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  #41  
Old 03.08.2011, 19:57
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

I would like to start off by thanking all of you for your comments. Although some may be cynical in nature, it is a fair criticism that we are young naive travelers and I realize that the endeavor that we are pursuing is not a simple one.


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The ambition of your project brings really fresh air and spirit in in a forum that is sometimes filled with hot air fouled by the cynicism of age. It's going to be tough and difficult but now is the time for you to make your own experience and learning. Follow your dream and vision and you won't regret it.

Talk and listen to farmers in Switzerland to get a good insight and feedback on your project. There are a lot of farmer unions that can provide valuable information and they'll be happy to share.
Thanks so much for the encouragement Mr Vertigo. We would love to chat/skype sometime with you if you're interested . Gaining insight is our ultimate goal and whether that ends up steering us towards or away from Switzerland is besides the point. Obviously we are infatuated with CH and would hope that it will work out but every place has its obstacles and we are not discouraged by this fact.

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Are you aware that these subsidies (and yes, there are lots of them) will constitute 60-80% of your income? You don't farm in Switzerland, you run a farm. Actually getting said farm to produce food in any significant quantities is nearly beside the point. The system is as screwed-up in its own way as the US (note: I'm from the rural Midwest - corn country - you don't have to tell me what it's like in the US, seriously.)

The political reason these farm subsidies exist is to protect a traditional Swiss way of life for Swiss people. Because of this there are many accompanying restrictions on foreigners becoming self-employed, buying farmland, etc. I don't know the ins and outs, and it will depend a lot on where you live (the rules vary from village to village, as well as canton to canton) but until you become Swiss (12 years) or permanently settled (5 years, student years don't count) you are likely to have trouble realizing your dream.

Even after that, expect trouble with your neighbors. To them you will be 'some foreigner trying to muscle in' until the day you die... not because you are non-Swiss but simply because you are non-[insert village name here]! Someone moving from another part of Switzerland would face very nearly the same hostility. Swiss neighbor culture is very passive-aggressive, direct confrontation is rare but there will be lots of anonymous notes about you and tattling to the village authorities every time you put a foot wrong (and you will - there are too many rules not to! So will your neighbors, of course, but you won't know the rules to catch them out.) If you don't speak Swiss German you are at a serious disadvantage in all this.

I'm painting with a broad brush here, of course. With any luck one or two of your neighbors will write you off as 'crazy but harmless' and not bother harassing you. Also with a bit of luck the neighbor who hates your guts won't be the mayor's brother-in-law or have gone to school with the chief of police or done his military service with the zoning commissioner. (Family connections count for a lot in rural Switzerland.)

Sorry to be such a wet blanket. Come over here for a visit by all means, for grad school too if you get the chance. I just don't think having a farm in Switzerland (let alone a farm AND two scientific careers...) is as doable as you are thinking it is. It's a brilliant country, I love it warts and all, but I don't see how your particular dream can be realized here - not unless you are willing to put it on hold for umpteen years.
Luckily my GF is a Swiss citizen, I'm hoping this will help in gaining low interest loans and subsidies if we choose to make the transition. I know that I will have far more trouble in being accepted than she will, but I'm game for the challenge. Again thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions/criticisms!
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  #42  
Old 03.08.2011, 20:01
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Luckily my GF is a Swiss citizen, I'm hoping this will help in gaining low interest loans and subsidies if we choose to make the transition. I know that I will have far more trouble in being accepted than she will, but I'm game for the challenge. Again thank you all for your encouragement and suggestions/criticisms!
AH! You listed her as from Sweden in your profile. I should have read it as American slang...

Where in CH is she from?
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  #43  
Old 03.08.2011, 20:11
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Although some may be cynical in nature, it is a fair criticism that we are young naive travelers and I realize that the endeavor that we are pursuing is not a simple one.
When I used to be an alpine climber, one my rules was 'Listen the locals' (as in don't blow off advice from the local climbers even if you think you're hard mountain man). What sounds like cynicism to you sounds like hard earned experience to me.

Oh, and tell you GF to smack you in the head for referring to her as Swedish. You'd think you'd know better by now.
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  #44  
Old 03.08.2011, 20:18
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

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AH! You listed her as from Sweden in your profile. I should have read it as American slang...

Where in CH is she from?
The Sweden reference in my profile is actually referring to my own heritage. My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Sweden on the Tutonic, luckily the tickets for the Titanic were all sold out or else I would not be speaking to any of you today! And yes I do understand the difference between Sweden/Swedes and Switzerland/Swiss though I know many Americans do not.

