Category Archives: Articles

St Patrick’s Day In Zurich

Nualan O’Brien is Irish and living and working in Zürich. She works for Sixtblog.ch We all know the festival, but do we know the man who gave his name to the date? And what did he do with the shamrock? St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. While he is called a Saint, he was never formerly canonised by the Catholic Church. He got sort of “voted” in as a Saint by the Irish through popular acclaim. As a result the 17th March is the unofficial global “Let’s celebrate Irishness” day- celebrated  all over the world from a week long festival in Dublin, Ireland, a dyed-green river in Chicago, USA and street parades in Sydney, Australia. While St. Patrick’s day is mostly associated with revelry:  Irish bars, drinking and dancing – the 17th of March or “St. Patrick’s day”  is a day which marks the death of a Scottish-born missionary called Patrick – who converted “pagan” Ireland to Catholicism. (And Ireland is still predominantly Roman Catholic to this day). While we all enjoy the festivities, our hard-working Irish missionary would no doubt not approve of the “Paddy’s day” rituals  which are mostly associated with this day. It is a coldy ironic “back, back to the start” kind of Cheryl Cole pagan theme going on. St. Patrick the man and the shamrock (387 – 461 AD):  St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland, 387 AD.  At the age of 14, he was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd sheep. During this time, he developed a strong faith in God – even though Ireland was a so-called “land of pagans and tribes”. He escaped aged 20 after God appeared to him in a dream telling him to leave Ireland by the coast. Being the persuasive fellow, he talked his way onto a ship and some sailors took him to Britain. Another dream told him that the people of Ireland were calling out to him to return to make Ireland holy. He subsequently became a priest, and then a bishop. He returned to Ireland in 433 where he and his disciples succeeded in preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many to Catholicism (and surviving death attempts).  St. Patrick was a missionary in Ireland for 40 years, until he died on March 17, 461. And the shamrock?  While the four-leaved shamrock or “clover” is often associated with the “luck of the Irish”, it was St. Patrick who used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the catholic concept of the “Holy Trinity”, namely the Catholic belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – all in the one entity.  Along with the harp, the shamrock is now considered the national emblem and is used in many logos including aerlingus (the national airline carrier) and the Irish Tourist office. Legend has it that St. Patrick also banished snakes from the island of Ireland. But with Ireland being the lovely, friendly- but rather rainy and not terribly reptile-friendly place – that is debatable. As a good theologian would tell you, snakes are a symbol for paganism. And as the Irish – a nation famous for writers, musicians and entertaining folk generally would be inclined to say, “and sure – why let the truth get in the way of a good story?” Things to do in Zurich this St. Patrick’s Day  Live Music in Paddy Reilly’s  Talstrasse 82  http://www.paddys.ch/zuerich/index.php?section=home  Or Check out Zurich’s newest Irish bar  http://www.kennedys.ch/   Freischuetzgasse 14, 8004 Zurich , Switzerland  Other useful links.  The Irish Week long Festival  (www.stpatricksfestival.ie)

Introducing Classified Ads

As we have had a lot of requests to post or broadcast small ads, we are today trialling a new classified ads service on zurichexpats.com.  This is in beta at the moment so we are not charging a fee, but once fully live, ads can be added for just 5 CHF per month.\r\n  Ads are now fully live and you can post your ad for just 5 CHF per month! Posting an ad requires registration but you can browse the ads without registering.  So, if you have something you want to advertise or sell, please visit our Classified Ads Page. As we are testing this, we very warmly welcome any feedback either by email or in the comments.

The Zurich “Rental Vote”. What Does It Mean?

