Why is it so hard to make friends in Switzerland?
I have been living for 4 months now in Switzerland - and all my friends are foreigners!!! Why is it so hard to make German friends? Sometimes I get the impression that they prefer to stay amongst themselves. This is not really what I expected when I came here.
07 Jun 2007, 05:22 Ben
I have the same impression. It is hard to get in touch with the swiss people, but it also a matter of being new. They all have their friends here since they were in kindergarden, so they are quite occupied. While all the foreigners are new and don´t know anybody. Thus it´s quite normal that you will first make friends with people who are in the same situation as you. The only thing we can do is keep informing them when we foreigners go out and so on. I think if you keep sending e-mails about going out, they will feel impolite always telling they are tired or have another appointment....Mara 14 Jun 2007, 09:42 - Report
hello!!i have good friends there but i met them here in my country peru,and actually my boyfriend is swiss and all the people that i met was nice ,but i will go there in some months and check the real life in ...i have a friend a peruavian one living in zurich with the same problem as u !!mariela 03 Jul 2007, 06:31 - Report
It definetely depends on where you stay. In large cities like Berne or Zurich it should not be a big problem to make friends, because people living there are usually open-minded. But in rural areas people are more reserved and conservative. Some of them might look a little bit strange at foreigners.
But young people usually like to meet people from abroad.
Why not check the internet for events (parties, concerts, discos) in your area?
Young people in switzerland spend a lot of their freetime going out..
Some very popular databases for events in Switzerland are the following sites:
p.s. if youd like to experience switzerland from another side, go visit the street parade (largest techno-parade in the world, about 1 million people dancing in the streets. more infos: www.streetparade.com)Dominic 23 Jul 2007, 03:37 - Report
Hello! I reckon that perhaps you need to meet some new people, who make you feel good. Sometimes that the best option. Or try to go out there you could meet young people who are open-minded. Always remember that your friends love you as you are, you must not change for them defenitily.
I have a friend who lives there but I met him In my country Argentina.He is lovely & friendly.
I do not know if this little advice could help you. Good Luck! Wirte me please: ( that is my e-mail account)Carol 04 Oct 2007, 04:55 - Report
I am admist of considering an job offer based in Geneva.
Would appreciate any tips on issues I should keep in mind.
Housing in geneva>prices on month?
cost of living?Dush 12 Nov 2007, 06:49 - Report
i was exactely dissapoint as you are. i^m living in switzerland for almost 1 and half year, at the begining was so hard for me, now im still thinking that switzerland is really boring but with the time i found some swiss friends, and foreigns, and i tell you... when the swiss people make friends its for the rest of your life, its hard to be here but its also very nice. there are a couple of things that you have to learn... like the weather(winter can be intresting as well) and many many experiences you only have to be in the right places with the right people. än gruess von züri
pd... witch means lot of greatingsdeneb 10 Dec 2007, 08:52 - Report
What it's really like living in Switzerland:
http://www.movetoswitzerland.com/a/0001/expat 08 Jan 2008, 02:06 - Report
Swiss people want privacy....that sometimes we might observe they are lack of friendliness but they are so niceeeeee....
So far, i am almost 1 month here i already have swiss friends. Thanks.....
I am living here in Schüpfen, Bern. my e-mail adds........and my mobile is +41.77.449.7311.. send me message and we make friends.
Rand, 26 years old, from philippines 16 Jan 2008, 07:35 - Report
We have moved with our family and worked in many countries. It normally takes about 2 years to settle and start to gain some real friends. To meet local people you have to join local organisations - I'm considering a position in Switzerland and looking forward to working in a new culture. The responsibility is your - you have to move yourself.Michael 29 Jan 2008, 10:26 - Report
Hi, I am German, 28, more or less a "local", I work in Schaffhausen and will soon move there. You are probably right that it is difficult to make friends in CH; I think you just have to meet the right ones. In international companies like the one I work for they are usually very open-minded. Since I have many colleagues from abroad I know that it is very difficult especially for singles - at least I've been told it was much easier for parents. Joining a sport club might be a good idea.
Christine 03 Feb 2008, 10:13 - Report
Did you find already something ?
Me I am probably also going to Switserland in the area of Geneva. I used to live in Divonne les Bains a village just at the French/Swiss border 15 km from Geneva.
