We often get asked who our audience is at swissinfo.ch. Well, we’re aimed at an international community who are interested in Switzerland, and Swiss citizens living abroad. To know our readers better, we asked our fans on Facebook to tell us who they are and what their connection to Switzerland is.
Here’s three people who shared their stories of their interest in Switzerland and why swissinfo.ch matters to them.
David, Mexico: "Learning to ski changed my life!"
“I was born in Mexico City in 1958. Actually I live in Monterrey, the third largest city of Mexico, located 200 km away from the US Border. I am married and I have three sons: David Alejandro, 24; Daniel Andrés, 20 and finally María Insony, 18. My wife's name is Laura and she is from Acapulco.
I currently work as a language Teacher in two Primary Schools, teaching French, as well as in a Junior High School. I speak Spanish, French, English and a bit of German
Why my interest in Switzerland? Well, it is because I lived in Lausanne from 1983 to 1987! I can tell you that living in Switzerland is a WONDERFUL experience!! Of course there were some things that I didn't like, but every country in the world has its advantages as well as its drawbacks. And during that time I was not teaching, I was in engineering. I did some courses at the Swiss Federal institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), I had a scholarship from the Swiss Confederation and also did a language course.
It would be very, very difficult for me to tell you which were my best experiences in Switzerland. In spite of the fact that Switzerland is a "small" country, it is surprising how different the people are from the different language regions of Switzerland.
There is definitely one thing that I will never forget and that changed my life: learning to ski!!!! A very, very good and dear Swiss friend of mine, took me in December 1983 on my first alpine skiing trip, somewhere in Canton Valais. I couldn’t stay standing for one moment in my skis. However, that day I eventually fell in love with alpine skiing. And since then I have spent a lot of time, money and effort on learning to ski!”
Ajeethaa, Australia: "It was a mind-blowing experience."
“In 2008, I moved from Singapore to Perth, Australia for work. It was there that I met my husband and we subsequently got married. I moved to Switzerland last year with my husband and then two-year-old daughter. It has been a good year so far.
I live in the state of Aargau. At the moment, I am a Hausfrau [housewife]. When I am not busy with my daughter, one could easily find me in my Büro [office] with my head down on many of my Deutsch Lernen (Learn German) books. Or penning articles.
Swiss people tend to be reserved but in my case, they took me in with open arms.
I like the way swissinfo.ch covers its stories. Ranging from the refugee crisis to political gossip. I like the fact that swissinfo.ch writes stories about other cultures and issues concerning the minority in Switzerland. Like the difficulty of finding a job in Switzerland. And also about child marriages.
The most fascinating story was about the Oparis. It is a Tamil word for crying. Did you notice the resemblance between the words ´Opari´ and´Opera´ :) Why I found that interesting because it is an aspect of my Indian culture that I did not find pleasant. I have been to funerals where they were employed. Boy, they really did make me cry. But to find them here for a cultural exchange...that was a mind-blowing experience.
I have been to most cities in Switzerland: the castles in Aargau...the waterfall at Stein am Rhein. And since my husband is Swiss, he has taken me to places where the locals go. My favourite city is Lucerne.
My first year in Switzerland has been very interesting. Swiss people tend to be reserved but in my case, they took me in with open arms. I like the summer parties here, the national day celebration, the let´s-meet-for-the-sake-of-it parties and so on.
To put it simply...my life in Switzerland has turned out to be my best thus far.”
Urs, Switzerland: "It was time to see the world."
“I'm a big dog and cat lover, lover of odd jokes and I’ve cut over 33 billion hairs and counting - no, really!
I grew up in 5737 Menziken, Aargau. I did my apprenticeship as a hairdresser, worked in different salons in Switzerland, and then I decided to go and visit my older brother in Canada.
Returning home I decided it was time to see the world. I got my visa in three months.
The original plan was to work for two years and then return to Switzerland.
Well, that was in 1976 and I am still in Vancouver BC. Since 1984 I have owned Strands hair and skin treatment centre in Gastown, Vancouver.
The moral of the story is: I don't plan my life too much in advance.”
Whereabouts in the world are you? And what's your connection to Switzerland? Tell us in the comments below! Or you can post a picture and your story on Instagram, using #WeAreSwissAbroad.