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issue 4/ 2016


r one e b nd num The ledge a rce know tion sou d’s n ira insp witzerla al for S rnation inte munity com


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WELCOME TO SWITZERLAND Letter from the editor Community wall The last word

6 8 46

Business minds Meet the Sepios team The relocation question

14 16 18 19 17 19

Discover Switzerland Putting jam back in jamming: Roller derby in Switzerland 39 Your perfect weekend in the Canton of Vaud: suggestions for an ideal getaway 26 Christmas shopping in Basel: a unique guide 42

WHAT'S ON November December January February Traditional Christmas markets Carnival 2017

22 25

EXPERT ADVICE FEATURES Living well in Switzerland Fondue: a beginner's guide Raclette recipes with a twist Culture shock 101

11 12 13

Insure peace of mind during your holidays 29 Seven myths about credit cards and how to access them 31 Taxation of foreign pension fund benefits in Switzerland 32 Planning your move 35 Mobile surfing with 4G+ 37 8 reasons to join TCS 38

Magic winter in Graubünden. Take a short break from the hectic everyday life. Enjoy the quiet side of winter in an idyllic mountain village in Graubünden and recharge your batteries.

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One of the most beautiful seasons of Switzerland is beckoning. Winter in Switzerland is full of opportunities to enjoy Swiss traditions from Christmas markets, to weekend visits to the snowy Alps for winter sports. In this issue of Hello Switzerland, we're pleased to share with you the best winter inspiration to help chase away the cold weather blues.

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In our special section, Discover Switzerland, Tatiana Warkentin talks about her passion for roller derby and how it helped her integrate in her local community. Have you explored the Canton of Vaud yet? This gem of Switzerland is on the New York Times Top Places to Visit in 2016 - and it is only short train ride from your home!

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The Hello Switzerland team wishes happy holidays to you and your loved ones. Samantha Suarez-Maier Editor

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Community contributors: Flavia de Almeida, Janet Howell, Sonya Kar, Caroline Little, Joanna Moon, Karen Raffa, Sunita Sehmi, Stacy Streuli & Tatiana Warkentin

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THE JOYS OF CREATIVITY The journey to the Big Swiss Colouring Book What do three art teachers with global experiences have in common? A love of mindfulness and creativity. Hello Switzerland explores their global perspectives and the real value of the creative and visual arts in the classroom. BY: SAMANTHA SUAREZ–MAIER

YOU THREE TRAVELLED THE WORLD, WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SWITZERL AND? Jo: I have lived and worked internationally for the past 20 years, but mainly based in Southeast Asia. When a job opportunity arose at an international school in Switzerland, I was open to new challenges and experiences. My team members and fellow artists, Janet and Caroline, actually had very similar experiences to my journey to lovely Switzerland. YOU THREE TRAVELLED THE WORLD, WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SWITZERL AND? Caroline: I began teaching in the North East of England in a town called Stockton on Tees. With my degree from the Falmouth School of Art, I knew I wanted to share my knowledge of painting, printmaking and drawing with young people and decided to become a teacher. Jo: I started teaching while completing a postgraduate diploma at Edinburgh College of Art. I was a visiting tutor at Galashiels College on the Scottish borders and in Derby, teaching illustration and drawing. I then pursued a career in designing textiles and illustration, but later decided to pursue an international teaching career. That gave me the opportunity to travel and experience the arts in a more global context. Janet: I studied Fashion design at Central Saint Martins School of Art in London. After working in the fashion business for a few years, I spent some time teaching English. I loved this, as it meant working with people from around the world. Since then I have taught Art and Design in the UK and Thailand. Bangkok has a wealth of

amazing stimulation, and I was able to design clothing lines using fabulous local resources, in conjunction with teaching. Now in Switzerland, this book allows me to celebrate my host country in another way! I IMAGINE T H AT SW I TZERL A ND C A N BE V ERY DIFFERENT TO SOME COUNTRIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE UPON MOVING TO SWITZERL AND? Caroline: For me, it’s interesting to draw parallels, as well as differences, across cultures and to draw a source of inspiration for creativity in a different way. For example, the calm and pace of Switzerland has created time and space to be creative and actualise projects such as this book. Jo: It was definitely a huge culture shock. Compared to Hong Kong, where I was previously posted, I felt everything seemed so quiet and orderly – and I honestly missed the chaos at the beginning. In Hong Kong, it feels that life is continuously happening 24 hours a day; in comparison, Switzerland has many rules, and with shops being closed on Sundays, it was a real challenge to adapt to the slower pace of life, but now I enjoy it. Janet: I had a similar experience to Jo, previously being based in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Brunei! You have to adapt to living with a different pace of life. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FIND CREATIVIT Y AND MINDFULNESS WHEN EMBARKING ON A NEW LIFE ADVENTURE, SUCH AS RELOCATING TO A NE W COUNTRY? Jo: Mindfulness helps to ground you. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment, and I think when you relocate you tend to make comparisons and judgements. People tend to live in the past – creativity and mindfulness can help to focus your attention on the now. You can embed small acts of mindfulness in your everyday life,

Photos: © Bergli Books

The Big Swiss Colouring Book is a beautiful hand-drawn ode to everything Swiss, from lakes and mountains to Maria Botta’s architecture to Freitag bags. Hello Switzerland learns more about the three inspirational women who made it happen.


whether it is taking a moment to colour a page, or meditating before your first cup of coffee. When creating the drawings for the colouring book, it was in itself a mindful practice. We had to be very focused and present on the current task at hand. The creative aspect came through in how images could be combined and composed to create interesting pages. YOU THREE TEACH ART AT THE INTER-COMMUNIT Y SCHOOL OF ZÜRICH. WHAT VALUE DOES ART HAVE FOR CHILDREN? Jo: I think the arts in general have a very powerful impact on learning by allowing students the opportunity to express themselves and learn about what it is to be human. Art allows us to see things from a variety of perspectives and when it is integrated and woven into others areas of the curriculum such as math or science, it allows for richer learning experiences. Art can provide important skills – and also the freedom to take risks.

Three smiling artists: Caroline, Janet & Jo

Caroline: For me, visual arts act as a means for students not to just express their interests, beliefs and opinions – but also an opportunity for them to express their whole personality. Janet: It is a very personal experience in terms of techniques as well as ideas – children can take ownership if their ideas and begin to think and behave as an artist feeling proud and respected for their creativity. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF TEACHING ART? Jo: I think when you see students beginning to question and gain confidence in their self-expression. Janet: When they are immersed in an activity and don’t want to leave the classroom. It’s also very inspiring when you observe students beginning to make connections. I’m always inspired by our students and witnessing how young people express themselves. Caroline: …And being surrounded by ideas stemming from different perspectives across cultures age groups and young individuals!

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? With the Big Swiss Colouring Book, a luxurious adventure of 80 pen-and-ink designs, the adult colouring book phenomenon arrives in Switzerland. All you need is a set of coloured pencils to immerse yourself in the arts, culture, and landscapes of this majestic land. For more information, visit: Lose yourself in the small details



Children should leave school with a firm grasp of both literacy and numeracy. However, the joy of creative expression needs to be equally encouraged in the future innovators of our world. TEACHING THE NEX T GENERATION It is a school’s remit to equip students with thorough skills and competencies in core subjects such as reading, writing, mathematics and science. However, there is much more to education than teaching children how to pronounce and spell words, structure texts or crunch the numbers correctly. In a rapidly developing and globalised world, it is crucial that children not only acquire a solid knowledge base, but they should also be able to communicate their knowledge in different languages as well as develop an ability to adapt to new situations and circumstances of a future society. While schools cannot teach answers to questions that have not yet been asked, they can inspire students to draw on their own creative resources, encourage them to think out of the box and come up with innovative approaches for old and new problems. This is where education in music and arts comes into play.

CREATIVE TRANSFER Arts and music play an important role in everyday school life at SIS Swiss International School. We believe in a holistic and comprehensive approach to learning and teaching in two languages that caters to the intellectual, emotional, as well as the creative needs of our students. While the first aspect is covered by our competency-based bilingual curricula, it is the playful handling of language and content in arts and music that encourages children to explore their creativity and transfer knowledge to other aspects of life. In addition to stimulating a child’s creative capabilities, artistic and musical education is also highly beneficial to the development of other skills, which can then be applied to different fields and subject areas. For example, playing a musical instrument, singing or doing listening activities together sharpens a child’s aural discrimination as well as sequential learning skills, which in turn proves advantageous for language learning and development.

PERFORMING IN TWO L ANGUAGES Working creatively together also nourishes a sense of belonging and unity; the students learn to listen to each other, to communicate and, ultimately, to coordinate the individual parts and voices into a harmonious and powerful – albeit bilingual – whole. At SIS Schönenwerd, this was exemplified in the closing event of last academic year where the students staged a bilingual musical version of Lyman Frank Baum’s children’s book “The Wizard of Oz”. Unwilling to decide on just one of the official SIS school languages, the five- to fourteen-year-olds articulately recited

texts and songs in both German and English. The multicultural community at SIS Schönenwerd has been exploring the creative potential and benefits of performing in different languages for several years. With art, music and dance teachers working closely together, students are encouraged to go on stage twice a year, and as they are exposed to scripts or pieces of music, new vocabulary and concepts are acquired in an entertaining way.

CREATING NEW REALITIES In addition to performing in two languages, the students of SIS Schönenwerd were also involved in all the other production stages of the musical: they shared ideas regarding casting and staging, they helped create props and costumes and were involved in the song selection. Touching upon topics such as multilingualism, mobility and migration, Baum’s hundredyear-old story was brought back to the present and offered the audience a glimpse of the adults of tomorrow: creative, confident and skilled in languages and music and, above all, joyfully dedicated to the task at hand. Dr. Ursula Gehbauer Tichler CEO Seestrasse 269 8038 Zurich



Fondue is perfect for the colder months. Fondue is beloved by the Swiss, and often, each region boasts its own special recipe variations. The special – and sacred – ingredients that make fondue unique are white wine, garlic and Gruyère cheese. The magical thing about fondue is that you can mix and blend tastes until you have your own unique flavor.

find which wine suits your palate the best. The experts at Mövenpick are happy to help you find your perfect wine.

