Fun Facts Friday: Swiss Trivia Edition

Two weeks ago I blogged about the languages of Switzerland and I admitted that I didn't know a whole lot about Switzerland before coming to Franklin College.. As embarrassing as it is to say, I know that many of my fellow incoming freshmen were just as naive as I. So I thought a quick post about some basic Switzerland trivia just might ensure that future students will perhaps arrive at Franklin more informed than I was! 

Meaningful Facts: 
-- Switzerland is comprised of 26 cantons which are kind of like a state in the US. But each of these cantons has their own constitution, legislature, governments, and court. (see above pic!)
-- The country code abbreviation for Switzerland is CH, standing for Confederatio Helvetica, the latin name for Switzerland which honors the Helveticans who settled the country back in the day. (and incidentally it also was the inspiration for the Word font "helvetica")  
-- Switzerland is well known for being one of the world's only direct democracies. All political authority is very decentralized in Switzerland. Meaning that the citizens hold a large amount of political power, especially through referendum and direct ballot proceedings. 
-- Switzerland is bordered by France, Germany, Italy, Lichtenstein and Austria. 
-- Switzerland is home to many well known brands including: Swatch, Victorinox (think army knives), Mvenpick, Nestle and more! 
-- Compared to all other sizable countries in the world (ie: excluding "city state" countries) Switzerland was ranked 2nd in the world, after Japan, for longest life expectancy in 2013. 
-- The population of Switzerland is approximately 7.34 million, just under the population of New York City (7.39 million) 

Not-So-Meaningful Facts: 
-- A pedestrian cross walk in Bern was recently lined with Swarovski diamonds (for optimum visibility of course!) 
-- The average Swiss citizen consumes 22 lbs (10 kilos) of chocolate per year.. I can definitely testify that this statistic extends to American students living in Switzerland as well.. 
-- Switzerland has the largest 'type of bread' to 'number of people' ratio in the world, at 250:1 
-- The swiss flag is the only square flag in the United Nations 
-- There are competitions in Switzerland for yodeling, mens facial hair, and cow showing. 
-- There is a small region in Switzerland where voting is still done by a raise of hands in the public square. 
-- There are many political parties in Switzerland, one party founded in 2011 works towards decreasing the number of PowerPoints used in the workplace, it is called The Anti-PowerPoint Party or APP. 

And now that I have overwhelmed you with an array of statistics let me end on this note: Class of 2017 I hope you are getting as excited as I am! Only about 3 more weeks until you arrive in this oh so interesting, fact-filled country! 


  1. Hi Jessica! I'm currently a senior in high school and interested in applying to Franklin. I'm half Swiss (my mom's from canton Luzern), so I'd love to attend and be able to visit family on the weekends, eat Swiss foods (like Choc Ovo bars, hazelnut yogurts, bread, yuuuuuum) travel Europe, etc :) I do have a few questions, though (and I probably will think of more as time goes on). I was wondering if there are any opportunities for employment while in college (as people do here) but I'm not sure of the Swiss policies on part-time or anything. I am a citizen, so I guess that would make it easier, but I'm not sure if people you know do this/if there's even enough free time to consider it at some point. I'd love to have more money to spend on traveling, and I know how expensive Switzerland is. I was also wondering if there are many students from countries besides the USA? Can you choose the building you want to live in?
    I'm sure I'll think of more questions to ask you, but thanks in advance! And I'm so glad you run this blog, it's really helpful for prospective students!

    1. Hey Gabrielle, great to hear from you! To answer your questions:
      a) yes we do have a student on-campus employment program called the Lifelong Learning Scholarship. Also many students find employment in the community as babysitters, tutors, pet-sitters, etc. And as a Swiss citizen I believe you would be able to hold a full time job at an actual business if that is what you wanted (although I wouldn't recommend it!)
      b) 60+ countries are represented at Franklin, you can find more stats on that here:
      c) you can rank your preferences for housing and you will usually get one of your top three!

      thanks for reading the blog, glad you find it helpful!


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