Some are for almost twenty years in Switzerland, some only a few months. They come from different parts of the world. They have different fates. But what has brought them to Switzerland? What has surprised them and what are their daily struggles? You can read it in today’s post.
Almost from the beginning of our stay here, I´ve been attending a Mu-Ki Deutsch course – German course for mothers with children, organized by the local town hall. The aim of this course is to help integrate newcomers not only by helping them and their children to learn the language, but to learn more about life in Switzerland. I´ve recently asked a group of participants of my class if I they would help me to create a blog post by filling out a short questionnaire.
How long have you been living in Switzerland?
Susana (Portugal): Six months.
Nina (Montenegro): 1.5 years.
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): For nearly five years.
Mubije (Macedonia): Fifteen years.
Samra (Montenegro): Sixteen years.
Ruby (Sri Lanka): Nineteen years.
What brought you to Switzerland?
Angélik (Costa Rica): Love 🙂 I am married to a Swiss.
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): Since my husband lives here.
Susana (Portugal): Because my husband works here and we wanted to be together.
Nina (Montenegro): Because I love this country and because my sister lives here.
Why did you choose Switzerland?
Nina (Montenegro): I´ve heard a lot of good about Switzerland.
Susana (Portugal): My husband’s family lives here.
Angélik (Costa Rica): I didn´t choose Switzerland. I’ve always dreamed about Germany, but fate brought me here.
Samra (Montenegro): My husband was born here.
What do you like about life in Switzerland?
Angélik (Costa Rica): Order, safety, nature.
Itzi (Spain): Food and snow on the mountains.
Josefina (Costa Rica): I like the beauty of this country (cities, lakes, mountains, crystal clear rivers) and its unique traditions. Also local peace and security.
What was difficult to get used to?
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): The weather, the language and celebrating our cultural traditions.
Susana (Portugal): The local weather.
Josefina (Costa Rica): The language – the local dialect is really difficult. Moreover, in each canton is spoken differently.
Nina (Montenegro): The life without my family.
Ruby (Sri Lanka): To become accustomed to living here.
Is there anything you have to struggle with in your everyday life?
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): The language and weather.
Itzi (Spain): With Bärndütsch (local dialect – read my post here).
Josefina (Costa Rica): Loneliness, I miss work activity.
How do you spend your time here in Switzerland (work/studies/family/other…)?
Mubije (Macedonia): My family.
Samra (Montenegro): I take care of the family.
Itzi (Spain): I work as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Helping in the home for the elderly people and in the refugee center.
Angélik (Costa Rica): Work (in the summer), my hobbies and exploring Switzerland.
Who or what has helped you in the first days/months of living here?
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): My husband, my sister in law and neighbor.
Nina (Montenegro): My sister and brother in law.
Josefina (Costa Rica): Unfortunately, no one. My husband works a lot, so from the beginning I was on my own.
Angélik (Costa Rica): My husband, his family, and our pets.
Mubije (Macedonia): My father and my husband.
What do you miss from your home country?
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): Family.
Josefina (Costa Rica): My native language. A chance to be productive and earn my own money.
Samra (Montenegro): Nice weather, sea, family and friends.
Susana (Portugal): First of all, my family and the nice weather.
Angélik (Costa Rica): The coast and friends.
Nina (Montenegro): Family and friends.
Itzi (Spain): The sea and the sun.
Mubi (Macedonia): My brother.
Is there anything that has surprised you while living in Switzerland?
Itzi (Spain): That Switzerland is way too expensive.
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): Snow. And that there is a lot of mountains. And what a beautiful country it is.
Mubije (Macedonia): That a lot of Albanians live here.
Nina (Montenegro): It´s an expensive country.
Samra (Montenegro): Culture.
Ruby (Sri Lanka): Snow and mountains.
What are your plans for the future? Would you like to stay in Switzerland, or return to your home country or move to another country?
Josefina (Costa Rica): First, I have to handle the language. Then I want to find a job.
Samra (Montenegro): I wish to remain in Switzerland until my children come of age.
Susana (Portugal): Now I need to settle down here. But one day I want to go back.
Angélik (Costa Rica): I’d like to save up enough money to buy a small house in my country where I could spend my old age.
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): I would like to find a better job and I would like to stay in Switzerland.
Ruby (Sri Lanka): I would like to find a good job and one day return to my country.
Nina (Montenegro): At the moment I have no plans to leave Switzerland.
Mubije (Macedonia): I want to stay here.
Itzi (Spain): I want to live here. Life in Switzerland is super 🙂
What personally gives you attending MuKi Deutsch classes (except for learning German language)?
Samra (Montenegro): Friendship.
Josefina (Costa Rica): I met people in similar or different situation like mine.
Angélik (Costa Rica): Contact with other people.
Itzi (Spain): I like the friendly atmosphere with the other women and our teacher.
Lathayiny (Sri Lanka): Knowledge of other cultures. I like our annual trips.
I would like to thank all the nice women who took part in my little survey. In conclusion, I´d like to comment on two points. You may ask, why someone who is in Switzerland for fifteen years or more years attends an integration course? This is because that one can learn the spoken language or the local dialect through contact with other people, but for getting a good job is also important to speak (and especially write) in the standard language (without grammatical errors as far as possible). And that we learn in our course.
And I also like, as Lahayiny mentioned in her answer, that once a year there is a trip organized, where we can discover the beauties of Switzerland. The year before we went to the nature reserve Mooraculum – Entlebuch last year to St.Beatus Höhlen. And here I throw down the gauntlet to our teacher Claudia – Where do we travel this year? 😉 Btw. I want to thank Claudia who helped me with the translation of my questionnaire into German and created a nice language exercise for all of us 🙂
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