Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: People love living in Geneva, Switzerland. This city of approximately 200,000 (over 600k in the metro area) is home to dozens of international organizations including the UN. which makes for a very multinational population. There are numerous clubs and organizations for international residents. It takes time to befriend Swiss people. Expats advise newcomers to learn French, study Swiss history and make the effort to join in activities where you can meet locals. Packing tip: Don't over pack. You can find everything here (even crunch peanut butter).

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What do I need to know about living in Geneva?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Geneva, they said:

"Don't bother bringing anything unless you are totally convinced that you won't be able to get it in Geneva. If you can think of something that fits that catagory I would love to know what it was as I haven't found anything (a long while ago we couldn't find "crunchy" peanut butter but forget that problem, it's here) lacking here. Go to the library and check out a couple of books on Switzerland. The locals will be amazed when you are able to demonstrate any knowledge about history, especially theirs. North Americans have been judged, and rightfully so, deficient in an appreciation of history and the role it plays in Europe generally. You will have to read the books, by the way," explained one expat living in Geneva.

"Life is very insular in Geneva, a social life does not immediately await you, you absolutely have to make the effort to join things to fit in and meet people as socialising with work colleagues is not overly common as in England," said another expat in Geneva.

How do I meet people in Geneva?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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