What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How long have you lived there?
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
The Swiss are quite friendly and open, however, they are reluctant to make the first move. As Americans, it is usually up to us to break the ice. Example, I am a gay man living in a small town 20 minutes outside of Zurich. My partner and I noticed that another gay couple lived on the next street. They noticed us too, as they often visited their relations who live across the street from us. It wasn't until we left a note in their mailbox inviting them for coffee that we got to meet them. Now we are great friends....
In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.
Yes, I find the Swiss very, very tolerant and accepting. I doubt my partner and I would find the level of acceptance and integration that we experience in our small town in a town of similar size in America.
What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?
Most people here commute to Zurich and work in the financial sector or other service-related fields. I am self-employed and work out of my home.
In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?
The Swiss are hard workers, that and the conserving of wealth are important issues. Family would come next and then personal interests, such as sports, travel, hobbies, etc. They organize their lives around their appointment books and it is not unusual to meet people who are simply booked up and have no time for new people in their lives...
If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.
Learn the language of the place you live in. Do not try to recreate America here, but be sensitive and adapt to the local culture. Have fun with it. Switzerland has a lot to offer.
Moving to Switzerland
Switzerland is a country rich with tradition, natural beauty and one of the most stable economies in the world. It is, however, also extremely expensive and expats often report difficult settling into the culture.