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Old 10.04.2019, 00:08
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Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

Hey folks!

Some background about me:
I'm a 40 year old guy - Irish EU citizen. Currently single, and have been living in Vancouver, Canada for the past three years.
I'm a senior software developer (18 years experience) and I studied German in school, so I should pick it up pretty quick.

Due to family reasons in Ireland, I'm thinking about moving closer to home - and I'm deciding between Zurich and other cities in Europe.
To be honest, Vancouver is a pretty 'clicky' place. Whilst you can meet lots of new people here, it's quite tough to build a close circle of friends.


I'm curious if anyone around my age has experience of moving to Zurich on their own? Was it easy to meet new people and form a group of friends? Are most of your friends expats or local Swiss?


I'll be doing this move solo. Any help greatly appreciated!

Will probably have lots of other questions but will save them for other threads!

Thanks
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Old 10.04.2019, 10:34
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

Howya Lad,

If you found Vancouver cliquey (or from a software developer you might mean clicky) then Zürich will be an advanced class in cliqueiness.
I've been here 2.5 years and have met a few people through work, a few through clubs (Sports/social), and a few from the local pub. A mixture of locals and foreigners. I am invited to more foreigner events which is understandable seeing as we tend to have less of a large established group here.

From the locals point of view I think they see a lot of foreigners come and go and don't see the point of trying to make lasting friendships with them. This ends up being self fulfilling when the foreigners don't feel fully welcome and move on after a few years. I think this happens in all cities with a large imported workforce who will take their next job in another country.
As ever, everyone’s different and lets not paint all locals and foreigners with the same brush. Your mileage might vary.
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Old 10.04.2019, 12:42
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

I would avoid Switzerland (at least the German part) if you're a single guy. It's tough to build a social circle here and if you don't speak the language (Swiss German, not high German) you are limiting yourself to a small pool of ex-pat women. The majority of ex-pat women here came to Switzerland with a husband or boyfriend so even the ex-pat dating pool is small. Zurich has a lot of male-dominated industries like banking/finance/tech which means there are a lot of single guys with decent money to throw around competing for a smaller group of girls. It's nothing like London or NYC which attract swarms of single girls chasing the sex and the city lifestyle. Also, the Swiss Germans are strange in that, despite their love of travelling, they seem to be terrified of strangers when back in the home land. Why not try London or Dublin instead? I'd say Zurich is a great place for families but not single guys.
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Old 10.04.2019, 12:57
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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I would avoid Switzerland (at least the German part) if you're a single guy. It's tough to build a social circle here and if you don't speak the language (Swiss German, not high German) you are limiting yourself to a small pool of ex-pat women. The majority of ex-pat women here came to Switzerland with a husband or boyfriend so even the ex-pat dating pool is small. Zurich has a lot of male-dominated industries like banking/finance/tech which means there are a lot of single guys with decent money to throw around competing for a smaller group of girls. It's nothing like London or NYC which attract swarms of single girls chasing the sex and the city lifestyle. Also, the Swiss Germans are strange in that, despite their love of travelling, they seem to be terrified of strangers when back in the home land. Why not try London or Dublin instead? I'd say Zurich is a great place for families but not single guys.

Why would OP come here to pick up women?



If you live outside of Zurich (my experience) it is easier to make friends. I have both Swiss and non Swiss friends (actually none of them are expats (in the classical way))
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Old 10.04.2019, 14:39
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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Why would OP come here to pick up women?



