High cost, high reward March 28, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/30/2021 to 12/31/2021 with

Geneva Graduate Institute and Wellesley College - BA/MA Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The program was excellent academically and gave me a crash course in living completely independently (which was a bit overwhelming at times but ultimately a good experience). The other students there were fantastic and since it is a graduate program, had often had careers of their own before returning to higher education (though many had come straight from college like myself).

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Program doesn't provide meals for free and the meals that are available for purchase in the cafeteria are overpriced

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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 the 5th most expensive city in the world to live in and the program doesn't provide anything to offset costs (the grant from Wellesley covered the first month of rent)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50-70 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is easy to take the bus from the dorms over the border to France. The farmer's market and regular supermarkets in Ferney-Voltaire are both extensive and cheap.


* 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

All classes are in English and therefore all students speak it as well. Any day-to-day usage came from outside the program through errands and other trips

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? None in the language in question
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Academic
  • Friends/students
  • Travel
* What could be improved?
  • Cost
  • Extra cirriculars
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Start the visa process far earlier than you think that you need to

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!