When people decide to move to Zurich or arrive here there is one thing that most notice right away — it’s expensive. the city is consistently ranked amongst the most expensive in the world. This is not just a fact for expats, but for many Swiss and longterm residents of the city as well. Recent reports about the Bahnhofstrasse have shown that even for old and established businesses the rents have become hard to pay. On Sunday November 25th residents of canton Zurich were asked to vote on a new initiative backed by the Zürcher Mietverband (ZMV — Zurich Renters’ Association). The high influx of people to canton Zurich from the rest of Switzerland, Europe and elsewhere has seen rent prices shoot up, especially in the Limmat city. At present there are two central issues responsible for high rent prices in the city and canton of Zurich. First, there is a very high demand for flats in Zurich. Second, any new and newly renovated flats have been designed for the upper price segment. If one looks on Homegate.ch one will find just under 250 flats in the city of Zurich that are at least 1.5 rooms large and under CHF 2000/month, whereas flats with at least 1.5 rooms and a price starting of CHF 2200/month delivers 675 available flats in the city of Zurich. The two people’s initiatives (Volksinitiative) that were put forth would have required landlords to openly present the rent conditions and price the previous renter paid to new tenants without their explicit request. This is meant to hinder cases like that of Maite Torrente, who took over a lease after subletting the flat and saw the rent go from CHF 1532/month to CHF 1744/month even though the interest rates went down this past year. After having a lawyer get involved the rent was lowered to CHF 1478/month. The ZMV and many others believe that this is unfair and that it should never get to the stage where lawyers are needed in the first place. Furthermore, many looking for flats and the ZMV argue that with the housing shortage many potential tenants are afraid of asking for information because they are so desperate to get into a flat that they don’t want to “start any trouble.” According to Walter Angst from the ZMV tenants have 30 days after signing a lease contract to request any information regarding the previous terms of rent and to request rent reductions. With the two initiatives landlords would need to present that information before hand and thus the onus would be taken off of tenants to defend themselves against unfair rent increases. The initiatives clearly accused Landlords of withholding this information from new tenants. In a recent article in the Tages Anzeiger, it was reported that many tenants from the same house or settlement will not be approved to switch flats, should they be seeking a larger flat or just to move to a flat with a better view, because they have a good idea of what the rent was and/or should be, and will easily spot if the rent has been raised by too much. Landlords are of course allowed to raise their rents, however, this is also controlled. Principally a new building should have no more than 4.25% gross rate of return and older buildings no more than a 2.75% net rate of return. At present if a tenant believes they are being gouged, it is their responsibility to approach the landlord or rental agency and get the arbitration office involved. If the arbitrator cannot help the two sides come to a settlement them further legal procedures may be necessary, however, most landlords will choose to settle outside of court. This takes time and costs money. The first of the initiatives “Rechtschutz für alle (Mietgericht gebührenfrei)” would have made this free for tenants, for which reason the Canton of Zurich has encouraged constituents to vote against the initiative. Zurich voters followed the advice of the canton and votes 60% against the initiative “Rechtschutz für alle (Mietgericht gebührenfrei),” which for the cash strapped canton was a blessing On Wednesday November 21, the ZMV issued an open letter inviting the HEV (Hauseingentümerverband: Home owners association) to meet for a roundtable and work on creating a label of “fair landlords”. The goal of such a label would be that landlords and agencies renting out flats will freely and openly show their tenants, especially new tenants, all of the documents regarding the costs of the building, former rent rates and to freely pass on reductions in interest. It is exactly this that the second ballot item on Sunday also aimed to address, though not with a label, but through making it mandatory. The HEV response was that the ZMV should have suggested this earlier and that they would also like to see a label for good renters. The open letter does make one wonder if there was fear by the ZMV that the issue would not pass the vote. For future renters, the second initiative passed with a 52% majority, however, the new law will not come into effect until November 2013. For their part the people of Zurich tamed the real estate shark (Immo-Hai) without asking the state to bare the costs and have set the ball rolling to ensure that the renting scene in the canton becomes more favourable for those seeking new lease objects. The threat that was put forth by the HEV that voting yes would cause a split between tenants and landlords was unfounded, as the yes simply takes the onus off renters to make sure they are not being taken advantage of. Landlords maintain the right to make a profit and to choose their tenants. At present the best way for renters to protect themselves is by joining the ZMV, which provides legal advice and assistance when dealing with landlords. Christian Langenegger Marathon Sprachen Am Wasser 44 8049 Zürich www.marathonsprachen.com

Finding Childcare In Zurich

We were contacted by Tanya at Rockmybaby, offering professional childcare services in Zurich and Schaffhausen. We asked her for some helpful tips on interviewing and employing a nanny. 

Employing a nanny for the first time can be nerve-wracking for some.

Understanding the role of a nanny, preparing for an employee, conducting interviews and establishing an open, professional relationship are all things that any employer can do to help make employing a nanny a success. Interviewing your nanny:

    • Inform the nanny about your family life and children,
    • Describe the job description,
    • Ask the nanny to tell you about herself, and what she is looking for in a new job,
    • Go through the nanny’s CV in detail, asking her to describe each nanny position and why she left,
    • Run through a list of questions relating to the nanny’s abilities as a childcare,
    • Views on discipline, activities for the children etc,
    • Ask the nanny if she has any specific questions,
    • Encourage the nanny to ask questions.
    • Call your best candidates back for a second interview. Give them a chance to spend some time with your children, to go through the finer details and any outstanding questions they may have.