If you still like to have information or you still have any questions you're welcome.
Amber.Amber 17 Feb 2008, 11:47 - Report
holly **** i have to go to Switzerland to get married, because my wife want so (she is swiss), and she even said something about, job opportunities in the company that her father works for, so i was thinking maybe it could be interesting to change the air, but now i'm not so sure anymoreRyan 22 Feb 2008, 03:45 - Report
Hello! My name is Lori Miller. I am 21 years old and grew up in Dallas, Texas, USA. I will be moving to Geneva, Switzerland in about one month to work as an AuPair. I'm very excited but also terribly nervous about the move. I have never been outside of the US before!
If you would like to chat and maybe even meet eachother and hang out when I get there, I would love that!
AOL IM - ItsMillerTime829
Email -Lori 05 Mar 2008, 06:29 - Report
I have been living for 3 years in Switzerland. I am an Asian and I easily make friends with all Swiss.I do not anticipate any problems with Swiss. Basically you should start the conversation with everybody. I basically make friends in my village. I went to supermarkets and make friends with supermarket workers and also housewives. One day I happened to choose a floor mat and a housewife start a conversation in German language. Again an elderly man also started conversation when I choose some chocolates for Christmas.At that time, I am unable to understand German language but he did some sign language. I happened to meet him after one week and he still said hello. Also the workers in the supermarket greeted me when I went to supermarket. Just smile and be positive.Flo 25 Mar 2008, 06:33 - Report
I'm Swiss and studying in Ireland for a couple of month. I just wanted to encourage you...don't give up! At the beginning Swiss people usually seem unfriendly, but actually it takes them just a while to get to know you. As soon as you become friends you are "real friends". This meens that relationships are not only about small talk, it's taking care of each other. Be patient and you will get your friends!
Melanie 10 Apr 2008, 11:00 - Report
Hi, I'm from a country called Panama. It is located in central America. I would like to meet people from Switzerland and make friends. It is my dream to go and visit that country. My email is . My name is Joe and Im 24 years.
GreetingsJoe 15 Apr 2008, 03:09 - Report
Hullo, Iam called Victoria and i come from a small friendly country Uganda.I don't know how unfriendly someone can get when u've been so nice to them.But i believe the swiss are nice people,we just need to create an understanding with them.My email is and i wud love to make friends with the swiss peopleKayaga Vickiesie, 24 years 22 Apr 2008, 08:56 - Report
You folks have got to be kidding. Go somewhere else, do NOT come to switzerland. It is definitely not worth the time and money you will spend in this stupid country, by the end you will be disappointed, I will guarantee you this. Go anywhere in the EU, you will enjoy your time anywhere else, but not in switzerland. The Swiss are pretty racist, cold, and do NOT like foreigners.TruthTeller 09 May 2008, 11:51 - Report
My name is Adeola from Nigeria.Female 23years old, i do like to make friends with open minded people also honesty.If you like to know more about me you can email me on .
Stay cool everybodyAdeola Adeniji 09 Jun 2008, 06:06 - Report
''the foreigners'' is always the hottest topic in Switzerland for debate ! The Swiss People Party (right wing) won the Federal elections after launching a xenophobic racist campaign. 4 years ago, Swiss people voted against a referendum called '' Nationality Facilitation '' the subject of this referendum was to give Swiss nationality to the third generation of the resident foreigners ( to the foreigner who was born and lived in Switzerland and his father before him was born and lived in Switzerland ). Thus, the racism and xenophobia in Switzerland are FACT (proved), not something to argue about ! if you are a foreigner ( especially Arab/Muslim, African, Russian, Chinese, Jew) don't go to live in Switzerland ! I've lived there for 5 years, I worked in the UNO in Geneva, it is a clean and beautiful country this is only the good thing, but people suck!!!Stefen 20 Jun 2008, 01:22 - Report
I am German and 24. I've been living for 7 months in Zurich and I have still not made any friends. I used to live in many other countries and that was much easier there. I don't like this country and I am now looking for jobs ins Germany or in France. A lot of people that are living here don't like the live here. Either you love or hate it.