Coincidentally enough, my girlfriend is related to the von Moos family and has a relative in Bern! She has been to CH before and was the one who turned me on to the whole idea of traveling to and possibly emigrating to Switzerland in the first place.
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Old 03.08.2011, 20:46
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The Sweden reference in my profile is actually referring to my own heritage. My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Sweden on the Tutonic, luckily the tickets for the Titanic were all sold out or else I would not be speaking to any of you today! And yes I do understand the difference between Sweden/Swedes and Switzerland/Swiss though I know many Americans do not.

Coincidentally enough, my girlfriend is related to the von Moos family and has a relative in Bern! She has been to CH before and was the one who turned me on to the whole idea of traveling to and possibly emigrating to Switzerland in the first place.
Has your GF ever lived in Switzerland? Does she have a Swiss passport?
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  #46  
Old 03.08.2011, 21:40
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

GrŁezi mitenand!
My name is Nicole, and I'm the OP's girlfriend. It has been very interesting, amusing, and at times disheartening to read all of your posts. Thanks so much for sharing your perspectives and advice.
I've grown up feeling like I can identify myself as Swiss. My favorite food is bratwurst. I've gone to the local Schwingfest in Bonney Lake, WA every year since I was born. I attended Swiss Kids Kamp for eight years as a child, learning about many of the different cultural aspects of Switzerland such as the music, language (Swiss German), cooking, theater, archery, dancing, etc. I can sing the national anthem. I own a knopfli seeb. Suffice it to say I had a pretty ĎSwissyí upbringing.
I know I'd still be considered a foreigner, since I've never lived there, but as a Swiss citizen abroad with a fairly decent knowledge of the heritage I still feel a real attachment to the country.
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Not to be a wet towel or anything but are you eligible to receive all of these subsidies and direct payments???? If you aren't (i.e. you aren't Swiss citizens) I don't see how you're going to pull off your plan without significant assets. It's great to have a beautiful plan and I wish you all success but a lot of beautiful plans fail because of cash flow problems, and it sounds like you have a lot if you aren't receiving all of these subsidies. Anyway, at least you'll enjoy the reduction in rainfall. (former Seattleite speaking)
Hopefully with my citizenship, Iíd at least be eligible to receive the subsidies/direct payments. Ryan could be listed as my right-hand man.
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Oh, and many of us are sick to death of Americans constantly whining about America. It's as annoying as - if not more annoying than - banging on about how great America is.
The rest of us simply don't care.
Iím sorry you feel this way, that is not how we were trying to come across. When I think of whining, I think of nonsensical complaining that lacks any solid foundation. I think the issues Ryan brought up are legitimate problems with our country. I mean this in the most polite way possible: If you donít care about what we have to say, you donít have to read it.
But, as with everyone else, I appreciate your insight anyway.

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I admire the Marxist ideals, I'm concerned that with no land,(nor the money to buy it with) no knowledge of German or French, no agricultural/ farming experience, no money for live stock, feed or anything else, you will die penniless in a covered wagon in the wilderness, probably resorting to cannibalism, in a similar fashion to the 'Donnor party' of the 1800's.

But don't let that hold you back! Good luck and Godís speed!

Thanks for your positive wishes! I just thought I should add that I took 5 years of French in school and picked up a little bit of conversational Swiss German from my relatives and during Swiss Kids Kamp. Even though Iím nowhere near fluent, I believe I have the capacity to learn the language and I think Ryan does too. Honestly, I think that weíll end up going to graduate school and pursuing other careers before we start to think about a farm. This is more of a plan we hope to do someday, not necessarily right now. This way, we can save up money and also have a solid backup plan in case things donít work out.
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The political reason these farm subsidies exist is to protect a traditional Swiss way of life for Swiss people. Because of this there are many accompanying restrictions on foreigners becoming self-employed, buying farmland, etc. I don't know the ins and outs, and it will depend a lot on where you live (the rules vary from village to village, as well as canton to canton) but until you become Swiss (12 years) or permanently settled (5 years, student years don't count) you are likely to have trouble realizing your dream.
I feel like a Swiss personÖ would you count me as one? Just curious. I guess I always have thought of myself that way, which is why I have such a strong desire to move there.
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Im sure you will find many nice people who will show you around but once you start complaining about your country in your first post people figure youre from Texas and that you have no real concept of how the world works.
I think Texans would be very upset by this broad generalization and would probably say the same thing about you for making it.
Iím not from Texas, nor am I related to anyone from Texas. Washington state couldnít be more different of a place. Iím just saying, in your posts you complain about the downsides of Switzerland, which Iím happy to hear, but then you say we canít complain about the U.S. It just doesnít seem fair.
Still, thanks for your insight. I know you are just trying to be helpful and I appreciate it!

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Has your GF ever lived in Switzerland? Does she have a Swiss passport?

