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 You belong in Basel.  

We started this project as a way to further build the Basel community and to help newcomers settle.  Many people come here having to learn a new language, discover a new culture and find a new purpose.  We want to help with that process and work to strengthen the bond between Swiss and foreign national communities.


Our Story

The YBI Basel story began in 2018.  Meaghan Renner Ofori and Ariana McBride didn't know each other before moving to Basel, but became fast fiends over a shared sense of adventure and love of exploring.  


They faced many challenges in those first few months and realized that other newcomers had common experiences. From small details like having to buy light fixtures for your apartment, to bigger challenges like learning a new language or even finding a new sense of purpose after a personal or career change, they realized the process of settling in can be formidable.  


During this time they also began to discover why Basel is such a great place to live! With museums and festivals, lively neighbourhoods, some fantastic restaurants and the perfect location for travel throughout Europe, they felt Basel was the best kept secret in Europe.


In an effort to share their love for this city,  help other newcomers settle and further build a community that included both expats and Swiss, they formed YBI Basel.  Since then they have been working hard to reach out to other community organizations, while producing interesting content to highlight the many varied facets of life in this region.

In 2022 Ariana's time in Basel came to an end, but Meaghan is committed to keep the project going, hoping to find some like-minded individuals to help her along the way.

So, whether you've been here for two months, twenty years or your whole life, the hope of YBI Basel is that by showing you how much this city has to offer, by introducing you to some of the people who live here, that can you feel like Basel is your home and that you truly belong. 

You Belong in Basel.

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YBI Community


Meaghan Renner Ofori

Founder, Creative Director

Home country: Canada eh!
Been here since: 2018
Basel Favourite: Grocery shopping in 3 different countries
Cheese or chocolate: Chocolate!

Meaghan has lived in Basel since 2018 with her husband and two children. After going through the process of settling in and finding a new purpose in Basel, she grew to love this city and all that it had to offer.  She wanted to help others find their home here as well.  A former fundraiser, event planner  

and graphic designer, Meaghan has a passion for sewing and dancing and enjoys cooking, hiking and yoga. 


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Salina Berg


Home Country: USA

Been here since: 2016

Basel Favourite:  Infinite hiking possibilities

Cheese or Chocolate: Always chocolate


Johanna Bousfield


Home Country: USA

Been here since: 2012

Swiss Favourite:  Amazing nature

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheese, especially the hard stuff

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Stefanie Busse

Swiss Education Consultant

Home Country: Germany

Been here since: 2011

Basel Favourite:  Hiking and swimming in Switzerland's beautiful lakes!

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate


Stefanie' s background as a German teacher working in both Swiss public and private schools, as well as being a parent that has moved internationally, has given her valuable insights into the Swiss education sector and a passion to help international families settle into their new school life. Her mission is to assist expats in navigating the Swiss school system and empower them to make well-informed choices regarding available educational options.

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Andrea Cristancho

Personal Health Coach

Home Country: Venezuela

Been here since: 2019

Basel Favourite:  Floating down the river 

Cheese or Chocolate: 100% a chocolate gal

Andrea is Personal Health Coach with a passion for supporting startup founders and teams optimise their health for ultimate success. She has a background in International Studies, Masters inInternational Business and is also a yoga teacher and certified integrative nutrition coach.

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Antara Das

Writer, Student

Home Country: India

Been here since: 2013

Basel Favourite:  The museums and Rhein river 

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate

Antara is from India and has lived in Basel since 2013.  She is currently studying psychology in the UK.


Sabine Erker

Writer, Podcaster

Home Country: Austria

Basel Favourite:  Along the Rhein, Unternehmen Mitte

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate


Sabine is an online German language teacher, content creator, editor and podcaster. She holds several examiner licenses for TELC and ÖSD and prepares students for all common German language exams and more. Her podcast focuses on interesting topics for German learners and reaches listeners in over 80 countries worldwide.


