I’m Jen, and I live in Zurich, Switzerland, with my husband, Scott, and our dog, Governor. We moved here in October 2013, and are planning to be here for a couple of years. We moved for Scott’s work, but I’m planning to find employment and work as well.

Prior to Switzerland, we lived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for two years, as chronicled on my blog A Note from Brazil. We moved from Seattle to Brazil for Scott’s work in 2011. I did not have a work visa, so this was more than just a geographic change for me. Navigating a new language and a tangle of new streets, while also redefining who I was without a job. All challenges that I was nervous but excited to take on.

This blog was just one part of all that and has been a great outlet for sharing stories about our expat life. I thought the audience would be mostly my mother, but I’ve had visitors from all of the world. It’s been really fun to connect with people who I never would have met otherwise. And now the blog continues, under a new name, A Note from Switzerland.

Here’s to new adventures!


  1. Stephanie Davenport

    Your Blog has brought me so much joy! I am a (cough cough 6 year )Senior at Troy University and we have an organization here that we also have people in Belo who are part of on the college campuses there (UFMG and PUC). We spent May and June In Belo and i miss it SOOOO much! I have been googling images for projects (im an art and design major). Im doing art work based of my summer and your page has given me great preference images to work from! I Love reading this stuff you have posted and if you would like to connect with some more people in Belo let me know! we can facebook people for you.

    • Stephanie,

      I’m so glad you loved Belo Horizonte! It’s not a place that a lot of people are familiar with, so I love to hear that people have visited it. I’m living right near one of the PUC campuses, so maybe we crossed paths during your trip without even knowing it!

      I’d love to see pictures of your BH-inspired artwork! Speaking of connecting with people here, I’m involved with an organization called Minas International (they have a FB page) for people working or living in BH who speak English. The membership is about 50% Brazilian and 50% foreigner, I believe. Maybe your friends here would be interested in attending a future event?


  2. Amanda

    Hello! From a fellow American newly transplanted to Brazil, I will enjoy reading your blog. If you don’t mind, I would love to put you on my blog recommendation page on my blog. Check me out at midwestmeetsbrazil.wordpress.com.

  3. Frank

    Hi, do you have an email address where I could reach you? I’d love to ask you some questions about travelling in Brazil. Thanks so much! – Frank

  4. Guilherme B.

    Hi, Jennifer! I just saw your blog and I was like, wow! I study Medicine in Belo Horizonte and Seattle is my favorite city in the USA! I think it’s because my favorite TV series happens there, Grey’s Anatomy, so I ended up getting used to the city though I’ve never been there (wish I will some day). Hope you’re enjoying BH! There are some nice places to go to and people are generally kind and pretty receptive too. Well, since it’s going to host the World Cup next year, hope I make some foreign friends here! Haha Love talking to people worldwide. I think I’ll just check out your blog, which seems great! Thank you!

    • Guilherme,

      Thanks for the note! Glad to hear you like my blog. And glad to also know there is a fellow Seattle fan here in BH…with this rainy weather we’ve been having, it feels a lot like Seattle! You must have been reading my mind, as I just posted about the World Cup today!


  5. Kadijah Cliff

    Bom Dia Jennifer,

    Tudo Bem? I came across your blog and I have to say, I love you story and how reading about your experience living in Belo Horzonte and I wanted to ask you an interesting request. My name is Kadijah and I’m a producer for the production company based in the USA and UK called Leopard Films. Our hit show House Hunters International is looking for energetic individuals, couples and families to share their story about moving abroad. Participating in our show is a lot of fun and a great way to document your exciting search for a home and new life abroad. Right now we are looking for really unique stories of people living in exotic places and I’ve always wanted to do story in Belo Horozonte and I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your story with us.
    If you are interested in participating with our show or learning more, Feel free to watch a few episodes of the show at :
    http://www.hgtv.com/house-hunters-international/show/index.html or go to Youtube.com and type “House Hunters International.” If you’re not interested, please feel free to forward this message along.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Ate Logo

  6. Ling

    Hi! Im living in BH also, I’ve been here for 11 months, it’s been challenging but it’s nice to know others are having the same experience. Is this your house in BH? Ive never seen a house w/o a big fence and gate around it… maybe we can get together one day if youre in the Savassi area!

  7. Paula Wright

    I hope you do not mind me getting in touch. I work for an American property and travel show and I came across your blog whilst looking for people to participate in our popular documentary show and really enjoyed reading about your adventures!

    We are currently looking for families and individuals to appear on our show who have recently relocated to new and exciting parts of the world and have an interesting story to tell – and it seems to me you would fit the bill.

    I would love have the opportunity to tell you more about the show and how it would work and hear more about your adventurous move. To give you an overview – we tell the story of people who have moved to new countries with a particular focus on their property search and the story of why they chose their current location. We do offer a payment of $1500 (or a flight home – although I think most of the people who have been on the show take part for the experience more than the money!) for every episode and filming takes 3-4 days.

    If you would be interested in finding out more I would be delighted to arrange a mutually convenient time to speak over the phone. You can contact me on +1 212 231 7715 or +1 917 2745401. Alternatively you can email me a good number to reach you on and the best time to call and I would be happy to call you at your leisure. My direct email address is paula.wright@leopardfilms.com

    Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon.

    All the best

    Paula Wright
    Segment Producer
    ‘House Hunters International’
    Leopard Films USA
    Tel: +1 212 231 7715
    Cell: +1 917 274 5401

  8. Hi Jen!
    My name is jessalyn, a Canadian living in Belo Horizonte for the next 1.5 months… I’m near PUC, in the curacao eucaristico area! Would love to know if you are around this area and up for a meet. I also see in your comments about the Minas International group and I’m checking that out now. I’ve been here for 3 weeks already, helping two sisters to better practice their english. Email me if you’d like: jessalyn.broad@gmail.com

  9. Lee

    Hi, Jen:
    I’m so glad to find your blog. I’m planning to retire to BH, but reading all the info on so many sites has my head spinning: visa red tape, double taxation, increases in required fund transfers to Brazil from $2,000 per month to, now, $3,000 per month. OMG, just trying to decide what possessions to move (or not) is daunting. How did you get through it all? Did you have a source, a guidebook, or something to follow? Have you met any expat retirees?? If you have, can you help me connect to them? Why, you may be thinking, would I choose BH for retirement? That’s where my partner is now, and that’s where we have a condo that we bought over 10 years ago in the Santo Agostinho area of the city. I can’t wait to read more from you. — Lee

    • I can sympathize, Lee! It’s not an easy place to sort through the bureaucracy! I don’t know any BH expat retirees, but I am sure there are some. One idea would be for you to connect on Facebook to the Minas International group (a group I volunteer with that brings together English speakers in BH) and post a question. With any luck you’ll find some help! We had the advantage of assistance through my husband’s employer.

      Good luck! Hope to see you in BH soon!


  10. Hello,

    I am the content editor for EasyExpat.com and have been following your
    blog since you listed it with us at BlogExpat. I think it would be great
    in our series of expat interviews. This would entail questions about being
    an expat, a few pictures, and it would link back to your blog.

    If you are interested, just let me know and I will send the questionnaire.
    In any case, keep up the good work!

    Expat Interviews: interviews.blogexpat.com/

  11. Hi! I was looking through some expat forums in Brazil (just because I wanted to read up on experiences of expats living in this country), but got to a blog about Switzerland :))) But even though you moved, I’d like to follow you anyway – all the more stories 🙂

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