Acculturation or culture shock? A Swiss Family in California
by Barbara Freigang

We (a Swiss family of four) moved to La Jolla, California, in February 2005 and returned to Switzerland three years later. Our stay in crazy California was a great adventure, however, not all of us were able to feel at home in the US.

I am happy to share some of our Californian experiences with you and would love to hear your opinion about living in Switzerland, in the USA, in Australia, or in any other country.


La Jolla in Spanish means "The Jewel". It is the Jewel of America's finest city, San Diego.

La Jolla is located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. It has wonderful beaches, cultural activities and fine restaurants. La Jolla is an exquisite combination of a southern European resort atmosphere and Southern California fun.

La Jolla is home to renowned institutions, such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Stephen Birch Aquarium & Museum. This is in addition to the University of California, San Diego. Furthermore, La Jolla is home to many Bio-Tech and software companies.



State of California The Golden State

Capital Sacramento
Largest city Los Angeles

163,696 sq mi (423,970 km²)
Width 250 miles (400 km) - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)

Population Ranked 1st in the US
- Total 36,457,549 (2007 est.)
- Density 233.8/sq mi / 90.27/km²
Highest point Mount Whitney 14,505 ft (4,421 m)
Lowest point Death Valley -282 ft (-86 m)
Admission to Union 1850 (31st)
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger