Geneva: A True International City Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Villanova University) for

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My career plans were not really altered by the program. I was given a greater appreciation for other cultures, particularly how they view the U.S.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teaching method was roughly the same, the workload was not as much as most Villanova classes. It was also concentrated towards the end of the class, however so if you fell behind or waited until the last minute, it might have been a problem.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very helpful most of the time. Some of the regulations were strict, however that is more a reflection of living in Switzerland in a residential area. My expectations were met with regard to the program itself, the staff was very responsive to any issues.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm is a converted apartment building in the center of Geneva. The location is excellent to class and the old town neighborhood. The rooms were furnished for us. There are pros and cons to living with American college students, obviously you make friends very quickly based on common interests and backgrounds. However, its difficult to truly make close friends with locals because you want to hang out with the kids on the program and travel on the weekends.

* Food:

Eating out is very expensive, but there are kitchens on each floor and close grocery stores. Old town is the best bet for restaurants that are affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Geneva is a beautiful city with a great location because it is easy to travel both to eastern and western Europe as well as within Switzerland. The program gives you money back on travel within Switzerland to encourage you to do that. La escalade is a fun festival in December and there are countless wine, fondue and cultural events in Geneva and in Switzerland. We got to see Hilary Clinton speak at the U.N. and visit alot of international organizations.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The health care system is great, one girl got pretty sick, and she went to a clinic where they gave her medicine and stuff. There was nothing too serious, but it seemed like the program knew what they were doing. Obviously Geneva is very wealthy and there is very little crime.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I would use French with locals, however it was difficult to really improve my skills because I was mostly interacting with the kids on my program because we were together all of the time. Also, most of the locals spoke English much better than even the people on our program who spoke French well, so they would often switch to English to make it easier for us.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I felt like I really got to know Geneva because it was so small and easy to get around.
  • The classes were excellent and being able to see Hilary Clinton speak was a terrific experience.
  • I made several great friends with whom it is easier to see and stay in touch with because they live all over the U.S.
* What could be improved?
  • It should have been stressed exactly how expensive Geneva was.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Know what you are signing up for and why you want to do it. You will be placed at an international organization for an internship, so be sure of your interests. Also, do not expect the nightlife that other major cities have, Geneva has clubs and bars, but they are not on the same scale, you will have plenty of fun and being around other American students makes it easy to make close friends.