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Your British guide to Switzerland: an audio podcast for English speaking expats living in Switzerland and Swiss interested in Britain. Everything expats need to know about finding a job in Switzerland, how to find an apartment in Bern, Geneva or Zurich, how to find friends and get to know Swiss culture, traditions and of course, learn the language. We will try to answer your questions and give you personal insight into what it's like to move from London to Bern. This is not just a view from ...
 
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It's the big moment in the Swiss citizenship process: finally you will meet someone face-to-face who will decide whether all the paperwork you have collected, all the forms you have filled out and all the studying you have done is enough to make you a viable candidate for becoming Swiss. My moment finally came when I was invited to the office that …
 
Vines, food and splendid views: if you're looking for a short and easy walk to do by yourself or when you have visitors in town, this is an episode for you! We talk about a scenic, circular walk in canton Bern that will take you from the village of Twann to Ligerz, via the vineyards and back along the lakeside to Twann. To get to Twann, you can go …
 
Once you have fulfilled all of the criteria to apply to become Swiss (take a look at our previous episodes in this mini-series if want to know more about this), you will be faced with filling out "the form". This is where you provide all of your personal details including your entire education history and certificates, Swiss employment history, ref…
 
Before or instead of a dinner, at a garden party, a wedding, an office function or even a funeral, it‘s always the right time and place to join or organise a classic Swiss apéro. But what is expected at this typically Swiss get-together? We talk you through the food and drinks, the preparation, and, as always, the subtleties of navigating a Swiss e…
 
There have been a few long breaks between our last podcast episodes, but we had a good reason: we have a new person in our family! Please welcome Maeve, our beautiful baby girl, who you may now hear in the background of some of our recordings. She was born in early 2021 and our lives became a whirlwind of excitement. Now that the chaos has calmed d…
 
Setting foot into another country can mean a significant change of your lifestyle and sometimes a culture shock. We asked in our Facebook group about your weirdest thing you’ve experienced when you moved to Switzerland and got loads of fun and interesting comments as well aas interesting discussions started. Thanks a lot for that! In this episode w…
 
Christmas is drawing nearer but thanks to coronavirus, making plans to celebrate it this year isn't very easy. It's difficult enough to get together with family if you live in the same country, but almost impossible if you don't. We like to look on the bright side though! This year could be a chance to find new ways of celebrating Christmas and may…
 
We're still here and still making podcasts: not as often as we'd like, but there's a good reason for that, which we'll explain in this week's episode. But the main topic in this episode is the Swiss citizenship test. Did you know we have a Facebook group? Switzerland for English Speakers is a great place to ask questions and share experiences. Take…
 
After living in Switzerland for ten years, I can now formally apply to become a Swiss citizen! There are a number of conditions I had to make sure I met before applying, which we mention in this episode of the podcast. We'll talk you through how to start the process in Bern specifically, as there are differences depending on where you live and exac…
 
Finding it difficult to make friends with the Swiss is a common complaint from expats in Switzerland. Do the Swiss really have such different ideas about friendship? What does it take to be able to read between the lines in a conversation with a Swiss person and are there any tips that can help you feel less isolated here? We share our insights on …
 
If you can only get out outside at the moment to go shopping or for some fresh air, you might be starting to get a little bored of your local surroundings. Pop your earphones in and come with us as we head out for a walk along the Aare river in Bern. Looking to connect with other English speakers in Switzerland? Check out our Facebook group. Where …
 
The coronavirus might have stopped you from getting out and exploring Switzerland, but you can still learn plenty about Swiss culture from inside your own home. Here's our list of five things every person interested in getting closer to the Swiss or looking to become Swiss should know. We chose a film, a book, a musician, a recipe and a game that y…
 
Hiking in Switzerland is a favourite national pastime, especially in autumn, which means there are plenty of maps, online resources, and books to help you find the perfect hike! To get you into the mood, we'll tell you what you have to watch out for and give you all sorts of other tips, including a short excursion we made recently up a mountain and…
 
Come on a walk through one of Bern's picturesque neighbourhoods, Kirchenfeld, and listen in to what the Swiss capital sounds like on an ordinary day. Starting off at the Tierpark (animal park), walking through Helvetiaplatz with many of the country's important museums, I'll talk you through what you will see and hear as you head up into the city ce…
 
"There's enough hay down there now" to "even his chopping block will calve": these are just a few everyday sayings that make perfect sense in Swiss German, but don't exactly translate into English. Whether you've heard some of them already, or just want to impress with a sentence or two at the right moment, this is our pick of some useful sayings i…
 