Photos: bottom right© Summergraphicsincly, top right © Mövenpick

2015 Compleo - Pinot Gris Ingredients 800 g of your favorite mature cheese, grated or thinly sliced 1 clove of garlic cut in half 4 teaspoons of corn starch 350ml white wine 1 small glass of kirsch Freshly ground pepper Freshly grated nutmeg

Yellow gold. Notes of fragrant apricot and exotic fruits. Great fruit pressure, with a silky palate. Hints of honeymelon and ripe apples. The moderate acidity combines perfectly with an oily full flavor, promising a subtle elegance to the last drop. A very smooth fondue wine, it also pairs perfectly with raclette. Make sure to serve chilled, 8 - 10 °C. Price per bottle: CHF 18.90

Preparation 1. Prepare your fondue dish by rubbing it with a clove of garlic. This imparts a slight garlic note to your fondue. 2. Mix the Gruyère AOP with the corn starch in the fondue dish 3. Add in the white wine 4. Bring to a boil, until the cheese is completely melted 5. Add in the kirsch, and stir 6. Season with pepper and nutmeg to your taste, and serve

To purchase, visit:

Special additions Did you know that you can substitute white wine for champagne or beer? You can also add different vegetables, like tomato or mushrooms. If you’re looking for a special meal, why not try truffle fondue? Just add in truffle or truffle oil. Adding goat cheese to fondue gives it a tangy and tart taste. It’s definitely worth a try, but not to everyone’s taste. The possibilites are endless, and might possibly be even more delicious than a traditional fondue.

Cheese You can choose one of the classic fondue cheeses: Gruyère, Appenzell or Sbrinz. Gruyère: One of the classical fondue cheese mixtures is Gruyère. Make sure to pick different varieties of maturity. Appenzell: You can blend Gruyère with Appenzell cheese for a smooth fondue. Sbrinz: If you prefer Sbrinz, you can also mix it with Gruyère for a special treat. Pairings Traditional Swiss fondue is often served with a variety of breads, cut into small cubes, fresh pear, steamed potatoes and pickled vegetables. You can also serve a salad or lightly steamed vegetables for a (slightly) healthier version. You’ll also want a lovely Swiss wine to pair with this meal. One of Switzerland’s most beloved fondue and raclette wines is Compleo. It is available at the exclusive Mövenpick wine cellars. At the Mövenpick wine cellars, you can taste a good selection of wines for free! Take an afternoon, and

The perfect meal to share with friends on a cold evening


RACLETTE WITH A TWIST Stacy from Swiss Eats explains traditional Swiss raclette and some unique pairings BY: STACY STREULI

Raclette, originating from the French “racler” or “to scrape”, is traditionally a giant wheel of cheese heated in front of a flame or grill, and the melted cheese scraped off onto bread or potatoes. The myth of raclette is a Swiss tradition. The story of raclette, as all things Swiss, is based on practicality. Back in the days before refrigeration, Swiss shepherds from the French speaking regions needed to bring food that was sturdy; so they brought cheese and potatoes. Another story goes that the grape harvesters in vineyards would gather around the fire for a communal evening meal.

A rather “piquant” cheese, the aromatic smell of a raclette will follow you around for a couple days (if eating out, be sure to hang your clothes and jacket outside overnight, lest you wake up with a rather smelly laundry basket!), but a good raclette is simply delicious and perfect for a chilly winter evening. Ingredients 1 kilogram of raclette cheese 1 kilogram of boiled potatoes 3 large white onions 1 tablespoon oil Salt Pepper 75 grams bacon 100 grams sweet corn (cooked fresh, or from a can) Boiled potatoes and your favourite side dishes Preparation Cut the onions into rings. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Place the onions in the oil and cook over medium-low heat 20 minutes, until deep golden brown. Fry the bacon until crisp and cut into small pieces. Drain the corn if canned, or cut from the cob if fresh. I highly recommend going to your local cheese monger and requesting raclette cheese from them. You can also

Raclette is the perfect meal on a chilly winter night

purchase this cheese at your local shop. In addition to the cheese, you'll need boiled potatoes, and an assortment of side dishes such as gherkins and pickled onions, as well as meats or fish ( salmon works well) to grill on top of the machine. I recommend a mixture of cooked bacon, fresh corn, and caramelised onions to go under your melted cheese, and then on top of a potato. Other interesting and unique additions to go wth your cheese and potatoes include: sliced bell peppers, courgette, mushrooms, asparagus and olives. Mango also goes surprisingly well with raclette cheese. You can mix and match to your personal tastes, and guarantee that everyone has something on their plate that they enjoy! Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Add the mixture to your raclette pans and place a piece of cheese on top. Cook the cheese until bubbling and starting to brown, then scrape the whole mixture onto warm sliced potatoes. Get creative and add in your favorite additions and enjoy!

ABOUT STACY Stacy is an American expat living in Switzerland since 2005. Raised in Texas, she loves spending time in the kitchen cooking wholesome, organic and budget friendly meals. She loves to dream up ways to recreate recipes that fit Swiss produce, meat and budgets. Love what you see? Then check out her blog at:

Photo: © Stacy Streuli,

Raclette is easy to make, affordable and perfect for feeding a large crowd. The raclette machine, used commonly at home, heats the cheese in small trays, which are then scraped onto the plate in individual portions.


CULTURE SHOCK 101 From homesick to feeling at home BY: KARIN RAFFA

WHAT’S A CULTURE SHOCK? The beauty that comes with Switzerland sometimes becomes a little difficult to fully enjoy and experience without the preparation for the new way of life that relocations require. Culture shock is a feeling you might experience when undergoing any relocation. It can happen when you’re experiencing a culture which is considerably different from your own, and you don’t fully understand the cultural aspects, cultural implications, the language and social norms of society. This feeling can lead to uncertainty, frustration and anxiety. The best way to deal with a culture shock is to know and understand its phases.

THE HONEYMOON STAGE Stage 1 is known as the honeymoon stage. You’ve just arrived and are very excited about your new home country and way of life. You take in all the new impressions, smells, foods – and you are fascinated by the similarities and differences between your home and your host country. However, you experience it from a tourist perspective.

Life in Switzerland can be...regulated.

can easily accept that things are different without getting upset about them. You may even start to reflect on your experiences and question your former beliefs, values and way of living.

THE HOMESICK STAGE Then you move on to Stage 2 and the culture shock hits you full on. The novelty of this experience has worn off and you have to adjust to your new life. Now you notice the differences even more which suddenly seem like disasters. The little things stress you out and you start to get homesick. You might even regret your decision to relocate. Don’t fall into the trap! Take a deep breath and know that it’s only a stage towards your new life abroad. Stay positive and turn it into a positive experience. Be open towards your new environment and accept that you need time to adjust and settle in. You choose your experiences – don’t go to that dark mental place where everything is negative. Optimism beats negativity every day of the week.

Photo: © E. Barth

THE ADJUSTMENT STAGE When you reach Stage 3, the adjustment stage, you’re out of the woods! Your outlook onto the world is more positive. You start to enjoy your new life, feel more comfortable and want to make the most of your time abroad. Your sense of humour has returned and you

FEELING AT HOME STAGE You have finally arrived! Your host country now feels like a second home and no longer affects you in a negative way. You may still be critical about certain things but you live, work and can fully enjoy your new lifestyle. You’re not reading about it, it’s not a holiday experience, you’re really living it! You’ve invested in a truly rewarding experience because the best things in life are the people you love, the places you've seen, and the memories you've made along the way. Embrace it!

ABOUT KARIN Karin Raffa has been teaching German since 1999 and knows a few things about culture shock herself. Very passionate about linguistics, has a Master's in Language and Literature. Karin has helped people to learn German, all at different speaking levels.


NOVEMBER 2016 Markets, music & dancing 14 Oct - 29 Nov

1 - 20 Nov

2 - 6 Nov

12 Nov

Rendezvous Bundesplatz

Swiss National Circus Knie

29th JazzOnze Festival

Dance night 40





A light show with music, projected on a landmark.

Always worth a visit, a classic circus with fun for everyone.

Top international acts will perform live at the casino!

A special dance night for those over 40.

21 Oct - 8 Nov

1 - 30 Nov

3 Nov

8 - 20 Nov

Baloise Session

Food Tour

Chicago the Musical



Experience the musical atmosphere by candlelight.

Discover the gourmet offers of Zürich West in a tasty way.

SIS Swiss International School Open House Winterthur Observe lessons at all levels of education and meet the staff!


29 Oct - 15 Nov

1 Nov - 31 Jan

4 Nov

8 - 20 Nov

Basel Market Fair

Hans Erni - Quintessenz

County night




Sarnen, Lucerne


A traditional autumn market that is a local favorite.

A popular Swiss artist and his memories are exhibited.

Dust your boots off and enjoy an evening of line dancing.

A book worm's dream! A festival all about books.

29 Oct - 06 Nov

2 Nov

4 - 12 Nov

9 Nov

Wine Fair

International Film Festival

Taste top wines from the Basel region, and others too!

SIS Swiss International School Open House Männerdorf/ZH Observe lessons at all levels of education and meet the staff!

Watch international movies in the scenic city.

SIS Swiss International School Open House Schönenwerd Observe lessons at all levels of education and meet the staff!

4 - 25 Nov

10 Nov

Fondue & Raclette Ship

Mövenpick Wine Cellar tour


Volketswil, Zürich

The perfect way to celebrate winter!

Tour the 400 year old cellar, and learn about Swiss wine.

5 Nov

10 - 12 Nov

Fly Fishing Film Festival

Metropop Festival

Freienstein-Teufen, Zürich


Taste Swiss microbrews, a little whiskey, with a film.

Experience pop culture over three nights.


11 Nov

11 Nov

This annual market is fun for both onion lovers and haters. Wake up early in the morning, and taste the traditional onion tarts, cheese tarts and onion soup.

Concert of COV

Thai Evening at the Zoo



A magical concert of colours, shapes and forms.

See the elephants and enjoy a taste of Thailand.


28 November Onion Market - Zibelemärit



Photo: © Switzerland Tourism, Christof Sonderegger

All that jauu with the original Broadway production.


11 Nov

17 Nov

19 Nov

25 Nov

Mövenpick Wine Duel

Mövenpick Cheese Tasting

Dance night 40

Dance Night 40

Kloten, Zürich

Pfäffikon, Zürich



Let your taste buds decide which wine is better.

Want to learn how to match wine and cheese?

A night of fun with all the classics from your youth.

Because people of all ages like to dance.

13 & 27 Nov

17 Nov

24 Nov

25 - 27 Nov

Tango Milonga

Coffee & Swiss German

Niente Jazz Concert

Westside Story


Baden, Aargau



A typical Argentinian night in the heart of Basel.

Meet up for a coffee and a language course.

Enjoy a jazz quartet at this outdoor event.

A classic Broadway show with amazing music, like Maria.

14 Nov

17 Nov

24 Nov - 31 Dec

26 Nov

Food Shopping Tour

Theatre Sport

Festival of lights

Candlelight Night Bathing




Rigi Kaltbad, Lucerne

Get to know the city, and its culinary delights.

Participate in the show, by providing improvisation ideas!

The lights capture your imagination at this event.

Bath in the candlelight at this beautiful wellness centre.

15 Nov

17 Nov

24 Nov - 06 Jan

27 Nov

Swan Lake on Ice

Mövenpick Fondue

Locarno on Ice

Brunch Ship


Enge, Zürich


Eglisau, Zürich

An iconic musical on ice, complete with Tchaikovsky.

An evening of fine wine and fondue. What's better?

The Piazza Grande transforms into a holiday paradise!