Finally, trust your intuition. Contact Tanya for any of your childcare related needs on 043 4440978 / 079 6609307 or email on zurich@rockmybaby.chwww.rockmybaby.ch  This article is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation. It is up to you to perform your own checks into prospective childcare providers.

Culture Stress: Long-Term Impact On The Health Of Expats

What is culture-stress and how does it impact on people’s health?

John Bowlby (1907-1990) was an internationally renowned psychiatrist and the father of ‘attachment theory’. In one of his famous lectures, he stated:

A particular clinical and research problem is that disturbed individuals seem often to maintain more than one working model both of the world and of the self in it. Such multiple models, moreover, are frequently incompatible with each other and can be more or less conspicuous.

Although John Bowlby was not referring specifically to culture-stress in this lecture, his statement accurately captures what can happen to people who integrate more than one culture into their minds and their lives. Under the surface, they become confused about their values, their identity and how they should think and behave. This can create deeply-seated stress, as we will see below.Over the past twenty-five years, two different Swiss organisations have been observing the effects of stress and culture-stress on people and families, including ex-pats living in Switzerland.

 

    1. At the Praevmedic medical clinic in Zürich, people have their health checked, either as a routine preventive measure, or because they have some serious concerns about their health. The people who go to the clinic are of different age-groups and different cultural backgrounds. Sometimes, they are sent by their employers; others go there voluntarily. The task of the Praevmedic staff is to identify any symptoms which need particular attention and to treat the underlying causes of such symptoms.

 

    1. At the 5C Centre in Zug, which lies a few kilometres south of Zürich, people get help with resolving cultural conflicts and personal crises. The majority of these situations arise because of frictions between competing value-systems or ‘cultures’. The latter are related to people’s social and ethnic backgrounds, their family life and the environments in which they currently live and work. The task of the 5C staff is to identify the true sources of the problems and to help people resolve them.

 

Below is a list of the insights which these two organisations have gathered in helping and treating ex-pats who live in the German-speaking part of Switzerland:

Culture stress

 

 

    1. The impact of culture-stress on people’s physical and mental health is widely under-estimated.Many people find it difficult to pinpoint or explain the reasons for their lack of well-being.The reason for this is that culture-stress involves deeply-seated emotions and often quite complex dynamics of values. Neither of these phenomena lends itself easily to simple analysis or explanation.As a consequence, culture-stress often goes either misdiagnosed or completely undiagnosed for many years. This can lead to severe or even chronic health problems. In some cases, it also leads to irreversible problems in families and at work. Many of the causes of the more severe forms of culture-stress are laid out below.

 

    1. The ability to handle culture-stress varies strongly from one individual to another, even within the same family or working group.Consequently, those suffering from deep culture-stress can sometimes get overlooked and ignored by others. Many sufferers are classed as ‘over-reacting to their new environment’. In such cases, the sufferers then tend to regard themselves as being ‘abnormal’ and try to suppress their problems. This, of course, then intensifies the impact of the culture-stress on their behaviour and health.

 

    1. Proneness to culture-stress varies not only from individual to individual, but also from culture to culture. Different cultures also have different ways of handling cultural dissonance.For those people who are culturally conditioned to see the world as a ‘global village’, cultural differences tend to have a much lower significance than for those who see the world getting ‘larger’, i.e. as getting increasingly diverse. Some cultures engage with others with greater initial caution than others. Interactions between cultures which differ in such ways can lead to quite considerable tensions. Issues like ‘inadequate respect’ and ‘mistrust’ can sometimes arise quite quickly; sometimes they only arise only after a period of months or even years. Regardless of the time period, issues like these can, of course, damage relationships very seriously.

 

    1. Culture-stress can arise not only because of differences of national or religious values, but also because of differences of corporate, social, family and personal values. In fact – depending on the definitions one is using – ‘culture-stress’ can be classed either as a synonym for, or as a subcategory of, ‘value-system stress’.

 

    1. For those who suffer under the most intensive forms of value-system stress, the roots often lie in multiple sources of value-system dissonance (see below). This makes it all the more difficult for them to realise what the true cause of their symptoms is.Those who suffer under value-system stress from multiple sources such as their workplace, their families and their acquaintances can become extremely isolated and depressed.

 

    1. Value-system stress at work can also lead to the accentuation of other underlying conflicts, e.g. between husband and wife, or between children and parents. Problems which had been lying dormant for several years can suddenly come to the surface and create quite stressful dynamics.

