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Welcome to Eszter's Study Abroad Pages
... because we can never stop learning about others and thereby learning about ourselves ...
My Junior Year
Abroad in Geneva,
About the Author
|As a native of Hungary, I was already studying abroad when I came to
the U.S. for college. But that wasn't enough, I decided to spend my junior
year abroad yet once again; I went to Geneva, Switzerland.
The goal of these pages is to explain why studying
First, I'll start with addressing some of the concerns people may have about finances, language issues, culture shock, homesickness, or approved course credit. (If you don't have any special concerns, feel free to jump ahead by selecting one of the links on the left margin.)
Finances. Your initial reaction may be that this is just an option for the elite. Not true. There are programs that offer the same amount of financial aid to those who go away and to those who stay. Colleges and programs differ in this, but some research will clarify what options are open.
Language issues. Many foreign universities (even in countries where English is not an official language) offer programs in English. Although in general I think it is more interesting to try studying in a foreign language, obviously that takes more preparation, commitment, and effort. There are programs all over available in English, or the local language of the region.
Culture shock. Yes, of course there will be hard times, some very hard times. But those are the times that will teach you the most. Not only will you learn about another culture, but through that knowledge you will expand your understanding of your own culture.
Homesickness. You thought going away to college was tough. Try doing that in a country where you may not even speak the language. But no problem. You will find companions. Moreover - and this is my general advice - pick a study abroad program where you go with a group of students and possibly even an advisor. That way you will never be alone. And don't forget, staying in touch with friends and family at home is getting easier all the time. Unless your goal is to really be isolated (which is possible in certain programs), chances are you'll have phone and probably even e-mail opportunities that will keep you connected with the known ground of home on a regular basis.
Lost credits. Are you worried that your work abroad won't be counted towards your degree? First of all, there is no such a thing as lost time abroad, because you're learning every moment. But to make sure you don't lose time - after all, not all of us want to, or can afford to be in school forever - check with your school before picking a program as to what type of courses and abroad programs are acceptable for transfer credit.
Are you still reading this? Great! That means that the above points have not scared you away. Your two options now are to check out my page on Why you'd want to Go; or look at my page on the specific experiences I had had in Geneva during my junior year abroad.
Feedback please! You can send me a note if there are any requests on what you would like to see here. Thoughts, comments, disagreements about what I say? Please let me and others know by signing my Guestbook. You may also view the Guestbook if you wish.
Not up to signing the Guestbook? Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For my personal page, see http://www.princeton.edu/~eszter.
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Last updated: July 21, 1997; http://www.reocities.com/Athens/8811
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