No, Iíve never lived in Switzerland. Iíve visited the country once before. I do not currently have a Swiss passport, although Iím an official citizen so I could get one.
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  #47  
Old 03.08.2011, 21:47
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[SIZE=2]

Honestly, I think that weíll end up going to graduate school and pursuing other careers before we start to think about a farm. This is more of a plan we hope to do someday, not necessarily right now. This way, we can save up money and also have a solid backup plan in case things donít work out.

I feel like a Swiss personÖ would you count me as one? Just curious. I guess I always have thought of myself that way, which is why I have such a strong desire to move there.
Hi Nicole, that sounds much more reasonable than pursuing the farm thing at too early a stage. There are plenty of Master degree programs at Swiss Universities in English, just to make life a little bit easier for you. People will appreciate you speaking a bit of Swiss German, but most youngish people also speak some English. One last thing: regions in Switzerland are really different in many aspects, you might love the people in one village and hate it the next. It's best not to commit too soon to a canton or city before you know exactly what suits you best.
Anyway, enjoy your travels! Simon
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Old 03.08.2011, 21:55
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Hi Nicole, that sounds much more reasonable than pursuing the farm thing at too early a stage. There are plenty of Master degree programs at Swiss Universities in English, just to make life a little bit easier for you. People will appreciate you speaking a bit of Swiss German, but most youngish people also speak some English. One last thing: regions in Switzerland are really different in many aspects, you might love the people in one village and hate it the next. It's best not to commit too soon to a canton or city before you know exactly what suits you best.
Anyway, enjoy your travels! Simon
I'm so glad to hear that! Yes, we have been busily researching Masters programs at Swiss universities taught in English. For me, as a Cell Biologist also interested in Biochemistry, there seem to be a lot of options.
The only bump in the road so far has been that in order to become a physio, Ryan must know German. Guess he's got some work to do!
They do have a good Masters program for Human Movement Sciences at ETH Zurich, and it's taught in English AND German. He'd still have to learn some German, but maybe it would buy him some time to become fluent.
Thanks so much for your words of wisdom! Hope we get a chance to catch up with you in Zurich!
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Old 03.08.2011, 22:03
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GrŁezi mitenand!
My name is Nicole, and I'm the OP's girlfriend. It has been very interesting, amusing, and at times disheartening to read all of your posts. Thanks so much for sharing your perspectives and advice.
I've grown up feeling like I can identify myself as Swiss. My favorite food is bratwurst. I've gone to the local Schwingfest in Bonney Lake, WA every year since I was born. I attended Swiss Kids Kamp for eight years as a child, learning about many of the different cultural aspects of Switzerland such as the music, language (Swiss German), cooking, theater, archery, dancing, etc. I can sing the national anthem. I own a knopfli seeb. Suffice it to say I had a pretty ĎSwissyí upbringing.
I know I'd still be considered a foreigner, since I've never lived there, but as a Swiss citizen abroad with a fairly decent knowledge of the heritage I still feel a real attachment to the country.

Hopefully with my citizenship, Iíd at least be eligible to receive the subsidies/direct payments. Ryan could be listed as my right-hand man.

Iím sorry you feel this way, that is not how we were trying to come across. When I think of whining, I think of nonsensical complaining that lacks any solid foundation. I think the issues Ryan brought up are legitimate problems with our country. I mean this in the most polite way possible: If you donít care about what we have to say, you donít have to read it.
But, as with everyone else, I appreciate your insight anyway.


Thanks for your positive wishes! I just thought I should add that I took 5 years of French in school and picked up a little bit of conversational Swiss German from my relatives and during Swiss Kids Kamp. Even though Iím nowhere near fluent, I believe I have the capacity to learn the language and I think Ryan does too. Honestly, I think that weíll end up going to graduate school and pursuing other careers before we start to think about a farm. This is more of a plan we hope to do someday, not necessarily right now. This way, we can save up money and also have a solid backup plan in case things donít work out.

I feel like a Swiss personÖ would you count me as one? Just curious. I guess I always have thought of myself that way, which is why I have such a strong desire to move there.

I think Texans would be very upset by this broad generalization and would probably say the same thing about you for making it.
Iím not from Texas, nor am I related to anyone from Texas. Washington state couldnít be more different of a place. Iím just saying, in your posts you complain about the downsides of Switzerland, which Iím happy to hear, but then you say we canít complain about the U.S. It just doesnít seem fair.
Still, thanks for your insight. I know you are just trying to be helpful and I appreciate it!


No, Iíve never lived in Switzerland. Iíve visited the country once before. I do not currently have a Swiss passport, although Iím an official citizen so I could get one.

This is getting wackier than Midget Porn.... You guys are going to come out and have a great time. Make a list of goals and try to find out whats available to pursue.

