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Showing posts from December, 2015

How the Swiss Celebrate the New Year

The year is coming to an end and all around the world people are celebrating the beginning of a new year. Although everyone puts up a party for the same reason, there are some distinct differences between different parties around the globe. Every country and place has its own unique traditions on how to celebrate new years eve. People in Peru, for example, wear yellow for luck in the coming year, Danish people break old dishes on each other's doors and Germans pour lead into water in order to find out what will happen in the new year.

Despite being an very small country, Switzerland generally has a lot of beautiful and unique traditions. This is certainly also true for the festivities surrounding the end of a year and the beginning of another. Now, there might be differences from canton to canton, region to region or even family to family but there are a few things that form part of the New Years tradition almost all over Switzerland.

Rimuss
When adults fill their glasses with cham…

Merry Christmas & Happy 2016

Before heading off for a short Christmas and New Years break, I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a good start into the new year 2016! Enjoy time with your family and friends. Remember, don't fight and argue - that's really not the point of it all!

Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog once in a while! I appreciate your comments and your retweets! 






© 2015 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I Love Cinnamon Stars

It's true, we Swiss eat cookies all year round but there are certain types of cookies that we only eat in December. To be honest, some of us might start eating Christmas cookies in November or others even as early as October because we can't wait for the Christmas season or - which is the case more often than not - we simply are looking for any pretext to be eating something sweet.

Now, Zimtsterne (Swiss German: Zimetschtern, English: Cinnamon Stars) are on of the most popular Christmas cookies in Switzerland. A Zimtstern is a star shaped almond cookie with lots of cinnamon in it and a merengue on top.  Although some Germans claim that Zimtsterne are in fact a German cookie , they are certainly very Swiss and have become an almost iconic Swiss item. So much that even a clothing company named "Zimtstern" was founded in Zurich. Their brand logo is a combination of mountain and a cinnamon star. Nice, right?! 
Zimtsterne are so Swiss that in 1998 Zurich song writer Andr…

Off to School (Part 3): University

When writing (and talking) about the Swiss education system, there is one part of it that is fairly easy to explain to a foreigner: university and other higher education. This is mainly due to the fact that in the last 10-15 years, Swiss university education has been adapted to international standards and norms.

However, one of the biggest differences between Swiss universities and American universities (and universities in other places around the globe) is that there is normally no entrance exam or the need to formally apply. If you successfully passed your Matura exams you are free to inscribe to any university in Switzerland. The big exception is the field of human medicine which requires an entrance exam called Numerus Clausus. Technical Universities usually require at least one year of work experience in a relevant field before they receive applicants with a Matura certificate.

But let's go back to the similarities. A lot of university related vocabulary has been adopted from…

A New Way to Find a Job in Switzerland

In an older post I wrote about the job market in Switzerland and gave some recommendation on finding a job in Switzerland. In a way, the situation in the Swiss job market has changed and at the same time hasn't changed since then.
Unemployment rates remain low The Swiss economy might not be in an all-time high but it is rolling steadily. This keeps unemployment rates relatively low which in turn allows a lot of employees to earn their living and to invest their earnings (i.e. consuming and buying) which again stimulates the economy. Capitalism at its best, right?

Well, even in Switzerland there are people looking for a new job. Maybe they currently have a job they don't like, maybe they would like to advance their career and are looking for the next step on the career ladder, maybe they just lost their job and need to make a living or maybe they just recently graduated and are now ready to enter the job market.
People find jobs online - but where? The internet remains the favo…