Amazing experience in which I learned about myself and the world. Past Review

By (Environmental Studies and Communications (Rhetorical Studies), Bethel University) - abroad from 08/30/2011 to 12/14/2011 with

Study Abroad Programs in Switzerland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned many things about myself, and yes it was completely worthwhile. I would not do it again because I have already had that experience, so if I were to study abroad again I would stay with a host family.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Scuola ILI - Lugano (Language School)
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Rather than the courses being challenging themselves, it was more so the combination of the courses and the setting of being abroad that made it more difficult to complete certain types of homework.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Mostly hostels, but the Schloss was awesome!!

* Food:

We learned fairly quickly how to grocery shop in Switzerland, and we were well fed wherever we went.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish we could have connected more with the culture, but because we were in a group staying in hostels all over Europe, this was almost impossible.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need healthcare, but one girl on our trip became very ill and was taken very good care of, one guy needed insulin and our advisors made sure he got it, and one girl needed to go to the dentist and she was well taken care of as well.

* Safety:

I felt safe almost all the time wherever we were! Always pretend that you know what you are doing, and/or that you are comfortable with what you are doing, so you wont target unwanted attention from locals (especially those who might pickpocket or mess with you). Act like you are in control of the situation, but ask for help wisely when need be.

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


* 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)

I was very frugal with my money so it was not a problem, but for others who spent extensively it was challenging.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy budget brands at grocery stores, and search for cheaper lodging and transportation options - they are out there!


* 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

The teachers encouraged us to speak Italian daily.

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? Level 1
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? If we stayed in one place it would have been easier to learn Italian.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I learned a lot about myself.
  • We got to see so many different cultures and monuments.
* What could be improved?
  • I wish we could have stayed at a host family's house.
  • I wanted to be more engulfed in the culture and language of our main country (Switzerland), or really anywhere.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that we would not be as immersed in the culture.