New in Zug, 02.10.2020

Zug is my home

The Brazilian Elaine Rübenacker loves the Swiss summer and is slowly befriending the winter here.

"I came to Switzerland out of love." Elaine Rübenacker first travelled to Zug five years ago. The Brazilian had met him in her home country while working for a non-governmental organisation (NGO). Born German with Swiss citizenship, he had lived at the foot of the Zugerberg for years. In 2017, during one of her current husband's visits, the two decided to return to Zug together and get married.

In her new life in Zug, "everything was surprising" for the 45-year-old, as the lively woman tells us. "And so different from my country." Elaine Rübenacker, who comes from Salvador, enjoys being able to walk alone through the streets at night without fear.

Elaine Rübenacker in the old town of Zug

She remembers her first visit in the summer of 2015: "I was delighted with the long daylight, the lake and nature." She found the social side of Zug to be equally impressive,. "It still fascinates me today that so many different nations come together here – how international it is." She is doing very well here. "Zug is my home, it feels like it's my country."

Winter, on the other hand, still takes some getting used to for her. The average temperature In Salvador throughout the year is never less than 21 degrees. "I spent the first winter with my two grown-up daughters and my family – in the warmth of Brazil." Until last winter, when she was able to persuade herself to stay in Switzerland for the first time. She even learned to ski – but still prefers the summer.

The Brazilian travels a lot with her husband – a retired teacher –and enjoys travelling through Europe by motorhome. But she also explores the surroundings of Zug and the whole of Switzerland. Elaine Rübenacker discovered hiking here for herself. "That was something completely new for me. Over stick and stone through nature, the mountains." One of her favourite excursions is the Zugerberg – with a view over a large part of the canton.

Elaine Rübenacker has a large and largely international circle of friends in the meantime. But she also cannot confirm the cliché that it is difficult for a foreigner to make friends with the locals: "I now have many super Swiss female friends."

The Swiss may be reticent at first. The more you see each other, the more open they become, according to the Elaine’s experience.

Elaine Rübenacker currently works a few hours a week as an assistant in accounting at an acquaintance's company. She trained as an accountant in her home country for financial reasons. But her heart really beats for child care, as she originally worked as a teacher in Brazil. "It's my heart's desire to work with children again at some point." And that's why she is currently taking an intensive German course. "You only have a chance on the labour market if you speak the language" – even in an international city like Zug.


In the series "New in Zug", the "Zuger Zeitung" is portraying expats and newcomers. The contacts were made by Sandra Herzog, founder of the meet-up group "Meeting new friends in Zug".