks also have some sort of passport. It would be interesting to see the numbers after all of this has been taken into account.
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Old 16.11.2007, 10:13
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

I'm also a minority living over here sans job for the last 7.5 years.

I love it over here. I grew up in NJ and lived in New England before coming over. It's a totally different way of life here. There is no keeping up with the Jone's with the Swiss (although at the international schools it can be seen). People make time for simple things like sitting down at a cafe for coffee. I love knowing that in 2 hours drive I'm in another country with different languages and cultures. I love how some buildings/fountains/monuments are really really old compared to the states. True the mentality is a barrier to some, but I feel more 'culture shocked' when I return stateside.

Intergration and making the most out of the situation are the keys to enjoying life here.

Places to see would include Rheinfalls in Schaffhausen, Lucerne is pretty, Lugano, Bern, Jungfrau Joch and Zermatt. St. Moritz is an over priced ski resort IMO.
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Old 16.11.2007, 10:42
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

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... Of course, my wife is European (Czech) and I met her in Germany.....
Bozo, a Czech woman is reason enough to move even to timbuktu with
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Old 16.11.2007, 10:43
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

I have never lived in the states and am from ireland, living in switzerland for 8 years now.

However I have often heard Europeans refer to Switzerland as the Europe America. I think Americans are more comfortable here, English is widely spoken and money and finance play an important role in society and new technology is embraced.

Just my tuppence worth.

If you do move here I hope you will take up the opportunity to integrate with the Swiss and the other European nationalities living here.

good luck

John
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Old 16.11.2007, 11:02
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Re: Why does an American move to and live in switzerland?

You may find your answers here Why did you come to Switzerland?. It is not specific to Americans, but I think the reasons are much the same whatever western country you come from. Top two reasons seem to be love and work.
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