Internship in Geneva Past Review

By (English/French, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/01/2012 to 08/01/2012 with

Brigham Young University: European Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have gained from this experience valuable knowlege about how international advocacy and diplomacy actually works as well as knowledge about important issues and causes that I hope later to continue working with. This experience was definently worthwile as it allowed me to better solidify what I want to do in the future, and it has provided me with valuable experiences to help me achieve my goals.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Through my intership I was able to find housing with a local host family, the Vopicellis. I loved being able to stay with them and see how a local Swiss family actually lives. There were a few problems, mainly regarding moving out and food, but it was a very positive exerience to stay with this family.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?


* Safety:

Geneva is a very safe city, although there are a few sketchy areas.

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, and so it was quite hard to live on a typical "student's budget." Food was included in the housing, but things still added up quite quickly.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 300ish


* 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

Geneva speaks primarily French, although everyone does speak English. I found it very difficult to find opportunities to consistently use my French while abroad.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? French 463
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • I really like the opportunity to be in Geneva, which is such a vibrant and interesting city, and to work with my organization on important women's issues. My program helped me to develop both my interests and my skills so that I now am much better qualified for my future goals.
* What could be improved?
  • The program its self did not have major problems, and the only problems I really encountered were logistical relating to my individual organization.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I do wish that I had spoken more with past interns, so that I could better understand what I was actually going to be doing and what I would be expected to do. My expectations were in the end different from what I ended up doing, but I greatly enjoyed the experience none the less. I also would have attempted to be more knowlegable about women's issues than I originally was.