Is dating in Switzerland any different to anywhere else in the world? The Swiss have a reputation for being difficult to get know, so in this episode, we talk about expectations, stereotypes and traditions when it comes to attempting to get romantically involved with a Swiss. How to date in Switzerland: Show notes How to make friends in Switzerland…
 
With the temperatures heating up again this week, it’s the perfect time to enjoy Switzerland and get to know a few places where you can create the feeling of going on holiday without straying too far from home. We explored some of the locations the Swiss head to when they need a 'staycation'. Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your British G…
 
Do you need a car in Switzerland? And what other options are there apart from buying one? We asked what you wanted to hear about in this episode of our podcast, and driving in Switzerland was one topic you suggested in our Facebook group, Switzerland for English speakers. We talk about why you might decide to get a car, and how leasing, hiring and …
 
There’s been lots of questions in our facebook group, Switzerland for English speakers, over the past couple of weeks, so we wanted to talk about a few of them. Moving to Switzerland can be quite a confusing time, from the paperwork to the forms, to saying and doing the right thing..it can be tough! But there‘s always a funny side in the end. Notes…
 
Many say it can't be done, but some of us will still try! Jo has been attending a Swiss German course and in this episode, she shares her experience of signing up and going to classes. From precisely what the course entails, to what happens in the classroom and the kind of things she has learnt, there were some unexpected elements to the course. Co…
 
Moving to a country where you don't speak the language can be a 'chicken and egg' situation: which one comes first, the language or the move? It's a challenging situation for anyone relocating abroad, and for newcomers to German-speaking Switzerland, this is a big issue. It's hard to get hold of resources to learn this dialect outside of the countr…
 
Looking for furniture, clothes or something for your home in Switzerland that won't cost the Earth? Then you definitely need to find your nearest flea market or second-hand shop. In the German-speaking part of the country thrift stores are called "Brockis" (short for "Brockenhäuser"). In this episode we'll take you through how you can find them and…
 
If you’ve looked at any Swiss newspapers or programmes in the past few months you’ll have heard about the ‘Fête des Vignerons’. It’s a once-in-a-generation event that sounds like it's not to be missed. So what’s all the fuss about, and will there be wine? Did you know we have a Facebook group? Switzerland for English Speakersis a great place to ask…
 
What are the main shops in Switzerland and where do you go for specific items? In this episode we go through the big name shops, what they sell and where you can find them, plus we talk about some smaller, specialised shops or boutiques, and what you can buy online. Find out about the classic out-of-town shops traditionally frequented by farmers wh…
 
Switzerland is a very diverse country with four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The Swiss also share their border with five countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. And out of all the people living in Switzerland, 25% don't have a Swiss passport. So how does this work? How do the Swiss communicate and h…
 
Applying to become Swiss is a long process and requires lots of forms, documents and appointments. If you've lived in Switzerland long enough to think about applying, this probably won't come as a surprise! In the city of Bern, an information evening is offered to people who want to apply. We went along to clear up some questions I had about the pr…
 
Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Is it time to take a Swiss German course? After the first few hours in the classroom on my course in Bern, we talk about some important points you'll need to know before you decide to start learning Swiss German and I'll give you some insight into my experience so far. What's it like in the classroom Taking…
 
Did you know we have a Facebook group, Switzerland for English Speakers? It's a great place to ask questions or share experiences. Take a look! Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Becoming Swiss, part one In this first episode of the new series 'Becoming Swiss', we'll guide you through what it takes in theory to (hopefully!) become a Swiss ci…
 
Do you know how to respond in Switzerland to avoid an intercultural mishap? Once you've started picking up the language as an expat, you'll start to notice the mother-tongue speakers around you reply in certain ways to specific situations or questions. This can be from anything as simple as a sneeze to trickier discussions about salaries, or dare-w…
 
If you're moving to Switzerland you might think that skiing will become a big part of your life: as a beginner that can either be really exciting or completely terrifying! However you feel about taking to the slopes, it's definitely something to try, or how will you ever know if you like it? Once you've decided to go for it, there are lots of thing…
 
Imagine walking along a snowy path between the trees in the Swiss Alps until suddenly, a vast lake, completely covered in ice and surrounded by a sheer cliff face, opens up before you: this is what you'll experience if you head to the Osechinensee or Lake Oeschinen in the Bernese Oberland, which has frozen over. It's a veritable winter wonderland! …
 
