Study in Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Study in Neuchâtel, SwitzerlandNeuchatel is a small town in western Switzerland that makes an excellent location for working or studying. Stretched out in a thin strip along the shoreline of pristine Lake Neuchatel, the city is a small hidden gem less frequented by tourists than some of Switzerland’s larger cities. Nonetheless, it has beautiful scenery, a relatively mild climate, and easy access to exciting destinations throughout Switzerland and the surrounding countries.
Switzerland itself is an excellent place to study or work due in large part to its central location within Europe. This location enables easy travel from Switzerland to neighboring countries like Italy, Austria, France, and Germany, as well as elsewhere in the continent. Staying in a place like Neuchatel provides the advantages of proximity with the peace and quiet that comes from living outside the major tourist destinations. This combination of qualities makes Neuchatel an ideal place to live, work, and study abroad.
Neuchatel is part of the French-speaking portion of Switzerland, located in the west of the country. As such, French is the main language of every day life in town, it is the language of local government, and it is the primary language of billboards, television, and other media forms. Although English is widely spoken – Neuchatel is typical of Swiss cities in this regard – it’s nonetheless helpful to learn some French if you intend to stay in town for more than a few days. Learning French also helps to show your respect for the local culture, and your neighbors and Swiss coworkers will appreciate any effort to address them in their native tongue. In a pinch, however, English will do just fine.
Eating is one of the more enjoyable aspects of a life in Neuchatel. The food here is excellent, and quintessentially Swiss – unlike many cities in the country, restaurants in this small town don’t cater to the palates of tourists, but rather make food exactly the way the Swiss like it. This lends an air of authenticity to the experience that is hard to find elsewhere. A favorite local dish is fondue neuchateloise, the original Swiss dish on which the international sensation is based. If you’ve never had fondue, it consists of a large pot of melted cheese with bread on skewers. Diners dip the bread in the hot cheese, let it cool for a moment, and then consume. It’s not only delicious, but fun as well!
Practical matters such as transportation are also simple to sort out. Although it is not as comprehensive as in some of Switzerland’s larger cities, Neuchatel’s public transportation system is still extremely efficient and reliable. It consists of buses, trams, and trains, all of which run on a very regular schedule. Neuchatel is also quite small and compact, so it’s easy to walk from place to place, and this method has the added advantage of letting you see layers of history, culture, and architecture that cannot be seen from inside a bus or train. A real treat is to take the cable car up to Chaumont, where an observation tower takes you above the trees for breathtaking views of the city, the lake, and the Alps far in the distance.