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Swiss and Chips - Your British Guide to Switzerland

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Becoming Swiss, part two: 'Getting the Right Information'

3/12/2019
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Applying to become Swiss is a long process and requires lots of forms, documents and appointments. If you've lived in Switzerland long enough to think about applying, this probably won't come as a surprise! In the city of Bern, an information evening is offered to people who want to apply. We went along to clear up some questions I had about the process, and to find out as much information as possible. Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your British Guide to Switzerland

Duration:00:15:05

Is it time to take a Swiss German course?

2/25/2019
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Communication is key when it comes to fitting in and feeling at home in your adopted country, and being able to understand and speak to people does make your daily life much easier. But that's easier said than done in the German-speaking part of Switzerland where Swiss German is the spoken language. It's a dialect that most Germans struggle to understand and it sounds different in every village you go to. Learning Swiss German is tricky, but not impossible. After passing my German C1 exam,...

Duration:00:18:38

Becoming Swiss, part one: 'Before it begins'

2/12/2019
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Becoming a Swiss citizen is a long and somewhat complicated path with a few hurdles to overcome along the way. A few weeks from now Jo will start the process of applying to become Swiss and with that, we are beginning a new series in our podcast: 'Becoming Swiss'. It'll track her progress and give you insight into one person's journey through the Swiss naturalisation system. Did you know we have a Facebook group, Switzerland for English Speakers? It's a great place to ask questions or share...

Duration:00:17:38

What do you say in Switzerland when...

1/29/2019
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Do you know how to respond in Switzerland to avoid an intercultural mishap? Once you've started picking up the language as an expat, you'll start to notice the mother-tongue speakers around you reply in certain ways to specific situations or questions. This can be from anything as simple as a sneeze to trickier discussions about salaries, or dare-we-go-there, politics. It can take a while to work out what you need to say when, to avoid seriously offending your new-found friends, colleagues...

Duration:00:26:50

How to learn to ski as a complete beginner

1/15/2019
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If you're moving to Switzerland you might think that skiing will become a big part of your life: as a beginner that can either be really exciting or completely terrifying! However you feel about taking to the slopes, it's definitely something to try, or how will you ever know if you like it? Once you've decided to go for it, there are lots of things to consider before you even set foot in the snow. In this episode we guide you through all the important questions and share our experiences...

Duration:00:21:12

Ice skating on a frozen Alpine lake

1/1/2019
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Imagine walking along a snowy path between the trees in the Swiss Alps until suddenly, a vast lake, completely covered in ice and surrounded by a sheer cliff face, opens up before you: this is what you'll experience if you head to the Osechinensee or Lake Oeschinen in the Bernese Oberland, which has frozen over. It's a veritable winter wonderland! We wrapped up warm and headed out for a skate on the ice. And we've compiled everything you need to know to experience this magical day in the...

Duration:00:16:11

How to get over homesickness

12/18/2018
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You've taken a huge step: packed your bags, filled out all the forms and moved to a completely new place. But once the initial period of excitement wears off, living abroad can start to feel a little bit lonely, especially if your new life isn't fully set up yet, or something great is going on back home. Don’t worry, everyone feels homesick at some point! We've got some ideas to help you get through it.

Duration:00:28:05

The best Christmas present ideas to take home from Switzerland

12/4/2018
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With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, it's definitely time to pick up the Christmas presents you want to take or send back from Switzerland for friends and family abroad. We have sack-loads of ideas, from traditional Swiss souvenirs, to the more unusual. Hopefully there will be some ideas for you as well! A special thanks to everyone in our Facebook group: Switzerland for English Speakers, who had plenty of great suggestions to share. Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your...

Duration:00:23:14

How often do Swiss people use other Swiss languages?

11/20/2018
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Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. But how often do the Swiss use, or try to use, a language that's not their mother tongue? A trip to see the famous annual light projection at the Swiss Federal Palace, the Rendez-vous Bundesplatz, brings up the question as to how much the Swiss are expected to use Swiss languages other than their own in their daily life. We answer listener questions: - when are high German and Swiss German used? - is it...

Duration:00:20:44

How to make friends in Switzerland

11/6/2018
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Making the move to Switzerland is the first big step for expats: starting a social life is one of the next, and it can be just as difficult. The Swiss are not known to be very open at first - luckily there are some simple steps you can take that will make your life in Switzerland easier, and hopefully better. In this episode we talk about my first steps trying to make friends and get to know people in Switzerland as an expat, and I'll give you some tips and ideas from my own experience. We...

