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American interning in Geneva this summer, looking for tips/advice. watch

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    What's going on all, so recently I and a couple of other members of my international relations program here in SoCal were selected for an internship/university program. For five weeks we'll be interning with an international organization (like UN, gcsp, etc.) and also studying while we are there. I have a few general qs that some people have already helped me out with, but still would like some more opinions. I did a search but not much recent came back.

    1. What's the general social climate like over there? We have a group of mixed races, wondering if Geneva is known for any discrimination. (I've never heard of anything like that and all Swiss people I meet have been chill) not really concerned with race as much as discriminating based on language, i know that in some parts of Europe not speaking the native language can make things difficult. I speak French (need to practice lol) and Spanish, but it's definitely not perfect.

    2. What's nightlife like there? I hear it's not the greatest, and on weekends we definitely plan on traveling to some places. I hear interlaken is sick, and I have some friends studying throughout Europe right now so I plan to visit Spain / Ibiza one weekend, and after the internship probably stay for global gathering. If anyone knows any other events like that while we're there (late may - July) it would be appreciated.

    3. I know this sounds ridiculous, but Internet capabilities. How hard is it to get access over wifi? Where we are staying (the hotel drake) I believe doesn't have free wifi, and I actually do wpother work on the Internet. I was planning on just bringing my iPad and maybe a netbook, but I hear that I have to buy wifi cards which I'm unsure will fit in my iPad or netbook if it's not USB compatible.

    4. Costs. I hear geneva is expensive and for a group of twenty year old that will probably make some things undoable. What are some things we shouldn't miss, and other places near by you all might recommend? While we have a lot of work to get done while over there we definitely want to maximiZe our time.


    Thanks in advance, apologies for any typos, this thing sometimes auto corrects itself strangely.
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    (Original post by hyakku)
    What's going on all, so recently I and a couple of other members of my international relations program here in SoCal were selected for an internship/university program. For five weeks we'll be interning with an international organization (like UN, gcsp, etc.) and also studying while we are there. I have a few general qs that some people have already helped me out with, but still would like some more opinions. I did a search but not much recent came back.

    1. What's the general social climate like over there? We have a group of mixed races, wondering if Geneva is known for any discrimination. (I've never heard of anything like that and all Swiss people I meet have been chill) not really concerned with race as much as discriminating based on language, i know that in some parts of Europe not speaking the native language can make things difficult. I speak French (need to practice lol) and Spanish, but it's definitely not perfect.

    2. What's nightlife like there? I hear it's not the greatest, and on weekends we definitely plan on traveling to some places. I hear interlaken is sick, and I have some friends studying throughout Europe right now so I plan to visit Spain / Ibiza one weekend, and after the internship probably stay for global gathering. If anyone knows any other events like that while we're there (late may - July) it would be appreciated.

    3. I know this sounds ridiculous, but Internet capabilities. How hard is it to get access over wifi? Where we are staying (the hotel drake) I believe doesn't have free wifi, and I actually do wpother work on the Internet. I was planning on just bringing my iPad and maybe a netbook, but I hear that I have to buy wifi cards which I'm unsure will fit in my iPad or netbook if it's not USB compatible.

    4. Costs. I hear geneva is expensive and for a group of twenty year old that will probably make some things undoable. What are some things we shouldn't miss, and other places near by you all might recommend? While we have a lot of work to get done while over there we definitely want to maximiZe our time.


    Thanks in advance, apologies for any typos, this thing sometimes auto corrects itself strangely.
    Hi There,

    Having been to many parts of Switzerland including Ftan, Zurich, Crans-Montana and Davos I can answer some of your questions.

    1. The swiss are generally very friendly and polite people, switzerland is a very formal place and there are lots of traditions and so forth, you won't find any racism or discrimination there really, they are very civilized people.

    2. Nightlife in the cities are like anywhere really, they have their good parts and their bad parts, use google for a list of the best clubs for Geneva as I haven't been there myself personally. Put it this way though, the swiss aren't best known for their nightlife, lol.

    3. Wifi depends on where you are, they do have things like Starbucks with free wifi though, so you should be able to get connectivity somewhere.

    4. Yes, you are right, Switzerland in general is VERY expensive. Expect to pay a lot when eating out for meals etc, as said before I haven't been to Geneva so can't recommend places to see but just do a google with search terms and you should find something.

    Hope this helps a little.
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    Switzerland is very expensive. Speaking French in Geneva instead of the stereotype American expectation of everyone speaking English will be appreciated.
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    Thanks for some of the advice jmzie. Thankfully my hotel has wifi I can buy, although I hear it is expensive, and I have a small kitchen so I should be able to cook. I hear my hotel (the hotel drake ) isn't in the best area, but where I'm from I highly doubt this should bother me. In fact, I'm wondering if you think it'll be easier for me to find a spot to get my haircut (really strange question I know, but I've been to places in America where I couldn't get a basic haircut because they didn't know how to cut black hair lol).

    Disregarding this though, I'd like to know of some places you might suggest visting from May - July. I may stay for Global gathering, but any other music events at the time would be good to go too, and I'm also currently trying to figure out more about Interlaken (I'm pretty sure I'll be going there). Sorry it took so long to respond, between getting sick and Coachella and a car breakdown it's been a wild week.

    Edit: Barnet, also thanks for your input. I don't mind speaking French / Spanish, my French accent is pretty abysmal I feel though even though I'm told it's alright. I guess Europe is slightly different in that the linguistic paradigm seems to be attempting to speak the native language is better than spouting off your own, whereas here it's usually easier to just cater to whoever you are speaking to if you can (i.e. generally people will just speak Spanish to spanish people if they know it as it makes the conversation go smoother). Pretty interesting contradiction.
 
 
 
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