Living in Switzerland guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Switzerland.

Our selection of articles for expatriation in Switzerland

Banking and finance in Switzerland

When it comes to banking, Switzerland has an age-old tradition as one of the most important players globally. There is a ...

The healthcare system in Switzerland

Switzerland has nearly 400 modern hospitals and private clinics with hi-tech equipment. Moreover, the country has thousands of ...

Post-COVID-19 changes in Switzerland

Switzerland is gradually lifting its travel restrictions for many countries. However, nationals of high-risk countries are still ...

Finding work in Switzerland

Switzerland's reputation for high wages is definitely one of the things that make this country so appealing to expats. So how do ...

Buying property in Zurich

Some people prefer becoming a homeowner once they settle. Often, people buy real estate in their home country. But for expats who ...

Discovering Zurich

Moving to a new city in a foreign country is a big and important decision in your life. When you get that opportunity to leave ...

Gastronomy in Zurich

If you are a food lover and somehow got a chance to move to Zurich, congratulations, you have come to the right place! With the ...

Getting around Zurich

Congratulations! You have got a job offer in Zurich and have found accommodation in the city. Whats next? Looking into ways to ...

Developing your professional network in Zurich

If you want an exciting life in your new city, start by building your social network. If you want a thriving career, develop your ...

Developing your social circle in Zurich

Moving to a foreign country can be daunting, as it implies a lot of changes in ones personal and professional life. First of all ...

Adjusting to the local culture in Zurich

Depending on your country of origin and cultural experience so far, different people will find different levels of difficulty to ...

Zurich's labour market

You are interested in moving to Zurich, but dont know where to start? It would be a good idea to do some research and understand ...

Sports activities in Zurich

With the perfect backdrop of the Zurich lake and the Swiss alps around, it is not hard to imagine all sorts of opportunities for ...

Choosing your neighbourhood in Zurich

With a population of over 380,500, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is divided into 12 Kreis, which means district ...

Zurich's networking etiquette

Now that you have identified the different networking opportunities in Zurich, you may want to prepare yourself. Of course ...

About Switzerland

The place and the people

The mostly mountainous area of what we know today as Switzerland has been inhabited for about 150,000 years. Apart from the different rural communities living there, it has been progressively colonised by the Helvetians, the Romans and the Alemanni (in various iterations) and occupied by the French. In order to better protect the local communities from outside attacks, the Confederation of the cantons was first founded in 1291, although many changes took place over the centuries. The Switzerland we know today was officially formed in 1848: stretching over just 41,285 km², Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons and 2,352 autonomous municipalities. Despite Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne being the most famous (and large) cities, the Swiss capital is actually Bern.

Switzerland may be a small country, but it's very densely populated. Today it comprises 8 million people, more than 22% of which are expats/do not have a Swiss passport. In fact, Germans, French and Italian, as well as non-European expats, have greatly influenced the Swiss culture. The country has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Rumantsch (although German and French are the predominant ones). The majority of people living in Switzerland are Christian (Roman Catholic and Protestant) with an impressive 21% of the population being secular/of no religious affiliation.

Switzerland's climate is moderate, with the four seasons being clearly distinguishable. Precipitations are frequent, often causing snow in winter. July is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures sometimes rising above 30°C (while the average for summer is 18°C-28°C). In the winter, temperatures very rarely go below -2°C. Because of that, the country is equally great to travel to all year long ' whether it's to ski on its many slopes or to enjoy nature's bounty in the spring and summertime.

The economy and politics

Switzerland's form of government is a parliamentary democracy with a direct democracy. There is a National Council of the representatives of the people (200 members) and a Council of States representing the cantons (46 members); these two combined, form the Federal Assembly of Switzerland who elects the Federal Council. The Federal Council is Switzerland's head of state, consisting of 7 members who are elected or re-elected on a four-year basis.

Switzerland has one of the world's most developed and prosperous economies. Despite its lack of raw materials, the Swiss economy has a remarkable performance in fields like micro & biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as finances, banking and insurance services. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounted to some 678.89 million USD in 2017 and its cities (primarily Zurich and Geneva) are considered among the most expensive in the world. With this affluence, also comes a sense of safety: Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It's no wonder then, that Switzerland is such an attractive destination for expats.

Quick Information

Capital : Berne
Official Languages : German , French , Italian , Romansh
Currency : Franc
Area : 41290 Km2
Population : 7581000
Calling Code : +41
Timezone : Europe/Zurich

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