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The week ahead We head back to school, and dogs teach seniors new tricks

Here are some of the stories we'll be following the week of August 20:



Many people change their professions when they move to Switzerland from another country. It can be because their qualifications are not recognised, or because it’s a good moment to try something new. Heather Dean used to be a financial systems expert, but now she's a personal trainer.



This August, nearly 500,000 primary school students across Switzerland will start or return to school for a new year. One in three students is not a Swiss national and even more are born into dual nationality families. For many parents, their children starting school will be their first contact with the Swiss education system.

Therapist Stefanie Wendler finds that her patients respond well to animal-based activities.

(Carlo Pisani,


A senior home in Aargau has a therapy program involving lots of animals: cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, rabbits, ducks, donkey, guinea pigs… While a few of the cats are pets, most of the animals are in a therapy role. In particular, the home reports good results in reaching residents with physical problems or dementia. 

A rare mosaic at Orbe depicting a four-wheeled Roman agricultural vehicle. 



The small town of Orbe in western Switzerland is home to the largest and most beautiful collection of Roman mosaics north of the Alps. But though the exceptional nature of the site is internationally recognised, few tourists are visiting.

The pacifist Switzerland without an Army group has built a reputation for its spectacular campaign events over the past 30 years. The picture shows a toy tank used for a protest against arms exports nearly ten years ago.



Radical political ideas can help bring about changes, even when they are roundly rejected at the ballot box in Switzerland’s system of direct democracy. Of the 211 initiatives voted to this date, only 22 have won approval. It takes time to win over voters but even failed initiatives can set the stage for policy changes and redirect public debate.

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