International couples - Olga & Xavier
Photo #94 10 November 2020, 18:51


Olga 44 (Russia) & Xavier 57 (Switzerland): home Portugal



Where have you met? When? We met through the internet (yes!) and then we met in Switzerland and lived there for one year. Then we moved to Spain and now we settled in Cascais, Portugal.

For how long have you been together? 4 years, and 3 years married.

Do you have children? No.

If you have (have had) common children what languages do they speak (would speak)? French, Russian and English.

What is your common language? French, because it is Olga’s favorite language.

What other languages do you speak? English, French and Spanish for both, and Olga in addition speaks Russian.

What has surprised you more in the culture of your partner? For Olga: swiss politeness, diplomacy, and respect for personal boundaries, as it is manifested in everyday life. For Xavier: the importance of WWII in the Russian culture.  

What are the most important benefits of an international marriage? It is very enriching, culturally, linguistically, and gastronomically!

What is the biggest international marriage challenge? To adapt to a new life and find his/her place in it for the one relocating. But this is both a challenge and at the same time an opportunity, because it is an exciting experience.

Your gastronomic preferences and habits in everyday life are different or similar? Similar, except that Xavier loves “pelmenis”.

Have you had any funny stories or situations due to cultural differences? Russian people are quite straightforward and direct compared to “Swissies”. At first, Olga sometimes shocked others with her statements. Even polite requests in Russian sometimes look like orders or commands from a swiss perspective.

Instagram: @olga_leigh or



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Comments (4)
aleksandr pushnenko 08 September 2021, 03:41
Ann 17 April 2021, 10:03
Ann 13 April 2021, 06:10
Tim Li 12 April 2021, 06:16
Thank you!

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