Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #161  
Old 13.02.2012, 11:50
jrspet's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Quaint Wädenswil, Zürich, CH
Posts: 8,149
Groaned at 27 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 7,036 Times in 3,912 Posts
jrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond reputejrspet has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Threads merged. Thanks MN.
Reply With Quote
  #162  
Old 13.02.2012, 11:55
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Calling all trailing spouses...

From my experience as a trailing spouse, the most important factor was to learn the language, and join activities/courses/groups where I would meet 'local' people rather than ex-pats. Without the language one is stuck both professionally and socially, so I made it my first and foremost priority. I joined some courses in things that interested me (Migrosschule does anything from pottery, jewellerey, tai-chi, the list is endless). Join a local womans reading group, or whatever.

A Forum like this is a lifeline in many ways - and yet, I wonder if it doesn't in some ways prevent the sort of desperation that 'forces' one into action and strategies. Looking back, I had no access whatsoever to any kind of ex-pat group in those per internet days - perhaps in a way, it helped? Getting out and meeting others is the key I'm sure. Bonne chance.
Reply With Quote
  #163  
Old 03.05.2012, 12:12
marton's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kt. Zürich
Posts: 9,639
Groaned at 409 Times in 353 Posts
Thanked 17,259 Times in 9,277 Posts
marton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond reputemarton has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Not sure if this is the best place to post this but I was amazed to see in TagesAnzeiger today that a larger percentage of women work in Switzerland than in other countries. Really impressive when you consider the unhelpful school hours & the difficulties of finding places for younger children.

I attache the figures from TagesAnzeiger today

Last edited by marton; 08.12.2017 at 18:38.
Reply With Quote
  #164  
Old 03.05.2012, 12:30
drmom's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Somewhere in SG
Posts: 2,341
Groaned at 12 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 2,187 Times in 1,050 Posts
drmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
Not sure if this is the best place to post this but I was amazed to see in TagesAnzeiger today that a larger percentage of women work in Switzerland than in other countries. Really impressive when you consider the unhelpful school hours & the difficulties of finding places for younger children.

I attache the figures from TagesAnzeiger today

I find this very hard to believe! Would be interesting to know more about the numbers and who is included - professionals vs. working a few hours when possible., etc.
Reply With Quote
  #165  
Old 03.05.2012, 12:47
Aquanexus's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 368
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 269 Times in 129 Posts
Aquanexus has an excellent reputationAquanexus has an excellent reputationAquanexus has an excellent reputationAquanexus has an excellent reputation
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
I find this very hard to believe! Would be interesting to know more about the numbers and who is included - professionals vs. working a few hours when possible., etc.
Agreed, I have a friend consulting to cantonal authorities on how to improve working conditions for women with children. She mentioned that certain cantons intentionally had inflexible school hours and higher tax rates for married & working women to promote their women residing at home. Of course this is primarily directed towards married women and mothers. Again, this is all hearsay.
Reply With Quote
  #166  
Old 12.07.2012, 16:18
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: baden
Posts: 21
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
islendingurisviss has no particular reputation at present
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
Having seen posts written by newcomers who find it very difficult to feel at home here, it might be useful, (in a similar way to the 'tips on eating cheap' Thread), to collect ideas which have worked for those who relocated 'successfully'. Not too many negative personal experiences please.
If you have settled in happily, have you ideas for others to copy?

My offering:
Before you leave home: if the language of the future domicile is known, get hold of a phrase book if you possibly can. In the ‘new land’ there may be phrase books available in the two languages, but they might be ‘put together’ differently and any phonetic aid to pronunciation will be the ‘wrong way round’. Being able to look up and use even the simplest expressions reduces the ‘tongue-tied’ feeling and gives a more positive ‘first impression’ to the natives! Showing an effort to fit in will usually give you bonus points.

If you have any special connections, interests or hobbies, look round for groups as soon as you are settled in. Church, sport, handwork of any description, music, art, photography... The chance that at least one other person there speaks English is quite high.
Accept that it will sometimes be difficult and think up in advance ways of ‘spoiling yourself’ if you have had a particularly rough day.
Some people find it easier than others! Don’t be put off either by folk who say they never had any problems (they are probably suffering from loss of memory), or by folk who say it is, and stays, a nightmare situation. If you have to ‘trail’ often, try to remember the tricks you used to help yourself at the previous location.

Look for ex-pat groups but don’t neglect the neighbours – you live with them 24 hours a day – especially if you have small children!
Sympathy and Solutions. Sometimes having a good rant about the problems in the new country does you good – but don’t let it cloud your vision. Get some sympathy if you can, EF is a wonderful place, but afterwards, start looking for ways to avoid the problem or at least minimise it. You can drown in too much self-pity.
Learn to laugh at yourself! You are going to make mistakes somewhere along the line and if you laugh first, it doesn’t bother you as much when other folk laugh too!

