Q: Tell us about yourself?
I am a regular part-time working mum of 2 lovely girls and a happy wife to a wonderfully supportive husband. I am passionate about photography, design, home décor and all things beautiful. I love crafting, reading and painting with my daughter and travelling.
Q: What do you do?
Work as an assistant for an International supply chain department in a Global healthcare company.
Q: Where do you live and what brought you here to Switzerland?
I came to Switzerland with my husband in 2005 when he did an MBA in Lausanne. We moved to Baar (Kanton Zug) in early 2006, as he got a job here.
Q: Do you like it here, what do you love and what would you change?
Yes, absolutely… we love the safety, cleanliness, public transport, the outdoors, the relaxed upbringing our kids can enjoy, and above all, the feeling that everything works and runs as promised. We only wish things weren’t as expensive.
Q: How do you cope with Swiss life?
Be open minded, stop thinking like an Indian, enjoy whatever friendships we can make with the locals, and speak German (at least to B1 conversational levels).
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom to help fellow expats integrate?
Put kids in a local school or a private school with a Swiss curriculum (taught in German or bilingual), NOT in the International School unless you know you’re here for a shorter period (say 3 years or less). Learn German yourself, the advantages are immense. Get kids to local clubs (Musikschule, tennis, skiing, skating, swimming).
Q: You’ve had both your kids in Switzerland. What is the advice you would give to expecting parents on pregnancy and parenting in Switzerland?
Swiss medical care for expectant mothers is EXCELLENT. Whether a private or cantonal hospital, maternity care is of the highest standard. Many / most nurses and gynaecs are able to communicate in English. They are friendly, caring and above all empathetic to your situation. We had both our girls in a private hospital. We got the best of care! No complaints.
If you’re expecting your first child and intend to deliver the child in Switzerland, and BOTH of you have Indian passports, be prepared for a slightly lengthy process in certain cantons to have a birth certificate issued for your child. The Swiss authorities will insist on the birth certificates of both parents and the marriage certificate of the parents issued to be submitted to the Cantonal authority as your child is born. These must be no more than 6 months old from date of issue, and be attested / endorsed by the MEA of the Government of India. If possible prepare for this when you´re about 4-5 months pregnant. ….
How would you compare life in Switzerland to other countries?
We’ve lived in the Middle East and Romania (before we had kids), no contest, Switzerland is simply better than most. We would think Singapore, Australia, the Nordic countries may offer a similar quality of life, education and care for families, however, Switzerland is up there.
What is your take as a parent about schooling in Switzerland?
The quality and standard of the educational curriculums is on par with what we know in India (CBSE, ICSE etc). However local, local (private) or international schooling is an individual choice. We send ours to a bilingual school which follows the Swiss curriculum. We value the bilingual education, a degree of focus on academics compared to the pure local school education, individual attention from her teachers, and therefore the better odds of making to a Kantonal Gymnasium when she is 12. There are several Indian kids who have gone through the Swiss local system and have thrived and made it to good universities and careers. So, sending your child to local / private is entirely your choice as both have their merits.
Your opinion on opportunities for extracurricular activities for kids in Switzerland?
We love the fact that the school system is designed to help your child pursue their talents. With Wednesday being half days, it gives your child the opportunity to learn a life skill (such as swimming) or pursue a sport of their choice or learn a musical instrument.