So, I just looked at the calendar and apparently I’ve been living in Switzerland ( Zurich -ish area) for six months. To say it has gone quickly would be the understatement of a century. I’m going to try and keep up with this blog more, but we’ve all heard that before. In case this is my last update for a while here is the just:
I am now a PhD student, still in engineering but much more science and research focused.
Surprisingly the pay for a PhD in Zurich is pretty generous so I’m still able to keep roughly the same quality of life I had in Singapore. With less eating out , pricey drinks and mall visits.
The transition back to being a student is still ongoing, I’m currently suffering a bit of a slump after an initial burst of energy when I first moved. Also, need to learn to self motivate again.
Work drama exists everywhere *sigh* but I’m working with a good group of people and the work itself is very interesting.
For the past 6 months I have been living with my SO (lets call him W) in a village outside of the city. Despite this being very cheap , its an hour away from work and I’ve found it very isolating. W and I have decided to live separately for a while and I have found an apartment in the city. I move in this weekend, woot!
While I am excited to move, the idea not living with my SO was a bit of an adjustment for me but here’s hoping its all for the best.
I joined a book club 😉 Other than that finding people is still a bit of a challenge. I’ve made a lot of friends at work but am still working on building up my outside-of -work friends, hopefully moving to the city will help with that.
No , don’t speak German. Yes, this fills me with guilt and yes, I am planning on starting lessons asap.
I have been skiing, hiking camping, swimming and kayaking. All of these things are awesome.
I bought a foldable kayak ( see link ) it is awesome. I am hoping that once I move to the city I can use it to commute/paddle to work via lake in the morning :).
Kayaking in the Zurichsee after work.
Up in the mountains on the weekend.
That’s all the update there is for now. I really will try to update this blog more often, about more interesting , relevant expat-y things, like how to register and change address in Switzerland.
Starting over yet again, today is my third day (ish) in Switzerland.
Or- should I say my first real day in Switzerland? I have spend the last two hibernating on my bed watching Netflix. Today- I finally ventured the three steps to the train station, and payed the exorbitant 8 franks for the twenty minute train into the city. My mission: getting my bank account, residence permit, sim card ( cell number) and documents from my new job.
Three hours later and…. I have a new cell phone!
Baby steps. It might not seem like much and yes being able to open my bank account would have been great, but being able to text with friends back home and generally connect with the world is a good first step. In about 30 minutes, or more if I get lost, I will head over to my new office and pick up some employment documents ( also potentially meet my boss). This fills me with irrational terror. Ill get over it. Does everyone feel this way the first few days in a new country? Not sure, but it is pretty standard for me.
At the moment I am recovering from my mornings “adventure” by sitting in Starbucks writing this post. I used to be one of those people who judged Americans for going to Starbucks when traveling abroad. Now I understand. Sometimes, in order to be brave and venture into the unknown, we need to be able to retreat into the relatively known and constant world of Starbucks. Where the coffee is expensive and the wifi is free.
I have lots more to do and a language ( or two- Swiss German O.o ) to learn before I can be at home here. But for today, I got a Swiss number , and that will have to be progress enough.
I arrived safely back in Singapore at around 1 am last night. After checking in to my temporary apartment ( 1 month courtesy of my work , thanks boss!) it was around 2am so I crashed.
Due to the wonders of jet lag , I was able to wake up early enough to go for a run in the morning! I found a nice little path near where I am staying. It looked like it was used mostly by bikers, but it was perfect for a run.
Packing sucks. We all know this. Despite having moved around my entire life, I still manage to suck at packing. I cant explain it. Practice just does not make perfect in this case.
One of my tasks over my holiday vacation is to pack up all of my belongings. I’ve already decamped from California to the midwest to visit family- but I had three checked bags – which starts to get expensive ( and hard to carry) on an international flight so I needed to slim down.
I have to find an apartment. In a foreign country. In a month. On a budget.
I have over-prepared for this. I have been trolling propertyguru and easyroommate ( Singaporean apartment sites) for months, but I am still terrified. I had a bad apartment situation in west-Germany that I really don’t want to repeat. I want a nice place, with nice roommates that is close to work and maybe close to a park or running trail ( assuming I can survive the Singapore heat and go for runs outside). I think I will start feeling less nervous as soon as I start scheduling viewings etc. But until then. Yeh.
I have been working for about 9 months but moving to Singapore feels like I will be starting a whole new job. All of my network and coworker friends are staying in California so I’m feeling a bit alone in Singapore. I have lived abroad before , enough to realize that the transition is going to be tough and adding that to an already tough and somewhat stressful job worries me a bit. I’m sure this will also go away as soon as I head to my new office and get settled. But until then…
So I am bad at thinking about things without structure so here is a “who, what, when , where , where , why” of this blog.
Who: Me! I am a young (mid twenties) , female engineer , American by birth. And yes, Canadians and all other continental ‘Americans’ , I mean I am from the USA . I am in no way trying to deny your identity as North , Central or Southern Americans just “from the USA” sounds a bit weird. I have lived in six states in the US and about 4-5 countries outside the US ( Turkey, Japan, and Germany to name a few) and *spoiler* am moving abroad in a few weeks!
I am a Chemical Engineer by training and a Process Engineer by work. I work for a large manufacturing company – where I get to build cool things!