It’s hard to believe my semester in Switzerland is rapidly coming to a close. Frankly, it feels like the semester has flown by packed with travels within Switzerland and around Europe as well as classes and new friends here in St. Gallen. Even though I have roughly three and a half more weeks before I come back to the United States, I thought I would take the opportunity to outline what I will miss the most about living in Switzerland because I am going to miss my life here a lot more than I thought I would when I first arrived in February:
This blog, my second blog, was do awhile ago. However, I chose to wait to write because my classes in St. Gallen started only a few days ago!!
Although I have a little under a month until I leave for Switzerland, studying abroad this semester is starting to finally feel pretty real. Being away from UVA and McIntire for an entire semester can seem a little intimidating, but I know the experiences I will have in Europe far outweigh the cons of being gone. During the semester, I expect to meet a variety of international exchange students from different continents and as well as many Swiss students. While I have been to Switzerland before on vacation, this experience will be the first time that I will interact with Swiss people on a daily basis in both academic and social contexts.
My only goal for my time in St. Gallen is to have a ton of fun. However, when I think about that goal I know it has many components, three of which are: making new friends both Swiss and international, fully immersing myself in the Swiss culture, and making the most of my learning opportunities. I know that if I try to achieve each of these smaller goals there is no doubt I will have an amazing time in Switzerland.
Now that I’ve returned…it’s odd. It’s weird just clicking back into normal routine with a job, everyone speaking English, not seeing the people I used to see everyday, everything unfortunately becoming somewhat of a dream. But its good! I’m happy to be back to see family and friends! And it’s time to get back to my real life here in America.
****Predeparture post: I am publishing this now because I saw that it wasn’t published before. I had technical issues with getting onto this site, so I emailed this to Mr. Wilcox-Elliot at the right time, at predeparture, and he said he would go ahead and upload it onto the site for me until I got the site working for me. But, I haven’t seen it put up so I thought I would just go ahead and put it up.****
My top three goals for my semester abroad are to meet as many interesting, different people as possible, get comfortable being outside my comfort zone, and take risks to learn as much as I possibly can.
I’m still alive in St. Gallen, woo! I’m half way through and can’t believe it. I just booked my plane ticket home and its very odd that I will be leaving this place and probably won’t be coming back.
So I’m going on a month here and am in disbelief that it has been so long! It’s been wonderful and really something I will never forget.
So, how am I adapting to the new culture…Honestly, its not that different. People are busy, people are doing school work, people are partying, etc. The largest barrier is the language. Actually, that and the amount of kisses on the cheek. The Swiss do 3 sometimes and others do 2 and others 1. I feel like those have been my most awkward experiences, when I do them incorrectly.
Well, I’m glad I finally made it! I didn’t think February 6th would ever come, but alas it has come and gone. Traveling on my own for the first time was definitely interesting! I made it to Zurich and found the right train luckily and made it to St. Gallen. Unfortunately, I made it to St. Gallen at 8ish in the morning on a Sunday…so everything was closed, no one was out and I was on my own to find my apartment and the university office to get my apartment key without a map or cell phone service!