Cruise on the river while enjoying a brunch.

28 Nov Zibelemärit

Bern A traditional onion market in the old city, a tasty time!

29 Nov Top 50 Hits

Geneva Discover the greatest pop culture hits with live music.

Photo: © Information Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

30 Nov Fondueland Gstaad

Gstaad, Bern


Looking for a delightfully cheesy experience in a pretty alpine region? There are several public spaces in Gstaad where you can tuck into a BYO fondue, as well as a "fondue backpack" which gives you the choice of two types of fondue cheese. For the ultimate cheese experience, two rather "cheesy" fondue-pot shaped wooden tables are available for picnics - one on Schlittmoos and the other at Vorderi Wispile. Do you prefer to enjoy fondue in a warmer setting? Then head for one of the two Fondue Hüttli Rellerli (fondue huts), near the Berghaus Rellerli.

SIS Swiss International School Open House Zurich Observe lessons at all levels of education and meet the staff!

30 Nov Women back to business

Zurich Are you looking to reposition yourself on the job market?


DECEMBER 2016 1 - 31 Dec

3 - 24 Dec

8 Dec

25 Dec

Romantic Lantern Walk

Christmas Tour

Elton John

Caesar Night

Urnäsch, AR



Leukerbad, Valais

A magical journey in a snowy forest with a romantic feel.

Stroll through the city and learn more about Lucerne's traditions.

Don't miss the chance to see Elton performing live.

Leave every day life behind – and bath like a Roman!

1 - 5 Dec

4 Dec

9 - 11 Dec

25 - 30 Dec

Comedy Festival

The Nutcracker

Geneva City Fest

Winter Cinema





Enjoy a bit of laughter on a chilly evening at this show.

A classic holiday favorite, with a breathtaking performance.

Celebrating a city tradition since since 1602.

View special movies, tasty popcorn and drinks.

2 Dec

6 Dec

10 Dec

26 Dec

Fondue Cruise

Alain Morisod, Sweet People

Wine Tasting

Harlem Gospel Singers





Enjoy a traditional fondue and a beautiful lake view.

Enjoy a lovely Christmas concert.

Taste many wines while stocking up on presents!

Hear the musical message on their world tour.

3 & 12 Dec

7 Dec

11 Dec

27 Dec

Raclette by the Lake

Afternoon baking

The Big Christmas Concert

The last concert of the year


Brunnen, Schwyz



Perfect for a date night, enjoy raclette by the lake.

Your child has the chance to bake and decorate cookies.

A big performance of traditional holiday music.

Join the locals for the New Year music festival.

17 Dec

30 Dec

ZUG - LORZENSAAL, CHAM Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 BASEL - CONGRESS CENTER Sunday, May 21st, 2017 11 AM - 5 PM

By, for and about Englishspeaking Switzerland!

Admission is FREE!

Candlelight Dinner

Dance night 40



Have a romantic dinner at the Panorma restaurant.

Boogie 2016 away at this dance night!

17 Dec

30 Dec

Eros Ramazzotti

Trumpets Gala



This Italian superstar makes a stop in Lugano.

A great concert with a focus on trumpets.

21 - 31 Dec

31 Dec

Beauty & the Beast

Village tour



A romantic love story for the young generation.

Guided tour of Rougemont, Château-d'Oex & Rossinière.

Photo: © FBAF

Fondue & Christmas markets


TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS Twinkling lights & traditional treats 24 November - 24 December

8 December

Montreux’s Christmas market features each year 150 decorated and illuminated chalets along the quays of Geneva's lake. Take this opportunity to stroll in Montreux on the border of the Lake Geneva while you taste mulled wine, regional specialties and admire handmade crafts which make the ideal Christmas gifts.

With Christmas lights and music, the city welcomes local and foreign visitors to the old town of Locarno to start the advent season. At the Christmas market in Locarno, you can taste mulled wine, traditional cookies and gingerbread! Are you searching for gifts? You can shop in the market for nice presents and regional products.

Montreux, Vaud

24 November - 23 December Zurich

You will be enchanted by the festive holiday mood in Zurich! Whether you wander the charming Niederdorf (Zurich’s old town) or admire the 15 m high, sparkling Christmas tree, or at one of the romantic Christmas markets in the city center or at the station. There's a ton of fun to be had in Zurich during the holiday season.

24 November - 23 December

3 - 21 December Lucerne

Lucerne is a beautiful city, but it is especially beautiful at the Christmas time. Enjoy the beautiful atmosphere with a glass of mulled wine and taste many other delicacies.

9 - 11 December Murten/Morat, Fribourg

The city of Basel becomes one of the most beautiful and dazzling cities in Europe during Christmas. Every year, there are more than 100 large fir trees decorated with twinkling lights. Wander the little market where you can taste traditional goodies.

The old city of Murten/Morat provides an enchanting backdrop for the Christmas market. Beautifully decorated wooden chalets, and a sea of lights from both candles and lamps transport you from everyday life. Tasty, regional specialties and handcrafted products create is an unforgettable experience for your whole family!


26 November 4 December Einsiedeln, Schwyz

Photo: © Caroline Hurschler

Locarno, Ticino

Einsiedeln is known as the charming "Monastery Town" of Switzerland. Just in front of the Benedictine monastery, this festive market is worth a visit, with beautifully decorated market stalls, and a big Christmas tree. If you like nativity scenes, plan a visit to the world's largest Christmas crib at the Diorama Bethlehem. Perhaps you love gingerbread? Then you're in luck. Drop by the Gingerbread Bakery Museum, and try the goods at the Goldapfel bakery.

Christmas market at Einsiedeln, Schwyz


JANUARY 2017 8 Dec - 31 Jan

1 Jan

6 Jan

12 - 15 Jan

The magic of a mountain hut

Touch the mountains

Olga Peretyatko

Longines CSI

Saas-Fee, Valais




Fairytale hike, with supper in a magical atmosphere.

What a way to start 2017, in the beautiful Swiss alps!

Enjoy a spectacular performance

Top international riding event at St. Jacob stadium.

31 Dec - 1 Jan

1 Jan

6 - 7 Jan

14 - 15 Jan

New Year's Gala

Fireworks & Concert

The Sound of Pink Floyd

New Year Gala Concert

Wolhusen, Lucerne

Ascona, Ticino



Celebrate 2017 with a culinary adventure and dancing.

An amazing way to start the new year in Ticino!

The love story about a knight named Orlando, opera style.

Classics performed by the Vienna Opera Ball orchestra.

1 - 7 Jan

1 - 22 Jan

6 - 15 Jan

16 - 20 Jan

Winter Magic

Ceramic Chronicles

Orlando Paladino

Watchmaking exhibition

Gstaad, Bern




Tons of events in a magical winter landscape.

An intimate, dreamlike exhibition from Nicolas Lieber.

The love story about a knight named Orlando, opera style.

The hottest event for watch connoisseurs!

1 Jan

2 Jan

7 Jan

18 - 21 Jan

Salto Natale Luna

The Wizard of Oz

Titlis Earlybird

Inferno race

Kloten, Zurich


Engelberg, Obwalden

Lauterbrunnen, Bern

A circus show where you can travel to the moon.

See the classic live at the Zürich Opera House.

A spectacular view and a great brunch menu!

See the best winter athletes compete at this cool event.

8 Jan

20 Jan

Guiseppe Verdi

Museum night



"La forza del destino" performed live.

30 museums and 10 art institutes await you at night.

12 Jan

21 - 29 Jan

Full moon trip

Balloon festival

Urnäsch, Appenzell

Château d’Oex, Vaud

Travel to the peak of the Säntis during the full moon.

Overlook paradise in the heart of the Vaud Alps.


12 - 15 Jan

25 - 29 Jan

The multi-award winning musical celebrates its premiere in Switzerland. The English speaking version will turn “Theater 11” in Zurich into a magical world.

Wine walk

Art Geneva



Enjoy local wine on the 8 km walk from Sierre to Salgesch.

New art exhibition aiming to establish an artistic platform.

1 February -19 March Mary Poppins


Photo: © Johan Persson

Alpine vistas & celebrations


FEBRUARY 2017 Romance & carnival fun 1 - 28 Feb

1 Feb

5 Feb

11 Feb

Night sledding

Traditional cheese making

Jazz Big Band

Moonlight dinner

Adelboden, Bern

Château-d’Oex, Vaud


Erlenbach im Simmental, Bern

Slide down the illuminated mountain path with a sledge.

See how a traditional cheese is made over an open fire.

Discover a new and unique facet of a classic Jazz Big Band!

A romantic gourmet dinner close to the Stockhorn.

1 Feb

4 Feb

7 - 8 Feb

11 Feb

Pasion de Buena Vista

An evening of dancing

Art on Ice 2017

Titlis Night Ride


Renens, Vaud


Engelberg, Schwyz

Hot rhythms for a cold night, an exciting night like in Cuba.

Put you best dancing dress and hit the dance floor with music.

Amazing magical ice show and ice skating gala!

The snowtubing park at Trübsee will be open into late night.


Photo: © Basel Tourism

Festivities across Switzerland! Take the opportunity to experience some authentic Swiss culture; with over 200 carnival festivities across the country, there's something for everyone!

23 - 28 Feb

23 - 28 Feb

3 - 6 March

Monster parades

Rabaouêt traditions

Guggens galore




The largest event of Lucerne, complete with monsters.

A fascinating celebration, see the burning of the rababouêt.

Many Guggen groups - the traditional music for carnival!

28 Feb

23 - 28 Feb

3 - 5 March

6 - 8 March

Mardi Gras in Ascona

A mask contest

Secret festivities

Monsters at the Münsterhof

Ascona, Ticino




Celebrate Mardi Gras along the beautiful lake promenade.

See over 50 floats, Guggen groups, plus a mask contest.

Go to Zug and Baar (the secret capital of carnival revelers).

See the Monster Concert at the Münsterhof!


OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: HIDDEN CHRISTMAS MARKETS Celebrate the festive season across Switzerland Switzerland offers a variety of Christmas markets throughout the festive season all over the country, including off the beaten track. When you visit a small village, you can experience authentic Swiss culture. Here is a list of the Hello Switzerland team's top picks. So grab a glass of mulled wine and celebrate this festive season. CHRISTMAS MARKET IN STEIN AM RHEIN, SCHAFFHAUSEN 1 - 31 December Every December, this well-preserved medieval town turns into a magical place. A canopy of lights over the Rhine bridge, the illuminated castle and lovingly decorated shopwindows delight visitors of all ages. A carousel, Santa Claus with his ponies, storytellers and trips on a miniature steam railway are sure to impress the young members of your family.

Try some regional delicacies in Burgdorf

ADVENT MARKET IN BURGDORF, BERN 4 December Less than 14 minutes away from Bern, this traditional Christmas market is one of the largest markets in the Emmental region. The city is festively decorated, and many shops are open for Sunday shopping. The entire city is open for festivities, including a market hosted in the medieval streets. Make sure to visit the castle and taste the hot spiced apple cider from the regional farmers.

