Therese Moser-Rønning on living in Lucerne

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Therese would like women and mothers to have more rights in Switzerland, so she started a website for expat moms.

Name: Therese Moser-Rønning    
Nationality: Norwegian
City of residence: Lucerne
Date of birth: 09/04/74
Civil status: Married
Occupation: Founder of
Reason for moving to Switzerland: For love; my husband is Swiss.
Lived in Switzerland for: Four years and six months

What was your first impression of Switzerland?
I found Switzerland very clean and with beautiful scenery.

What do you think of the food?
I love fondue, raclette and the occasional Rösti.

That they offer so many local farm products in the grocery stores is a big plus and the prices are also quite nice.

What do you think of the shopping in Switzerland?

I’m not a big shopper – get tired after ten minutes, but I’ve found a few new favourite shops.

What do you appreciate about living in Switzerland?

I appreciate that everything is so clean, that most people are very polite, that the public transport runs on time and that it feels like a safe place to raise my children.

I make fun of the tidiness and how you should greet everyone with a “Gruezi”, but it is also something I have learned to appreciate.

What do you find most frustrating about living in Switzerland?

Family politics. Lack of proper and affordable daycare for children. That schools close during “Mittagessen”.

What puzzles you about Switzerland and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?

It puzzles me that Switzerland is lagging so behind on the equality of the genders. Such a central European country and it’s like moving 30 years back in time.

I miss easiness in people. Swiss tend to be striving for the correctness in every situation.

How does the quality of life in Switzerland compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?

You have a very good quality of life in Switzerland as in Norway where I grew up.

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

Give the mothers better chances of getting back into working life.

What advice would you give to a newcomer?

Learn the language and attend social and cultural events.

Do not underestimate the value of saying hello to the postman or the next-door neighbour – it can take a while to build up your own group of friends and it feels good to be recognised.

Deal with the negative sides to this country. No matter where you live, you can’t have it all.

Would you like to add anything else?

To all the international moms in Switzerland – check out Mamizeit, a web magazine for international moms living in Switzerland. Mamizeit aims to ease the cultural and social challenges of relocation.

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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