Jeanette Domeisen-Søegaard on living in Lucerne

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The “Sie & Du” rule is too complicated, but expat mom Jeanette thinks Swiss bookstores are great and food delivery service is spot-on.

Name: Jeanette Domeisen-Søegaard
Nationality: Danish
City of residence: Lucerne    
Date of birth: 8 September 1973
Civil status: Married to a wonderful Swiss husband, mother of one girl and twin boys
Occupation: Creative owner of
Reason for moving to Switzerland: Work transfer from Denmark
Lived in Switzerland for: 9 years

What was your first impression of Switzerland?
Being a flat-country girl I thought, “Oh my God, those mountains are high…” Coming directly from living in the middle of London I was appreciative and happy with the fresh air and bright skies, and the majority of people I met made me feel very welcome here, making me believe that this country could easily become my new home.

What do you think of the food?
My husband’s Zurich Geschnetzeltes and Rösti deserve a world prize! The rest? Wonderful yet not always the healthiest. Love the Italian influence and appreciate the freshness of shopping fruit and vegetables at the market every Saturday. But why, oh why, do they have to put melted cheese on everything?

What do you think of the shopping in Switzerland?
Go to Milan instead! Being a Copenhagen girl I miss finding the trendy variation to the basics, so I buy most of our family’s fashion items back home. However I have found many great bookstores here and I love the food home delivery service – always spot-on!

What do you appreciate about living in Switzerland?
Apart from my Swiss family? The nature, the calm city life, the herbal shops, the politeness, the cleanliness, the ability to swim in the lake on Saturday and then go skiing on Sunday…

What do you find most frustrating about living in Switzerland?
That children come home from school for lunch, and that you can get parking tickets for parking ON the blue line instead of INSIDE.

What puzzles you about Switzerland and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
Listening to people reading a book in High German and the saying the words in Swiss German – not easy for learning! And I really miss eating fresh saltwater fish directly from the monger.

How does the quality of life in Switzerland compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
10 points out of 10 here! So happy that this is the country where I ended up giving birth to my children.

If you could change anything about Switzerland, what would it be?

Stop the “Sie & Du” rule, it is just too complicated! And start serving a healthy Jamie Oliver-style lunch for the children at school instead of sending them home.
Would also love to change the perception that once you become a mother you should stay at home to take care of your family. I believe in superwomen who can successfully work, socialise with friends, be a loving wife and a great mama; just skip the self-cooked marmalade and the idea that all good gifts are homemade – it is anyway not true!

What advice would you give to a newcomer?

Learn the language, say “Grüezi” before you start a question to a stranger, and always bring both your umbrella and sunglasses.

Would you like to add anything else?
Don’t be afraid to try out your ideas in Switzerland. Being a young woman, a mother and a foreigner I am probably not the typical candidate for having my own business in central CH, however creating is the greatest thing ever and it is a real pleasure to experience the support from customers, suppliers, banks, delivery companies etc.
The difficult takes a little time – the impossible takes a little longer.

expat voicesIf you would like to share your perspective about life in Switzerland and contribute to Expat Voices, send an email to with 'Please send me an Expat Voices questionnaire' in the subject line.

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