CHRISTMAS MARKET IN SION, VAL AIS 10 - 23 December With good reason, this Christmas market is a favorite with the locals. With over 85 stands offering local crafts, as well as festive activities and a beautiful location, this market promises a full day of enjoyment.

WANT MORE FESTIVE EVENTS, STRAIGHT IN YOUR INBOX? Sign up for the Hello Switzerland newsletter at

Photo: Burgdorf Š Bern Tourism

CHRISTKINDLIMARKT IN RAPPERSWIL, ST. GALLEN 9 - 18 December This large yet lovely Christmas market is known countrywide. On the first weekend it takes place in the old town and on the shore of Lake Zurich. It is then reduced to the lakeshore part but still offers a varied festive programme. You will find musical performances, candle dipping, cheese fondue and other culinary delicacies for old and young alike. Let the old town illuminated by thousands of tiny lamps enchant you!


WINTER MAGIC IN THE CITY OF BERN Experience the wintry charm of the Swiss Capital BY: NORA CAMENISCH OF BERN TOURISM

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS Craft artists from Bern and the surrounding region display their unique wares in a scenic Christmas market on the Münsterplatz. On the Waisenhausplatz, you can find a wide range of traditional goods and souvenirs. These two Christmas markets lure many visitors and locals who are enchanted by the wintry atmosphere in this UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old city. You can warm up at the Märitbeizli Platzhirsch, where you are invited to linger and sip on mulled wine.

FONDUE AT THE GROSSE SCHANZE Go experience the atmosphere of the cozy fondue hut on the Grossen Schanze, where gourmets meet to experience the magic of winter with the traditional Swiss dish. Visitors can also experience another wintery highlight from December 21st on the Bundesplatz. There, an ice rink is placed with this year's most beautiful Bernese backdrop.

ENJOY A SLEIGH RIDE DOWN THE GURTEN HILL Want to head outdoors? A very special experience is the sleigh ride down the Gurten. When the snow conditions are good, there are 60 solid Davos sleighs available for a trip down Bern’s house mountain. This activity also offers the chance to enjoy sunshine, even when there is fog in the valley.

GET TING THERE AND AWAY Bern is the perfect city to visit during a winter weekend. With direct trains leaving every hour, Bern is less than 1 hour away from Basel and Zürich; it's also less than 2 hours away from Geneva. With great museums, shopping options ranging from department stores to unique boutiques, and tons of cute cafés to warm up in, treat yourself to a special weekend! For more information:

Bern – a winter paradise for romantics and bons vivants Atmospheric, dreamy and eclectic: Three words to best describe the two Christmas Markets being held in Cathedral Square (Münsterplatz) and Orphanage Square (Waisenhausplatz) from December 3 to 24, 2016. Be enchanted and enjoy the Christmas spirit in Bern, far away from the hustle and bustle.

Tip Combined RailAway “Bern Christmas Markets” offer, valid from December 3 to 24, 2016. The reduced price includes a return train fare (20%) to Bern; one mulled wine including a Christmas market mug (30%) to be redeemed at “Märitbeizli,” the place to be in Orphanage Square (Waisenhausplatz); a voucher for CHF 5 (30%) to be redeemed at any market stall (excluding mulled wine) in Cathedral Square (Münsterplatz). Available to book from 11.1.2016 at the train station or online:

Offer Reader e iv s lu on Exc er pers

p CHF 124

Readers’ exclusive Christmas offer One night in the 3-star Hotel Kreuz Bern*** } 1 night’s stay for 2 people } Buffet breakfast } 3-course evening meal in the Fondue hut Grosse Schanze (closed on Sundays) } Bern Ticket for free travel on public transport } CHF 124 per person } To book, email: or call: +41 (0)31 329 95 95 } Offer valid from December 1 to 24, 2016 Bern Tourism Tourist Information | Bahnhofplatz 10a | CH-3011 Bern, Switzerland | |


MEET THE SEPIOS TEAM Riding the waves of technological innovation

The Sepios team also enjoys mountain biking

Hello Switzerland sits down with the team members of Sepios to discuss ETH’s spirit of innovation, practical problem solving and the future of Switzerland’s technological innovation. Sepios is a nautical robot created by students at ETH Zürich, under the supervision of the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL).

Fabio, 23: I started my studies in mechanical engineering because of my passion for problem solving. I also worked on various projects at Delphi University. During my studies, I was also able to compete an internship with ABB in Sweden, where I was really able to experience the practical applications of mechanical engineering to everyday problems.

HOW DID YOUR PASSION FOR ENGINEERING BEGIN? Alessandro, 27: I started out wanting to be a doctor, then completed my undergraduate studies with a degree in Robotics System Control. My current lab focuses on gait therapy, a technology for people who are immobile after experiencing a stroke to help with rehabilitation.

WHAT IMPACT DO PROJECTS LIKE SEPIOS HAVE ON THE FUTURE OF INNOVATION IN SWITZERL AND? Fabio: With Sepios, we had to work on both the design and implementation. This gave us the opportunity to get in contact with the industry to design various components that were key to our design. At first, when we would approach various companies with a mock-up of what we were looking for, we were told “No, that’s no possible.” After working through the various barriers, we ended up with a new way of doing things that have become the industry standard.

Pascale, 25: My passion for mechanical engineering started at a young age. I loved working with model planes and ships. I am very much motivated by the ability to work with practical solutions in my studies. I am working on a new project called Scalevo, with the ASL at ETH Zürich. It is a star climbing wheel chair. It works, has a great potential, and we’re currently working on making it less expensive to manufacture. We’ve had many people reach out to say that they are interested in the technology, so we know the demand is there.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF SWISS TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION LOOK LIKE? Pascal: One of the crucial things that our generation of thinkers brings to market is the advancement of software development. Software development, in my opinion, is critical to innovation. Switzerland just can’t be cost competitive when it comes to simple mechanics. Our competitive advantage is drawn from our innovative thinking, our ability to derive new solutions from existing technology, all while ensuring that a need is being met.

The New Volvo V90 Swedish luxury. For Expats & Diplomats around the world. VOLVO-EXPAT.CH


Volvo Car Bern AG

Gümligen Worbstrasse 171

0041 (0)31 958 44 44

Photos: © Sepios, ETH Autonomous Systems Lab

The inspiration for this robot was drawn by a cuttlefish, which gives the robot a high degree of omnidirectionality and maneuverability; it Meet Sepios, the omnidirectional robot is the only four finned cuttlefish project in the world. The Sepios Team was invited to the 2015 Techfest in Bombay and Texas Instruments to the University of Texas at Austin to present their robot.



Moving to a new country is always a big step to take – one that involves lots of uncertainties. Where is the right place to live? How to get from there to work? And what insurance is necessary? As far as insurance goes, when moving to Switzerland one thing above all has to be taken heed of: health insurance is mandatory for everyone who lives in the country. One is spoilt for choice, because not only are there numerous insurance companies, but mandatory basic health insurance can also be voluntarily complemented with supplementary insurance covering a wide variety of needs. But which products are the right ones? And how does one take them out?

MANDATORY BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE Although there are countless providers – the mandatory basic health insurance provided by all health insurers covers exactly the same benefits – they differ in terms of service. Some insurance companies also offer attractive models on a pickand-mix basis, such as telemedicine or the choice of a family physician. Such a choice is usually rewarded with a lower premium, because these models enable optimally coordinated treatments, as a result of which costs can be better controlled. Since basic health insurance is mandatory, it has to be taken out within three months after moving to Switzerland. Even infants require health insurance from the day of their birth. It can be easily taken out already before their due date, however. Then only their name and date of birth have to be subsequently registered. If you have already chosen an insurance provider and are not satisfied with it – no problem. Basic health insurance can be changed every year with one month's notice. And your new insurer is obliged to provide its basic health insurance to you. There are, however, big differences primarily in the cost of basic health insurance. Unlike voluntary supplementary insurance schemes, age and gender do not figure into it. The premium is determined solely based on the insurer selected, your place of residence and the amount of the deductible selected. This deductible is the amount you have to pay yourself each year for your treatments in addition to the premium. Once your health care costs have exceeded this amount, your health insurance pays for your treatments – with the exception of a retention fee of ten per cent. As soon as this retention fee has exceeded CHF 700 for adults and CHF 300 for children per year, it also ceases to apply, and your health insurance covers the entire costs of treatment.

SUPPLEMENTARY HEALTH INSURANCE In Switzerland, basic health insurance already covers the vast majority of treatments. Nonetheless, supplementary insurance may make sense if you have any additional wishes or needs that are not covered by basic health insurance. There are numerous options that are combinable in different ways from insurance provider to insurance provider: • Hospital stays in a private room, treatment in hospital by the senior consultant, medical costs abroad • Dental care, including orthodontic treatment for children, glasses and contact lenses • Psychotherapy • Complementary medicine • And even massage and fitness centre costs! The Swiss health care insurance system is very extensive, which is why we strongly recommend that you get personally advised. If you want to switch your health insurance provider, you need to cancel your current policy by November 30th, 2016. If you need more advice, EGK-Gesundheitskasse will be happy to help you find the right insurance for you and your family. That way you will have optimum coverage in any situation in life. In doing so, our representatives are always there for you – and you benefit from the best possible service.

ABOUT MONIKA A branch office manager for EGK-Gesundheitskasse, Monika Coric looks back on many years of experience in the Swiss health insurance system. On account of her excellent knowledge of English, she is the right contact person for those arriving newly from abroad who want to rely on optimal advice for their health insurance solution.

Monika Coric EGK-Gesundheitskasse +41 32 628 68 82



What is your most valuable asset in life? Our personal health and that of your loved ones. Your house, the place where you live, your home base. That’s what you would say, right? Well, in most cases it is directly connected to your future earning potential, which is in direct connection with your talents, your skills, abilities and work experience. Briefly, it’s your employment value. And how do you secure or even increase your employment value? An international assignment will improve your skills, create visibility in your business environment and will increase your future employment potential. THE INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENT Somehow, it is still considered a sacrifice to make a temporary move abroad, a sacrifi ce which is mainly compensated financially. But, international assignments improve skills and visibility in your business environment, enhancing the value of your employment potential. However, companies change and changes in business conditions may occur. INCREASE YOUR EMPLOYMENT VALUE WITH INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS Many global companies still require international experience as a must in order to be promoted into senior management roles. With the dynamic structure of globally operating companies, employees should be focused on learning about many different managerial functions to secure their potential if business situations change. For a company, it is an asset if their employees are able to cope with various business situations. DEVELOP YOUR POTENTIAL, BUILD UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE Assignees are realizing that an international assignment is important for their personal potential and development. Because, let’s face it, in order to develop business acumen and an accurate global perspective, you have to be there, on the ground. However, experience alone is not enough to develop these international skills. Research has shown that executive managers learn most from real world experience and challenging situations. Moreover, they learn much better and more efficiently if they receive guidance in understanding, structuring and using these experiences. An external coach is able to support you with taking theoretical knowledge into practice.