Duration:00:26:31

Swiss German words that don't translate into English: part two

10/23/2018
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In German and Swiss German there are some words that we don't have an equivalent for in English. We think you'll find some of them quite useful! As there are so many words that are hard to translate, we split the show into two episodes: this is part two of the Swiss German/ high German challenge. How many of the words do you know? Did you know: we discuss all our episodes and many other topics in our Facebook group 'Switzerland for English Speakers'. Notes on this episode of the...

Duration:00:17:12

Swiss German words that don't translate into English

10/9/2018
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Today's episode is a direct challenge for you! We talk about Swiss German words, Swiss slang and German words that are hard to translate into English. Notes on this episode: Input from our listeners in our Facebook Group: Susy: Schadenfreude Seamus: Bitsly Katharina: Fremdschämen Susy's second word: Längizit Some others:

Duration:00:15:56

What to do on a Sunday in Switzerland?

9/25/2018
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"All" shops are closed on a Sunday in Switzerland! Well, maybe not all, but many at least. Luckily Switzerland offers many other exciting things for expats and tourists to do on a Sunday. We recorded this episode on the top of the Gurten, a 'must see' in Bern - on a Sunday. Tune in and get some inspiration and ideas about what you can do, and what the Swiss do, on a Sunday.

Duration:00:16:10

How to find an apartment in Switzerland as an expat

9/11/2018
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It's not easy to find the perfect place to live and it's even more difficult if you move to a different country. In this episode we answer the all-important questions for English speakers moving to Switzerland, who are looking for the perfect apartment. Should you rent or buy? How much will it cost? Where to find an apartment in Switzerland as an expat, and which documents will you need before you can secure a lease on a new place. After this episode you'll know where and how to start...

Duration:00:35:12

Going to school in Switzerland: for kids and adults

8/28/2018
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Children in Switzerland walk to school alone. They go home at lunch time and there is no security at the school. A typical Swiss school day also contains some surprises compared to other countries and can be quite a revelation for expats new to Switzerland. In this episode, you'll get two different perspectives: what surprises expats in Switzerland about the schools and what a typical Swiss school day looks like (from someone who's actually been to one)! Plus, we discuss German language...

Duration:00:22:16

How to find a job in Switzerland

8/14/2018
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It's one of the big questions you'll be asking yourself before you move to Switzerland: how can I find a job there? Once you arrive in Switzerland it might not prove as easy as you'd hoped to find a job as an expat either. However, if you know where to look for a job and what you must include in an application, it will be much easier. Where should you look to find a job in Switzerland as a foreigner, how can you make the most of your skills as an expat and what do you need to know before...

Duration:00:21:58

What's the weather like in Switzerland?

7/31/2018
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A heatwave has been hitting Europe and while Switzerland’s not part of the EU, it’s still part of Europe! To cool down on these baking hot days, Swiss, tourists and expats alike flock to the country’s lakes, rivers and pools whenever they can. So is it better to experience summer or winter in Switzerland? In this episode we try to explain Swiss weather and when the best time to visit Switzerland is.

Duration:00:18:04

Ten Swiss German phrases you need to know

7/17/2018
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There are many word or phrases in Swiss German that expats in Switzerland or tourists in the country will start to hear. The dialect varies from place to place in German-speaking Switzerland - so prepare to be surprised! There also aren't as many grammatical rules as there are in high German, which sounds great in theory, but makes learning Swiss German quite difficult for expats in Switzerland. But don't let this discourage you if you're thinking of moving here or coming to work here as...

Duration:00:19:29

Wild swimming in Switzerland

7/3/2018
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Summer has started in Switzerland and with temperatures rising above 30°C, all over the country people are jumping into rivers and lakes to cool down. One more reason why Switzerland is a great place to live as an expat, right? With crystal clear water coming from the Swiss mountains there are many beautiful places to go for a dip, even in the big cities. In this episode we talk about what it's like to go wild swimming in Switzerland as an expat, how to find the best spots and how to stay...

Duration:00:20:06

How to learn Swiss German (or maybe not)

6/19/2018
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For the first time on our show, we're answering questions from our listeners in the Facebook group "Switzerland for English speakers". If you'd like to join in the discussion, network with other English speakers interested in Switzerland and share your experiences, please feel free to join the group and say 'hello'! This episode is all English speaking expats in Switzerland need to know about Swiss German and high German. What is Swiss German? Do you need to learn it? And if so, where can...

Duration:00:20:48