 

    1. In other cases, people have value-system conflicts inside themselves, again very often without realising it. These can arise when a person internalises more than one value-system, e.g. during childhood or in later life. Such ‘intra-psychic conflicts’ are quite common and vary in intensity from one person to another. They are often the root of symptoms like low self-esteem, depression, burnout and isolation. If a person already possesses inner value-system stress, this can also make it difficult for him/her to come to terms with a move to another cultural environment. In fact, a move to a different country, a change of employer or a new private relationship can trigger the outbreak of issues which have been lying suppressed or misdiagnosed for many years.Cultural assimilation – sometimes the cure, sometimes the problem 

 

    1. Many people are able to assimilate into a new culture without too many problems. Such people are said to possess a high level of ‘intercultural competence’, at least in relation to the specific new cultural environment.

 

    1. However, although ‘cultural assimilation’ can indeed significantly reduce culture-stress in the individual, it can also create new conflicts and stress within families and groups.This occurs quite frequently and it arises when one or more members of a family or a group assimilate more than the others.Even international joint-ventures and strategic alliances can break down not only as a result of cultural dissonance between the parties, but also because of differing levels of cultural assimilation among the members of each party.

 

    1. In the case of individuals who are able to adapt very quickly, cultural assimilation can have the effect that they inadvertently internalise a new value-system which eventually turns out to be strongly incompatible with a previously existing value-system. This in turn creates inner stress, i.e. an intra-psychic conflict (see above). Almost paradoxically, culture-stress arises as a result of their ability to adapt. In some cases, intra-psychic conflict of this nature can require very intensive treatment to resolve it.

 

    1. Culture-stress is not always noticeable immediately. Some people give the impression that they are assimilating into the local culture, often even believing themselves that they have truly assimilated. However, it can turn out later that that person’s assimilation has only been partial and that, at a more fundamental level, a deep form of cultural dissonance remains.

 

    1. In the so-called ‘second generations’ of families who have moved to another country, it can happen that young people resist the ‘new’ cultural environments, even though they have grown up there. Instead of assimilating, they prefer to identify themselves with the cultural origins of their parents. The culture-stress which then arises inside themselves is very often suppressed which this can have surprising and uncontrollable effects on their emotions and behaviour.

 

    1. In other cases, the assimilation process can be so strong and ‘dominant’ that people experience acute forms of culture-stress when they are faced with returning to live in their original cultural environments.Cultural bereavement

 

    1. In some cases, people come to the subconscious realisation that circumstances are such – and their assimilation is and must be so strong – that they must depart from their original cultural identity. The process of ‘cultural bereavement’ can be just as painful and stressful as bereavement over the loss of a person whom one has dearly loved. In fact, ‘cultural bereavement’ can be even more painful and stressful, because it is to a great extent a purely internal process involving ‘departure from attachment to oneself’.

 

In conclusion, culture-stress, cultural assimilation and cultural bereavement can impact quite seriously on the physical and psychological health of individuals and their families. A great part of the problem lies in the fact that the true source of their problems is often not adequately understood. Once properly understood, many people can often resolve their problems quite quickly and do not need further external help. Others need more extensive treatment involving a combination of appropriately specialised psychological and physical treatment.

What can be done to recognize and overcome the effects of ‘culture-stress’ and ‘value-system stress’?

Drawing on the insights above, the following tips may be useful for ex-pats living in German-speaking Switzerland:

 

    1. Be attentive to the fact that, even within the same family, different people deal with new cultural environments and new value-systems in strongly differing ways. If you are a parent, for example, and you seem to be able to handle such changes quite easily, do not overlook
        • what may be going on inside your partner or your children and

        • what may be going on at a deeper level inside yourself.
    2. Be particularly sensitive to those around you who shows signs of
        • reduced energy and motivation

        • poor performance

        • sleeping problems

        • questions about their identity and purpose

        • increased feelings of anxiety, isolation or depression

        • increased reactiveness or aggressiveness

        • reduced immunity to infections

        • increasing outbreaks of allergies

        • increased suffering from pains in the back, chest, head or stomach,

        • increasing relationship difficulties and conflicts with others.

    3. Be attentive to the fact that fundamental changes which take place at an early age (up to around 14 years old) can have a particularly deep and lasting impact on a person’s health and social behaviour. This applies especially to fundamental changes concerning a person’s affectional bonds, whether these be bonds with their parents, their family or their cultural environments.

