Lausanne Switzerland!!!! When it comes to mountains, chocolate, fresh air and cheese, Switzerland is the place to be. It has been just over a month since I’ve arrived in Lausanne, Switzerland and I am loving the Swiss way of life. The first week of my exchange however was quiet frankly hard and felt as if I played against Roger Federer in a game of tennis. Haha. From day one, upon arriving in Lausanne from literally the other side of the world, I was thrown in to the deep end.
A cold deep end mind you as it was around 1 degree. After navigating myself in french to my student accomodation through a french speaking town, I felt pretty satisfied. Yet my satisfaction slowly disappeared when I realised there was no home cooked food from my beautiful mum, no same smelly bedroom and no sheets. I was solo!!! The first week was like a baby discovering its new world, as I needed to find out where your university is, where to do my shopping, where to get my resident permit and how to get around Lausanne. It is difficult but its the best way to learn in my opinion.
Now enough of me talking about how difficult it was to settle in and stuff. I mean you’ve probably heard it all. So lets talk about my experiences!!! Lausanne is a beautiful city that is known for being the Olympic capital of the world, its gothic architecture, lake Geneva and the wonderful view of the Swiss Alpes. From week 2 to the middle of week 3 I began to really enjoy my time abroad. I commenced university at the University of Lausanne studying international Business. Yay!!!The university is beautiful and it is right next to Lake Geneva, overlooking the Swiss Alpes. I am at university three times a week from Monday through to Wednesday and I attend 5 business subjects !! Outside my studies, cooking, cleaning and ironing (which I developed a great passion for. Haha just joking) I get myself involved in almost all the activities that the ESN offers. Now before I move on I wanted to let you know that exchange is the best way to meet new people of all backgrounds. Swiss, Germans, Italians, French, Canadians, Americans, Singaporeans, Mexicans. I mean I could go all day. At first I thought it would be hard to make friends but quite frankly it was the opposite. You meet people at university, in your accomodation, at events , in tours and at the bus stop. It’s funny because the first thing they tell me is ‘how are you going mate? and Put a shrimp on the barbie!” Even though we don’t say the latter.
With the Exchange Student Network, I’ve partaken in many activities from parties, pub crawls, cultural dinner events and french movie nights. However the activities that have stood out the most so far has been the the city tour of Lausanne, snowshoeing in Fribourg and the chocolate and cheese factory in Gruyères. The city tour was a great way to know where I am going to spend 6 months of my time abroad. I climbed Lausanne’s gothic cathedral, walked along the beautiful lake Geneva from Lausanne’s back streets and visited the Olympic Museum. From this tour I discovered that Lausanne is the Olympic capital of the World and that Swiss people have to vote 8 times a year. Yes 8 times. Additionally I snowshoed in in the mountains in Fribourg. Fribourg is a medieval town which is about 1 hour by bus from Lausanne. We hiked up and down the mountains for about one and hour and we were rewarded with a traditional cheese fondue with a vin chaud. A Very,very Swiss meal. Additionally since I’ve arrived I’ve been stuffing myself with swiss chocolate and cheese. For that reason I couldn’t resist going to Gruyères to partake in a tour of the Cailler chocolate factory and Swiss cheese house. The whole day we learnt about how they make chocolate in their factories where we got to eat some at the end of the production line. It was like I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory only that no-one turned into a blue berry. Haha.
Additionally I’ve taken this opportunity abroad in Switzerland to do solo travel. I’ve travelled along lake Geneva to Montreux, Vevey, Aigle and also visited Neuchâtel. Yet as I am approaching a 10 day break for Easter, I will be spending 5 days with friends from Italy and Spain in Prague. How exciting!!!!You don’t realise how close everything is in Europe.
After Easter I plan to keep exploring Switzerland and continue to meet more people on this wonderful journey.
Bachelor of Business at the University of Lausanne Switzerland