Study German in Zurich, the city internationally known as a financial center with a surprisingly fresh cosmopolitan culture, both a beautiful and entertaining destination for a language course abroad and also the home city to Yalea Languages!
Zurich is often incorrectly thought of as the capital of Switzerland, and whilst it is the most populated city, the capital is actually Bern. Zurich is not only important on a global scale as a financial and business hub but has also been repeatedly ranked as having some of the highest standards of living in the world.
Zurich is built on the banks of the river Limmat, where it meets Lake Zurich. It was first permanently settled over 2,000 years ago by the Romans, making use of its idyllic location between the lake and wooded forests. The layers of history remain today to be explored, especially in the city’s Altstadt (Old Town) where you can see the mix of medieval houses, Renaissance buildings, impressive towers and narrow lanes. A walk from the Old Town, down the Limmatquai, a street which runs through the old town along the banks of the river and towards the lake, is a pleasant way to see the most popular sights.
Activities and Culture
Zurich is a very efficient and clean city, with an impressive public transport system. The tram and buses are easy to use to get around the city, however during warmer months; it is also pleasant to tour the city on foot. Zurich is an exciting destination all year round: enjoy long afternoons by the lake in summer and celebrate Switzerland’s national day on the 1st of August, or indulge in some fondue and chocolate during the winter when a layer of snow on the rooftops makes for a magical setting. The city is also surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes: green wooded hills, snow capped mountains and lakes and valleys. Hiking and walking trails can be easily accessed from the city itself, or visitors can go further afield to climb higher peaks.
There is something for everyone in this city, which has a surprisingly vibrant youth culture. Art galleries and cultural centers can be found throughout the city, with exhibits of Swiss, international, traditional and contemporary art. When the sun goes down, Zurich continues into the night as the city with the highest concentration of nightclubs in Switzerland. The city attracts a crowd with their famous nightlife and cultural events including film, music and art festivals throughout the year.
The official language of this part of Switzerland is Standard German; however, you will hear locals speaking in Swiss German, a dialect which uses different words, grammar and pronunciation. The accent is quite distinct so you will easily recognize it when you hear it. However, Standard German is the language used to teach in schools and is the language used in all official settings. As such, locals will be able to understand you as you practice your new language skills, and you may pick up some Swiss German words too!