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By (Neuroscience; Health: Science, society and policy, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/15/2013 to 04/29/2013 with

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I do not want to work in the public health sector, but instead want to focus more on neuroscience. While in hindsight I would not have gone on this program because I would've liked to focus more on neuroscience research, this experience allowed me to learn more about myself and my future career path.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While I had an overall educational experience the program wasn't exceptionally rigorous. It was the perfect amount of balance between work, a lot of learning opportunities, networking and traveling.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program was well administered, but housing complaints with the internet were poorly managed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was centrally located and facilities were really nice and spacious. The only downside was the internet.

* Food:

Food is extremely expensive in Switzerland and the program only offers breakfast during the working days, yet the selection is minimum.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I think providing you with the option of living in a homestay or taking classes with people from Geneva would have helped integrating us with the culture. While the internship experience allowed us to integrate more with the local culture, most coworkers were international.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was easily accessible, but expensive.

* Safety:

Geneva is really safe, you can walk alone on the streets late at night. However, watch out for pick pockets.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Geneva is extremely expensive. I would go to the supermarket in France in order to save money and I would still end up spending about 150 euros a month. Living in Geneva can be really expensive, be ready to spend some money on food, drinks and trips.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spend about 200 dollars a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you need to buy groceries go to France, there is a supermarket close to the border between France and Switzerland. Not only is it huge but you will end up spending half the amount of money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The program did not encourage us to use the language. We could decide to take french classes, but this was only for half the semester and not everyone had to take it.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? IB French B
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Check out the language courses at Ecole Migros, located at the Belexaire mall.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Internship
  • Classes
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • Foreign language component
  • integration with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how little integration with local students we would have, I also wish someone had told me too go on this program during the fall semester. The weather was horrible until the very end when summer started to appear. Geneva can be rather dead during the winter.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!