Granted, Switzerland is by no means perfect. But then, what place is?
Over the years, my team has gathered all the positive proofs that living in Switzerland is rather great. And our impressions are by no means biased. We are quite the United Nations here at Newly Swissed; our writers represent no less than 14 nationalities.
From little things to overarching themes, here are 17 proofs that life in Switzerland doesn't suck:
Farm honesty shops dot the countryside.
From baked goods to eggs, and from freshly cut flower bouquets to beef filets: many Swiss Buurelädeli honesty shops are like 24/7 convenience stores. The goods are there for the taking, without security cameras or locks. By offering a piggybank, a coin drop, or a QR code for mobile payments, Swiss farmers solely rely on people’s goodwill.
Public transport is based on a system of trust.
Whether you board a high-speed train or a city bus, there are no turnstiles and gates to be found. The Swiss public transport system is based on trust; it assumes that all riders have purchased a ticket before getting on. (Random checks do occur.)
And connection times for public transport are perfectly synced nationwide.
That’s why they call it the Swiss Travel System.
When giving birth in Switzerland, basic insurance covers a personal midwife service.
She will come to your home and ensures that the baby is fine and that the mom is healing. The midwife will also show how to take care of a new baby; not just once, but as often as one needs within the first two months.
Two weeks of paid paternity leave.
As of 2021, new fathers are granted the right to two weeks of paid leave within six months of the birth of a child.
Four weeks of paid vacation per year - for everyone!
And unlike in other countries, employers make sure you use them up.
As of 2021, same-sex marriage is legal in Switzerland.
A people’s referendum extended the rights of civil marriage and adoption of children to same-sex couples.
There are strings attached to holding a pet.
For one, Swiss law stipulates that pets need to be held in pairs. Depending on the animal and canton of residence, additional requirements come into play. For instance, dog owners in the canton of Zurich are to attend mandatory classes covering theory and practice.
Tuition for higher education is very low.
In this expensive country, at least the students get a break. How does 730 francs per semester sound for attending a top-tier university?
It costs money to throw out garbage.
Why this is a good thing, you may ask? Think about it: the more trash you produce, the more certified garbage bags you will need to purchase. This garbage tax is why recycling in Switzerland is so huge:
Switzerland is a recycling nation.
Given the garbage tax, does it surprise that half of the total urban waste is recycled in Switzerland? Wherever you go, there will be a battery of recycling bins for everything from aluminum to batteries, glass, and PET bottles. According to data from the OFMA (Federal Office for the Environment), the Swiss recycle 93 percent of all glass, 91 percent of aluminum cans, and 83 percent of PET plastic bottles.
Lakes and rivers are clean enough for swimming.
Heck, they’re so clean, you could even drink out of them.
Alas, the Swiss have access to drinkable water of AAA quality.
The drawbacks of mineral-rich Swiss water are nasty limescale deposits wherever water tends to sit: in sinks, kettles, or appliances.
Waymarkers state the expected hiking time rather than the distance.
This is simply plain genius. Because in the rugged mountains, the mere distance from point A to point B tells little. Much more informative is an estimate of the time it takes to reach the destination. As of this writing, there are several coexisting systems of measuring hiking times. Switzerland is thinking about standardizing this aspect.
The Swiss have an “at your own risk” culture.
This means the Swiss get to do things that would be inherently forbidden in most other countries. (Think mountaineering in the Alps, wingsuit flying, adventure playgrounds, etc.)
They can have a glass of wine in the park, or drink a beer while walking down the street.
Please be responsible and don’t ruin this freedom for everybody...
And once they’ve had enough of Switzerland, it’s easy to escape!
Being smack in the heart of Europe does have its perks.