My favorite thing about studying abroad is how small it has made the world. As I walked around the Lake District, I thought of North Carolina and summers spent at Lake Santeetlah with my family. As I biked around Lake Geneva with the Alps rising up into the clouds around me, I thought of Provo and my Utah mountains, and watching the sun set over Mont Blanc reminded me of the insane sunsets over Timp and Y Mountain. I met a missionary in Geneva who was in the MTC with my cousin who’s currently in Tahiti. I stayed with a family in Switzerland who knew a family in New Jersey that I knew in Georgia. There is so much beauty all over the world, so many connections that can be made no matter where you are. My heart is full of so much happy gratitude these days. Gratitude for this experience, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, and most surprising to me, the insane amount of love I have for my home. For America, for Lilburn, for Provo. I can’t wait to come home, and at the same time, I can’t wait to go see the next new place. If it’s even possible, I’m going to be coming home with an even stronger desire to have and pursue big dreams.
Ok, enough sap for one blog post. On to fun facts about Switzerland and languages! So the Swiss are super weird about their trash- really in to composting and recycling. The fines for doing your trash wrong are insane, so you have no option. You’re super green if you live in Switzerland. The country is so small that they don’t want to have landfills, so everything is recycled. Also, there are vineyards all over the place, but Switzerland doesn’t export wine. They consume all of the wine the produce. ALL OF IT. Also, if you live in Switzerland for 5 years you become a permanent resident, and as long as you’re in the country for 7 out of the 12 months of the year you keep that status. And college is paid for by the government, so it’s only like $700 a semester. PLUS, most programs are in English because they want their students to be really marketable. So basically what I’m saying to you is that if you want to live in Switzerland, the way to do it is to do college or your masters program in Switzerland and then just stay for the rest of the 5 years and then you’re good to go!
Also, along those lines, I finally downloaded Duolingo and am currently polishing my Spanish skills and teaching myself French so I can live here and communicate with the locals. And I learned that to be considered fluent in a language, you need to know 2,000 words. People say that when you read the Book of Mormon in a different language, you’ll be fluent in said language by the end, and guess why! The Book of Mormon is about 2,000 words! Crazy, right?