You've taken a huge step: packed your bags, filled out all the forms and moved to a completely new place. But once the initial period of excitement wears off, living abroad can start to feel a little bit lonely, especially if your new life isn't fully set up yet, or something great is going on back home. Don’t worry, everyone feels homesick at some…
 
With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, it's definitely time to pick up the Christmas presents you want to take or send back from Switzerland for friends and family abroad. We have sack-loads of ideas, from traditional Swiss souvenirs, to the more unusual. Hopefully there will be some ideas for you as well! A special thanks to everyone in our …
 
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. But how often do the Swiss use, or try to use, a language that's not their mother tongue? A trip to see the famous annual light projection at the Swiss Federal Palace, the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz, brings up the question as to how much the Swiss are expected to use Swiss l…
 
Making the move to Switzerland is the first big step for expats: starting a social life is one of the next, and it can be just as difficult. The Swiss are not known to be very open at first - luckily there are some simple steps you can take that will make your life in Switzerland easier, and hopefully better. In this episode we talk about my first …
 
In German and Swiss German there are some words that we don't have an equivalent for in English. We think you'll find some of them quite useful! As there are so many words that are hard to translate, we split the show into two episodes: this is part two of the Swiss German/ high German challenge. How many of the words do you know? Did you know: we …
 
Input from our listeners in our Facebook Group: Susy: Schadenfreude Seamus: Bitsly Katharina: Fremdschämen Susy's second word: Längizit Some others: Fernweh Feierabend Muskelkater Zugzwang Innerer Schweinehund Hundsverlocheti Ohrwurm Bürogummi Verschlimmbessern Kummerspeck Bünzli Tüpflischiiser Sturmfrei…
 
"All" shops are closed on a Sunday in Switzerland! Well, maybe not all, but many at least. Luckily Switzerland offers many other exciting things for expats and tourists to do on a Sunday. We recorded this episode on the top of the Gurten, a 'must see' in Bern - on a Sunday. Tune in and get some inspiration and ideas about what you can do, and what …
 
But seriously, start your search for your dream apartment in Switzerland with these useful links: List of websites in the Englishforum Relocation services Temporary stay in furnished apartments Once you've found a Swiss apartment you like: these are your next steps, from the first contact to signing the contract Ask for a visit, your first contact …
 
Children in Switzerland walk to school alone. They go home at lunch time and there is no security at the school. A typical Swiss school day also contains some surprises compared to other countries and can be quite a revelation for expats new to Switzerland. In this episode, you'll get two different perspectives: what surprises expats in Switzerland…
 
It's one of the big questions you'll be asking yourself before you move to Switzerland: how can I find a job there? Once you arrive in Switzerland it might not prove as easy as you'd hoped to find a job as an expat either. However, if you know where to look for a job and what you must include in an application, it will be much easier. Where should …
 
A heatwave has been hitting Europe and while Switzerland’s not part of the EU, it’s still part of Europe! To cool down on these baking hot days, Swiss, tourists and expats alike flock to the country’s lakes, rivers and pools whenever they can. So is it better to experience summer or winter in Switzerland? In this episode we try to explain Swiss wea…
 
There are many word or phrases in Swiss German that expats in Switzerland or tourists in the country will start to hear. The dialect varies from place to place in German-speaking Switzerland - so prepare to be surprised! There also aren't as many grammatical rules as there are in high German, which sounds great in theory, but makes learning Swiss G…
 
Summer has started in Switzerland and with temperatures rising above 30°C, all over the country people are jumping into rivers and lakes to cool down. One more reason why Switzerland is a great place to live as an expat, right? With crystal clear water coming from the Swiss mountains there are many beautiful places to go for a dip, even in the big …
 
For the first time on our show, we're answering questions from our listeners in the Facebook group "Switzerland for English speakers". If you'd like to join in the discussion, network with other English speakers interested in Switzerland and share your experiences, please feel free to join the group and say 'hello'! This episode is all English spea…
 
You've found your way to Switzerland and started setting up a life here. Now it's time to try and get to know the locals, and what better way to do it than over some food? But where to begin? And how to go about it without committing any major faux-pas? There are some simple (unspoken) rules that will enable you to hit the spot. In this episode, we…
 
What drives someone who's not particularly interested in the monarchy to watch a full royal wedding? We found out this weekend as we switched our TV over to the BBC and soaked up the atmosphere in Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, all from the safety of a Swiss chalet in the Bernese Alps. Notes on this episode of your 'British g…
 
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