What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
6 months, will stay 3 years
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
There's an Internatioanl Women's club which is quite extensive. Some members are too high brow for us (lots of very wealthy wives!) but also lots of mums and kids activities. My neighbour goes to the business forum meetings from teh same club and finds them informative - but they are really aimed at working women not SAHMs.
Our relocation company had a get-together just after we arrived for people new to the area and that was very helpful - nice to meet people in the same boat! They also found some families with similar family situation (we have a disabled child) for us and that has been very good.
Language lessons are good - we got a list from the agent when we arrived with some tips about each school. We went for a big class - was good to meet people but was slow. Now we have a private teacher.
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
Very diverse - think there are about 21% foreigners here. Racism? We haven't felt any but believe it exisits.
Religion is Catholic - but there are also non-Catholic churches. Seems more choice in Zurich (only 20 minutes from where we live).
We feel safe here and our children go to school alone.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
Finance and oil trading seem to be the main things.
Finding a job - we got a lot of help from our relocation lady. She gave me a list of agencies to contact and details of which one was best for what. She also translated adverts for me and helped me get company information. She even drove me to one interview in am emergency because our car broke down!! I just work part time by the way.
If you have to go it alone, there's a weekly paper with jobs (some in English) or internet sites.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
Lots of outdoor activiites - cycling and roller blading are big things. You can go right round the lake - 41km!
Healthly living in general.
Zug is a bit materialistic with quite a transient expat population.
Mixing with Swiss people is not easy - but worth the effort! Lot of people speak English.
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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Try to find someone to help you who is not part of the company. We got a recommenation for a relocation company from a friend (Le concierge) and they did everything for us when we couldn't be in Zug. House hunting was a nightmare (too many people, too few houses) and the agents went to look at them for us and sent pictures, maps, floorplans etc by mail. This was a fantastic help and they defintely got our profile right! We went to look at 3 places (with the whole family!!) and were very lucky we got one. I don't think we could have done this without help - and very fast action from the agents (Nikki and Renata).
Also - go with an open mind! We read a few books before we went but found Siwss people much warmer and friendlier than the books suggested. We got some good tips from Renata (she's Swiss) about how to meet the neighbours etc and I tihnk this helped a lot.
Try not to keep thinking how things are "back home" - it helped us more to focus on where you are now. We had Swedish TV via satellite which was good at the start for the children but we didn't need to brng so much Swedish food!
Get out and about - we've seem more of Switz than some Swiss and it is a lovely place.