COVID—19 in Switzerland

Hallo, I’ve been in Switzerland for 2 months now and to say the least it’s been a little crazy. Unfortunately this blog post isn’t about anything exciting that’s happened but I promise I’ll have something soon. As you all know the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 has very quickly gone to all corners of the world causing mass panic. Every country has been dealing with this in their own way, whether this be buying lots of toilet paper, going into a forced lockdown or simply washing your hands more frequently, it has definitely changed everyone’s life in some way or another. However I can only speak for Switzerland and what’s happening here so that’s what I’ll be talking about. 

In the top Right Hand corner you can see St Gallen which is where I am and in the bottom is Italy.

As seen in the map above Switzerland shares a border with Northern Italy where the highest number of cases are outside of China. Due to the proximity of these two countries thousands of people cross the border daily with no problems to work meaning when the virus came to Italy it very quickly spread to Switzerland. Fortunately the government acted very quickly and promptly shutting down the border reducing the risk of it spreading. Unfortunately it didn’t work and the virus came to the land of chocolate and cheese. Now this blog isn’t aimed at worrying anyone but instead gives everyone an insight as to what’s happening over here. The first step in containing the virus was to ban events with more than 1000 people which meant events like the Faschnacht in Basel was canceled. Then this number changed to 500 then 100 and now 50. The next biggest step was closing all schools until the 4th of April, this isn’t out of concern for the students safety as we aren’t in a group that’s at risk but more to slow down the spread allowing the hospitals to prepare. Since then everything is slowing shutting and this changes day by day. 

Quarantine for me isn’t all that bad, don’t get me wrong I’d rather be at school but I’m trying to look on the bright side. This is giving me an opportunity to grow a lot closer with my host family. I’m really grateful for this as I truly love my host family and really feel like I fit in. I’m so thankful to be in the family that I am in and for the constant love and support they have given me during my exchange so far. Before going on exchange I never would’ve thought that I would come to a family and feel this much at home. I’m also taking this opportunity to perfect my German. Originally I was aiming for around a B1 but now I’m aiming definitely for at least a B2. This may make me sound a little bit crazy but I’m also brushing up on a bit of French at the moment. In Switzerland they speak Swiss German and this can involve a few French phrases, it also just helps my brains ability to pronounce foreign words and moves my mouth in a different way. At the moment we are still allowed out of our houses so I try and go for a run along Lake Constance every day for about 40 minutes . I have online school every day which I’m getting involved in as it allows me to exercise my brain. All in all I would say I’m handling the situation pretty well and it isn’t affecting me greatly. It also isn’t taking a lot out of my exchange. It’s definitely changing my exchange year but I’m still trying to make the most out of this situation. 

The lake during sunset last night, es ist sehr schön

At the moment there isn’t a lot more to say but I’ll try and give an update on the situation in about a month or so. To everyone in Australia stay safe, be careful and wash your hands. This definitely is a difficult situation but I think if we all stay calm we can get through it together. No need to worry about me as I’m really in the safest environment that I can be and I’m still loving life in Switzerland. 

Liebe Grüsse 



Rosemary McLellan

Very well written Chloe. Love reading your blogs. You have the makings of a good journalist – something to think about !!!!
Pav looked spectacular


Great post Chloe! Seems like you’re handling a bad situation very well!

Andrea Müller

Dear Chloe, great to read that you are dealing so fantastically with this. Having been an exchange student from Switzerland to Sydney 13 years ago, I have a little idea how challenging this situation is. Keep it up! And yes, having amazing, loving host families is the best thing in the world 🙂

Andreas Frank

Congrats to this well written and informative post. RC Freudenberg is proud to have you with us during this terrible year that dramatically changed every exchange. Hopefully better times yet to come. Bliib gsund!


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