Catalina Escalante


Home Country: Columbia/USA

Been here since: 2018

Basel Favourite:  It's so clean and accessible

Cheese or Chocolate: can't decide :)


Vanessa Gatelein

Writer, Health Coach & Yoga Instructor

Home Country: New York City (USA)

Been here since: 2003

Basel Favourite:  Schoggi Wegg with a Schale from Sutter Begg

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheeeeeeese!

Vanessa arrived in Switzerland in 2003. Straight off the plane from New York City, the city of pizza, burgers, bagels, and dirty water hot dogs, it was a shock to land in the country of milk, cheese, and chocolate! Even though she struggled at first adapting to the food in Switzerland, she can now say her diet (and lifestyle) has shifted for the better. She loves to help people find ‘their food’ that they love in Switzerland, and the food that loves them back.


Ariana McBride

Co-Founder, Writer

Home Country: USA

Time in Basel: 2018-2022

Basel Favourite:  Neatly tied recycling

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheese

Ariana lived in Basel in from 2018- February 2022 with her husband, two daughters and two cats.  While going through the experience of moving to a place where she did not know anyone or anything, Ariana thought a lot about the value of community.  She is a city planner by training, a lover of well-organized closets, and an aspiring gardener.

Megan McCrory

Megan has been in Switzerland since 2010. After working in the medical device industry for 17 years, she started her own business. She is a wellbeing and personal development coach, but she also helps female solo entrepreneurs build their online businesses with digital tools.  She’s always ready to meet new people.

Megan McCrory

Personal Development Coach

Home Country: Indiana, USA

Been here since: 2010

Basel Favourite:  Markthalle

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheese and


Asha has lived in Basel-Stadt since 2018 but has previously lived in England, France and the US She loves exploring Switzerland with her husband, two children and dog. Her hobbies include hiking, travelling, spinning and reading.

Asha Mentzer

Writer, Neighbourhood Mapper

Home Country: UK

Been here since: July 2018

Basel Favourite:  Rhein swimming followed by an Aperol Spritz

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheese! especially fondue


Jakob was born in Basel and grew up in Rome, Wimbledon and London. He returned to Switzerland for university and after began an interesting career in international marketing in the pharmaceutical industry. Jakob is now retired and is passionate about showing people Basel. He realizes how lucky he is to be born Swiss and since spending 5 years in Tokyo, he fully appreciates this beautiful, smooth-running, little country even more.

Jakob Mettler

Tour Guide, Historian

Home Country: Switzerland 

Been back since: 1971

Basel Favourite:  The old city – ideal for a tour guide

Cheese or Chocolate: Both (at their respective opportunities)


Jamie Nunn1

Jamie is an American by way of the UK and Hong Kong. She has lived in Basel Land with her husband, two children and two dogs since October 2021. She loves coffee, travelling, being outside and animals. Her hobbies include skiing, obstacle course racing and reading. She is very competitive and always up to try a new outdoor activity.

Jamie Nunn


Home Country: USA

Been here since: October 2021

Basel Favourite:  Schoggiwegglis from Confiserie Bachmann

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate!!

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Christine Pesold

Co-Founder, Basel Life

Home Country: Canada

Been here since: 2002

Basel Favourite:  The abundance of culture packed into this perfect-sized city!

Cheese or Chocolate: Both


Originally from Montreal, Canada, Christine moved to Basel with her family in 2002 and has been an active volunteer in the expat community since her arrival in Switzerland. She is responsible for selecting, researching, and writing most of the content of Basel Life.


Peggy Sacotte

Writer, Neighbourhood Mapper

Home Country: France

Been here since: 2022

Basel Favourite: charming, cultural, green, international, riverside, Swiss pocket-size city and top quality of life!

Cheese or Chocolate: Both!

Peggy is a French-Luxembourgish entrepreneur living in Basel with her husband and three kids (if her dog counts as one). As a ski lover and passionate traveler, Switzerland is for her a paradise on Earth. Always eager to learn more and meet new people, she enjoys sharing the greatest insider knowledge about the best places to discover and things to do!

