Great Experience, Bad Academics Past Review

By (Political Science and English, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/03/2013 to 12/16/2013 with

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I'm glad I went on this program because of the friends that I made and because of the things that I learned about myself. I now know that I have absolutely no interest in anything relating to International Relations. I wish that the program emphasized the importance of French or German more, and that I had been able to actually improve at these two languages. Switzerland, however, is the most incredible country and I absolutely loved being there and exploring it. I don't think that it is possible to really get to know Switzerland when you visit it on vacation, and spending so many months traveling and exploring all of its parts was incredibly rewarding.

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.

The classes were fairly easy, but I had many problems with how the classes were taught and what we actually learned in them. Although the professors were interesting people, they didn't quite grasp basic teaching concepts that made it nearly impossible to completely understand what was being asked of the student. Similarly, I found that the classroom environment of all my classes was incredibly negative, and that the professors failed to facilitate discussions that weren't just personal attacks on other members of the class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone who runs the program is great and extremely helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I'm a five star chef, obviously.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program doesn't facilitate any interaction with local students. I met some people during my internship, but I never really became integrated into Geneva culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had some medical problems throughout the program and was simply directed to the local health clinic. Swiss healthcare is pretty incredible so I had a very positive experience.

* Safety:

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)

Geneva is a very expensive city. I mostly spent money on groceries and on weekend trips.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling around Switzerland
  • Travel opportunities provided by the program
  • The internship
* What could be improved?
  • The quality of academics
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that this program doesn't integrate you into Swiss culture and that you basically live in an American bubble.

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!