Excellent Academic Experience, But Be Prepared For Complete Independence January 23, 2023

By (Political Science/International Relations, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/29/2022 to 12/24/2022 with

Geneva Graduate Institute and Wellesley College - BA/MA Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Grew a lot in terms of learning to be really independent and how to thrive in a completely international city. Was worthwhile, but I felt unsupported initially.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

the graduate institute admin is good if you go through professors, but you will be largely unsupported as a BA/MA student. no one really takes ownership of you (not Wellesley, not the institute)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

living arrangements were great! Roughly the same cost as wellesley and someone comes to clean your room every two weeks.

* Food:

good, but expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

generally pretty good because geneva is an international city so the integration with ex-pats is easy. the swiss are a little harder to mesh with, but that is also because of a longstanding debate about teaching french and english at the graduate institute.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I can't really comment because I never got sick (thank goodness). That said, basic medications (advil, tylenol) are not as easily accessible, so students should prepare for not having access to basic meds if that is something they need.

* Safety:

Really, really safe. Obviously don't be out late in less populated areas, but Geneva is a high security city that is usually pretty quiet and generally well lit.

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)


* 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

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

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

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Professors
  • Friends
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Living Expenses
  • Visa Process Info
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? All of the visa process info and I wish I had more info from Wellesley about the academic aspects ahead of time.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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!