I made this program special on my own accord Past Review

By (International and Global Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/01/2014 to 12/15/2014 with

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained strong French skills, knowledge of the NGO/UN system in Geneva as well as insight into Swiss life. Yes, this was all worthwhile but I felt that I could have prospered more elsewhere

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Professors were unclear with their grading policies; the professor of one of my worse gave inconsiderate and disheartening comments to students that were out of line.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

often provided zero help with major issues - does NOT provide transportation to airport upon departure from Geneva, even though you pay for it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

You have to cook all of your own meals excluding breakfast. The only reason I gave the box 4.5/5 stars is because the breakfast menu hardly changes and thus gets repetitive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You live in an "American Bubble" while in Geneva thus making it very difficult to go outside and explore the local life. While the program does make you aware of programs at University of Geneva, your schedule restricts you from attending hardly any of them

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health concerns. However, a friend of mine did and said that the program was helpful but lacked the "bedside manner"

* Safety:

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)

I made 80 CHF for food last 3 weeks. However, I have an allergy to Gluten and thus don't have as many options. Also, I tend to ration my food very well and don't buy a lot of snacks. I would say that the average (non-allergy prone) student spent about 100 CHF a week. Also, Geneva is wicked expensive. Be prepared to drop money really really fast.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 300 CHF (I am a travel nerd!!)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use Airbnb when traveling (travel a lot!), ration meals well and NEVER take cabs in Switzerland unless you have to


* 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

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level
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? I made my language skills advanced on my own willingness to practice, not on the program. I would say to avoid speaking English at all costs. The locals like you more and are more willing to help you if you speak French

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Internship
  • Housing Location
  • Yvonne
* What could be improved?
  • Internship Assignments
  • Professors
  • Use of Language Skills
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that the professors on this program were going to be so unmotivated and bias. I felt that I was graded on gender bias in one of my courses and some professors lacked the ability to formulate discussion unless they were offending a student. In addition, professors often gave inconsiderate grading critiques such as "perfunctory" without any criteria for such remarks. Program does not take constructive criticism well as the program was formulated in-house, such critiques are often taken as personal attacks when that is not the case. The program only caters to needs if 10 people raise the issue; does not help the individual. Internship placements are unsatisfactory, ZERO communication during Internship process so you never know where your resume is going and you cannot chose where you are selected or where your resume is sent.