My study abroad experience was as an Exchange student at a university where I lived in a large flat with lots of other international students. These people very quickly exposed me to dozens of other cultures and practices. They showed me how they make dishes from their home countries and I learned all about places that I will likely never be able to travel. This became an introduction for me to learning new cultures and made my immersion into Swiss culture much easier. By studying through the exchange pathway I was able to access a new level of exposure and immersion into the culture that I don’t believe would have been as prevalent otherwise. I was put into a position that allowed me easy access to other people in a similar situation, making it very easy to make friends that were willing to explore, travel, and find experiences together. We could often go to the park and study together or go to the lake for a swim, or even have rooftop barbeque at our apartment. For me a student exchange allowed me to engage with a new community in a way that I had never really seen before. In addition, this was my first time living in a larger city, so the combination of a new community and an entirely new setting really was an eye-opening experience! I don’t have any experience with other study abroad options, but from my experience, I would definitely recommend an exchange as it provides you with the time to really invest in friendships and culture in a way that you might now have the opportunity to do again.

View from the top of the mountain we would hike together on the weekend!
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