Pricy program, not worth the price, but valuable experiences. July 05, 2017

By (Brandeis University) - 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 tried my best to get to know the locals. Swiss people are very private, so it took me a long time to make friends with them. However, this gave me less time to hang out with the Americans in my program, and made them dislike me. They started to talk behind me. I've learnt that you can't have your cake and eat it.

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.

Academics was very intense. Had all the resources we needed. The program overall was good.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The room, kitchen, and bathroom were all shared. 60 people living in one building. Most of us got flus. Some of us even got pneumonia. The building was close to the city center.

* Food:

Only breakfast was provided, with very limited options. At some point, we just stoped going downstairs for breakfast because it was better to cook by ourselves.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were few chances to get to know local communities and students, or even practice French with people because they all spoke English. The program was so fully planned that we do not even have our own time to socialize more with the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare system was hard to use. I had to pay by myself first and then get reimbursed by the insurance company. I spent around $800 in total on healthcare since February, but have not got any checks back because of the low efficiency of the insurance company.

* Safety:

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

There are other programs in Geneva that I could have chosen. Their students are much more integrated with the local community than us. Their commuting expenses are covered, and their dining is better than ours as well.

Finances

* 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 was very expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $700

Language

* 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

A lot of Swiss people speak English. It is hard to practice French in daily communications. The courses were taught in English and the students were all Americans.

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 105
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • There was an excursion every month that the program would take us to and was free of charge.
  • The classes were intense but helpful.
* What could be improved?
  • The Internship Coordinator did not do a good job in terms of matching people up with their preferred organizations. A couple of students did not even get an offer after a week since others' internships started, and had to look for their own internships online.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that this program did not provide dining except breakfast, that Geneva was an expensive city to live in, that the program was so strict and intensive that we could not miss a single class. I wish I knew that our classmates were Americans, and that the internships at UN were not guaranteed but very hard to gain.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'