The fact is that not only experience that counts. More recently, an article in the Harvard Business Review reformulated this by calling it the “experience trap.” Major multinational companies like VW, ING or BMW are adjusting to this “on the job” learning. HOW TO CONSOLIDATE YOUR ASSIGNMENT EXPERIENCE INTO PERSONAL CAREER ASSETS? On the spot support to develop clear professional/personal objectives inside a career development plan is what is needed to develop global leadership competencies. THERE IS NO MORE “LIFE-LONG EMPLOYMENT”, YOU HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE Companies develop according to business opportunities, mergers and takeovers. Employees become more individualistic, due to lack of guarantee for longtime employment or they want more control over their own life. MAKE SURE TO DEVELOP COMPETENCIES THAT COMPANIES LOOK FOR Make your competencies universally applicable. No matter where or for which company you work. Coaching or on the spot support will help you absorb all experience into your own knowledge center.

WHAT CAN C2YOU! DO TO HELP? We are ready to support you and/or your partner in turning your experiences into personal achievements and benefits with these development programs: 1. Global Career and Leadership Coaching 2. Candidate / Partner Readiness Assessment 3. Partner Career Support 4. Language training French, German, Business English 5. Cultural Training 6. Global Business Skills Training

ABOUT MIRELL A An ERC Worldwide certified Global Mobility Specialist, Mirella is the Director of C2You!, which provides expert mobility services, Global Assignment Preparation Training, Partner Career Support, Global Leadership Training and much more!

Mirella de Boer +41 (0)21 641 11 90


THE RELOCATION QUESTION Canton Vaud tourism's innovative CEO Andreas Banholzer shares his vision and own experience of successful relocations BY: SUNITA SEHMI

Andreas Banholzer is the CEO of the Canton of Vaud Tourist Office. He graduated from the Swiss School of Tourism and the School of Business Administration in Fribourg. He is a native German speaker, and he headed the Uri Tourist Office for five years before moving to the multimedia sector. In particular, he has successfully led the implementation of new Internet platforms in the tourist offices of the canton of Vaud. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? Presently, I work as Director of the Canton of Vaud Tourist Office. I grew up in Canton of Uri, in a small village with 600 inhabitants. There was a lot of tourism in our village. I saw people coming and going from many different cultures, backgrounds – many diverse people. I think that had a great impact on me as a child. I was so lucky to have so much diverse contact, even at such a young age. My experiences have helped me enormously with my role today. TELL US MORE ABOUT THE CANTON OF VAUD TOURIST OFFICE? Our key role is to coordinate and develop promotional activities for Vaudois destinations and their products and amenities, to ensure comprehensive and cohesive promotion of the region’s tourist attractions – both in Switzerland and abroad. This is truly a people’s business, and you have to really understand people. But before you can understand people, you have to hear them.

“Acceptance of difference and adaptation to difference enables us to expand our own worldviews and understand other cultures.” INTEGRATION IS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE FOR EXPATS, WHAT TIPS CAN YOU OFFER? First of all I really feel for the expat community, I recognise it is not easy to handle relocations, and all too often they are left with a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. I would really encourage them to use any opportunity to mix with the local community. There are so many local events aimed to create a space for bringing people together. Interaction with

Name: An dreas Ban holzer Nationalit y: Swiss Occupatio n: CEO, C anton of Vaud To

urist Offi ce

the local community is the best indicator of local life in Switzerland. Think of your time here as an adventure: discover, enjoy and be curious! I have travelled to, and lived in, several countries. I believe what has worked for me is to accept the culture and customs without judgement. I endeavour not to experience my own culture as the only “real” one or best way to live. Acceptance of difference and adaptation to difference enables us to expand our own worldviews and understand other cultures. WHAT ARE THE CL ASSIC EXPAT TRAPS YOU HAVE NOTICED? As I myself have experienced my own sort of "expat trap" – and that is to idealize your situation and the country, whether in Switzerland or in the United States. When we arrive in a new place, we are sometimes overwhelmed. This makes us see things in a misleading way. One way to avoid some of these possible "traps" in Switzerland is to be well informed about where you'll reside, before you go! Then you are well prepared to challenge all the clichés about Switzerland. WHAT DOES SUCCESSFUL EXPATRIATION LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? A positive relocation is truly a collective project! It can be a joint process that involves your employer, your partner or your family. You should commit yourself to cultivating local relationships and new friends; but do not relinquish your previous friends. This is a vital part of integration. A few more tips: don't assume everyone speaks English, try learn the local language, be curious about local life and politics in your area. This is truly a beautiful country. WHAT’S NEX T FOR YOU AND YOUR ORGANISATION? We will continue to promote and capitalize on our tourist attractions both locally and abroad. For example, we promote in Europe, India, China and the USA. I can’t force people to like Switzerland and canton of Vaud but I can try!

DISCOVER THE CANTON OF VAUD 52 Places to Go in 2016 New York Times The New York Times list the Canton of Vaud as a top destination to visit this year:



We’ve put a series of activities together for you, both for all tastes and all weather conditions. Whether you prefer cultural discoveries, wandering medieval cities, hiking mountain summits, taking a swim in thermal water, or even holiday shopping! All of these activities are a part of the Grand Tour of Switzerland,







Start your journey with a relaxing break in the hot waters at the Grand Hôtel and Thermal Center, Yverdonles-Bains! With jacuzzis, hammams, bubble baths, massage jets and activated water currents, you’ll be more than ready for your weekend...

Go into the world of watchmaking at the Espace Horloger, with its complication watches, historical objects and virtual installations. At the moment, a unique exhibition about James Bond's many watches on display.

In addition to its gardens and permanent exhibitions about life in the 18th century, in autumn the museum presents a famous exhibition on press photos. A cultural experience not to be missed in the region.







Up for some exploration? Follow the cunning fox through the city with your family or friends, solve riddles and secret codes with your team and discover lots of fascinating places in the Olympic capital!

From November 24th, feel the magic of the Montreux Christmas Market with stalls on the lake shores, the Lumberjack Village, the Medieval Market, the Winterland Village and even Santa’s Grotto!

From January on, hop on the Cheese Train in Montreux and enjoy the journey to Châteaud'Oex in 1st class coaches. You'll find out more about artisan cheese making... and taste a delicious fondue!

Photos: © Grand Hôtel et Centre Thermal, Yverdon-les-Bains; Espace Horloger © OTV; © Château de Prangins; © Foxtrail; © Montreux Noël; Cheese Train © Gerald Bosshard

and all come with breath-taking panoramic views.

Photos: Chillon Castle © Shutterstock; © Glacier 3000; © Saline de Bex








Back on the shores of the Lake Geneva, enjoy the magnificent setting and medieval architecture of Chillon Castle. A visit to this thousand year old fortress and residence is like a journey back in time!

A high level experience! Enjoy a stunning view and wide range of activities at 3’000m. Try the Peak Walk by Tissot, a suspension bridge linking two mountain peaks, or the Alpine Coaster – Glacier 3000 is a must!

Conclude your weekend with an underground adventure in the salt mines of Bex, the last active mine in Switzerland! Here, you can board the miners’ train, and go deep into the mountain to search for this white gold.



On your way to the Canton of Vaud, download our free app Vaud:Guide, which gives you real time recommendations based on your location, your personal interests, opening hours, and much more! You can download the app here:

Lausanne is the perfect gateway to the Lake Geneva Region. From Zurich and Basel, Lausanne is just 2 hours away by direct train. Once in the city, you will travel less than 50 minutes to most of the destinations on this list.


WELCOME TO SWITZERLAND Hello Switzerland has been simplifying relocation and settling into Switzerland since 2008 Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners are leading Swiss companies who support you with world-class advice, services and products.

A NETWORK OF EXPERTS Our Featured Partners are trusted partners whose know-how is your key to a smooth and efficient relocation and settling-in process. Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners all provide services specifically tailored to the needs of expats and foreign residents. Enjoy service in English, French, German, and in some cases further languages.

SWISS RELOCATION HELPLINE – FREE ADVICE FROM LOCALS With our new Swiss Relocation Helpline, you’ll receive free guidance and advice from an expert. We will support you and answer your questions. Should you require specific professional assistance, we will connect you with the right partner and with the best offer. Call us at +41 58 356 17 77 for a free consultation, or chat with us online at

EXPERT SUPPORT You can count on expert support from Hello Switzerland’s Featured Partners. Whether you need to open a Swiss bank account or are looking for the right insurance policies, you’re preparing your papers for the immigration process or dealing with Swiss and homecountry taxes, you’re moving your household goods, or buying/importing a car, finding a place to live, furnishing and decorating your new home, or securing telecoms services — Hello Switzerland is here to help.

Banking services

Home & furnishing

We thank all partners warmly for their dedication, involvement and commitment to the Hello Switzerland community, and wholeheartedly recommend our Featured Partners to our readers.

Mike Tomsett Publisher & COO Hello Switzerland

We wish you every success with your relocation and with settling into Switzerland.


Healthcare & medical

Tax consulting


TV, internet & telephone


ENSURE PEACE OF MIND DURING YOUR HOLIDAYS Unfortunately, we cannot prevent unwelcome incidents. However, additional annoyance can to a large extent be avoided by taking out the right insurance. Helvetia provides helpful guidance on travel insurance. The suitcases are packed, the neighbour’s looking after the plants, and good friends took over the canary two days ago. The Brown family are looking forward to their holidays. On the way to the airport, Mr Brown’s jacket is stolen in which he had his wallet, credit cards and passport including visa. It’s soon clear that Mr Brown will not be able to board the plane, Mrs Brown will have to depart on holiday on her own with the children. Although it's upsetting, the relief is even greater that at least the financial loss can be contained. Luckily, the Brown family took out travel insurance for the whole family. And this will cover the additional travel costs for Mr Brown.

COMPETITION Answer the question below correctly, and have the chance to win one of 30 Hotelcards!

But travel insurance does more than offer protection before the trip. During the holiday too, or if you are unable to use concert tickets due to illness, for example, it pays off.

Hotelcard allows you to stay at hundreds of hotels in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy for half-price. The card is valid for one year and can be used as often as you want. For more information go to:

You can obtain further information on the benefits of travel insurance directly from your insurance advisor or on

Can I take out travel insurance for the whole family or does each family member need their own insurance?


Photos: © Helvetia, © Hotelcard

 Protection against the financial consequences of unused, delayed or interrupted trips  Support with travel-related incidents in Switzerland and abroad  Immediate assistance with a car breakdown or accident  No deductible – regardless of whether you take out individual or combined benefits

A. Yes. I can take out family insurance. B. No. Each family member needs their own insurance. To participate in this competition and find more information go to:

GET SWISS INSURANCE RIGHT Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat:

More is more. In banking, too. Get yourself a comprehensive Bonviva Banking Package with preferential interest rates on your salary and savings accounts, free cash withdrawals throughout Switzerland, payment transaction fees included (except for third-party charges), and a wide variety of rewards.