The company I am working for sucks too.Eve 23 Jun 2008, 11:19 - Report
Yeah Germany is infinitely better than this crappy land of banks and over-priced chocolate. If you want we could meet up sometime for a coffee or something, I live in Zürich too and have not made any friends as well.True 30 Jun 2008, 05:17 - Report
Correction, I've been in Switzerland for 4 years and in Zurich since 1 year. Even after many years of being here it is really difficult to find swiss friends.True 30 Jun 2008, 05:34 - Report
It is ver easy for everyone to make friends everywhere in the world... except your an annoying person. Think about you first before using bad words about a whole country.Friend 01 Jul 2008, 08:42 - Report
Basically, I think if you are single, in your twenties, and used to live in another European city, then Switzerland will make you miserable. I don't think I will ever make a true friend, or be a freind to anyone in this country ( I have lived here almost a year).
Even the cities here are not dynamic, thriving or vibrant places and Swiss people just like to work their set hours, do their boring sports, then go back to their families. Same for most foreigners who live here too. Maybe in the winter they might all go a little crazy and eat some revolting melted cheese, but that's about it as far as fun times go.
It's like they have zero interest in the rest of the world.
Switzerland has no urgency and no energy and I guess that's why people either love or hate it.me too 01 Jul 2008, 09:03 - Report
i was living in switerland for 2 months. and it has been one of the most important experiences of my life. that's true, it's really difficult to make friends... specially if u are in the alps cities, like sion. people is really closed, they appears to realice just an only kind of reality; theirs families and old friends. in the big cities what it's the most appreciable is just money, but you can discover nice places where people who dont decide to sucide. switerland is the f***ing bank of the world, if u have money no racism, lot of friends... its a dammed country built with the corruption of the time.cino 06 Jul 2008, 08:31 - Report
I have lived in switzerland for 4 years, still no swiss friends. swiss really don't like to have friends from other countries and they don't like to involve other people in their circle of friends. Worst of all is they think they are the best, and their way of doing things and their quality of life is the best, when in reality they are closed-minded and extremely rigid, not accepting anybody else or any other way of doing things. They work horribly inefficiently, slow, and customer service really sucks, no communication whatsoever. Completely unfriendly land of assholes and banks.Swisshole 11 Jul 2008, 01:10 - Report
hey ive moved from the uk and it is very hard ro make swiss friends. i try smileing and trying to get their attention but they just atre at me. am here for 1 year and dont no how i am going to survive without making any friends...bhavesh 11 Jul 2008, 09:42 - Report
i think switzerland is a country pretending being democratic and nice, but in fact it is just a mask, the reality says it is a country of dirty money and racism.swiss suck 15 Jul 2008, 04:50 - Report
Hm... quite "good and encouraging" news before making a decision to move or not to move to Swiss...new 17 Jul 2008, 03:41 - Report
Me and husband planned to relocate to Switzerland and I am glad I found this forum. After reading y'all opinions we will think twice.bebe 19 Jul 2008, 01:25 - Report
I think it's hard to make friends because swiss people are really happy with how things are organised for them. They are usually not so demanding and don't always want more as most other ambitious foreign people want who also migrate to another country. As they speak 4 languages I don't think they do it on purpose. THey just don't demand a lot in social ways and they really appreciate their privacy. A few weeks ago I invited some friends of my husband who is swiss, at our home for a dinner but they all were asking what we wanted to celebrate. Nothing!!! I just thought it was fun to come together and speak etc. etc. I do think it's harder to make friends in certain kantons like for example wallis. In city's like zurich, bern, basel or geneva it's easier as there are also more foreigners and the swiss just have to adjust to them if they want or not.M 20 Jul 2008, 10:56 - Report
Even in Zurich, bern, basel and geneva the swiss people suck ass, they are even worse there. Zurich and Geneva are the worst, cold, depressing, only money counts. No life whatsoever, only other foreigners who live there will actually want to socialise with you.heh 24 Jul 2008, 07:15 - Report
The Swiss are actually really nice, you just have to understand them.
I was actually born in Switzerland. I've been living here in the US for over 10 years.. Read this, try to understand and see for yourself:
Switzerland consists of smaller "cities". They don't have huge metropolitan areas. Go somewhere else in the world as a foreigner to the country side and you will have an even bigger problem to be integrated..
First: They are a little shy. Make the first step. Talk to them first. They will talk back to you.
Second: Tell them that you don't know anybody there, they will introduce you to their friends.