I am proud of you young kids having a vision and drive that many kids unfortunately lack. Some of the stuff you have outlined is akin to telling us how many kids youre going to have, their names, their sexs and the professions they will choose when they graduate from Harvard (except for Johnny who will clearly follow in the footstep of Cecil John Rhodes towards Oxford).... etc etc....

So I would tell you to take it one step at a time. You have to get pregnant before you can name your kids etc. So come on out. Enjoy yourselves, but plan things properly and dont shut off possible alternate avenues (Maybe Johnny wants to attend Schoolcraft Community College for a year?).

If you guys are that good at farming you will likely end up in either Africa or Latin America, because there is a major shortage of skilled farm managers in these regions. They will give you 5,000 acres of land for free if you simply work there for 5 years. You will achieve your goals, Im sure of it. But just not in the linear fashion youre trying to wear on your sleeves. We can talk about this when you guys get here.
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  #50  
Old 03.08.2011, 22:54
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People will appreciate you speaking a bit of Swiss German
Forget the Swiss German, and learn Italian, it has a much more pleasant ring to it!

Tom
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  #51  
Old 03.08.2011, 23:50
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young naive travelers and I realize that the endeavor that we are pursuing is not a simple one.
Sometimes the best way to be and generally the really good goals are not. Don't let everybody else's cynacism affect you too much. As my dad says to me, "Colin, listen to everybody, trust nobody and make up your own bloody mind."
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Luckily my GF is a Swiss citizen
That changes virtually everything for the better for you here.
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I feel like a Swiss personÖ would you count me as one? Just curious. I guess I always have thought of myself that way, which is why I have such a strong desire to move there.

A Swiss person that I spoke to once about what it is to be Swiss, said to me that it really was nothing more than a passport to him and that his local community and its way was much more than important than the Federation. I think some other Swiss also occasionally feel like outsiders when they move Cantons or to another language area of the country. Just the impressions that I have heard as I truely am an Auslander.
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They do have a good Masters program for Human Movement Sciences at ETH Zurich, and it's taught in English AND German.
A really increadible organisation to study at as far as I hear from people.

Best of luck guys. I think you have taken into account all of the comments here and you look to be taking a very balanced approach to the whole thing.

One question...I don't know if I misread it or not, but farming is not intended to be your primary activity but rather something that is supplemental for yourselves and your neighbours?
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  #52  
Old 04.08.2011, 00:04
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

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GrŁezi mitenand!
My name is Nicole, and I'm the OP's girlfriend. I've gone to the local Schwingfest in Bonney Lake, WA every year since I was born. I attended Swiss Kids Kamp for eight years as a child, learning about many of the different cultural aspects of Switzerland such as the music, language (Swiss German), cooking, theater, archery, dancing, etc. I can sing the national anthem. I own a knopfli seeb. Suffice it to say I had a pretty ĎSwissyí upbringing.

Thanks for your positive wishes! I just thought I should add that I took 5 years of French in school and picked up a little bit of conversational Swiss German from my relatives and during Swiss Kids Kamp.
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OMG - You know my mother!!!! PM on the way.
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Old 04.08.2011, 00:23
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

For all those who feel a tug of nostalgia when hearing the words "Bonney Lake"

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Old 04.08.2011, 10:29
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

Fixed that for you:

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But even amongst themselves, they are generally unhappy, envious simple (almost backwards in the old fashioned sense) folk. I was told once that the only thing they have in common with each other is that they all
XXXXXX....have the same grandparents/cousins due to being in-bred rednecks for centuries
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:05
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Fixed that for you:
Ha ha.... Although technically below the waste you could have said it nicer by stating that "Switzerland is often times the West-Virginia of Europe."

Americans will understand that....
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:51
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Ha ha.... Although technically below the waste you could have said it nicer by stating that "Switzerland is often times the West-Virginia of Europe."

Americans will understand that....
Yeah, but this is the Englishforum not the american forum.
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:53
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Yeah, but this is the Englishforum not the american forum.
....................
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:57
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Yeah, but this is the Englishforum not the american forum.
"English" referring to the common language of the Forum, and nothing else whatsoever.
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Old 04.08.2011, 13:03
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Re: Travelers looking to meet up and share with ex-pats!

Nicole is a graduate of the Swiss Camp. It's an inexpensive camp offered to all children of the Tacoma Swiss Club. Its goal is to instill the "Swiss roots" feeling to its members and to keep the Swiss Club functioning in the next generations. The coaches and teachers are from Switzerland or are descendents of Swiss parents/grandparents. It's a unique opportunity for American/Swiss kids to get to know their culture.
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Old 04.08.2011, 16:18
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Yeah, but this is the Englishforum not the american forum.
For those of you not from the US.... The Schweizerdeutche of America

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