The law and the rules, written and unwritten, of the new country are valid for you too. Pleading ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law. Keep your eyes open when using public transport etc. and see what the other folk are doing. (This doesn’t mean that Swiss law says you have to push your way in front of others though

Do some of the things, or see some of the sights you would never have had the chance to do or see had you not been ‘forced’ to come to this country.

If you have children, remember that this is a terrific upheaval for them too. Try to be supporting and patient. Children pick up languages quicker than we do, but that doesn’t mean it is easy for them to be torn from their old environment and in the new place not to be accepted and/or understood by their new playmates. If they are school age, remember that not only is the language different, but history and geography for example are from a completely different angle, the games or sports have rules they will not know, music may be taught in another way. Even basic principles may differ. In school in the first class in Switzerland, the setting out of the maths page neatly was considered very important. After moving to England, our daughter was immediately in trouble for wasting paper and learned to squeeze the maximum onto each page. Two years later, we came back to Switzerland and she was in the dog house again. ”Much too close together.” It’s only a minor point but for the child it is really difficult to understand. And this sort of thing happens again and again.

Mods - please feel free to edit in any way or add Tags. I am a Newbie really in spite of the 'Member' title and not really computer literate. I have tried reading the FAQ but unfortunately I cannot always understand the question - let alone the answer
Thank you for good advices My husband has been working in Switzerland for over 3 years and I have only been coming here for "visits" few weeks at a time. Now I am probably gonna stay here for much longer. I feel very lonely because I am not working and my kids are grown but I will have to find a way to adjust This Sunday I am gonna check out a international church and you gave me an idea about trying to find an art group . I am a very open person who likes to joke around and often have a little chat with people f.ex. in the grocery store . But you don't do that in Switzerland ( german speaking) Thanks again .
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old 12.07.2012, 16:21
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: baden
Posts: 21
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
islendingurisviss has no particular reputation at present
Re: Calling all trailing spouses...

Quote:
From my experience as a trailing spouse, the most important factor was to learn the language, and join activities/courses/groups where I would meet 'local' people rather than ex-pats. Without the language one is stuck both professionally and socially, so I made it my first and foremost priority. I joined some courses in things that interested me (Migrosschule does anything from pottery, jewellerey, tai-chi, the list is endless). Join a local womans reading group, or whatever.

A Forum like this is a lifeline in many ways - and yet, I wonder if it doesn't in some ways prevent the sort of desperation that 'forces' one into action and strategies. Looking back, I had no access whatsoever to any kind of ex-pat group in those per internet days - perhaps in a way, it helped? Getting out and meeting others is the key I'm sure. Bonne chance.
Now I remember that somebody mentioned that she took german courses with Migros, and you mention all kind of different courses that they have. I am definately gonna check it out. Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #168  
Old 15.07.2012, 20:36
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Tessin
Posts: 6,163
Groaned at 122 Times in 89 Posts
Thanked 7,276 Times in 3,428 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
I am a very open person who likes to joke around and often have a little chat with people f.ex. in the grocery store . But you don't do that in Switzerland ( german speaking) Thanks again .
Actually I have often had conversations with total strangers in the grocery store. or the post office, or just standing in line somewhere. I think it really depends on whether you speak the language and as you said, if you are open. If you are the kind of person who would strike up a conversation with someone in your home country, then why not here?

Last edited by Mrs. Doolittle; 15.07.2012 at 23:22.
Reply With Quote
  #169  
Old 15.07.2012, 21:15
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
View Post
Actually I have often had conversations with total strangers in the grocery store. or the post office, or just standing in line somewhere. I think it really depends on whether you speak the language and as you said, if you are open. If you are the kind of person who would strilke up a conversation with someone in your home country, then why not here?
Even if you speak the language badly, this works. And honestly, I'm a fairly introverted person, but for some reason, moving to Switzerland made me more extroverted. I have conversations with people all the time...in shops, in line, on the train. Even if I call to ask a question this seems to happen. I also find that if you're complimentary, people are nicer. I say that I like living here (it's not a lie)......I think many Swiss people are curious about foreigners, and I find that being open, polite, positive is really helpful.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #170  
Old 15.07.2012, 21:40
Nil's Avatar
Nil Nil is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Basel
Posts: 10,400
Groaned at 434 Times in 338 Posts
Thanked 16,045 Times in 6,322 Posts
Nil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond reputeNil has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
Even if you speak the language badly, this works. And honestly, I'm a fairly introverted person, but for some reason, moving to Switzerland made me more extroverted. I have conversations with people all the time...in shops, in line, on the train. Even if I call to ask a question this seems to happen. I also find that if you're complimentary, people are nicer. I say that I like living here (it's not a lie)......I think many Swiss people are curious about foreigners, and I find that being open, polite, positive is really helpful.
Yes totally!