Sign up now at


SEVEN MYTHS ABOUT CREDIT CARDS AND HOW TO ASSESS THEM Cash still plays a central role when consumers make daily purchases in Switzerland. While the use of credit cards is on the rise, many are skeptical about this payment method. There is no reason for such skepticism, as using a credit card1 to make cashless payments is generally more advantageous, more secure, and faster. In a Credit Suisse survey of some 6,000 credit card holders, almost a quarter of the respondents said that they had concerns about using their credit card, mainly relating to security and card acceptance. This is a mistake. We look at the reasons behind the seven most common myths concerning the use of credit cards:

5. CREDIT CARDS ARE UNPOPULAR WITH CHECKOUT STAFF On the contrary, sales staff at the checkout counter welcome cashless payment methods, as they do not have to give change and the cash register is more likely to be in order at the end of the day.

6. EVERY CREDIT CARD PAYMENT COSTS MONEY 1. I DON'T NEED A CREDIT CARD BECAUSE I DON'T SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY Here, it depends which card you have. With its Bonviva Banking Packages, Credit Suisse offers special credit cards that are worth using on a daily basis no matter how small the amount is. Because every time you use your credit card to pay you collect points that you can redeem in the Bonviva Rewards Shop for attractive rewards, vouchers, and more.

2. I SEE NO BENEFIT IN USING A CREDIT CARD First and foremost, credit cards make your payments easier. Paying without cash saves you the trouble of counting out coins and bills, and you don't have to check whether you have enough cash with you. You also always have the right currency available.

3. IF YOU USE YOUR CREDIT CARD FREQUENTLY, THERE'S A NASTY SURPRISE WAITING FOR YOU AT THE END OF THE MONTH With Bonviva you can see all your credit card transactions in Online Banking as well as with the Private Banking Switzerland app. This will allow you to maintain an overview of your spending at all times. You'll also receive a clear statement detailing all your credit card purchases at the end of each month.

4. PAYING WITH A CREDIT CARD TAKES FAR TOO LONG AT THE CHECKOUT Those days are long gone. At state-of-the-art terminals in Switzerland, payment can take less than three seconds. The key term is contactless payment. Credit cards issued by Swisscard AECS GmbH. Subject to meeting issuing criteria. You can find the detailed terms and conditions (issuing criteria, card conditions, General Terms and Conditions, and General Insurance Provisions) at 1

This too is a myth. In Switzerland, consumers pay the price shown on the goods. While there is a fee for foreign currency transactions abroad, you do still enjoy three key benefits compared to cash: 1. You always have the right currency no matter where you are. 2. You reduce the risk of loss normally associated with cash, as a credit card can be blocked and replaced. 3. You no longer have to go through the time-consuming and ďŹ nancially disadvantageous process of converting your cash back.

7. PAYING WITH A CREDIT CARD IS NOT SECURE Credit cards are still a very secure means of payment. In addition, the security for credit card payments is constantly being bolstered. Even if you lose it, your Bonviva credit card has you covered. In the case of card fraud, you will not be held liable if you have complied with all of your obligations to exercise due care and to cooperate.

Still have doubts? Then learn about the advantages of the various Bonviva credit cards for yourself at:

FREE BANKING FOR TWO YEARS Hello Switzerland customers get the Bonviva Silver Package for free for two years, worth CHF 360. To take advantage of this deal, contact the Swiss Relocation Helpline at +41 58 356 17 77 or

Legal Notice: The reader acknowledges that the information provided in this publication is only intended for distribution and use by persons who are residents of Switzerland. In particular, it is not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by or for the offer or solicitation of any products or services directed to, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability, use, offer or solicitation would be contrary to applicable law or regulation or which would subject Credit Suisse to any registration or licensing requirement within such jurisdiction Credit Suisse will not treat readers of this publication as its clients by virtue of them accessing it. Readers of this publication should seek the advice of their independent financial advisor prior to taking any investment decision on the basis of any information contained herein and no information herein constitutes general or specific investment, legal, tax or accounting advice of any kind.


TAXATION OF FOREIGN PENSION FUND BENEFITS IN SWITZERLAND If you were employed abroad before you moved to Switzerland, you will likely have contributed to a foreign pension fund. It is important to know how these funds and your foreign pension benefits are taxed in Switzerland — PwC explains. 1) GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Non-comparable foreign pension funds

Who is subject to taxation in Switzerland?

Foreign pension fund savings are subject to net wealth tax. In particular, this is the case where the individual can access the funds at any time. Furthermore, if the funds can be freely disposed of by the tax-payer, then interest and other investment income must be reported in the tax return and will be taxed at the ordinary income tax rate on an annual basis. If the pension fund does not have an early payment option, accrued interest income can be taxable at the ordinary income tax rate at the moment of payment.

Taxability of foreign pension funds is of importance to residents who contributed to a foreign pension fund in the past and who, after moving to Switzerland, remain in the foreign plan without paying any additional contributions. Tax questions also arise for Swiss residents still contributing to a foreign pension plan. Here we focus on the situation of a passive membership until retirement. Do you need to declare these pension savings in the annual Swiss tax return for net wealth and income tax? And what taxes are levied at retirement on the benefits when received as a lump sum payment or a lifelong pension?

Comparable to a Swiss pension fund? In general, foreign and Swiss pension funds are taxed the same way if the foreign pension fund is considered as comparable to a Swiss pension fund. Tax authorities assess foreign pension funds on a case-by-case basis according to the following criteria: 1. Savings are tied until retirement, death or disability. Contributions cannot be freely accessed by the individual. 2. There is a contractual or legal obligation to participate in the plan. 3. The pension plan is of a collective nature. Participation is foreseen for a group of employees who are treated according to the same terms and conditions. 4. The pension fund is recognised by the authority in its country of registration. 5. There is a tax privilege for the pension fund in its country of registration. 6. The foreign pension fund is not a pure savings plan but also includes benefits in the case of retirement, death and disability. Comparability does not necessarily require fulfilment of all criteria. The burden of proof remains with the taxpayer, so you are required to file the necessary documents with the authorities. Because the tax consequences can be severe, a detailed assessment of the pension fund is highly recommended before filing your first tax return in Switzerland.


Comparable foreign pension funds Pension fund savings are not subject to net wealth tax until retirement. Income from interest is only taxed on the date it is paid out, not on a yearly basis (see section 3).


Comparable foreign pension funds If you can prove your foreign pension fund is comparable to a Swiss fund, a Swiss tax resident can benefit from the favourable Swiss tax regime for pension funds in Switzerland. Lump sum payments are subject to income taxes at a reduced tax rate, whereas pensions are taxed at the ordinary income tax rate. However, it is important to be aware that foreign pension benefits may also be taxable in the country of source. Switzerland has a wide range of international double taxation treaties. Depending on which treaty applies (if any), taxation rights may sit with the country of residence, or the country where the foreign pension fund is registered.

Non-comparable foreign pension funds Because in this case pension fund savings, interest and other investment income have been reported in the annual tax returns up to retirement, withdrawal of pension fund benefits should be a non-taxable event in Switzerland. However, treatment in the other country, and any potential effects of the relevant double taxation treaty, should be considered. Qualification of foreign pension funds can be complex and could even lead to different tax treatment to the consequences described above. This might in particular be true for pension funds set up as foreign trusts. Getting advice from an expert before you begin filing Swiss tax returns can avoid unpleasant surprises and help you to save tax. For more information, simply get in touch:

Nicole Bregy Tax & Legal Services 058 792 40 24


ARE YOU RELOCATING TO SWITZERLAND? CALL +41 58 356 17 77 Speak to your personal advisor to receive free relocation guidance on all Swiss cities.

« The approachable and professional

staff at Packimpex provided us with ongoing support throughout our entire relocation process.


Alexandre Areias & family ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Market Access and Pricing

Design your own relocation package starting at CHF 199 Whether you are moving to or leaving Switzerland, you can tailor your own relocation support package to suit your requirements. Before you purchase anything, you are entitled to a free web-based orientation tour of any town or city in Switzerland, including a telephone consultation with a relocation specialist. Our relocation services for private clients are offered as modules in the Hello Switzerland Relocation Store. This innovative approach lets you combine the steps you’d prefer to handle by yourself with a wide range of service modules from us and other Hello Switzerland partners. We’re redefining relocation — find out more at or email


PLANNING YOUR MOVE Packimpex provides helpful tips on planning an international relocation to or from Switzerland. Use these essential checklists to save time and energy during your move. HELPFUL TIPS TO ENSURE A STRESS-FREE MOVE


There are a few things you can do to prepare for your relocation to or from Switzerland. By selecting a reputable moving partner, you can save yourself time and energy during your move.

Inquire for a price quote 8 weeks before your move  Invite between 1–3 moving companies to provide a quote for your move. The average time between your initial request and our first contact is between 2 working days.

Once you select a moving provider, it is time to begin planning your move. To guarantee a smooth move, it is important to consider different aspects of the moving process. Also keep in mind that every move is different!

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR MOVE Organise: discard, donate or sell Discard, donate or sell items that are not needed. This saves you stress, time and money in the long run. Organise your shipments If you have several shipments, organise which items go with which shipment. Why? Because some shipments can take much longer than other shipments. If it's a crucial item, make sure you ask your moving company what is the speediest option. Don't ship prohibited items Make sure you are not shipping any prohibited items (such as ammunition, weapons, etc.). Prohibited items vary per the specifications of your destination country. The list of prohibited items will typically be provided by your moving company. Confirm in writing Make sure all arrangements with the moving company are confirmed in writing, especially in regards to packing, loading, shipping, and delivery dates to avoid any surprises upon arrival to your new home.

Tips & tricks for planning your relocation:

Prepare for the survey 6 weeks before your move  Plan to be present and take the necessary time  Show all the rooms to the surveyor (including garage, storage, cellar, etc.)  Mention all the pets that are relocating with you  Mention any cars you wish to ship or even drive personally to your destination  Be aware of the deadlines for returning inventories and documentation Prepare your documentation 4 weeks before your move  Establish detailed inventory with replacement value for insurance for each shipment, whether by air, surface or for storage  Carefully review all customs clearance documentation  Return all forms to your move coordinator  Keep with you (do not container pack) all official documentation (e.g. passports, work contracts, lease contract, marriage certificate, birth certificates) Prepare for packing 2 weeks before your move  Plan to be present for packing and loading  Separate items that you wish to take with you (i.e. official documents)  Drain fuel/oil from power equipment and empty propane tanks to be shipped  Secure CD players and computer drives according to instruction manuals  Disconnect all electrical appliances which need packing  Ensure you receive a signed copy of the packing list and sign original on each page

LET US HELP PLAN YOUR NEXT RELOCATION Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

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MOBILE SURFING WITH THE ULTRA-HIGH SPEED SUNRISE MOBILE NETWORK ON THE WAY You're off to live in a new country. Whether you're venturing out for a new job or simply taking a gap year, mastering the local transportation is an important first step. Sunrise keeps you connected on the go. Train, bus, tram or even boats can help you to get around in your new country. Knowing when to get out at the right train station, quickly checking the map with a geo localization app before heading to the job interview are just a few examples on how mobile data usage is important to access the information you need on the go. Customers with Sunrise Freedom relax, max and super max, as well as MTV mobile Freedom world and max surf on the very latest technology, LTE Advanced (4G+), enabling high speed data access of up to 300 Mbit/s.

