For our trip this weekend, my friends and I arranged a day excursion to St. Gallen, a town in eastern Switzerland that is famous for its medieval monastic abbey library, Baroque-style churches, and textile museum. We spent our morning exploring the St. Gallen Abbey cathedral, which boasted breathtaking ceiling frescoes in the rotunda in front of the apse. A short walk from the cathedral led us to the Abbey Library of St. Gall, which contains the oldest library collection in Switzerland and is one of the oldest, most important monastic libraries in the world. I truly enjoyed this rare opportunity to view a selection of well preserved illuminated manuscripts that date back to the 1200s. We finished off our museum-going for the day by paying a visit to the St. Gallen Textile museum, where the Quilt Triennale exhibit was an awesome exhibit that made reconsider textile as an art form.
What a crazy day this has been so far. In light of the increasing coronavirus caseload in Switzerland as well as the rest of the globe, UGA made the difficult decision to recall all of their students who are currently studying abroad. Although I’m devastated that my semester in Zurich has come to a premature end, I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful people that I have met and the memories I’ve made that will last for a lifetime. To celebrate the end of many of our study abroad experiences, my friends and I decided to splurge a little and visit a fondue restaurant in downtown Zurich so we’d have a chance to enjoy two traditional Swiss dishes: raclette and fondue, before we have to part ways. After a day filled with emails and paperwork and an evening with friends and delicious food, I’m ready to face the journey home.
I’ve completed my two-week quarantine period at home and I’m adjusting into completing my final semester of college via video lectures. Even though not being able to see my friends every day has been hard, I glad that we are all staying safe by social distancing at home. My study abroad semester in Zurich may have been a short one, but it taught me so many lessons about being more self-confident, taking chances, and putting myself out there to make the most of any opportunity that comes my way. I’ve learned how to better handle myself in new situations, how to adapt to a new style of studying, and how to handle unexpected situations; all skills that will no doubt prove helpful when I enter the workforce.