I chat to everyone, all the time! and compliment them too. A girl was a bit stiff and I told her how pretty her skirt was, the smile in her face was priceless and she was very nice!

I practice my Spanish all the time! And I am not shy to ask people how to say this or what is the name of that. To see how hard I work and try makes the locals so much nicer and understanding.
Reply With Quote
  #171  
Old 16.07.2012, 15:33
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Geneva
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 7 Times in 4 Posts
CJK1 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

What a helpful thread. As a soon-to-be trailing spouse with a very young child, I've found these hints and tips really useful.

Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #172  
Old 12.02.2013, 17:49
TheRev22's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 58
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
TheRev22 is considered unworthyTheRev22 is considered unworthyTheRev22 is considered unworthy
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

I am going crazy with boredom. Can't find a job and running out of things to do. My wife works all day so its just me and my dog.
Reply With Quote
  #173  
Old 12.02.2013, 19:43
Jobsrobertsharpii's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Z-U-R-I-C-H
Posts: 2,338
Groaned at 173 Times in 124 Posts
Thanked 3,384 Times in 1,536 Posts
Jobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond reputeJobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond reputeJobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond reputeJobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond reputeJobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond reputeJobsrobertsharpii has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
I am going crazy with boredom. Can't find a job and running out of things to do. My wife works all day so its just me and my dog.
Hike? It's good exercise, and this is a beautiful country. Look on here and meetup.com for social events to join. Also, consider if studying at university would be a possibility for you- the collegiate system here is excellent and very inexpensive. In the meantime, can you try a daytime intensive-level sprachschule? It's a great way to learn the local language and make friends.
Reply With Quote
  #174  
Old 11.01.2016, 11:57
Longbyt's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,130
Groaned at 57 Times in 53 Posts
Thanked 12,980 Times in 4,732 Posts
Longbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

I've dug up this old thread as it has some ideas in which are as valid now as they were when they were written. This new post by Trollemor in another thread makes some brilliant points which, although not directed at a trailing spouse, are valid for anyone in a new country.
How do I get used to this place?
Reply With Quote
  #175  
Old 20.02.2017, 15:46
Longbyt's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,130
Groaned at 57 Times in 53 Posts
Thanked 12,980 Times in 4,732 Posts
Longbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond reputeLongbyt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

I appreciate that this might be sending folk round in circles, but there are quite a few ideas in this new thread which not everyone will have heard before.
Being driven crazy by perfection - how to survive it.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Longbyt for this useful post:
  #176  
Old 03.05.2017, 11:00
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vaud
Posts: 131
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 106 Times in 47 Posts
AroundTown is considered knowledgeableAroundTown is considered knowledgeableAroundTown is considered knowledgeable
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Just wanted to post my experiences from living here almost 2.5 years now! Trying to keep it real. We came in not ideal circumstances I'd say - no jobs (hence no money to do anything plus other problems!), no friends / acquaintances, not a word of French (for me at least), no kids (which seems to at least have some social support), slighter older than younger nomads, plus I look foreign yay!

So, let's just say there were definitely more than a few times I was very seriously looking at the exit, it's not been easy! However, I am starting to slowly find my feet, so if I can do it, you can too.

1. Don't burn out on the langauge - do 10-15 minutes a day better than doing large sprints. Once your language is good enough, force yourself to read a newspaper article a day or a poster in the train station. Force yourself to try to at least start phone conversations in French, even if you have to switch after Bonjour! It's not so much about the language, but it'll start making you feel like you're at home here because the posters and articles will tell you what's happening around you.

2. Information is hard to find here if you don't speak the local language and are primarily googling in english. Be persistent, Vaud for example, publishes a book that they sell for 7 CHF that talks about all the local facilities and activities (in French), but it took me almost two years to find that. Ask people what they know, keep your eyes open and be curious. There is a lot here that is "hidden", but if you keep looking, asking, researching, you will soon have your little list of things to do and see.

