As my second to last semester in college comes to a close, I’ve started to reminisce a bit about the memories and experiences I’ve had. By far, the most impactful part of my time in college was when I studied abroad in Lausanne, Switzerland for my sophomore year. So I’ll be retelling the story of my time abroad in Switzerland.
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For the handful of you who have been following this blog for a while, you know that, last year, I studied abroad in Switzerland for eight months. It’s been eight months since I left the Geneva airport for the last time, and I’ve been pretty nostalgic these past few days (all the Swiss Instagram accounts I follow are probably fueling this nostalgia with their winter wonderland-like pictures of the Alps and the cute Swiss towns). So to try to cure my nostalgia, here are a few things I miss about Switzerland.
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A year ago today, I was at LAX, boarding a plane to Switzerland to start my amazing eight-month study abroad experience. I know this is going to sound cliché, but this was the most life-changing experience I’ve had thus far. I definitely think people should take the opportunity to do so, and so here are ten reasons to study abroad.
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Ending my abroad experience in Switzerland has arguably been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. I’ve only been gone for three days, and for some reason I already miss the sound of the trains rushing by and the ridiculously expensive food that constantly had me checking the balance of my bank account.
Now I’ve realized that I can’t glance out my window and see the French Alps across the lake. I’ve realized that my default foreign language of French is no longer helpful. I’ve realized that all the customs that shocked me at the beginning are ones that I’ve grown to love. I’ve realized that I can’t just hop on a train with my half-pass and voie 7 and travel to basically any country in Europe.
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I’ve officially started my study abroad experience. I’ve been in Switzerland for six days. Six whole days. I’ve officially been studying abroad in Switzerland for six whole days. And it’s been amazing. Lake Geneva, locally known as Lac Léman, is one of the most picturesque areas I’ve ever seen. The food here, especially the bread, is amazingly delicious. However, there are still some cultural differences and surprising Swiss customs that take a little getting used to. I’d been to Europe before and noticed the obvious cobblestone streets and ubiquitous smokers, but there were a few aspects of the culture that I’ve only noticed now that I’m living here.
Continue reading “Week One: The Surprising Swiss Customs”