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Paradise ApparentlyIf you’ve recently arrived in Switzerland (or even if you have lived here for years), then you are probably still coming to terms with the many varied and sometimes frustrating differences that exist between here and your home country.  If this is the case, you may like to take a few tips from "Paradise (Apparently) – Welcome to Switzerland".

Written by Flo Regina, an Italian lawyer who arrived in the country 7 years ago, the book provides a light-hearted description of her experiences, when trying to start a new life here with her family.  Many readers will relate to some of her amusing anecdotes – including, for example, tales of her “extortionate” parking fines as she discovered that Switzerland took a somewhat stricter view on this issue than her native country – we are told that Fr. 2000.- was required to pay her fines in the first year alone!

Others will relate to her stories about mowing the grass on Sunday, or simply identify with her experiences relating to punctuality – a quality that apparently required a significant effort on her part to acquire as her children learnt to adapt more quickly to the new “rules” for living in Switzerland, i.e. you musn’t be late!

In highlighting the cultural differences between Switzerland and Italy, the book hopes to prepare its readers for what will undoubtedly be a different experience to living in their home country.  It concludes by providing a survival guide for foreigners arriving in Switzerland, and includes some basic rules for getting by, not the least of which is having a sense of humor!

Whilst some may consider the book to be slightly insulting to our Swiss hosts, the author is keen to emphasize that no offence is intended at all.  She just wants readers to be fully “prepared”, and to understand that they are not alone in thinking that the habits and customs typical of Switzerland are sometimes a little strange.  With a good positive attitude, and a few useful tips to guide you along your way – then you’ll have no problems at all!

For further information on the book, visit the website at www.paradiseapparently.com.

Relocation company ,Ohmytime, which specializes in organising events for expats, and MRI Communication, specialists in adult training and public relations, have launched a new course, designed for helping newcomers settle into life in Switzerland. Called "Ohmyswitzerland", the course is divided into three modules, each targeted at a different aspect of living in this unique country.

Taking place in Neuchâtel on three Monday afternoons in June, the course is delivered in English by Swiss people who know exactly what living in Switzerland entails.

Those of you new to the area may like to know about a new relocation company, whose name might not yet be in your guidebook!   Founded in the Summer of 2009 by Daphné Stauffer, Make it Home offers a full range of services, tailored to the individual needs of new arrivals to the Lake Geneva region.  These include:

Relocation firm, Geneva Helping Hands, is offering clients guided tours of Geneva, providing practical advice on living in the region.  The tours will give newcomers the opportunity to make new friends whilst exploring the city.  Two tours are currently being offered: Practical Tour of Geneva I is more informative in nature, and includes lots of money saving ideas.  Practical Tour of Geneva II (old town) is more suited to clients looking for a tourist’s introduction to the highlights of the old town. 

Geneva Helping Hands is certified with the Quality Label,  Enjoy Switzerland.

For further information, please visit the website: http://www.geneva-helping-hands.com/

If you're new to the region and are looking to make a few new friends, the Le Café Vivant maybe what you're looking for! 

Le Café Vivant is a bilingual, professional organization set up to help newcomers, expat employees and their spouse partners integrate socially and culturally within French Switzerland.  The prinicipal aim of the organization is to promote communication and understanding between local and international societies, with the emphasis being on fun and humor.

A range of informative activities are offered to help newcomers learn about Switzerland and its people.  The Fun French Language Programs©, which include Play Français, Sing Français, Cook Français and Dance Français, provide an immediate immersion into local language and culture by stimulating all your senses through action, movement, fun, and lively experiences.  Various "Link & Network" events are also organized throughout the year to help newcomers make contact with locals.

For further information visit the website www.lecafevivant.ch