3. Adapt your interests - my interests before were along the lines of going to the beach, having bbqs, hanging out with friends. I still do some of these things, but not as the only hobbies I have . You have to think about and realize what's amazing about this area - for Vaud, it's things like opera, music, arts, wine, food, hiking, skiing, biking, etc. It's Paris 3 hours away and Milan 3 hours away by train. It's an easyjet to most other major European destinations. If you don't do / like any of these things now, at least try one or two and you may surprise yourself. It's a lot easier than trying to force only your own interests into an "incompatible" environment. Go with the flow a bit and learn to appreciate the beauty of arias for example

4. Yes, people can be sexist, racist, unfriendly (yes, yes, yes), but you don't have to hang out with the idiots. Find the cool, positive ones, ignore the idiots and fill your life with the good people. There's enough of those around

5. The more you learn about this place, the more "local" you become, the more the place surprises you. There's so many interesting and weird happenings (e.g., discovering all the secret vignerons caves in the area, alpenhorn playing neighbours, local drinking habits, learning "Vaudois" dialect, etc.), but it takes effort

6. Take each day one day at a time, breathe deep, enjoy, read, love, live, laugh

7. Be honest about your job ambitions. Work was really important to me, it took me 1.5 years to find a permanent job, but I was 20% lucky and 80% really persistent. It can be done

8. Find little ways to keep pursuing the dreams you had before you moved here. Sure, there might not be as much support, but I'm sure you'll find at least a small group or a class or some small events that align with where you want to go. I for example always dreamed of being a female Nascar driver :P - so I've been taking advanced driving classes and occasionally splurging on renting cars. Do I get weird looks? Hell yes, but who cares?

9. Lastly, be honest about whether this is the place for you. I'm honestly still not sure, and it's ok. Life is too short to be unhappy and there are many places in the world to live. There's no shame in not "integrating" or not liking it here.

Last edited by AroundTown; 03.05.2017 at 11:17.
Reply With Quote
The following 10 users would like to thank AroundTown for this useful post:
  #177  
Old 07.05.2017, 05:16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 65
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 36 Times in 17 Posts
jessicakate has no particular reputation at present
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
Just wanted to post my experiences from living here almost 2.5 years now! Trying to keep it real. We came in not ideal circumstances I'd say - no jobs (hence no money to do anything plus other problems!), no friends / acquaintances, not a word of French (for me at least), no kids (which seems to at least have some social support), slighter older than younger nomads, plus I look foreign yay!
I appreciate the positivity yet brutal honesty in your post. We're moving to Lausanne this summer, and I'll be the trailing spouse (with kids). And although I'm excited, I also get overwhelmed with my to do list, but mostly the things I don't even know yet that I'm afraid I will screw up.

The only advice I can give as someone that is just starting out is to read as much as you can about everything from taxes to food, but focus on one thing at a time. Reading and thinking about it all at once will make you less motivated and wear you out. Alternate between researching the complicated or boring stuff, and something new or exciting you'll be able to do or experience as a trailing spouse.

And, if you read posts of people complaining in an unhelpful manner, stop reading that post and find something positive and/or helpful. There's no point in taking in negativity at this point in the journey, it will just cause added anxiety.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank jessicakate for this useful post:
  #178  
Old 07.05.2017, 10:28
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 9,549
Groaned at 326 Times in 266 Posts
Thanked 13,823 Times in 7,136 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
I appreciate the positivity yet brutal honesty in your post. We're moving to Lausanne this summer, and I'll be the trailing spouse (with kids). And although I'm excited, I also get overwhelmed with my to do list, but mostly the things I don't even know yet that I'm afraid I will screw up.

The only advice I can give as someone that is just starting out is to read as much as you can about everything from taxes to food, but focus on one thing at a time. Reading and thinking about it all at once will make you less motivated and wear you out. Alternate between researching the complicated or boring stuff, and something new or exciting you'll be able to do or experience as a trailing spouse.

And, if you read posts of people complaining in an unhelpful manner, stop reading that post and find something positive and/or helpful. There's no point in taking in negativity at this point in the journey, it will just cause added anxiety.

My advice is to start learning French from now, if you didn't do it already. It will help you enormously...I have a couple of friends who moved around that area and they feel like knowing the language (they did study in school) has opened many hearts over there. The rest of things i.e. how the system works will come in time, no worries.
I live in the German part and also started learning German before moving here, trust me - it helped a lot.
Reply With Quote
  #179  
Old 11.05.2017, 19:41
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 65
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 36 Times in 17 Posts
jessicakate has no particular reputation at present
Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Quote:
View Post
My advice is to start learning French from now, if you didn't do it already. It will help you enormously...
Funnily enough, I took German in high school and college, and even did an exchange program in Germany, but of course we're moving to the French speaking part of CH.

I'm definitely working on learning French, thanks!
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank jessicakate for this useful post:
Reply

Tags
laundry, lonely, newbie, newcomer, relocation, routine, stranger, trailing spouses, transition




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spouses Pension Thirsty Family matters/health 5 01.07.2013 01:04
Residence visas for spouses new2luzern Permits/visas/government 9 18.11.2008 17:55
New Info for Non Eu Spouses!! Dawn Clifton Permits/visas/government 34 08.07.2008 15:54
Company that aids in placing Expat Spouses jennyt Other/general 2 05.05.2008 14:28
several shopping tips epag Other/general 6 16.12.2007 20:24


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:54.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0