Before you start applying for jobs in Switzerland or France, it can be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the local customs and cultural differences that exist between here and your home country. A bit of time invested in learning more about your local environment and the people who live in it, can go a long way to helping you in the interview process, and ultimately in your new job!
Below is a list of organizations that have been recommended to us and have been set up to help expats through this learning process. Many of the activities they organize are great fun and they provide a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make friends.
Some of these organizations (and others not listed below) run seminars on getting to know Switzerland and its customs. Browse through our Workshops & Seminars calendar to find an event near you.
Bureau de l'integration des Etrangers
88, rte de Chancy, 2nd floor
022 546 74 99
General information is given on living in Geneva through the above link in English: housing, health, employment, schooling, child care, culture, etc.
Note: Other brochures are available on the first website link but if you don't read French, you might not be able to find them. The brochures are available in seven other languages.
Le Cafe Vivant
079 277 86 36
Fun French Language Programs©: Play Français – Sing Français – Cook Français – Dance Français. Immediate immersion into local language and culture by stimulating all your senses through action, movement, fun, and lively experiences.
Artistic activities linking locals and internationals.
Av. Vinet 5
021 535 27 84
079 224 69 82
Provides cross-cultural solutions to individuals, companies, and organizations in both private and public sectors to bridge cultural gaps through tailored cultural awareness and cross-cultural training and advisory programs. Solutions to managing multicultural teams, leadership development and negotiations, recruitment, transition and relocation, sports, education, hospitality, healthcare, and immigration services.
The Europe-Africa intercultural program provides tailored intercultural training and advisory support to individuals, companies, government entities and organizations on issues related to Sub-Saharan African cultures.
Here I Go
9, ch. du Feuillet
079 406 18 17
Provides professional coaching, training and a community platform to support the cultural, social, and professional integration of accompanying partners/spouses who relocate to the Greater Lake Geneva/Berne Region. Hosts workshops on cultural integration, daily living, job search training programs, and provides regular networking opportunities for members.
Living in Lausanne course
American International Women’s Club of Lausanne
La Maison de la Femme
Av. Eglantine 6
021 320 26 88
The AIWC runs a series of information sessions about Living in Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud in September and October. Please check the website for details.
Lifestyle blog about Switzerland for expats and locals alike; culture, design, oddities, tourism and tips on how to settle.
Geneva and Pays de Gex
0033/673 36 96 56
Practical help and advice for people moving to, living in and moving from the Pays de Gex and surrounding area. Friendly and professional services offered by people who have gone through expatriation and understand your needs. Personalized individual assistance as well as regular information sessions with speakers and experts on the subject chosen.