Speaking of Switzerland, if you have never been here before, what would you say Switzerland is like? A country with stunning landscape, beautiful mountains, clear water and “boring” lifestyle?
As EHL insiders, what is our take on how Switzerland is like as a country? Why is that so many youngsters chose to come to Switzerland from all over the world for further studies?
Today, we have the pleasure to introduce Ang Liu, a chinese student of EHL's Bachelor program, and she will be walking us through what Switzerland is like and where does her passion lie for this country.
Switzerland is conveniently located at the center of Europe, bordered by many foreign countries and is only a few hours’ car ride from its neighbors, like France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and etc. Nevertheless, I personally prefer a more traditional transportation means – the train.
Train service in Europe saves a lot of efforts for commuters to travel between palces. Large cities, airports, even small towns with a population of several hundreds – all of them can be easily reached by the train service. Trains in Switzerland are both clean and modern – sockets can be found nearby almost every seat, providing great convenience for those who travel a lot. Personally, my favorite part about a Swiss train is the Starbucks on board. That's right – you can often find a special compartment belonging to Starbucks. Not only are there delicious coffees, a variety of pastries and bakeries are also available for sale.
Listening to my favorite songs with a cup of hot coffee in my hand while enjoying the views outside or reading a book – just by picturing the scene, I am already feeling extremely relaxed.
Safety has always been one of the greatest concerns to parents. Although bordered by many different countries, Switzerland is still considered as the world's best country to travel to alone. Since the 18th century, Switzerland, a country that stays permanently neutral, has ensured security for its own nation while keeping harmony with its neighboring countries.
A close friend of mine once happened to run into the President of the Swiss Confederation. Seeing the president himself taking the train just like an average citizen without any bodyguard, are you putting more trust in Switzerland in terms of safety?
What is more, Swiss people on average are quite friendly and helpful. I used to take the metro to the lake area when I first started EHL. There was an old man, who was worried about my safety as a “tourist”, asking in English instead of French if I could find my back back home. Therefore, parents do not have to worry too much about children living in Switzerland.
I would always say to my family about how living in Switzerland has increased my ability to resist coldness. In fact, the temperature here is rather cool and the climate is very pleasant to live with.
Switzerland is roughly of the same latitude as Liaoning Province in China, and it does not get too hot in summer. The average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. However, it is unusually quite cold in winter and the average annual temperature in this season is about 8 degrees. The cold winter also caused the snow on the mountains to accumulate, forming many snow mountains with unique views. The Jungfraujoch, the Matterhorn, and most of the Alps in Europe are all located in Switzerland.
When it comes to snow mountains, skiing has to be mentioned as an outdoor activity that is getting increasingly popular nowadays. As winter comes, almost every weekend, you can see groups of EHL students organizing skiing activities. Many local students have their own wooden cabins in the mountains – they would invite their friends and schoolmates at EHL over for a weekend stay at their place. During the day, everyone goes skiing on the field. At night, however, a group of friends would pour a few glasses of wine and sit by the warm fireplace while having dinner and chat. An experience like this can never be easily found anywhere else.
Although it has been mentioned many times that, as people speak of Switzerland, they would think of watches. Swatch, the world's largest watch group, was originated in Switzerland, and the ‘s’ in its name stands for Switzerland. In addition to the Swatch Group, high-end watch groups such as Patek Philippe and Rolex are also based in Switzerland.
The fair Baselworld (the world watch and jewelry show) is known as the "Oscar in Luxury Goods". It was first held in the Swiss city of Basel since the early 19th century. This fair is also a great opportunity that many students who have a passion and interest for watches can never miss. In addition, EHL collaborates with Baume et Mercier, a world-famous luxury watch brand; almost every year, we invite their watchmakers on campus to give students a watchmaking course.
Cheese forms an indispensable part of Swiss people’s lives. There are hot pots in China, while the Swiss have their famous cheese fondue. Cheese fondue is made of two or more types of cheese with white wine. The strong taste of cheese mixed with aroma coming from the wine is rather unique and interesting.
In addition to cheese fondue, another famous cheese dish in Switzerland is made from the round wheel cheese – Raclette: The surface of the cheese is often heated until melted, and people scrape it off with a knife to eat.
Cooked potatoes wrapped with the delicate and smooth cheese, in a particular winter with heavy snowfall, has become the perfect combination for getting rid of hunger and staying warm!
When people see photos of the Matterhorn, they would often think of the triangular shaped chocolate (Toblerone). I am the kind of person who is never able to resist any sweets, that is why I must bring up the world famous Swiss chocolate!
Although the climate in Switzerland is not suitable for the growth of cocoa trees, the production method and flow of chocolate here have reached an almost perfect level. In addition to the “triangle chocolate” Toblerone mentioned before, there is also Lindt-Lindtaffe, which was also founded in Zurich in the late 1990s. Even chocolates distributed in SWISS airlines cabins are so tasty that I have to ask for a few more pieces every time I fly with them. My happiness scale reaches maximum as I enjoy these “delicacy”.
7. “Swiss Made”
Speaking of the “Swiss made” label, what is surprising is that it is completely different from “Made in Switzerland”. The Swiss manufacture industry has set extremely strict regulations: for example, 80% of raw material processing needs to take place in Switzerland, the company headquarter needs to be located in Switzerland as well, and etc.
We are all familiar with Victorinox, many world class watches are manufactured under such strict standards. The mark on Victorinox products is a symbol and guarantee of quality. It is the rigorous regulations complied by the Swiss manufacturing industry that created such excellence and reputation, the world is more than assured to see any “Swiss Made” products on the market.