(Understand that they are used to be introduced.. They don't have every day somebody form somwhere else to talk to.. so their not used to make the initial "contact"
Third: Ask them for "help" Not like here in the US or big cities in other places, they feel honored not bothered to help
fourth: Understand that they have problems themselves with languages... Often people laugh at their accents, dialects etc.. so they are maybe more intimidated than you areask a swiss 27 Jul 2008, 08:31 - Report
Fifth: Be nice, smile! Have you noticed, they are usually quiet... compare a restaurant as an example. They are raised to be kinda shy, you dont say things loud. You can be the ligth of the party, literally!
Look, sure they have their flaws, but you have to believe me: They are the best friends you can wish for, especially when you need them. They are honest, they mean well and they wont forget you the next day. It does take them a little longer,- sure! I have to remember that sometimes
The one thing is probably most suprising to me:
You are more likely in Switzerland to be given a ride in a Ferrari if you need a ride, than if you have a Ferrari and are looking for somebody to ride it with you.. I don't know if this makes sense..
All the stuff you were writing above::: I felt the same way,- here in Los Angeles first.
YOU go somewhere,- YOU have to change, not the place.
You are sweet, nice, dependent, on time!, clean, ask them how they are and have a smile,- they will love you, anywhere in the world!
Leave it or take it. Just try though..
Hope this helps,-It's been helping me .. anywhere..!as a swiss again.. 27 Jul 2008, 08:49 - Report
Your excuses are meaningless... you treat switzerland like it is something special or something... it is not. It is shit. Why should someone choose your overpriced shithole, and be isolated and segregated for the whole time he lives there, when he can meet the locals in just about any other country he/she moves to? Stop making excuses. By the way Austria, Netherlands, Belgium are not at all urbanised countries but you can meet loads of local people there. The Swiss are racist and don't accept foreigners, and in a few years that will turn around to haunt your selfish isolated money-grubbing shithole.Switzerland sucks 28 Jul 2008, 12:27 - Report
Hello everyone..I myself find it very difficult to make friends...I moved St. Gallen about 3wks ago, i have lived here for 1yr before and never made any friends for myself..My husband is Swiss and i am friends with his friends..It would be nice to make my own though..I think the problem is the language..It can be a big barrier when it comes to having a conversation..My mother tongue is English and i am struggling with my German...Sometimes the Swiss can be very narrow minded but i think if we give them a chance they would come around..Mind you i am from a very small Caribbean Island, Trinidad and Tobago and i have no problems making friends there. My suggestion is be positve after all , Switzerland would be our home in the end...Tracy 28 Jul 2008, 11:21 - Report
i have been here 2 motnhs and still i donthave friends, if somebody live in bern pls let me know, is too boring be alone here, would like to know people who can speak spanish or english
im tired to be here without friends!!!Pao 28 Jul 2008, 01:46 - Report
I am a female Ugandan 27years and have already got a Switzerland friend Martin who even visited me here in Uganda together with his girl friend. I liked them when came to visit my orphanage (www.wcn-mbale.org) and that they stayed for some days. It was fun and still would like to have more friends worldwide. my email is
Regards, LoranLoran 28 Jul 2008, 03:27 - Report
I've been living in Bern for almost 8months now and haven't made any friends either. Why not meet up for a drink one of these days?
CUMe 28 Jul 2008, 10:32 - Report
it IS hard to make friends in switzerland, but that's not because swiss people don't like foreigners. Especially the young people are very open towards foreigners. Swiss people have trouble finding friends themselves. They just have the same friends that they know from childhood and work... that's all. They don't really know how to socialize. But it's a big misunderstanding to think that the swiss people try to avoid foreigners... they just try to avoid strangers in general.