KEEPS YOU CONNECTED ON THE GO Coming to a new city and settling in, mobile data usage is key for not getting lost. Useful apps such as the SBB mobile app gives you all the necessary information whilst on the go about public transport timetable details and access to real-time information on current arrival and departure times throughout your journey. You can even buy tickets on the go and subscribe to push notifications that will let you know about any delays or cancellations impacting your daily commute. The data consumption of mobile users is constantly increasing due to a growing number of data-intensive apps and the “always online” user behavior. Sunrise fulfills the growing demand for mobile data by continuously expanding its LTE (4G+) network. The mobile network of Sunrise, which was awarded a rating of “very good” by the independent magazine connect, supports the requirements of customers completely. With LTE Advanced, even more benefits of LTE (4G+) networks can be experienced: reaction times when surfing are improved,

even when significantly more customers are surfing with mobile Internet access at the same time, without any reductions in speed.

ENJOY UNLIMITED SURFING WITH 4G+ Sunrise Freedom super max, max and relax subscriptions now enjoy unlimited surfing with LTE Advanced. For example Sunrise Freedom relax allows unlimited surfing with 4G+ speeds with a flat rate for as little as CHF 65 /month. It’s important not to worr y about the costs of mobile data.

Photo: © Sunrise

PHONE, TV AND INTERNET MADE EASY Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat:



With over 1.5 million members, you can trust Switzerland’s #1 breakdown assistance. Driving a car in a new country requires good planning. As a Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) member, you can depend on 24/7 breakdown assistance and roadside recovery, 365 days a year, rain or snow or shine. With over 620 roadside patrols and partner garages, you can be sure that you’re covered in the case of a roadside emergency. Your membership protects you in any vehicle you drive, both cars and motorbikes, and comes with many advantages:

1. 2. 3.


QUICK RESPONSE & 24HR BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE TCS patrols are there for you 24/7, all year round, with an average waiting time of 35 minutes. SAFE TRAVELS GUARANTEED In 8 out of 10 breakdowns your vehicle will be repaired on the spot. If your vehicle cannot be repaired straight away, we will arrange for a comfortable onward journey. PROTECTION FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY With TCS, you don’t need to worry about your family members driving your vehicle. Family members in your household can get coverage for driving a vehicle registered to the policyholder.

EXPERIENCED PATROL TEAMS 220 patrol members handle around 280,000 assignments every year. They know what they’re doing!

Become a TCS member for just CHF 87:



SPECIAL MEMBER OFFERS Members enjoy special discounts:  Discount of up to 25% on cable cars and mountain railways  2.5 cent savings per liter of fuel at BP  2% fuel discount at Tamoil  Save up to CHF 100 at Ada Touring and Premio when purchasing four tires TECHNICAL EXPERTISE No matter the make, engine type, of your vehicle, our experts know how to get you back on the road.

PEACE OF MIND ON THE ROAD Expert advice - the right partners - the best deals Swiss Relocation Helpline Free advice from locals

+41 58 356 17 77 (regular rates) online chat:

7. 8.

PEACE OF MIND Did you lock your key in the car? Have you run out of petrol? There’s no need to worry about these little problems — the TCS patrol will come to your rescue (even if you might be at fault).

SERVICES Before you leave on a road trip, or at the onset of winter, your vehicle will be checked by experts at one of 19 TCS technical centers at a favorable membership price.


The women who make up the Bone Breakers

PUTTING JAM BACK IN JAMMING: ROLLER DERBY IN SWITZERLAND Bone breakers: one woman’s transition from an accompanying spouse to Jam Buster Hello Switzerland sits down with Tatiana, the Jam Buster, of the Bonebreakers Roller Derby team to learn more about the full contact sport and how it helped her embrace a new Swiss lifestyle. BY: TATIANA WARKENTIN

Photos: © Ralph Rosenbauer

Every Sunday night for the last three years a group of women known as the Bonebreakers Roller Derby have gotten together in the Roller Hockey Hall in Uttigen, Switzerland to jam, block, pack it up, pass helmet covers and yell “5 seconds.” Here, the women who make up Bonebreakers hit the concrete with a thud and get right back up, all while high fiving the person who hit them. They take shoulders to the sternum and hips to the stomach. They do this week in and week out for one reason, they love the sport of roller derby. Here’s what you need to know about roller derby: it’s a fullcontact women’s sport played on quad roller skates, by players skating around an elliptical track. The game consists of a series of two-minute jams and two 30-minute half’s. At the start of

each jam, each team sends five players onto the track: one Jammer (point scorer), three blockers (defensive/offensive players) and one Pivot (a special kind of blocker). Roller derby is a full-contact women’s sport that originated in North America. It has exploded in Switzerland over the last seven years. The first team was founded in Zurich in 2009 and the community has grown to 12 teams strong, with new teams forming almost monthly. On top of the local teams, a national Swiss roller derby team competed in the 2014 Roller Derby World Cup, taking the 27th place, and will be World Cup bound again in 2017. The players are identified by their helmet covers – a stripe for the pivots and two stars for the Jammers. The two Jammers


line up on or behind the Jammer line and the pivots and blockers form a pack in front of them. The Jammers’ aim is to make it through the pack of skaters and skate a full lap to enter the pack again. Once they re-enter the pack, they score a point for each opposing skater that they pass.

Tatiana, the Jam Buster, coaching her team

This is where things get a little aggressive. The skaters in the pack are doing their utmost to stop the opposing Jammer from passing them and scoring points, while at the same time trying to help their own Jammer to pass opposing players. They do this by landing heavy shoulder or hip checks on opposing players, shoving them out of the way or knocking them to the ground. Only shoulders and hips/buttocks can be used to connect, and backs, heads and knees are outof-bounds. While illegal hits result in time served in the penalty box, a solid hit can send a skater flying off the track or hitting the ground – hard. This is no gentle sport. My husband and I arrived in Bern on June 30, 2011. We gave up everything from home to “go on an adventure.” This means, my husband was offered a really cool job at the Universal Postal Union, which is a United Nations special organization, and we relocated with 30 days’ notice. In Canada, I had already been playing roller derby as Jam Buster (that’s my roller derby name), for three years in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The first thing I Googled when we found out we were relocating was “roller derby Switzerland.” I know most people probably would have searched for something like “apartments” or “how do you move to a foreign country in 30 days?” But not me! No, I needed to know if my beloved sport had made it to Switzerland. I wanted to make sure I connect with something that was familiar in a new place – which I anticipated was going to be full of the unfamiliar. A month after we hit the ground in Switzerland, I travelled hours to Zurich to join a practice of the only roller derby team in the country at the time, the Zurich City Roller Girlz. On the journey home from that practice I realized I wasn’t ready to return to derby. I didn’t know how to balance the commitment that roller derby would require (you can’t just skate, there is committee work, games, travel, training….) with the rhythm of our new life in Switzerland. I decided that Jam Buster needed a break. What I thought would be a short break turned into 18 months of accompanying spouse hell. Being defined only as someone’s wife can be soul-destroying. A lot of people didn’t know me as an individual but only as part of a package. Most of our friends were actually my husband’s friends, and I tagged along. I went from a woman with a career, hobbies and three years as a roller derby player to “Oh, you’re Johnathan’s wife.” I started questioning if I would ever be Tatiana again, let alone if I would ever see Jam Buster again.

GET CONNECTED Instagram: @bonebreakers_bern Twitter: @BBBrollerderby Facebook: /BonebreakersRollerderbyBernl

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tatiana, otherwise known as Jam Buster, also known as the Dubious Hausfrau, is a Canadian expat living in Switzerland. She writes, adventures and works for a special department of the United Nations. She tries to keep up with the Swiss who can eat an average of 22 pounds of chocolate a year. Besides roller derby, her other interests are blogging about the truly weird, and special, thing called expat life. It's a way for her to document this incredible gift of an adventure:


Then it happened. The day after I poured out every single feeling I had about being inadequate to my husband because everything I was in this country was attached to him. Roller derby found me again. I had fallen down a Facebook clickhole and landed on a post by a friend, of a friend, of a friend about a team being founded locally, the Bonebreakers Roller Derby Bern. Using 20 seconds of courage – I sent them a message, could I come to practice on Sunday? After I sent the message I realized I had two options, sit and click refresh until I get a reply OR dust off my skates, go outside and find out if I could still skate.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Have you been inspired to try this rough and tumble sport? Here you can find a list of women's teams across Switzerland! Have fun jamming. Zurich City Roller Girlz Leman’ Wheels Roller Derby Geneva GVA Roller Derby – Geneva

I went outside. I could still skate. Jam Buster was back. The Hellveticats – Roller Derby Luzern The Bonebreakers Roller Derby Bern

On a sunny day in July 2013, I walked into that dark roller hockey hall in Uttigen and met the founding members of the Bonebreakers, unsure of what to expect and yet having all the expectations that come from three years of experience. Basel Derbygirl Kollektiv – BDK Rolling Furies – Roller Derby Lausanne The team quickly informed me that I would be running practice. I laughed nervously and was all “Oh you’re so funny! I bet you say that to all the new people!” After an awkward silence I realized they were serious. They wanted me not only to join the team, but to help train them. The Bonebreakers sure do know how to welcome someone to their team! Over the last three years the Bonebreakers have become my chosen family in Switzerland. I’m not just anyone’s wife anymore. I’m head coach Jam Buster. The part of my heart that needed the familiar was full again. I probably still don’t have this whole living overseas thing figured out, but this community of tattooed roller skating Swiss women has helped me find my place.

Roller Derby Fribourg 13 Bloody Stars – Roller Derby Valais Nyon Roller Derby Team Switzerland Roller Derby Switzerland

A victory lap by the Bone Breakers



With rented business accommodation of up 20,000 square metres, fully furnished and serviced offices for short-term lets and meeting rooms, the D4 Business Village Luzern has everything you'll ever need.

CONSUMER ADAPTED OFFICES Micro enterprises, SMEs and major corporations can all take advantage of D4's extensive portfolio of office space: ranging from one room to multiple thousands of square metres, the facilities can be tailored to a wide variety of requirements and types of company. The modular nature of the space allows it to be configured whenever required. However, the D4 Business Village Luzern offers much more than just rented office space: it also provides telephone, secretarial and postal services, up-to-the-minute server rooms and electronic high-security access control systems, as well as a broad range of ancillary services such as a gym, restaurants, childcare and so on.


