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Living in Switzerland

The Country & Its People

Switzerland is a mountainous country in Central Europe with numerous lakes and high Alpine summits. It has borders with Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein. Its capital is Bern, while other large cities include Basel, Zurich and Geneva. In total, there are approximately 8.5 million people living in Switzerland, though there are also a great number of commuters who travel from the bordering regions into Switzerland every day. 22.7 percent of the entire population consists of citizens who do not have Swiss citizenship.

With its high quality of life, Switzerland is an extremely attractive country for many international workers, who benefit not only from the high standard of living but also attractive salaries, political stability and legal security, together with first-class infrastructure.

Switzerland can be described as a country of settlement, in the best sense of the phrase. In this context, there are numerous programs for expats, including:

The Swiss currency is the franc (CHF), which is divided into 100 cents.

Stores are generally closed on Sundays and national holidays.

For more information, visit https://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html

Note on external links: Bayer bears no responsibility for the content of external links. The responsibility for the content of linked pages lies exclusively with the respective website operator.

Education system

The Swiss education system is broken down as follows:

  • Primary level (including kindergarten or entry level)
  • Secondary level I
  • Secondary level II: basic professional education and general schools (Matura grammar schools, vocational schools)
  • Tertiary level: higher professional education outside of university/college (federal PET diplomas and advanced federal PET diplomas, higher technical colleges) and university/college (universities, advanced technical colleges, teacher training colleges)

The education system in Switzerland is primarily the responsibility of the Cantons and Municipalities; the state is only responsible for parts of the system.

There are also various international schools focusing on teaching in English.

Find more information at:

Note on external links: Bayer bears no responsibility for the content of external links. The responsibility for the content of linked pages lies exclusively with the respective website operator.

Language

Switzerland has four official national languages and numerous dialects.

German (63.5%)
The majority of the population lives in German-speaking Switzerland. In 19 of the 26 cantons, Swiss German dialects are mainly spoken.

French (22.5%)
French is spoken in the west of the country, in the area known as Romandy. There are four French-speaking Cantons: Geneva/Vaud/Neuchâtel/Jura. Three cantons are French-German bilingual: Bern, Fribourg and Valais.

Italian (8.1%)
Italian is spoken in Ticino and the 4 southern valleys of Grisons (Italian Grisons).

Romansh (0.5%)
The Canton of Grisons is multilingual: here, people speak German, Italian and Romansh. Romansh speakers represent just 0.5% of the population, making this the smallest Swiss language group. Within this group, there are five or six different dialects: Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Putèr and Vallader, as well as Romansch Grischun, which was introduced in 1982 as a linguistic compromise between the five Romansh dialects.

Other (6.6%)
There are also many people from outside the country living in Switzerland, who also contribute towards its linguistic diversity; in fact, there are more and more people in Switzerland whose mother tongue is not one of the four Swiss languages.

Leisure time

In keeping with its high quality of life, Switzerland also has a very extensive range of leisure activities to offer. It is known above all for its ski regions and hiking trails, rivers and lakes, though its range of sports is also very broad, with many local clubs offering opportunities to take part in recreational sport. What’s more, Switzerland has an abundance of culture to showcase, including numerous museums, exhibitions, films, theaters and cinemas. For those keen to discover the “real” Switzerland, there are many traditional events on offer, highlighting the country’s customs. And there is also plenty on offer for music lovers of all kinds, with many music festivals and concerts, as well as over nine opera houses spread throughout the country.

Visit the following websites for more tips and information:

Note on external links: Bayer bears no responsibility for the content of external links. The responsibility for the content of linked pages lies exclusively with the respective website operator.