Many think of Switzerland as a country of snowy mountains, cows, chocolate and banks where even a glass of tap water costs a fortune. The cities are full of suit-wearing bankers and on the countryside Heidi is milking the cows. But is that actually true? Our slightly biased Swiss-Canadian Business Development Consultant Eric Schuster demystifies Switzerland for you.
The trains are always on time
Actually, they mostly are. In 2019, 89% of trains arrived on time or within a delay of 3 minutes from their expected arrival. However, this does not stop the Swiss from complaining about the public transportation system. Trains arrive not only timely but also frequently. Each day, Zurich Main Station is serving up to 2’915 trains and 1.32 million people are travelling by train in Switzerland.
Swiss people subsist on a strict diet of chocolate and cheese
Some of us would love to! While Switzerland is the world champion when it comes to chocolate consumption, there are also healthier alternatives. The reality is that Switzerland is very veggie friendly. According to a study from 2018, Switzerland came out on top of European countries to be vegetarian. Meat prices in Switzerland are the highest in Europe so if you want to adopt and live an eco-friendly lifestyle, this is the place to try it out! Strap on your Birkenstocks, pack some carrot sticks and come see for yourself!
Swiss people are difficult to get to know
This is one of the most common misconceptions about Swiss people. They usually don’t really like to start conversations with people they don’t know, to be mindful of their privacy. But if you make an effort to get out and get to know people, you’ll find they’re very friendly and loyal people. Case in point, the author of this post married his Swiss sweetheart.
If you find yourself struggling with the cultural difference, our blog how to meet people and make friends in Switzerland might help you.
Life is pretty quiet here
Before you move here, you need to know it’s not New York City or Tokyo. Life in the big cities is comparable to any other big cities in Europe. Life in the suburbs and villages is nice, quiet and people still say “Grüezi” to each other. When the Swiss choose to do anything, they plan it out with military precision and leave nothing to chance. We throw the world’s largest techno party in Zurich every year and around 1 million people from around Switzerland and the world show up to dance to the beats, with our own Kieran Righetti usually out in front. The best part is that the streets are clinically clean by 9am the next day because nothing upsets the locals more than litter and disorganisation.
Switzerland is a collection of banks masquerading as a country
While there are a lot of banks in Switzerland, that’s not the only part of the economy that's thriving. The Swiss economy is consistently ranked as one of the most competitive in the world with more than 70% of people employed in the service sector. There’s a reason after all why a lot of global companies (many clients of Experis) have a presence here: we have some of the top ranked universities (ETH, EPFL) that produce local talent and attract great people from across the world to study and work here.
Switzerland is wealthy
It is. According to a 2019 study by Credit Suisse, 9.4% of the population are millionaires. However, the streets are not paved with gold here (it’s mostly kept in bunkers and vaults from the banks underneath the streets).
Switzerland is a “winter country” with the Alps
World-class ski resorts are just a train-ride away all over the country. You’re never far away from the action in the winter. Summer doesn't disappoint either. During the warmer months, you can enjoy the lakes, mountains and rivers! This country is amazing for those seeking the outdoor lifestyle.
Everyone owns a Swiss Army Knife
I don’t know anyone that doesn’t, so I assume this is true. I got my first one at 5 years old! Thanks Dad!
Got a better impression of Switzerland? Then it is about time to apply for an IT job here and you will soon be enjoying your after-work beer on the shores of Lake Zurich. Visit our website https://www.experis.ch/ and apply in a few minutes.