Only when studying abroad can you take a field trip to Switzerland for your economics class! On Friday we hopped on the TGV with our econ professor for a mandatory class outing to Geneva. For the entire weekend I had the Genovian national anthem stuck in my head (if you don’t get it, it’s a Princess Diaries reference!). Geneva, Genovia, close enough! I kept waiting for someone to tell me that I am actually the princess of a small country, but it never happened… Our first stop was the WTO, which is in the building originally built for the League of Nations. We learned all about what the WTO does, how they solve disputes, and how much effort goes into trade negotiations. The speaker even let us go into the main assembly room where all the delegates get together to discuss trade. I got to sit up at the front and pretend I was the secretary of the WTO (future calling?).
From the WTO, we walked up the road to the United Nations building. We had lunch in the UN cafeteria alongside all the people who work there. After we ate, we heard a presentation from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The speaker explained what UNCTAD aims to do and how they help developing countries improve their economies.
Next came my favorite part of the day, because it involved chocolate, my favorite thing! We went to a large department store in Geneva with a huge chocolate section. The woman working there really liked me because I spoke French to her, so she kept giving me samples of all the different kinds of chocolate. I had so many samples that I couldn’t even eat the chocolate I bought! After stuffing ourselves with sugar, the rest of the class headed back to Paris, while three of my friends and I stayed behind to see more of Geneva.
On Saturday morning, we took a bus out to Mount Salève, which overlooks Geneva. The bus dropped us off in Switzerland, but the other side of the street was in France. Border crossing is a lot easier here! A scary looking cable car took us practically straight up the side of the mountain. When we got to the top, some paragliders were just taking off, so we watched them run off the side of the mountain which looked absolutely terrifying! It was such a beautiful and warm day, and from the mountain we had a perfect view of Geneva, the lake, and Mont Blanc!
After we made it back down, we spent some time exploring the old, historic part of Geneva. We stopped at a really cute Swiss restaurant to have some delicious cheese fondue for lunch. We were so stuffed after we ate that we could hardly move! We walked along the lake for a while, then took a little ferry back and forth so we could get a closer look at the Jet d’Eau (Geneva’s big fountain in the lake). Then it was back on the TGV to Paris!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi! My name is Mimi Price and I am a junior at Santa Clara University where I study French, Economics and International Business. I have been looking forward to study abroad my whole life and I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to study in Paris. By the end of my program, I hope that I no longer feel like a tourist, but feel that Paris is my home. My goal is to embrace all that Paris has to offer from the language to the culture to the history. My hobbies include shopping and eating, so I think that Paris will be a good place for me!</span></p>