Laima Tikuisiene on living in Prangins

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Our first featured Expat Voice from Switzerland appreciates the natural beauty and cleanliness of her adopted country, but not so much the doctor’s visits or French language.

Name: Laima Tikuisiene
Nationality: Lithuanian
City of residence: Prangins
Date of birth: 12-09-62
Civil status: married
Occupation: MD, entrepreneur
Reason for moving to Switzerland: Started working for Swiss biotech-pharma company in the Baltic countries, was promoted to regional position in Prague, Czech Republic, later to the headquarters in Geneva.
Lived in Switzerland for: 7 years

What was your first impression of Switzerland?
Beautiful, very clean, a lot of restrictions.

What do you think of the food?

Local food is heavy. A lot of small special restaurants with very good food to discover. Good choice of healthy/local/bio production in the shops and markets, but not in the restaurants.

What do you think of the shopping in Switzerland?

What do you appreciate about living in Switzerland?
Predictability, range of available outdoor activities, public transport. When the children were teenagers, I appreciated safety above all. Never worried too much about them getting home in the evening.

What do you find most frustrating about living in Switzerland?

I am most frustrated with my inability to learn French properly. Another one: physicians do their work brilliantly, but communication with the patient is very poor. Being a patient here can be very frustrating.

What puzzles you about Switzerland and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
Of course, I still miss family and friends that are now 2000 kilometres away. I miss real French-style farmers markets. I cannot say that something puzzles me that much…maybe their unwillingness to provide additional services even for extra charge.

How does the quality of life in Switzerland compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
On my priority list, the ability to hike, swim, cycle and ski nearby places Switzerland way above many other countries. Cultural activities, like concerts and the opera are expensive.

If you could change anything about Switzerland, what would it be?
Add one more official language.

What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Look for positive points of which there are so many. Take negatives as the price to pay.

Would you like to add anything else?
A year ago I quit the corporate world to be an independent entrepreneur. Just opened a second business and have to say that conditions for opening/running a small business here are very good. There is a clear system and procedures, paperwork is minimal, legal requirements are very pragmatic. Officials are professional and supportive. On the other hand, bringing new products/services to the market is a challenge, customers are pretty conservative.

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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