Denny’s experience in Switzerland

Denny is 25 and went to Switzerland in 2018 to work as a therapist. After six months working in Switzerland, Denny is happy to share his experience with us.


‘I had graduated for a year and had already gained some experience in the Netherlands, then I decided I wanted to look beyond working in my own country. Since I really like mountain sports, such as snowboarding and mountain biking, I started looking into working in Switzerland.

In the last few months of my internship, I started looking for work. At one point, I saw something nice come up on in Switzerland. They helped by guiding me and arranging several job interviews. In September, I had a job application where I could finally start on 1 October. I was guided well and had interviews over the phone first. I then went to Switzerland to conduct interviews at a number of practices with Dutch owners. In the end, I chose my current practice, which turned out to be a good choice. From CareToMatch, I received a handy roadmap with tips on all the things I needed to arrange. Visa, accommodation, language course and registration with the Swiss Red Cross (SRK) for recognition of my diploma (similar to BIG recognition).


The reason why I liked working in Switzerland was because of the nature. I am near a ski resort and there is also a lake nearby for water sports enthusiasts. Now that I live there, I’m discovering more and more what there is to do. It’s also easy to get to know people here. For instance, you can easily join associations. Personally, I did notice that Swiss people can sometimes be a bit closed off to really make friends with. But they are very nice and friendly.

Besides a nice job and environment to live in, it is also important to speak the language. I am taking a German course and that makes a difference. Swiss German is very different though, much more dialect. In recent months, I have asked patients a lot if they can speak High German so that I can understand them too. Besides, you have to have done a German course anyway for your Anerkennung at the SRK. Of course, it is important to be able to communicate with your patients which also occasionally involves terms that are important, such as limb designations.


I also really enjoy the work here. Every week, for instance, we have a kind of internal training, where we discuss new techniques. If someone has been on a course, we can all learn a lot from that. Because I work here a lot and put in a lot of hours, I think I’ve already been able to learn and see a lot. The biggest difference between working here and working in the Netherlands is that here they ask for less administrative work from the health insurance company. In the Netherlands, they determine a lot of what you have to record. Here I do record what I do, for example measurements. I then make a report of that, but that is more for the patient rather than for the health insurer.


I would say do what you love! If you think it’s too much work, go for it! I was completely free to go wherever I wanted to go. Just do it. Look at the country you want to go to, make sure you speak a bit of the language. This will make it easier for you to be absorbed into the environment where you live and work. And above all, I wouldn’t hesitate. If you have always had the desire, go for the adventure and see what happens. You cannot regret never having done it even if it might be disappointing.


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