The Great Geneva Experience Past Review

By (Political Science and Government, Trinity University) - abroad from 01/12/2015 to 04/27/2015 with

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I gained a lot from the internship, on how to work, what to do, how to deal with conflicts, how do NGO's work and how does a successful NGO work to make the work be fun.

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.

It was an amazing experience with amazing people in an amazing city. What I have gathered from the experience, I think, is invaluable. However, I put 4.5 stars because I think that the Professor chosen to lead the International Relations classes has focused a lot on Africa. Although it is interesting and understandable because he himself is African, much of discussions were on that. This caused some discontent on the part of some of my fellow students as well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think they were good. I do not think that any complaints we had deserves the grade to come down. Yes one of the RA's was a person who many of the students did not like. Moreover, there were instances when the on-site administration was a little biased towards some students and showed it in an instance when they filed a noise/alcohol violation to them when they did not commit such a mistake, according to them. But I think for students or advisers who read my comments, this must not be relevant because each group is unique and even with these minor complaints in some individual instances, they remained professional and organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were nice.

* Food:

I think the biggest complaint many students had is that breakfast is very light. This is because we had to cook all other foods ourselves or buy stuff which was extremely expensive (3-5 times the prices one could find in France which was an hour away with all the transportation changes).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I myself am from Eurasian continent so I felt very connected with these people. Though there were some things that we all (including natives) found annoying in behavior of Genevois people but overall I integrated well. I would advise people go there with some intermediate knowledge of French because it would be much more easier to integrate then. The program itself did not help with this integration to be honest. The University of Geneva did and there were many organizations within this university that could give students a breadth of new connections with Swiss people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Students were understood and helped by the employees that were situated in the location of our stay. But to get seriously sick so much that one would need a medical attention is very inadvisable! The insurance works in a way that you not only have a deductible of 500 Franks, you must always pay for doctor's visits yourself and then the insurance can reimburse you for that. Unless you have thousands of Franks (1 Frank was varying when we came there because this was indeed the time when banking regulation changed and 1 Frank was at one point equal to 2 Dollars) to spend on visits and all other things with doctors, then come healthy.

* Safety:

Geneva is super safe I think. This does not mean that a girl/guy should walk alone in some neighborhoods drunk because even in this safe city there could be bad people. The safety regulations and advises given to students were very helpful

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)

More than 200-500 Franks can be easily spent per week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 300-400 Franks (almost 500 dollars) with all the travels and food and sometimes going out.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Yes. Buy the 3 months TPG Passes and ALWAYS carry them with you. Plus, buy their CFF Aboniments which would cut the price of train tickets in half for you.


* 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

No encouragement because we were always working in English speaking environment. But if you are an extrovert and want to take it all out from the program - just go out and socialize and use the language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? French Intermediate I
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? Go out and socialize. There will be a program of finding a student from University of Geneva for him/her to teach you their language and you teach them yours - use it.

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?
  • Internship
  • Site Visits
  • Switzerland
* What could be improved?
  • Probably include dinners too
  • Teaching of International Relations Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That starting to find the student who will teach you the language and I will teach mine should be done since day 1 when you get informed about it.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.