A Mixed Eperience January 03, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/23/2021 to 12/23/2021 with

Geneva Graduate Institute and Wellesley College - BA/MA Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot from my courses. I learned French and how to cook for myself, handle my living expenses, and be responsible for my daily routine without my support network close.

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.

The academic rigor and intensity was very high, as expected from a graduate program and I definitely learned a lot from my classes. The resources and support however were not as strong as I would have hoped for, I often felt that I had to find my own solutions to any issues I had.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The response time for any questions or concerns I had were very slow and would often arrive too late to be helpful. Issues or questions I had about immigration and more logistical things were also very rarely answered by the on-site administration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements I had were very nice, clean, and new. It was a good location and I always felt safe. The administration of the building I was living at would sometimes be slow to respond and answer my questions, however.

* Food:

I cooked for myself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did feel quite integrated, but I sought out those experiences and tried to find ways to be integrated, the program itself didn't lend itself well to being very connected with the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was very easy to get healthcare, but the ability to see doctors and fulfill prescriptions was a little challenging.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe and secure in all settings. The people there are very respectful and everything from public transportation to stores are run very efficiently and safely.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I learned a lot from my coursework and living alone in a completely new country, so it was a worthwhile experience. Although I did face lots of challenges mentally, I think in the end it was worth it


* 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)

The place I went to is quite expensive so I tried to save wherever I could while still enjoying my time there.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60


* 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

It was encouraged as everything in Geneva was in French and the school was a bilingual school

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? no prior language course
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? really try and use it, without being afraid of messing up or not being able to get your message across, practice makes perfect!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Living in Geneva
  • Experiencing a new country
  • Meeting people from all over the world
* What could be improved?
  • support for immigration/settling into Switzerland
  • Academic support
  • Community building with other students doing the same program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take more advantage of the city and dont get so stuck inside your room, there is a lot to do in the city and to explore.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!