From Florida to Schaffhausen

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From living in Florida to then moving to Schaffhausen, was quite a big change. My family and I moved to Schaffhausen in 2011. So far I have lived here for nearly 11 years. I have learned so much about the culture and lifestyle in Schweiz during this time and it has truly been an amazing experience!

When I first moved here it was quite the culture shock. I was living in quite a populated area in Florida and was used to lots of people, big supermarkets, malls, large streets, big cars, just everything really to put it precisely, big. When I arrived in Switzerland, everything was completely the opposite. The cars were smaller as were the Houses and also the streets. On top of that we had moved to a tiny Village in Schaffhausen at the time. I had never really gotten to know what that was like before because we had always lived in neighbourhoods in the US. People were very curious when we first arrived and naturally, so was I. It took me some time to be able to get to know the people and some traditions they had, yet the more and more I learned, the more I realized how much I enjoyed learning and trying new things from Swiss culture.

The first few months were mostly for me to get to know my new home and the people and starting to learn the language, which was very difficult at first. Later on I started to get to know the City better and what it had to offer. I started finding those old hobbies which I had back home in Florida I could still continue to enjoy here. For anyone new coming to Switzerland, I would strongly encourage them to find courses or classes they like and participate in them. This truly helped me a lot to integrate myself more within the community and make new friends outside of school.

Schaffhausen is truly a beautiful place to live in. I live quite near the forest and am able to go on beautiful hikes with my family in the summer and also sit by a fire with some marshmallows and hot chocolate in the winter. This is something I really enjoy doing. In Switzerland you really go through all the seasons, which makes the year so much more enjoyable. I am constantly looking forward to all the seasons and the fun activities and scenery they bring with them. It’s so nice to get so many changes whereas in Florida, although I really did enjoy the heat and going to the beach, it is always warm no matter what time of the year it is.   

Having lived here for quite some time I realise that there are so many advantages when living in Switzerland. Although it takes some time to get used to a few things at first, living in Switzerland is truly a privilege. Kids are able to go out and play or go to school on their own, without parents having to worry. The transportation is impeccable and there’s a lot of wonderful places which one is able to visit and enjoy throughout the year!


Written by Stephanie Torrico – Practicant
Stephanie is 20 years old and lives in Beringen. She graduated from the Diploma Programme in 2021 and is now a practicant in the Early Learning Centre and Marketing department at ISSH.

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ISSH International School of Schaffhausen

ISSH International School of Schaffhausen

ISSH is a place where students feel at home away from home. The international day and boarding school is renowned for its family-like atmosphere. It is located in the northern part of Switzerland, 35 minutes from Zurich airport. The ISSH strives to develop young people to their full potential. Lifelong learning, confidence and open-mindedness are not just words but values and attitudes which stay with ISSH students for life and provide a strong foundation for their success. Schaffhausen is a small, safe and charming city with much to offer to students and their families.