 

    1. Be aware of the fact that human nature tends to take matters most seriously when problems are at their most acute. Prevention, so we are told, is better than cure. However, whether a problem has already become acute or not, the most crucial aspect of any remedy is to get the problem accurately diagnosed. If addressed early enough, the solution often lies in merely pinpointing and understanding the true cause of the problem. Given the complexity of the phenomena and the effects of culture-stress, cultural assimilation and cultural bereavement, ensure that you get adequately qualified help. Be particularly wary of getting help and advice from people who are not experienced in intercultural matters. However well-meant that advice might be, it could make the problem worse rather than alleviating it.

 

Stuart Robinson 15th September 2012If you are interested in a talk being given by Stuart on this topic, please make contact via zurichexpats.com

How To Find A Shared Apartment In Zurich

So recently I have noticed that there are more and more young people arriving to live and work in Zurich. With attractive salaries, good job opportunities and a lively international atmosphere it is very understandable. If you already have the benefit of a job the next step to actually living here is accommodation, but in case you were not aware, being a foreigner and depending on your permit and income, apartments can be hard to find. If you are a family, couple or someone who is looking to live alone then things can be very tough as dealing with agencies and multiple websites that are only in German can be difficult, also the landlords are notoriously fickle and may look at many applicants before choosing the one with the best credentials. However if you are someone (maybe a young professional or student) that would like to share an apartment then there are many easier options that don’t require mountains of paperwork, are relatively fast and cheaper. Shared apartments are quite popular here as this results in lower rent for larger apartments and you get to meet new people or live with friends. Also some people can be eager to live with English speakers as this allows them to practice their English. Firstly a shared apartment here in Zurich is called a “WG” which stands for Wohngemeinschaften or Residential Communities. Also WG is never pronounced in English, even expats all pronounce the phrase “vay-gay”. Websites So now that you have established that you would like to live in a WG, here are some helpful websites. There are literally hundreds of accommodation websites out there but this shorter list I have compiled are websites I have had personal experience with. They are all free and are popular with the WG community here in Zurich. WG zimmerThis is possibly the most popular website for WGs in Switzerland with hundreds of ads and the website is available in English which is great. It deals almost exclusively with rooms in shared apartments, but there are some studios available. While you can just spend you time browsing the ads I would recommend actually posting your own ad, as this allows you receive offers from people looking to rent a room, as well as alerting you when a new room that matches your criteria is posted. The only downside about this is that you will end up receiving a lot of email notifications. There can be a lot of competition for popular apartments though, so make sure to write a good email application (see below). Ron Orp English This is one of my favorite websites for Zurich and I would recommend signing up for their newsletter when you arrive. There are 2 parts of the site one for Zurich in English and one in German. The site is very good and tends to be used by local people, especially students and young professionals. This means that you can sometimes find much cheaper apartments in great locations. The English site is obviously all in English which is great for some one who has just arrived and can’t speak any German, however there are far more ads in the German part of the site. See below. Ron Orp German As mentioned above this is a great site used by local people. Also it is not as frequented as WG zimmer so you have less competition. The main trouble here is that you will have to navigate in German, however don’t be put off and use this as an opportunity to start trying to learn some new vocabulary. The accommodation listings are included in the “Dach über dem Kopf” section, which directly translates as “a roof over your head”. I would also try to include you application email in German, if you can’t do it yourself simply google translate it, and paste it in along with the same one in English. This will make a better impression. tutti.ch This is another good website for accommodation, it is a small classified website and has ads for every type of thing. While not as popular as some of the above it means you have less competition. Also worth noting is that the website is not available in English, only French, German and Italian. Select your Canton and then accommodation section will be called “Immobilien” then further narrow the field by selecting “mieten” which means rental and then you should be able to narrow the fields further by filling in the location cost and size. English Forum This forum is a wealth of Information about renting in Zurich. Since the forum is exclusively in English it is easy to understand and navigate for non German speakers. If you go to the bottom there is a Market Place section with an accommodation listing. Here you can search the ads, also If you are a member you can even post a wanted ad. However the draw back here is the amount and quality of posts. While there is a certain camaraderie among the Expat community, not many will be directly offering a room in their apartment but will announcing that they are vacating it and you might still have to deal with an agency for a studio as there are not a lot of WG adverts. Gratis Inserate Another classified website with all kinds of small ads. As above with www.tutti.ch narrow down your search. There is not a huge amount of ads but it is used by locals and competition will be less intense.Furnished? Furnished apartments are not standard in Zurich and the great thing about moving into a WG is that the apartment will already be lived in which will save you spending thousands on basic kitchenware, couches, tables and chairs etc. Often though your room will not be furnished but I have previously written an article about how to get free and cheap furniture here in Zurich. So don’t be worried if your room is empty. Writing an email application When you are applying for a WG make sure to send a more information than “I’m interested, when can I view”. Reasonably priced accommodation is at a premium here and cheaper apartments will have hundreds of applicants.This is why you should write an email describing yourself in as much detail as you feel comfortable, the important points to include are

