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An Expat Talks about Relationships in Geneva, Switzerland, Report 14335 | Expat Exchange
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Expat Advice: Relationships in Geneva, Switzerland

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

Geneva

What is your current status? Are you single, dating, in a long-term relationship, married or divorced?

Married and three young children

What is it like in your country of residence for someone with your relationship status (married/divorced/dating)? If you're single, how do you meet other people? Do English-speaking people tend to gravitate to certain parts of your city?

Great quality of life in Geneva and Switzerland in general. Being professionally active as a mother of very young children is challenging as it is difficult to find daycare. Once the kids are in school it is easier to find additional babysitting solutions. 40% of Geneva is non Swiss and there are many English speakers. The Multinationals, banking sector and international organizations also bring many English speakers to the Geneva area. I meet a lot of English speakers who have lived here for years and have gotten by with English only. There are all sorts of networks and clubs for English speaking international professionals. A great network for professional women that I can highly recommend is the Geneva Women in International Trade www.gwit.ch

Being single and coming to Geneva it can be challenging to meet a nice partner. A lot of people work and travel quite a bit and do not have time or energy to go to places where they could potentially meet a life partner. I noticed this when I worked as a headhunter in Geneva and launched a company called successmatch, www.successmatch.ch that provides personalized matchmaking services for busy English speaking professionals.

If you have children, what advice would you give to others making a similar transition to your country of residence?

Geneva is a fantastic place to live. Every thing is small scale, no major traffic, quite safe. Especially if you like sports, the facilities here are wonderful. A very good place for children to grow up. For the "trailing" spouse it is often difficult to find employment, and then difficult to find good child care so it is important to be aware of that. Another challenge is finding housing. Often companies help their employees with this.

If you do not have children, do you generally spend your social time with other expat couples? If not, what else do you like to do as a couple?

There are so many things to do here that you will never be bored.

Check out www.genevaonline.ch to see the type of activities that other friendly international professionals are organizing.

If you are married or in a relationship with a person of another nationality, how has this experience enriched you as a person. What kind of challenges do you face?

Before we moved to Switzerland we have lived in the US, Belgium, Spain and Germany.

I would say that the challenges in our relationship are not so much due to our different nationalities but are more the challenges that dual career couples face.

Husband works and travels a lot, while I feel I am running the family and my business. The challenge is to find time for the couple! But where there is a will, there is a way.

What would be the best advice you could give someone with your relationship status that lives in your country of residence? Any other thoughts?

Geneva is a great place for everyone especially if you like nature, outdoors and sports. A fantastic place to raise children. I can highly recommend it. It is important to immediately get linked up and involved in some networks to help smooth the settling in process and make your stay more enjoyable.

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