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Kripa Samant Parulekar

Architect, Artist

Home Country: India

Been here since: 2019

Basel Favourite: Cycling along the Rhine, swimming, vibrant art, picturesque mountain hikes 

Cheese or Chocolate:  Chocolate indeed

Kripa is from India living in Basel with her husband and daughter. For years, she served in the field of Art, Architecture and Design as a professional architect. Painting has always been her passion; she mostly works with watercolours. She actively participates in Art and Architectural events in Basel. She started artstudio21k for sharing her art, thoughts and connecting with you all. You can view her work @artstudio21k on Instagram.

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Steve Sanderson

Writer, Neighbourhood Mapper

Home Country: USA

Been here since: 2018

Basel Favourite:  Sense of community, great architecture and Döner Kebabs 

Cheese or Chocolate: What are you kidding? Chocolate, always.

Steve writes fiction and nonfiction. He is very dedicated to giving back to the writing community. He grew up in Queens, New York where he worked in film as a camera assistant, then switched careers to work as a Technical Writer for two decades. He's a book obsessive, loves running, satire, and walking everywhere. He has no sense of direction, and gets lost in most places except for cities which somehow make sense.

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Melinda Taylor Schoutens

Author, Fresh Air Kids Switzerland

Home Country: USA

Been here since: 2007

Basel Favourite:  Our proximity to the Alps...pure bliss!

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate...always chocolate!


Melinda is an American who lives in Basel. She loves exploring the Alps with her husband, two children and anyone else who is up for an adventure. She writes, reads, listens to podcasts, hikes and enjoys sweating at her local gym. She’s passionate about sharing her love of nature with others and has a dream of having a little chalet in the Swiss Alps!


Natasha Scott


Home Country: Canada

Been here since: 2019

Basel Favourite:  floating down the Rhine on a hot summer day.

Cheese or Chocolate: Cheese.. I can get Swiss chocolate anywhere 

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Tegan Smedley

Pharmacist, Writer

Home Country: USA

Been here since: 2022

Basel Favourite:  Self-pick flower fields

Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate

Tegan is a pharmacist and medical writer. She is passionate about communicating information in a fun

and informative way. Exploring the abundant nature near Basel has made her feel more at home since

moving here in 2022. You can often find her on a hiking or cycling trail with her family in tow.


Alison Waterfield


Home Country: UK

Been here since: 2011

Basel Favourite:  Tri-regio location, Nature, Gabriella Gelato

Cheese or Chocolate: Läderach fresh Schoggi everytime!

Alison is a Brit who has been in the Basel area for over a decade. She currently resides in Oberwil, where she enjoys having countryside on her doorstep as well as town being only a short tram ride away. She loves cooking, baking and anything food-related and is a beginner food stylist and photographer. She enjoys being in nature and relaxing doing anything wellness-related, as well as engaging in creative activities such as abstract and fluid art, and crochet. 



You Belong in Basel is proud to partner with the following organizations.


Inspiring families to connect with nature one outdoor experience at a time.


Fresh Air Kids Switzerland is on a BIG mission to start an outdoor revolution that connects as many families as possible to the natural world. By breaking down the barriers of spending quality time outside, we hope to inspire, motivate and encourage more outdoor adventure in the lives of families across the globe.

While relocating to another country can be one of the most rewarding, enriching, and exciting experiences you can have, the language barrier and cultural differences can also, at times, make it a somewhat challenging and even isolating time. As expats themselves, the creators of Basel Life have made it their mission to help the English-speaking community of Basel make the most of their stay in this

beautiful, vibrant, and culturally rich city on the Rhein.

Centrepoint is a well-established, English-speaking community, located in the heart of Basel, where all nationalities are welcome. It aims to be a friendly, evolving community providing an inclusive, multi-cultural and safe environment, where members have a sense of belonging both to Centrepoint and the Basel region through participating in a diverse range of activities and social events.


The Basel Children's Trust, where families find their friends in Basel.


Basel Children’s Trust (BCT) is a volunteer-run organization that provides community and information to expectant parents and families in the Basel area.

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