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Week ahead Flavours of integration, pushing pedal power and balancing student budgets

Here are some of the stories we'll be following the week of September 3:


Switzerland is home to people of hundreds of different nationalities, and all of them have to eat. On Wednesday our special multimedia edition “A seat at Switzerland’s table” brings you the stories of five immigrants who came to the Alpine country over the last 60 years from Italy, Portugal, Taiwan, Canada and Syria, bringing along their culinary traditions. For each of them, cooking, eating and sharing recipes became a key part of navigating the often-difficult process of fitting into Swiss life. Follow their journeys, and learn their recipes – some with a Swiss twist.

An orderly row of Publibikes waiting to be rented in Bern, June 2018.



The new PubliBike shared system in Bern will soon be the biggest in overall terms in the whole country, surprising for a "small" city. This piece looks at the politics behind Bern's aim to become a "new Copenhagen", focusing on the vision of traffic chief Ursula Wyss (interview with an official from her office) and the lobbying efforts of ProVelo Bern. It will look at why, ultimately, even cycling is political, as left-leaning politicians use it as part of their agenda. It will also be tied into the upcoming September referendum on cycling and the constitution.

After accommodation, the next big-ticket item in Switzerland is food, which is notoriously expensive.



Despite the relatively low university tuition fees, living costs in Switzerland are so high that it can eat up most of a student’s budget. Is studying in Switzerland still a good deal compared to the US and the UK? Our special series crunches the numbers.



In Switzerland, the power of the state is split into three levels: the Confederation, the 26 cantons and 2222 communes. This type of federalism guarantees the diversity of Switzerland. We talk to political scientist Sean Müller who researches this lifeline of democracy in a small but heterogeneous country.

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