You have to be very patient if you want to become Swiss, or so says Valentin Cazacu, from Moldova. You must be resident in Switzerland for 12 years before you can apply, and it took him four years to complete the naturalisation process.
Valentin arrived here in 2000 as an exchange student from Moldova and studied physics and then technology management at the University of Lausanne and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He funded his studies by working first as a teaching assistant and then in a food processing factory. He has two master’s degrees, and works for the multinational food producer, Nestlé.
Valentin speaks of the difficulties he had when he first started to study here and didn’t understand French: “You have no clue what’s going on. You watch what people do. If they laugh, you laugh. If they don’t, you don’t.” But he quickly mastered the language and now speaks it fluently.
The good news? He received his Swiss passport in September 2016. So what’s his advice to people applying for Swiss citizenship? “You have to feel like it’s your home, speak the language, be integrated, and respect the country that welcomed you.” Simple, right?
(Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)
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