After being in London for about three months, a lot of the specific customs and norms that seemed strange at the beginning of my time here have become the usual. When my parents visited last week, however, a lot of these differences stuck out to me once again. With these differences apparent again, I realized how I have grown to prefer them to some of the ways we do things in the United States.
I wanted this blog post to be about my time in Switzerland as well as some commentary on a huge part of British culture: they royal family.
Last weekend I travelled to St. Gallen and Zurich, Switzerland and found some shocking culture differences that I thought would be interesting to discuss. The first difference is the surprising amount of businesses that are completely closed on Sundays. Even major chains, like Zara and H&M, didn’t even have limited hours. This was surprising because in the U.S., and even in London, most places are open with limited hours on Sundays. After talking with some of my friends who are studying in Switzerland, I believe this practice is due to the different work-life balance they have in Switzerland. The U.S. is definitely more work orientated, while the Swiss take Sundays to relax and spend time with family.
Our goal is to have every student graduate from the McIntire School of Commerce having had some kind of significant international experience. One very attractive option for students in recent years is to enroll in one of our Global Commerce Immersion (GCI) courses during a January term, May Term, or over Spring Break. View full course descriptions here. Follow this blog site for updates from many of these courses in 2014.
Announcing the 2014 line-up for GCI courses at McIntire:
JANUARY TERM 2014
I learned a great deal and had many wonderful professors at ESADE, but I want to devote a blog post to this particular class since it was my favorite, and I know will have a lasting impact. The complicated class name, “Anthropology: In Search of Principles for a Life Philosophy: Lessons from Art, History, and Economics,” mirrors the complicated structure of this class. We had ten sessions (plus a field trip) that were structured as follows: First, we would read and post a blog response to some classic short story or poem, including works by Kafka, Tolstoy, Poe, and more. Second, the teachers would spend the first hour of class lecturing on an economic topic, including “Crises and bubbles under capitalism” and “China’s financial dispute over the Yuan.” After a short coffee break, we would return to discuss our reading and receive a shorter lecture on classic works of art and how particular artists shaped the way art styles have evolved. So now, with all of this seemingly unrelated information, we would spend the last half hour of class conducting a student-led discussion in order to synthesize all of these concepts into one principle that we could learn from and carry with us into our personal lives. As part of our final examination, we had to write a letter to ourselves that our professors will mail to us in five years. For the letter I reflected on which principles would be the hardest for me to accomplish, which principles I feel that I do well, and even which topics should potentially be added to the class. For the record, I think that perhaps a principle on our relationship with nature could be a beneficial addition. Below, I have listed the principles that my class came up with, so enjoy!
My program in Milan is unlike any I’ve heard of – it goes until July, and has months off in the middle of it. I just returned from the most epic adventure of my life: 26 days. 2 countries. 11 cities. 9 trains. 4 flights. 5 buses (1 overnight). 2 hikes. 2 nights spent on an airport floor. One ferry. My beloved backpack. I traveled from Seville, Spain up the coast, stopping in Granada, Valencia, and Barcelona. Then I hopped on a plane to Rome, and explored Naples, the Amalfi coast, and Sicily. It was unreal. I kept having to pinch myself to remind me that this was, in fact, reality.
Well, it’s my last night at home. Tomorrow, I’ll board a plane that will take me from Atlanta to Heathrow, Heathrow to Milan. And there, I will settle in to my new home. I doubt I’ll get much sleep tonight—the excitement laced with anticipation, the last minute check-lists that will wake me in the middle of the night to triple check my passport. My winter break has been extra long, and after three years of being away at school, I have the wisdom to cherish the time I can spend with my parents. My friends at UVa made me a video that I watched today as my final send-off, faces of friends-turned-family wishing me well, telling me I am loved, and giving me advice for this semester. I go off to Milano knowing that I am fiercely loved by many, and that is the greatest gift one could ever receive. Unanimously, each said that though I will be missed in Charlottesville, not one could be too sad knowing my life will be forever changed by this adventure.
Our goal is to have every student graduate from the McIntire School of Commerce having had some kind of significant international experience. One very attractive option for students in recent years is to enroll in one of our Global Commerce Immersion (GCI) courses during a January term, May Term, or over Spring Break. View full course descriptions here.
Announcing the 2013 line-up for GCI courses at McIntire:
JANUARY TERM 2013
As McIntire students around the world wrap up their semesters at our global partner schools, they are all posting some final summaries here of their Spring semester in some of the world’s most interesting cities.
Simultaneously, our M.S. in Commerce students are midway through their Global Immersion Experience (GIE) through one of four tracks through Southeast Asia, China, Eastern and Western Europe. Follow Professor G. Kelly’s blog with student posts as they visit companies, alumni, and partner schools in China this month: http://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/China_GIE/
Como preparo para mi vuelta a los EEUU, reflejo en mis experiencias fuera. Ser honesta, no puedo decir que este semestre ha sido lleno de diversión y felicidad todo el tiempo. Al contrario—todavía tengo un montón de trabajo y de hecho, estoy nerviosa sobre aprobando mis exámenes porque estas clases de finanzas son muy difíciles en castellano. Además, la ineficiencia aquí en España me ponga loca cada día. No creo que los españoles sean tan trabajadores como los estadounidenses. Pero aunque tengo ganas de regresar a Ámerica, estoy contenta que tomé la decisión estudiar aquí en Madrid. Primero, he mejorado mucho mi habilidad hablar y entender el idioma. Segundo, he conocido a muchas personas de todo el mundo: Brasil, Venezuela, España, Francia y Polonia. Por compartir con ellos, he aprendido más sobre mí misma y he dado cuenta de que tengo mucha ignorancia de otras culturas. Todavía hay un montón aprender. Y por último, he tenido la oportunidad viajar por Europa: ¡España, Francia, Marruecos, Irlanda! ¡Qué oportunidad de una vida!
Carnavals are undoubtedly one of the most exciting events in Europe, and currently we’re just in the beginning of the season of festivals. One of the biggest carnavals in Spain took place just 35 minutes outside of Barcelona, in a beautiful little beach city called Sitges. Although Carnaval is celebrated in numerous regions in Europe and Spain in particular, Sitges definitely has one of the biggest and most spectacular Carnavals around, mostly due to its large gay community.The city is right next to the ocean, so we were lucky to visit it on a sunny day because we got to walk along the gorgeous ocean front. The Carnaval also passes right in the front of the ocean.
My first impression of the Carnaval was that – wow, it’s just like Halloween! Yet, as the day goes on, I realized that it’s not “just like” Halloween. Carnaval is embraced by everyone, young and old, as evident in the wide range of costume wearers. More surprisingly, I saw whole families dressed up in costumes. One of the cutest ones was a Toy-Story theme family, complete with a Rex uncle, Buzz Lightyear father, Jessie mother, 2 little Aliens, and a Woody Grandfather. Another family was dressed up as an eclectic mix of villains from different Disney movies. Cute, right?