Great Experience Ruined by BU Administration Past Review

By (Providence College) - abroad from 01/15/2017 to 05/01/2017 with

Boston University: Geneva - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and improving the quality of my coursework.

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 IR classes were generally very easy going, and the PH classes were challenging but very rewarding, taught by an incredible professor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I don't even know where to begin to review the host administration. Firstly, when reviewing the pre-departure hub for the program, there were several things that were listed on the website that were blatantly not true when I arrived in Geneva, for example the cost of laundry. The adminstration is extremely strict and overbearing, and their offices are located in the lobby of the program dorm. If you're not feeling well and miss class, once they see the email from you, they'll go to your room, knock on the door then quickly enter the room with the master key before you have the time to get out of bed and answer the door, and say, "we just wanted to make sure you're sick just in case you were actually traveling." The administrators are incredibly unprofessional, unhelpful, and treat the students with an profound lack of respect. You are discouraged to travel, and the administrators have said, "This is Study Abroad, not Travel Abroad. If you want to travel abroad, wait until the program ends or when you're in your 30s or 40s."

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm is way nicer than I imagined. The bedrooms are spacious and the bathrooms are actually really nice. You can look at pictures online to get any idea of the living accommodations. PRO TIP: when you do your housing form, request a room that is NOT anywhere near the kitchen. The walls are paper thin and you will be woken up at 2am to people talking in the kitchen or making food.

* Food:

The "breakfast" was a complete joke. You are completely on your own for food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very limited local interactions and difficult to join clubs other than the tandem language club.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Generally, the healthcare here is sufficient and you will be seen quickly.

* Safety:

Geneva is incredibly safe, and you'll encounter the occasionally crack head around public transportation hubs, but it is generally very safe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? None

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Meeting Americans from other schools
  • Traveling with group of friends
  • Challenging classes
* What could be improved?
  • Firing and rehiring new BU administrators
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This is an incredibly serious program with BU administrators that do not care about you. Please know that before you send in the deposit for this program. Also, your internship is either going to be an incredible experience, or have nothing to do with your major or your interests. Understand that going into the program.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.