If you live outside of Zurich (my experience) it is easier to make friends. I have both Swiss and non Swiss friends (actually none of them are expats (in the classical way))
Well the OP stated that he is single and has no social circle here so it's important that he understands what kind of social environment he might be moving to. Everyone talks about the high quality of life here and the low taxes, and those are excellent reasons for moving to Zurich. What people fail to mention is that, unlike in Anglo-Saxon societies, it's much harder to build social networks here and meet potential partners. No point in having a great lifestyle here but being unhappy socially.
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Old 10.04.2019, 14:59
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

If you think Vancouver is cliquey, Zurich will be 10 times worse. 40 and don't speak Swiss German, or at least German? Swiss women will avoid you like you have some incurable skin rash. Even if you do strike up a conversation with one, they will be unbelievably boring, seldom having anything to add to a conversation. Not that they are stupid, but just incredibly inhibited. Opening up and revealing personal details to anyone, let along a stranger, especially a foreigner, is just not done. The only fair game would be foreign women, but they are invariably here because they followed their husband/BF. It is a dating desert here for foreign non-German speaking men. Unless you are incredibly wealthy, good-looking or famous, preferably all three.



Other than that it is a nice place. Best to move here after you're set up with a partner/family.
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Old 10.04.2019, 15:01
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

Oh, and yes, I moved here on my own (32 years ago) so I speak from experience.
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Old 10.04.2019, 15:23
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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Oh, and yes, I moved here on my own (32 years ago) so I speak from experience.
33 for me.

And I met both of my wives (and most of my friends) here, so the rubbish about it being tough to meet women and build up a social circle is just that.

Tom
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Old 10.04.2019, 15:37
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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Oh, and yes, I moved here on my own (32 years ago) so I speak from experience.
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33 for me.

And I met both of my wives (and most of my friends) here, so the rubbish about it being tough to meet women and build up a social circle is just that.

Tom
Listen to our dinosaur squad...
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Old 10.04.2019, 15:44
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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Will probably have lots of other questions but will save them for other threads!

Thanks
Will probably never be heard of again after these answers!
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Old 10.04.2019, 16:55
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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33 for me.

And I met both of my wives (and most of my friends) here, so the rubbish about it being tough to meet women and build up a social circle is just that.

Tom
You live in the Italian part, not the German part. Big difference, and you know that.
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Old 10.04.2019, 17:31
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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You live in the Italian part, not the German part. Big difference, and you know that.
He started off in the German part though. The guy gets around
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Old 10.04.2019, 17:52
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

I've never had any problem meeting people here. Sure, some of the locals in Zurich are a bit reserved, but by no means all, and there are plenty of foreigners in the city to make up the shortfall. I had a ridiculously lively social life when I lived in the Zurich area - so much so that it was something of a relief to get married and move away to somewhere less lively!

Once you get out of town, the locals are even friendlier (depending where you wash up, of course). Stereotypes are only useful up to a point.

I would imagine that a lot of it depends on the kind of personality one is bringing into the mix.

So, in summary: your mileage may vary and you'll only find out once you come yourself.
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Old 10.04.2019, 20:25
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

I came directly from Van city to Geneva (yes the other side of the country) 4 years ago and I would say there are similarities but only on the surface.

In Vancouver you really feel like you are an outsider when you are within a group of people that already know each other. They are really staying together, but I really have no idea why since most of the time they aren’t really even friends. I think it’s just for show, to say I’m in with this group. I was there for 6 years and the I’ve seen the cliquiest of groups form and then fade away

I would not call it “cliquey” here as it is just a normal thing what goes on between the locals and expats. They are reserved and so it seems they are avoiding you. No one is going to actively going to welcome you when there are things like language getting in the way, but at the end of the day you adapt and they adapt. If you meet some good people who care they will eventually warm up and form lasting relationships.
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Old 10.04.2019, 20:28
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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You live in the Italian part, not the German part. Big difference, and you know that.
One wife and many friends that I still have were met during the four years that I lived in Zurich.

Tom
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Old 10.04.2019, 21:56
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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One wife and many friends that I still have were met during the four years that I lived in Zurich.

Tom
So are mine. It just took 5 times longer than what I was used to in America.
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Old 10.04.2019, 23:55
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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So are mine. It just took 5 times longer than what I was used to in America.
But I'm from the northeast, so no difference for me!

