Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Hey Everybody! I have been getting some questions about what are the main differences from my life now, to the one I had before, so I decided to devote an entire post to that. First, to catch up on everything that has happened since my last post.

Last weekend, we had our rotary innitiation. We met Rotarians, and I had my first Brotwust (as seen in the picture to the right). By the way, I am typing this during lunch because my laptop at home cant go on this website. So, if at some time I just randomly stop, its because the bell rang---but it will be updated 24 hours later! Haha...

Anyways, school is going well, and it is beginning to feel like a routine. Below, is a picture of me sitting with my exchange friends during lunch. We are all really close, and they make it so much easier to do this with. Last Wednesday we went on an hour or two long boat ride around the lake together (thanks Rotary!) and ate and talked. It was so much fun!
 Laura, Elle and Sienna and I also all took the train to Luzern this Saturday for another Rotary orrientation, and we got to check out the city, which was fun too.

Elle and I on the boat

Language camp officially ended last Friday, which was a good thing, and a bad thing. On one hand, I'm glad to spend the whole day with my normal class, and I was getting a little bored to be honest in language camp. On the other hand, we all kind of decided that we should stop hanging out with eachother, and try to make Swiss friends. Although I sat with some girls from my class on Monday, this whole week I sat by myself or in the library reading Time during lunch. Ergh...Im such a loser!! That has been really hard for me, because the exchange students have kind of been a barrier to all the homesickness people feel on exchange, and let me tell you, eating by yourself will bring that on like no other. (Especially when you stupidly decide to eat at Starbucks, and there is a huge painting of Pike Place)

Now, on to the main subject of this, the differences! (The bell is about to ring, so I'll make this snappy)

SCHOOL: School is WAY different here. As I said before, you pick a major, and are in a class of students with the same major. Your rotate your entire day with this class. School usually starts at 7:30, 8:25 or 9:15 and goes until 3:00, 4:00 or 4:45. Although the late start is nice, not getting home until 5:30 two days a week kind of sucks. Lunch is always at least and hour and a half, and on Thursdays for me it is two hours and fifteen minutes. In that time, you can walk downtown and buy food at Migros (kind of like a Swiss Thriftway) or go to a restaurant (though most people dont do this) or go home. A lot of people eat in downtown, or at the lake. The Migros is located in the Metali, which is kind of like a mall, which reminds me of Westlake center. There is an outside fountain at the Metali which is the most popular place to eat.

(This is a picture Elle took of me during lunch)

Teachers also lecture A LOT more than in the states, and there is way less  homework! It is almost more like a college setting, because most of your grade is based on tests, so the teachers wont force you to just should. PLUS all colleges are almost free and you get accepted autimatically for passing high school. (Which by the way, they only accept the the top 20% of Middle School students. So getting in to high school says that you are really smart!) Ill add more to this catagory tomorrow after I have thought it over...Im kind getting a brain fart...haha

HOME: Ok, all homes are smalllll. And very clean. Housing is so expensive that it could cost a million dollars to have a house half the size of mine at home! Wowza.

Personally, I do not really care for Swiss homes, and it has actually been something that has made me homesick.Even Swiss people admit it; from the outside, there houses are not that attractive. They are kind of like grey boxes. I miss American architecture so much! Give me some white paint or some Victorian porches PLEASE. But dont get me wrong, it is a cultural difference, and I understand that. It is just not something they care a lot about, maybe it relates to being humble? Because a house that doesnt look that nice here usually is decked out in the inside. I reallly like my house, however. I think I posted some pictures, but it is on a cobblesotone road and is really sweet.

RANDOM OTHER DIFFERENT STUFF: (Warning--I will ramble)
  • The lights turn yellow before before they turn green to warn you that you will have to go soon
  • It is totally acceptable for a teenager to drink and smoke in public
  • Nudity is not an issue here--my Swiss friends acted like it was totally normal to have me go in their bathroom stall with them while they peed. (haha, I pretended to be suddenly very intrested in my phone the entire time. It was akward for me!)
oooppsies. Bell! I gotta go to Sports. Yucky...we playing soccer! (Last time, when the ball was kicked to me, I tried to catch it. oh my god.) At least I kick there booties at basketball! (You guys would think it was so funny watchint them try to dribble...) Ill finnish this tomorrow at lunch! Im sorry if it sounds like I am complainging to much, I really do love it here and am so thankful for this opportunity. I have had some of the best times of my life here, and some of the saddest. I gotta keep being postive! IM IN EUROPE!!!!

Until tomorrow ;)


  1. Hey, Emma... sounds like you are having some amazing times, though the homesick times sound hard. I always heard sitting alone at lunch was a tough one... just keep telling yourself about all the amazing experiences. I miss you like the dickens!!! xoxox mom

  2. I'm glad you have your sense of humor...Sometimes we can laugh through our tears. Looks like your next host family will have teenagers.
    Just remember you can go shopping on Grandma and Poppa.
    Hugs Grandma

  3. Of interest - your (8 times great- grandmother) Veronica Bercyksin was born and raised in Luzern before she migrated to the colonies in 1720 with her German husband.