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Is it normal to hate this. Switzerland

(11 Posts)
heather1 Tue 19-Jul-11 20:01:54

Hi, I would really appreciate some advice. Im really new to this living overseas thing. We have moved to Switzerland, living in small village. Husband working in nearby Zurich. Speak no German. Oldest boy is at local school, starting to settle. Youngest is with me ALL the time (he used to be in nursery 3 days a week) and due to start kindergarten in August. The problem is that I hate it here. I miss all my friends - lived for 7 years in our previous home- so so much. I am so so so bored most of the time. We dont have a car at the moment so limited to public transport. I just cant be bothered, feel tired all the time and am snappy with the kids. So will it get better? Is this normal? We are planning to move closer to the city so Im hoping that will help as I will be able to meet people etc. I like Switzerland and I wanted to move overhere. Its a great job for my DH. Who is being great, really supportive. Also I know that there are others out there with worse problems that me. But is it normal to feel like this?

MistyB Tue 19-Jul-11 21:38:19

We have just moved so new to the overseas thing too but many people I spoke to said that the first 6 months are very very hard and then it does get better. Being in the house all day is tough under any circumstances, we all go stir crazy if we are stuck in all day. When does your DS1 break up for the summer holidays? Hopefully then you can start to treat it like a holiday and do some sightseeing, hanging round at the outdoor pools etc.

suburbophobe Wed 20-Jul-11 12:05:06

I can imagine it's hard, being in a new country, with young kids, not knowing anyone, reliant on public transport, etc.

Take a look at this, there's also a forum on it.

http://www.expatica.com/ch/main.html

beresh Wed 20-Jul-11 17:41:59

You sound like me 2 years ago - also moved to a village outside Zurich, spoke no German and I found it tough going at first even though the rest of my family was happy.

For me learning German’s really helped, I made friends on the courses and found it easier to make friends with the parents of my DC’s friends and other locals as my German improved.

Still miss my friends in England, but also would miss people here and lot of other things if we went back now. Got to go as we’re heading off on holiday, but hope that helps, if you want to go for a coffee sometime in Zurich, PM me.

Waedigirl Wed 20-Jul-11 22:17:13

Yep, definitely normal, and some villages def much less cosmopolitan / fun than the city or where you've from. Also with language, diffs in how things are done, and the feeling that you probably should be "grateful" to live in such an amazing place. I found it got much easier after making friends here and found expats v friendly as all in same boat. Feel free to PM me if you want to join a night out mid-aug and get slightly piddled with a group of Brits who have pretty much all been in same boat and are escaping their kids for an evening smile

sun1234 Thu 28-Jul-11 05:45:18

When I emigrated it was like an extended holiday at first and then it wore off and I became homesick. Very homesick. Then I got used to it and made a new life for myself but one thing I never got over was the feeling of being an outsider.

I knew a lot of expats and they almost all described the same feelings. We came home in the end (after several years) but the ones who stayed are the ones who didn't mind not belonging.

It sounds to me like you are homesick.It will pass but you can help it to go by trying to find things to enjoy over there. And learn to speak German, otherwise you will be excluded from friendships and social activities with the other parents at Kindergarten. Are there any expat women's meet ups you can join?

goodasgold Thu 28-Jul-11 20:08:19

Hi Heather

I am near Zurich too, with dcs 12, 5 and 3. I have only been here since May so the holiday feeling hasn't worn off yet and the weather has been good.

If you would like to meet up PM me.

I am having German lessons which are subsidized by the town, there is a free creche, before I started them I had no contact with English speakers apart from my immediate family. I recommend that you look into this for August.

In a village it must be different, but this is a good opportunity for you to get to know yourself and get used to your own company. Friends are such a blessing, but it is so important to be happy with your own company, and to do the things that you want to do to make you happy.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do. Depends where you are but any support is a good thing.

fonduechinoise Fri 19-Aug-11 17:54:09

Hi all,
Read the posts with great interest and hope you are feeling a bit better Heather1. I moved near Zurich 4 yrs in November. we live in a small town/village outside Zug. It is hard to settle abroad, especially here. Heather1, the way you feel is completely normal. I think most of us have been through this. First winter for me was pure hell...sad Where are you based? At least you have access to internet and can unload on Mumsnet lol. Lots of things to get used to here... Pls ask anything you might need. There are some nice guys around. I work 100% so not much free time during the day but don't hesitate to PM. Did someone mention a night out?!

ZurichParisUK Mon 26-Sep-11 15:15:13

Dear Heather1

I've just joined MN and this is my first post. I read your post and hope you're feeling a bit better and settling in a little.

I came to Switzerland from the UK planning to stay for 2 years for work. I've been here 12 years now and love the country and quality of life. But... I hated my first 6 months. I was miserable and homesick. I felt like a cashpoint, was lonely and wondered if I would ever make it to my 2 year target.

I wish I'd known the following when I'd arrived. It would have helped me to settle in much more quickly. Especially as, like you I think, I can get the lethargies... stay in... so feel rubbish and more lethargic... so stay in... so feel worse... Hard to break the cycle.

I wish I'd known about: awczurich.org/ You don't have to be American to take part in their events. There are always things going on in and around Zürich and they have babysitting at their lovely clubhouse. Don't miss their amazing workshop week in March.

Also it's worth joining some of the yahoo groups. For example: groups.yahoo.com/group/Expats-in-Zurich/ Yahoo also has a Swiss Swap and Shop group which can be handy for finding/getting rid of furniture, kids stuff etc. There may even be a yahoo group for an area nearer you, or you could set one up.

You've just missed the Zürich Expat Expo, but check out their web site for a list of useful contacts and it might still be useful to visit one of their other expos in Zug or Basel for example. www.expat-expo.info/

I hope all of this helps. I'm not sure, but I think there may even be some way to message me on MN if you want to talk further and would like a sympathetic english speaking ear. Tschüssli!

HeavyHeidi Mon 26-Sep-11 22:18:58

check also englishforum.ch, there are a lot of people just like you around.

Stateofplay Thu 29-Sep-11 21:11:51

Sympathies, I think it takes a good year to settle into a new place. My advice would be to say 'yes' to every invitation (even from the odd looking neighbour) you receive for six months, and then be more discerning afterwards.

When I moved to Switzerland I found the New Stork Times magazine (published in Zurich) quite nice, www.genevamum.com useful even if you're not in Geneva, especially for childcare and schools; and glocals great for finding playgroups and friends.

http://www.thestork.ch/
http://www.genevamum.com
http://www.glocals.com/

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