I was born here, my family has cuban, spanish and american roots, and I have many friends from many different countries here. But I have never met somebody on the streets or on the bus. All friends i know, i know either from school or work. Our friendship was practically forced upon us. I hate it that swiss people don't talk to strangers. They don't even smile at you.Dustin 31 Jul 2008, 03:15 - Report
I suggest you try making friends with younger people. If you live in Zurich, the swimming place by the Limmat river called "Obere Letten" is very good to find friends. In summer, this place is filled with so many different cultural values. breakdancers, skaters, graffiti artists, people swimming in the river and jumping off the bridge. People playing beach volleyball and people having a drink and talking.Dustin 31 Jul 2008, 03:23 - Report
well me or UC
I added you already to my contact list
hope we can meet us to drink some
could be nice
are you a man or a girl?Pao 31 Jul 2008, 12:34 - Report
switzerland is very racist, they've just been recently condemned by the UN for having racist politics and a very racist immigration system:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6992670.stmSwitzerland is worth nothing 01 Aug 2008, 11:44 - Report
i am tibetan born in tibet but now living in india and soon going to swiss for holiday and for life. i do like to meet same good friend who could help me out to show same places and go around. i appreciate to meet good friend with sympathetic heart
i pray for good friend for my next holiday in swiss and its in your hand to make it better
take care and see youTenzin 02 Aug 2008, 07:26 - Report
i am not german but i could be your friend if you like and i am tibetan. i will be in swiss the french part soon in lausanne but i speak french if you like
with regardtenzin 02 Aug 2008, 07:29 - Report
Guys, if you plan to come to Switzerland hoping to make some friends easily, forget it. Its been 2 and half years already that I came to CH and it surprises me sometimes to check the friends on my cell and i can hardly find "ONE" to hang out with on the free days.
I suppose someone has already mentioned above that indeed the people here have childhood friends who they meet from time to time. So, it takes a whole lot of a time to have some friends in CH.
My friends think it would be no problem for me to have friends as they think that i am quite open to everyone. But, the truth is that, I am, myself, in a delimna. I mean you cant just go out and talk to someone for no reason. Believe me, it would look like they are being nice to you but at the same time they are constantly trying to figure out what you want from them. Sometimes, people would look at you strangely or perhaps ignore you if you try to talk without a purpose.
This doesnt mean that if you need to know the way, stations or something else, they woulnt help you. If they know, they would help you with the best possible answers. However, this land has been cursed for the foreigners because of the integration and language. Even some swiss who has lived abroad find it a bit diffcult to cope with.
So, my dear friends, if you think you made some friends just because they talked nicely to you and shared their numbers, STOP DREAMING ! As far as i remember, i got numerous numbers esp. ladies, whom i tried to contact and i was responded with either I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT, I AM TIRED SORRY, CALL ME TOMORROW, etc
So, guys, chill out. Its always good to make friends from your homeland, or some other countries like Spain, Australia, UK, USA, etc.
OOPS. I am not from one of the above mentioned. I come from Nepal. And my name is Nima. is my email address if you guys plan to email me.
Peace out.Nima Sherpa 08 Aug 2008, 01:15 - Report
that's the whole point. swiss are stupid, superficial, and fakes. above all they are cowards, they do not have the courage to tell you to their face that they are not interested in having you as a friend. in reality these people are racists who do not want friends from other lands, cultures, or communities.
f*** switzerland, land of liars, assholes, and bankers who steal your money. everything is so overpriced here it's ridiculous. there is no reason to pay so much when every other country on the planet is more open than the swiss (oh yes, the swiss are open ("polite" to you only when they want your money, that's it.)Fuck the Swiss people 09 Aug 2008, 12:24 - Report
Enjoy living here and have made some friends but find a lot are superficial. Not interested in mindless parties with "rent a crowd" kind of people. Sometimes it is like being in a small town with the same expat community going to everything but few really get to know each other.
Would just like to sit and chat and get to know the real person.
CAWCAW 10 Aug 2008, 10:45 - Report
Well the bad news is that it seems to be the same everywhere in Europe. I've lived in Austria and The Netherlands and have friends who have lived in London and Germany and I always hear the same things. I'm South American, and really friendly, but it took me also really long to make local friends... all around europe people have their friends since kinder garden and they just don't need one more contact. Being invited for a coffe or dinner takes ages. But it is just the culture. Europe is a cntinent full with closed shops and lack of expontaneus people. I repeat, it's just the culture!. In all countries the immigration regulations are getting really strong and countries try to protect the jobs of their locals.The good news is that if you are well educated, clean and show good manners, people will at least smile back...and after a couple of years you might end up fully integrated. (in South America you'd have local friends from the first weekend, though they might not be very sincere) All countries have a + and a -. I'm struggling myself with loneliness so good luck everybody!Carol 10 Aug 2008, 02:05 - Report