 

  • age
  • nationality
  • spoken languages
  • what you are doing here in Zurich
  • what your expected income is if you are working (they want to know you will be able to pay the rent after all)
  • when you are available to move in and when you are leaving
  • make sure you include your likes/dislikes
  • mention if you have shared apartments before and why you really enjoyed it and want to do it again.

It is always nice to customise each email and try to write why that apartment appeals to you in particular, for example “your apartment seems affordable and I really like that area” or “you seem like a cool group of people and I would really like to live with people I could be friends with”.As previously mentioned rooms in cheap and good locations will have many applications and they will often only invite a selection of people to view it, so the more information you give the better your chances.Viewings, So once you have managed to sell yourself and have a viewing be prepared to be very friendly and chatty as viewings take more the form of an interview rather than first come first serve. Also something that can be a shock to some accommodation seekers is the “casting” this is a viewing/interview but in a group situation, yes you will literally meet some or all of your rivals. This is a tricky situation but can be all to common in Zurich, especially for popular locations with a cheap price. It can be difficult to stand out in a group but make sure you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons and avoid rude or aggressive comments with the other candidates as you will be judged on how you engage with the other people.Questions to ask:

 

  • is everything included (internet, heating ect)
  • what is your relationship with your neighbours and landlord
  • how does cleaning the apartment work (often there will be a schedule)
  • will you have a contract (important if you are declaring your address to get your permit)

Don’t be afraid to ask some questions as it will show that you are interested, these are just a guide so make sure to add your own. Rental costsZurich rents seem quite high compared to other cities but if you are working it should balance out as the salary’s are also quite high. For a WG you should expect to pay in the region of 700 – 1100 CHF. Yes this is high for a room, but when you consider the quality of the communal spaces for example you will often get a proper kitchen with a dishwasher, oven, dining table, and a sitting room with a couch and TV, then the costs is much cheaper than what you would get alone in a small studio.The social aspects of living with people who are already established in the city can be very beneficial for new arrivals, and personally I can say that living in a WG is a great experience. Remember that while the castings and meetings might be a bit of a put off, the concept that you only want to live with people you will get along with is perfectly understandable.Best of luck with your search.

Worth Checking Out – NewInZurich.com

NewInZurich is  website dedicated to the same audience as ours – people living in or moving to Zurich. We asked them for some info on the site, here is what they have in store for you. We certainly recommend paying them a visit:

You’ve just arrived in Zurich and using your best German you ask for directions from the train station.  The person you’re addressing seems to understand you  – yippee!  – but the reply you get is full on “Züridütsch” and you don’t understand a word!  You put your rubbish out just like everyone else on ‘bin day’ and as you have some spare black bin liners left over from the move you use those up – but in the evening when you return from work everyone else’s rubbish has been collected – but yours is still there! You’ve only been driving a couple of weeks and you’ve already amassed a number of speeding tickets – where ARE they coming from and how can you avoid any more! You’ve been invited to your neighbour’s Apero and as you’re thirsty you start drinking the proffered wine glass straight away – but when you look round everyone is staring at you and nobody else has had a drop! If any other these issues are similar to encounters that you may already have experienced then NewInZurich is here to help! NewInZurich is familiar with all the situations you might experience when arriving in Zurich for the first time and we provide Welcome Talks and Workshops to help you deal with the practical side of life. We explain some of the unwritten ‘rules’ so that you can find your way round this beautiful city and feel at home in the shortest time possible. Our talks and Workshops are for individuals, couples, families, as well as school and companies, and they can be held in the comfort of your own home or in your office, or at one of at our locations. We know great places to eat, where to buy the things you crave and can recommend brilliant days out for all the family. We can even take you on historic tours of Zurich. What’s more, we have a website NewInZurich.com filled with practical information as well as ideas on new places to go and things to do. Trust us – you will never have a dull moment in Zurich! NewInZurich – we’re here to make you feel at home and enjoy Zurich to the full!

We are always interested in sources of information for our audience so if you have a site of interest, please get in touch.