I've known that I'll apply to Swiss universities for almost a year now.
My almost-boyfriend is from Switzerland, but this has nothing to do with my plan to do my Master's degree or PhD there.
Switzerland is one big mystery to me
Given that I'm from Austria and Switzerland is our neighbouring country, one would assume that I've studied Swiss politics, culture and history at school right? I didn't. In 12 years worth of education, nobody's ever mentioned Switzerland in a positive context. Ever. The only way I've been in touch with one of the three German-speaking countries (main language) in Europe (I'm neglecting Brasil and Namibia here, sorry) is through comedy sketches where my teacher would mock their dialect. He didn't do a good job and our dialect is at least as interesting/ridiculous.
Therefore, I feel like I have the obligation to find out as much as I possibly can about Swiss culture during the next three years.
And yeah, I haven't even graduated high school yet, but I still don't understand people from e.g. Luzern and St. Gallen, their dialect is much stronger than ours and they have unique words for things. There's a lot of work that still needs to be done by myself in this matter. I'll also apply to two German universities but so far, I'd prefer an Austrian or Swiss university, simply because this is a smaller culture shock (the same would apply if I moved to the Southern part of Germany (Bavaria in particular)).
Maybe you remember that in this myTake, a guy asked me whether I spoke German despite him overhearing me speaking German. This was probably because he didn't understand my dialect. I remember listening to the Swiss duo Lo & Leduc and thinking "Why is there Spanish music in my playlist?" to myself. Swiss German is hard to understand and quite different.
Where my efforts have gotten me so far
My parents are very confused by my fascination for Switzerland. Their mountains are higher, their cars more overpowered than ours (mean PS=179), their cheese better, their boys shorter, their landscape different.
I've found out so much about their political system and history and I'm amazed at this country. I love how different they are and how they're still the same, for example their last nuclear power station was just switched off, and they plan on completely dismanteling it until 2034. In the meantime, Zwentendorf, a nuclear power station in Austria that never produced power (heavy protests, even before the Tschernobyl Supergau) still hasn't been dismanteled, more than 40 years later.
I don't know whether they'll ever accept me if I ever move there, but I know that I've got to try.
And I'm a little sad that my parents feel threatened by me wanting to move literally 500km away (that's 310miles, not far at all). The train connection is great and while life is way more expensive in Switzerland, I'd be able to afford it without their help.
So, what do you think about Switzerland?
Should my parents feel threatened?
Will I be accepted as a part of society?