Many reasons lead people to leave their home country and immigrate to Switzerland or elsewhere. Some come here to work, others flee from war or seek protection from persecution. Switzerland’s present prosperity was built on cultural exchanges through immigration – the Romans taught us their alphabet, the Huguenots laid the foundation for the chemical industry in Basel with their knowledge of the production and use of colours, and Italian families enriched our culinary traditions.
Integration is a process of give and take. One of the keys to this mutual exchange is the local language. The core of many integration projects is to facilitate access to our language for immigrants. Learning the local language(s) lays the groundwork for an advanced level of integration – in social networks, in the workplace and at school.