WHERE THE ACTION IS The D4 Business Village Luzern is a success story: since it opened in 2003, more than 100 companies employing around 2000 people have made its 53,000 m2 their domicile and helped put the Rontal district on the economic map. Lucerne is an attractive location for companies from Switzerland and elsewhere. The D4 Business Village Luzern is situated on the Lucerne-Zug-Zurich axis and benefits from excellent transport links thanks to its own railway station (Root D4) and bus stop, as well as a nearby motorway exit – Zurich, for instance, is less than 45 minutes' drive away.

GREAT BUSINESS LOCATION Due to its flexible concept and modern architecture, the D4 Business Village Luzern offers innovative companies new dimensions in the business context. D4 possesses all the factors forward-looking companies need to thrive and succeed. What's more, this central location in Canton Lucerne benefits from the lowest corporate taxation rate in the whole of Switzerland. The authorities here are straightforward and professional when it comes to business relocations. And last but not least, Lucerne is prized for its high standard of living, flourishing cultural scene and recreational resources.

Companies are faced with daily administrative burdens. People running up-and-coming businesses, though, must be allowed to concentrate on revenue-related activities and their core business. D4 Business Village Luzern employs a team of professionals whose job is to ease your workload with a range of services. Under your directions, they'll deal with your correspondence, answer your telephone calls, translate your texts and take care of your bookkeeping. They'll also assist you with your day-to-day tasks, organise your laundry and dry-cleaning, oversee your vehicle's servicing, etc. and coordinate your travel arrangements.

DAILY GYM AND MORE The D4 Business Village Luzern has all you need for a healthy work-life balance. It offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor sporting activities and wellness facilities (e.g. sauna and massage) and a selection of food and beverage outlets. This creates a feel-good atmosphere, which has an enduring and positive effect on the wellbeing and productivity of those working at D4. One particular advantage of D4 is its proximity to nature which, for a business centre of this size, is surely unique. D4 Business Village Platz 4 6039 Root D4 +41 41 455 20 20


WELCOME TO THE ECONOMIC REGION OF LUCERNE A corporate destination with lifestyle and tax appeal PROVIDED BY: LUZERN BUSINESS

WHERE QUALIT Y AND INNOVATION MEET Welcome to the Canton of Lucerne, in the heart of Switzerland. This is where quality of life and innovation meet. This is the essence of Switzerland. Dual education system with wellconnected schools, a broad spectrum of attractive job opportunities as well as a business-friendly environment for companies – these are the great assets which guarantee a competitive edge for Lucerne's job market.

The greater metropolitan area of Lucerne as a driver of economic development is the ideal complement to the quality of life in the countryside. Work and live in the Canton of Lucerne – it's a perfect fit. We are your point of contact in Lucerne for your projects.

Lucerne is the hub of an innovative, internationally-focused and prosperous economic region. Industries have tradition in the Canton of Lucerne. Alongside international companies such as MSD, Edwards, Corning, GC International and Schmolz+Bickenbach, global Swiss companies such as Schindler, Emmi, Schurter or Komax also feel right at home in Lucerne.

AT TRACTIVE. GENUINE. RELIABLE. The Canton of Lucerne offers companies the lowest corporate tax rate in all of Switzerland. The highly attractive businessfriendly environment equips companies with the best possible conditions, enabling them to become competitive players.

DECIDE TODAY, BEGIN TOMORROW Lucerne provides everything you need to get started right away, from ready-to-use office space to available production buildings.

QUALITY OF LIFE The strengths of Lucerne are based on the broadly diversified economy, enthusiastic employees and attractive location factors.

Wirtschaftsförderung Luzern Lucerne Business Alpenquai 30 CH-6005 Luzern +41 41 367 44 00


UNIQUE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN BASEL FOR CHILDREN Your guide to fair trade, organic and handmade shops BY: FL AVIA DE ALMEIDA

The holiday season is right around the corner! This part of the year is full of festive activities, but we need to decide what to buy – and where we should do the Christmas shopping in Basel for our children, family and friends. If you value buying fair trade, organic or handmade products, it is very easy to run out of options and ideas in a small town like Basel. But if you investigate a bit, and really look beyond the typical department stores, you can find several interesting options. Here are my top recommendations, especially if you're looking to shop for little ones.

MERCI FAIR Merci Fair is all about fair products and is a member of Swiss Fair Trade. They import handicrafts from Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is a beautifully decorated store where one can find a great variety of exotic and unique accessories and items for the house, children, as well as food items. Missionsstrasse 21, 4055

OEKO L ADEN Oeko Laden sells exclusively organic products. There one can find a great variety of food products and children’s clothing, cosmetics, and more. Many of their products make great stocking fillers. Theaterstrasse 7, 4051

PANDALI Pandali is a children’s store with more unique clothing, toys, organic and fair brands than any other children’s store in Basel. With two locations: One near Marktplatz at the corner of Hutgasse and Glockengasse and the other in Gundeli. Güterstrasse 244, 4053

PICARO Picaro has beautiful brands of organic baby clothing, natural play toys, and gorgeous leather school accessories and shoes

for children. Should one also be on the lookout for unique furniture or home accessories, one just may find it as well. Elisabethenstrasse 40, 4051

MOIRAI MOIRAI has a very interesting business concept. It is a sewing atelier, store and coffee shop all in one. It has three product categories; jewellery, children’s clothing and ladies fashion all handmade and designed by the three owners. Missionsstrasse 66, 4055

SOEDER Soeder has two store locations, Basel and Zurich, with house hold, accessory, clothing products of unique simplistic contemporary design; they also produce organic soap made in Switzerland. They only sell products made in Europe. Spalenberg 38, 4051.

SPIELEGGE Spielegge is a toys shop that is mainly about natural play! With a large selection of wooden and fabric toys one can find the most popular organic brands. Considering their stock variety one is bound to find toys for kids of all ages including one's inner child.

ALEGRIA Now for those still interested in natural play toys and other fair products for children but looking into doing your shopping online alegria has a special Christmas offer with free shipping in Switzerland, 25% discount on all items and free gift wrapping from 15th November - 15th December 2016. Aside from these shops, you can also browse through the Basel Christmas Market on December 23rd. You can find several fair trade, organic and handmade goods being offered at many stalls! The atmosphere is very festive, and you can go with your family to see the beautiful Christmas tree on the Münsterplatz.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Flavia is a British-Brazilian architect and mom with international experience. With a passion for design, she to created alegria. Her belief in empowering working mums defined the ethos of alegria.

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COACHING FOR EXCELLENCE WITH STEPHANY JONES Have you ever wondered how you could break free from those behavioural patterns that are holding you back, or how you could reach your true potential?

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Hello Switzerland’s online/ in-app calendar lists many more events than we publish in the magazine. So go ahead and submit your favourite events on our website. They will be published online and our favourites make it onto these pages. Get involved!

Take advantage of this great opportunity today as I complete my certification. Prices start at 80 CHF a session FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE SIMPLY GET IN TOUCH: / +41 (0)79 844 7818


REFLECTIONS OF AN AUTHOR Sonya Kar sits down with Jason Donald, author of Dalila, to discuss the experience of immigration, displaced history and his inspiration BY: SONYA KAR

Jason Donald is Scottish and South-African, and has lived in Switzerland for the past five years with his wife. The author of Choke Chain, Jason is passionately vocal about women’s rights and the refugee situation. He has completed his second novel Dalila in Switzerland, which is being launched worldwide on January 5th, 2017. Jason arrives, smiling brightly, dressed in black shirt and trousers with a leather jacket. When I explain the concept of this interview, to introduce talented writers residing in Switzerland to the expat "If you are displaced community. He remarks, "Don’t use the term expat. I have an by a move to issue with the word. Expat is another country, by a word that people use to distance themselves from a divorce...there is others, from migrants. Call me an immigrant author."

an urgency to write, to communicate

Discussing his new novel, we naturally arrive at the topic of with other people.” displaced histor y. Jason explains, "Dalila and I share a displaced history. My novel explores that displacement in a more intimate setting, a Kenyan migrant arriving in Glasgow and being bewildered by British culture. She tries a bacon roll for the first time, she didn’t expect it to always be raining. As an empire, the UK presented itself as an almost mythical place, a Shangrila. It then used this mythology as a tool for exerting power." "Displacement does influence writing, but the purpose of writing is to connect with readers. If you are displaced by a move to another country, by a divorce, or something similar, there is an urgency to write, to communicate with other people," Jason says. I can see the logic in his point - isn't that an a common theme in the human experience? I mention that in our current times, does he feel his book on a Kenyan migrant arriving in Glasgow is particularly relevant? He agrees. "Dalila is set in Glasgow, which is not a prominent city such as London or Paris. Yet, smaller cities are struggling with the same issues, it is a universal issue, how to deal with migration. Especially asylum seekers. No matter where you come from, there are certain elements of globalization which we have come to accept. For example,

money and goods freely move around the globe and can be accessed from nearly anywhere. The economy of one country affects the economy of another and we accept this idea and the consequences of it. There are three pillars of globalisation, money, goods and people. Nowadays money and goods can be accessed anywhere, these two pillars we fully accept and enjoy the benefits of." Dalila has been optioned for film, with the screenplay being written by Christopher Hampton, well-known for writing the screenplays of A Dangerous Method (2011), Atonement (2007) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988); filming for Dalila is set to start soon. We are running out of time, so I ask him what inspires him to write. "Reading and music," is his prompt response. "I am inspired by great writers. People and places inspire me for stories and scenes. I love thinking about a dinner I have had, or a conversation in a taxi. I like to take those moments and match them to the beautiful craft of writing." It is still raining when we leave the Kornhauskeller. I have brought a sturdy umbrella, but Jason dons his leather jacket and prepares to get soaked. Not bringing an umbrella on a day like this shows he is optimistic, I remark. With a new novel about to launch and a film being made, Jason has good reason to be optimistic.

WANT TO READ MORE? Irene Dalila Mwathi comes from Kenya with a brutally violent personal history. A book about forging dignity in a world of tragedy, and raising issues about immigration and asylum-seekers through the story of one woman’s plight, Dalila is a necessary tale of our times. A slow-burning, spell-binding novel about how we treat the vulnerable and dispossessed. Find out more:

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No matter whether you want to communicate with your international business partners, talk to the locals during your next trip abroad or in countless other situations - Berlitz Individual Instruction ensures you reach your language goal quickly and reliably. And it‘s a real bargain with the favorable happy hour conditions for all languages. Ask at your Berlitz Center for the special Happy Hour Times! Berlitz Basel +41 61 226 90 40

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Hello Switzerland Issue 4/2016  

Visit hidden christmas markets all over Switzerland and create your own fondue - in a different way.

Hello Switzerland Issue 4/2016  

Visit hidden christmas markets all over Switzerland and create your own fondue - in a different way.


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