Today I have an interview with Victoria (on the right in the picture). She is a Kent State student, and a good friend of mine, who is currently studying abroad in Switzerland for the semester. She has also included a couple of beautiful pictures she has taken while there. Enjoy!
Name: Victoria Jackson
Major: Pan-African studies, Minors in International Business and Political Science
- What is the time difference between Kent and Switzerland?
- The difference is 6 hours.
- Have you discovered any cool shops, restaurants, café, etc. that you enjoy? If so, what are they called? And, can you describe them?
- Restaurants here are extremely expensive, so I have only been to a few. The best restaurant I have been to so far is the Spaghetti factory, which I can only describe as Italian fusion. The food was good but expensive. There is an Irish pub, called Mulligans, which is a half a block from our building so we usually will hangout there. The beers aren’t too expensive and the bartenders are friendly. I went to the Salvation Army here and it was really nice. It had a great selection of books in English and a nice clothing section especially the skirts and coats. There is a cafe near my internship that has a really nice tarte tatin. The café is expensive so that was a one-time thing.
- What is something you did there so far that was a lot of fun?
- I have done a few fun things. Going to museums, and exploring the city. I took a day trip to France. I went to a town in France just past the Swiss border with some friends; we walked around and went to a pastry shop. A group of us from the program went to a Rave, which was an interesting and unique experience.
- How is the weather there currently?
- I love the weather here. Recently it has been around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I have only seen it snow twice here, and it was extremely light, did not stick to the ground, and lasted for a few minutes.
- What are you doing in Switzerland/ What is your reason for going?
- I am doing the Kent State UniversityGeneva Semester. The internship option for this program is why I am in Switzerland. I am interning with the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rightsof the Child, and I also take classes.
- What has been the biggest adjustment for you?
- Folders. Hands down folders have been the biggest adjustment. American style folders are not sold inGeneva. I wish I had brought my own from home. Also nothing is open on Sunday, which is difficult to get used to.
- Was/Is it difficult for you to find your way around?
- It has been really easy to get around. Geneva is an international city, so most people speak English. The public transportation here is excellent, it is the best transportation system I have ever experienced. Our building is located at the city center so we are in walking distance of almost everything we need on a daily basis.
- I read that Switzerland has a few official languages, with German being the most spoken language. Do you find it difficult to communicate with the locals?
- Fortunately for me German is spoken in the region I am not in. In Geneva French is spoken. As I mentioned in the last question, English is widely spoken in Geneva. I usually only encounter a severe language barrier at grocery stores or smaller shops. Ihave been practicing French while I am here and that has helped a lot.
- What do you miss the most (besides family and friends) about being away from home?
- Folders. Also food. The selection in the grocery store is not as wide as in the US. All the food here is either Italian or cheese. It is annoying. I just want to eat something spicy.
- What is your main way of staying in contact with people from home?
- I use the textfree app on my ipod, phone, and computer. Basically I have 3 new 216 area code numbers that I used to text and keep in contact. I also use skype video calls.
- Which would you say is more visually pleasing: Kent or Switzerland?
- Definitely Switzerland. There is no comparison. Geneva is beautiful, especially Lake Geneva. The rural areas of Switzerland are beautiful, and the mountains are beautiful and can be seen everywhere. Even the buildings and cobblestone streets are beautiful. Why did you even ask me this ahahhah just kidding
- Are there other countries that you plan on visiting while abroad? If so, which countries?
- There are many cities I would like to experience, but time and budget place a lot of constraints on my travel plans. I plan on visiting the UK, Spain, France, and Italy. I’m still in the planning phase, and hopefully I can expand the number of countries and cities I visit.
- What are some of the things you would like to do before heading back to Kent?
- I would like to travel through Europe, and see historical sites and museums. Also I would like to go to a good concert while I’m here.
- How does it feel to be spending your last semester of college in Switzerland?
- It feels great. It is really nice to be away from campus and to be in a great city. I can’t image having this experience and then going back to Kent. More importantly this is the only semester I could do it.
- Do you think you would consider working or living in Switzerland in the future if the opportunity came about?
- I would only live in Geneva. I would not live anywhere else in Switzerland. I really like Geneva and I could live here, and it has a nice location in Europe.
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