International Companies

I start where your corporate relocation programs tend to stop. I accompany and support women on a personal and individual basis with their integration into Switzerland.

You represent a global company with employees from all over the world. Some of these will have a permanent, local contract, and some of them will have time limited expat contracts.  No doubt, you invest substantially in measures to support the good integration of all the family members of your employees of choice. From support in finding suitable living space and educational opportunities, to assistance in handling tax and financial affairs, your goal will be to create a supportive environment for your employees which will provide a sound basis for success at work.

Research, (Hechanova et al, 2003), has consistently showed that employees coming in to a new country for work are more likely to be successful if they are able to self-manage, to interact frequently with host nationals and to have a supportive family environment. Integration into the local community and creating a fulfilling social life are critical ingredients for family support. This can be more challenging in Switzerland for several reasons. Firstly the corporate language is English, which facilitate business communication, but does not develop local language skills. Additionally, people arriving in Switzerland have to contend with learning and understanding High and Swiss German, which creates hurdles in joining conversations in local language or even accomplishing daily activities.

From my own experience of living abroad, I know that chances to enter into real contact with locals and to be accepted into social circles in a neighborhood or area, are very rare. To really become part of a social group, to be invited to dinner or to be included in activities, one must have a good command of the local language. Daily tasks, such as taking children to the doctor, asking for products at the pharmacy or dealing with the authorities become almost insurmountable without language skills. Having a person of trust at their side for these occasions, can help build confidence and a feeling of independence for spouses who are not working and who do not have access to the ready-made social contacts and advice of the workplace. The happiness of partners is a crucial factor in whether an employee remains abroad or not (Interview Niels Burkard).

For the past four years I have been teaching German to expats in a personal and individual set-up, organizing excursions and tours to create enthusiasm, but also to help integrate and foster independence in the Basel region. Based on my affinity for intercultural contact and languages, I have developed from being simply a German teacher to being a trusted advisor on all matters Swiss for my students, ranging from culture and art to societal expectations and navigating daily life.  I would like to offer this service to your female foreign employees and female partners of your foreign employees. For me, the focus is on creating trust, conveying joy and giving them the feeling that they have found a friend and are part of our society.

During my former career in UBS, I developed high level skills in quality management, internal audit, event managements and coordination of executives. This business background allows me to connect quickly with people working in multi-national corporations and to understand the stresses and strains which come with that. In 2017 I graduated as a specialist in adult education and in 2020 I completed my training as a qualified city guide in Basel.

As a native of Basel, born and brought up here, my deep knowledge of the area enables me to foster a warm welcome for our foreign guests and new citizens, so that they will identify not only with their employer, but with our beautiful region and its society. In summary, my goal is to create additional reasons for your employees and their families to appreciate our region as a place to work and live, and your company as the employer of choice.

Please review the further information and offerings available on the website. I would be truly delighted to meet with you at any time to share more details and to discuss your specific needs.

Yours sincerely

Irene Flammer-Brantschen

You can find my concrete offer as well as the prices under activities and prices. I would be happy to put together an individual programme for you.


Worth reading:
Basler Zeitung: Expats find it hard to make friends (german article)
Interview Niels Burkhard
„Housewife“ Jill Alexander Essbaum
Expats don’t make friends in Basel
Women suffer from «expat blues»
Jet lag of the soul