(if anything, easier here)

Tom
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Old 11.04.2019, 09:02
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

Hey, I'm also a software developer and for my lifestyle the Swiss are awesome I don't picture myself as a classic nerd, no-life, but I do like to spend large amount of my time on reading something good and follow a bit the software world so I literally have small amount of time for socializing. The Swiss are awesome because I fit here perfectly contacting them only once a few weeks or so. Everywhere else I've been I couldn't make friends because people tend to fuss if you don't hang out frequently. I have a small circles of friends from my youth, from my past neighbourhood which seems to be for lifetime but before coming to Switzerland the amount of long time friends were not expanding.
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Old 11.04.2019, 09:32
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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Hey, I'm also a software developer and for my lifestyle the Swiss are awesome I don't picture myself as a classic nerd, no-life, but I do like to spend large amount of my time on reading something good and follow a bit the software world so I literally have small amount of time for socializing. The Swiss are awesome because I fit here perfectly contacting them only once a few weeks or so. Everywhere else I've been I couldn't make friends because people tend to fuss if you don't hang out frequently. I have a small circles of friends from my youth, from my past neighbourhood which seems to be for lifetime but before coming to Switzerland the amount of long time friends were not expanding.
I agree, they don’t need to “do things” here constantly like other places.
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Old 11.04.2019, 10:00
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Re: Did you move to Switzerland on your own?

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I would avoid Switzerland (at least the German part) if you're a single guy. It's tough to build a social circle here and if you don't speak the language (Swiss German, not high German) you are limiting yourself to a small pool of ex-pat women. The majority of ex-pat women here came to Switzerland with a husband or boyfriend so even the ex-pat dating pool is small. Zurich has a lot of male-dominated industries like banking/finance/tech which means there are a lot of single guys with decent money to throw around competing for a smaller group of girls. It's nothing like London or NYC which attract swarms of single girls chasing the sex and the city lifestyle. Also, the Swiss Germans are strange in that, despite their love of travelling, they seem to be terrified of strangers when back in the home land. Why not try London or Dublin instead? I'd say Zurich is a great place for families but not single guys.
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If you think Vancouver is cliquey, Zurich will be 10 times worse. 40 and don't speak Swiss German, or at least German? Swiss women will avoid you like you have some incurable skin rash. Even if you do strike up a conversation with one, they will be unbelievably boring, seldom having anything to add to a conversation. Not that they are stupid, but just incredibly inhibited. Opening up and revealing personal details to anyone, let along a stranger, especially a foreigner, is just not done. The only fair game would be foreign women, but they are invariably here because they followed their husband/BF. It is a dating desert here for foreign non-German speaking men. Unless you are incredibly wealthy, good-looking or famous, preferably all three.

Other than that it is a nice place. Best to move here after you're set up with a partner/family.
Wow. After having read your extremely biased-sounding and borderline offensively stereotypical posts I do feel the need to chip in.

I have been in Zurich 10 years and am a guy who has both lived the expat party lifestyle and had several Swiss girlfriends.

1) You can have a great social life here, including with the ladies. My oldest friend here is Swiss and there are many single expat ladies who are here to live long-term and are looking for a partner.

2) To say all Swiss women are 'boring and seldom have nothing to add to a conversation' is absolute misogynistic bullshit and you should be ashamed of yourself for even writing that. I have met many funny and charming Swiss women who have hearts of gold. Are they the worlds most expressive or "exciting" ladies? Perhaps culturally not, but then again this country is less hedonistic and decadent than many others like the UK etc where people often throw restraint and dignity to the wind.

3) To think all single expat women are here following their husbands or boyfriends is again absolute and utter nonsense. There are many independent career-oriented women here, single and looking, younger and older, who just want to meet nice and stable guys without thought of if they are "amazing looking, rich or famous" (lol, come on). If you a guy then confidence, charisma and manners count for a lot.

Both of yours posts are to me the rantings of two frustrated guys (regardless of if you are now married or whatever) who historically never had much luck with women in Switzerland and are frustrated and bitter about the fact.

Last edited by Chuff; 11.04.2019 at 13:48. Reason: Typos and clarifications
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