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An Expat Talks about Living in Neuchatel, Switzerland

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Neuchatel

How long have you lived there?

25 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Neuchatel International Club, English Speaking Ladies Group, Chappel des Charmettes religious (Christian Protestant) & social activities

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Neuchatel is traditionally Protestant but there are many Catholics in the canton. In Switzerland as a whole one in seven people is not Swiss and this holds true in Neuchatel. The Neuchatelois are very tolerant but are made uncomfortable by highly visible symbols such as burkas.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

The Neuchatel work force is highly skilled, consisting of watchmakers, precision mechanics and other exacting disciplines. Better to get the job before arriving.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Neuchatel is famous for watchmaking and high-tech industries and is home to a number of English-speaking companies such as Philip Morris, Baxter, Auto-Desk etc. In areas of the canton outside of the town of Neuchatel area there are other companies such as Johnson & Johnson, so there are more English-speaking ex-pats than one would imagine for a town as small as Neuchatel. The Neuchatelois also have a football team (Neuchatel Xamax) that is EU class, again something most towns its size do not have.

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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.

You should have a particular reason for moving to Neuchatel, such as an interest in high-tech work, and not just chose it because of its lovely lake-side location, for example. It is a specialized place and you should be prepared for that before deciding upon Neuchatel as a place to live.

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