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Old 27.09.2012, 09:38
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New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hey all, I'm a 29 year old male who moved here 3 weeks ago and I still haven't made any friends. I have met a few people (mostly foreigners), but usually its just brief and we don't end up seeing each other again. It also makes it difficult when I can barely speak any German.

Anyone else in the same boat finding it difficult to make some friends? Perhaps we could do something... feel free to send me a PM. I'm up for exploring, walking, sight seeing, going to a cafe etc.
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Old 27.09.2012, 10:53
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hello and welcome to the English Forum.

It's tough developing a social life at first. Keep an eye on the various events calendars we have for options to meet other English speakers.
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Old 27.09.2012, 10:55
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hello and welcome to the forum. Yes, there are people with similar issues...check out this thread: 6 months... still no Swiss friends.
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Old 27.09.2012, 10:56
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

This may be worth a try
http://www.internationalclub.ch/en/index.php
its based in Winterthur
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Old 27.09.2012, 11:12
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hey man, I'm 26 and come from NZ. When I arrived I didn't speak any German either. I have been here for 9 months so far, and in the beginning found it really hard to make friends too. In fact, I don't think I actually made any friends until I had been here for about 6 months. Swiss people (and a lot of the foreigners who live here) aren't as outgoing or friendly to strangers as people back in Aus/NZ.

My suggestions are to:
- Stick with it, keep going out and talking to a lot of people. The more people you meet and talk to, the better the chance you'll find someone you 'click' with.
- Take the initiative and make some concrete appointments with people. If you say things like "we should do lunch sometime when you're free", Swiss people generally won't contact you when they're free. You need to say "let's meet for lunch in cafe XYZ on Monday at 12:30pm". I'm stereotyping, but this is my experience with Swiss people so far.
- Start learning German. It's a massive investment in your life here, whether you are here for the short or long term. Don't become that foreigner who stays here for years while refusing to learn the local language. I know a few of them, and they don't have many friends, and definitely no local friends.

Hope this helps!
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Old 27.09.2012, 11:34
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hi! Welcome to the forum.
I've moved 3 weeks ago as well, but my situation is a bit different since I moved with my partner. Just stay positive, 3 weeks is not a long time and I'm sure you will make some friends in the long run.
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Old 27.09.2012, 13:05
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Thanks guys, I will have to also check out the international club in Winterthur.
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Old 27.09.2012, 14:26
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hi,

have a look at the local meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/expat-125/).

I used to organise part of the meetups, at the moment I'm a bit 'inactive' but they're still meeting for a beer in town or for a mountain bike ride.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the group!

Cheers
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Old 27.09.2012, 19:12
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Ive also been in Switzerland for 3 weeks and its not so bad. I think its abit unrealistic to expect make friends in such a short space of time. I am a student so life is good during the day but gets abit lonely in the evenings and weekends when everybody goes home.

I normally stay indoors and chat online all weekend which is unhealthy!So joining some type of club could help.Thats what i plan to do....
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Old 27.09.2012, 19:25
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

This is in Zug: http://www.zug4you.ch/_international_clubs.html
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Old 27.09.2012, 19:43
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Or you could go and hang out in a pub. I know I've suggested this before, but it's not so bad. They speak english there and you have a pretty good mix of locals and "foreigners". Sooner or later you'll find some people that are on your wavelength. It's specially easy to get to know some people when there are sport events.

If you're not into that kind of thing I would suggest to go somewhere that covers your interests.

Where are you from? I'm a local and might be able to point out some places you might be interested in, specially if you're around Zurich.
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Old 02.12.2012, 14:50
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hi!

Ugh i know how you feel! Its horrible! Ive met ppl at church but feel soooo uncomf about being forreign and not being able to communicate with anyone!

I miss being able to speak english to ppl who properly undertands it. Cant even realy talk to my hubbys friends sooo ya its frustrating.

If you still looking to make friends PM me

Last edited by jrspet; 02.12.2012 at 14:51. Reason: Check your PM about personal identifiers
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Old 04.12.2012, 16:46
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Heya,

Im an Aussie too looking for more people to meet up with, I come from Sydney myself and cant really find too many people to talk to here. The name is Paul and im from Zurich if your keen let me know.
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Old 04.12.2012, 21:10
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hi Heya's. I don't know if you've made an introduction post (can't find one...) but just wanted to say hello and welcome to Zurich! Are you here for work? It's a pretty long way from home...
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Old 04.12.2012, 21:30
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Heya's. Check the events section for something that interests you. Or if you have interests like certain sports, find like minded people and get out there. Good luck.
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Old 06.12.2012, 16:04
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Hey !! Welcome !! And no, you are definitely the only one.. I moved here a month ago and still struggle to make friends since I dont know any French.. But that is motivating me to learn the language and hopefully then I will be able to communicate better
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Old 07.12.2012, 15:31
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

I sympathise with your message. Having moved from Bournemouth to Delémont (Jura), about 6 months ago, I now feel as if I hit a wall.
I'm only working few hours a day, teaching, and still haven't been able to meet any locals. The result is both my French and German are still very basic.
I like sports and long walks but on my own it's just so boring and most activity groups charge for membership.
I was quite optimistic at the beginning but now that winter's here I feel there's even less to do. :/

Can't wait to pop back to Bournemouth and let my hair down, even if just for a weekend!

Good luck mate and if ever come down this way.. let me know!

Cheers!
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Old 08.12.2012, 19:49
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

i know the feeling
it is hard in the beginning, especially when you do not speak the language
swiss people are not really open or easygoing and do not easily let strangers in
i am here now for 6 years and i have settled in in the meantime, i speak the language and made some friends
just give it some time
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Old 08.12.2012, 21:44
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

there are lots of after work drinks and parties in all major town here in CH - thanks to all the foreigners who arrive and want to build a social network.
Many do not speak english, no problem here, dont worry!
Try glocals, social events at english forum, meetup, internations, intl club, etc.
Gina
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Old 10.12.2012, 20:26
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Re: New to Switzerland, difficult to make friends

Uff I feel your pain, especially coming from Australia - where I lived for 10 years and loved it. Switzerland is quite a change from Australia. My biggest problem was finding most people so closed-off here.

After 3 years here, I can give only one piece of small advice -- the expats are easy to meet, but the Swiss are NOT. So, my advice is to put more effort into meeting Swiss people rather than Expats!

I say this for many reasons, but mostly because Switzerland is one of the places where I think the natives are most "protective" and protected. It takes a LONG time to win the trust of a Swiss person, but once you do, you are most probably a friend for life! Considering you live in their country, I don't think this is too bad of a move. Once you meet a few swiss (which might take you a LONG time), you will meet more and more and slowly expand a more local and PERMANANT circle of friends.

The trouble with expats is that most are very temporary and transitory, so you go through bouts of knowing no one, and everyone, until everyone leaves and then you know no one again... etc...

I don't know what city you moved to, but the expat circle is quite small (I think) and I find its only the same people at different events.

Slowly but surely, you will carve a way out for yourself takes more effort than it might down undah, but after a while, it will certainly be worth it!

Enjoy
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