FUS Student Perspectives
For this week's post, I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and interview my fellow classmates about their thoughts on studying at Franklin. Everyone has such a unique story and it's interesting to see how students decide to come to Franklin and how they've grown as people since then. I decided to choose one student from each grade to really showcase the variety of students and see how they connect within the Franklin community!
I'm thrilled to kick off my interviews with Dilan, a first-year student from Potomac, Maryland, USA.
Dilan! First of all, how did you hear about Franklin University Switzerland?
My aunt actually graduated from here in the '90's, and my sister is currently a junior here as well. I guess it just runs in the family!
I know you're only a first-year student, but what has been your favorite aspect of the school so far?
Definitely my residence. I live in Panera, which is a residence where many first-year students live. The people I live with and the friends I have in my dorm have made this year such a good time. I have loved getting close to friends and learning their stories. Also, Panera has the most fun lawn outside of the dorm, where we all hang out, throw a frisbee, play music, and socialize. Especially on beautiful days here in Lugano, it's such a nice outlet and community for me and my friends! But really, it's all about the people. My friends here are awesome and it's been so much fun so far.
Have you gone on any amazing independent travels yet?
Actually, over February break seven of my guy friends and I went on an epic trip to Budapest. It was so cool to experience a new city and country with my friends and be able to share such an experience with them.
What's something you've really loved learning about Lugano so far?
I've loved discovering all of the beautiful running trails and all the different parts of Lugano where I can go on runs. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area of Switzerland.
If you could give a piece of advice to an incoming freshman or prospective student, what would you tell them?
I really recommend taking advantage of your surroundings as much as possible, especially at the beginning. Whether that's your dorm, Franklin's campus, or Lugano in general, get out as much as you can because that's the best and easiest way to connect with fellow students and make friends! Seize the day, and you'll love Franklin, I sure do.
Next up is the lovely Olivia, a sophomore from São Paulo, Brazil, majoring in International Relations.
Olivia! First off, what's your favorite part about Franklin?
The location! The fact that we can pick up and go pretty much anywhere in Europe on the weekends is such a remarkable opportunity. Even just heading up to Luzern or Zurich for the day is something I don't take for granted. Also, waking up to the mountains outside my dorm window every morning makes me feel so lucky to be here.
Talk to me about your major, International Relations, and how it's impacted your time here thus far.
I've interacted most with the professors in the IR department, of course, and it's such a privilege to be able to sit in class and learn about perspectives of these fascinating people, and then go to different classrooms and hear an entirely different viewpoint from a different professor. I have gathered a multitude of ideas and my major has taught me how to think critically, and really hone in on what I believe about the world. I've noticeably consolidated my opinions since first coming to Franklin.
What has been your favorite Academic Travel so far?
Iceland, hands down. I never, ever, ever thought I would end up in Iceland, I mean really, a Brazilian in Iceland? The theme of the Academic Travel was based on environmental science which I had never studied before, and it was such a unique and memorable group of people. I think we all felt very much out of our element in this freezing, stunning place. And without much wifi we were able to bond so perfectly as a group over karaoke and poker nights!
How has Franklin changed the way you see yourself and the way you see the world?
I've learned how much more there is to the world than just Brazil, or the U.S., etc. It's taught me to think independently and to problem solve. Franklin teaches you a lot about how to prioritize and balance academic life.
What else would you want people to know about Franklin?
This might sound strange, but I really think there is such a high return on investment coming to Franklin. It is literally such a unique place and the only one of its kind. Franklin enables you to have experiences you couldn't find anywhere else. You are able to connect with people from around the world on a daily basis, and I believe the connections you make will serve you well later on. I love how small the classes are and how I really feel like I'm contributing to campus life and getting so much out of it as well.
Nick is a wonderful friend, and will be graduating with me next spring. He is a a junior and an International Economics major with a Management minor, and hails from Madrid, Spain.
Nicky! What's your favorite part of Franklin?
That's tough, but it would probably come down to my friends and the international connections I've made here. I enjoy my education, and feel so satisfied with the caliber of professors.
How have you changed since arriving here in 2012?
These years are so formative I'm sure I would've changed regardless of where I had chosen to go to school, but Franklin has definitely made a large impact. I'm much more mature and focused on my academics than I was when I first arrived, as well as more understanding of other cultures and perspectives. It's also crazy how I feel that while I call Spain home, I'm also coming home to Lugano each semester I come back. Franklin has become a home for me, and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.
What would you tell any prospective student if you could?
I'd tell them what a special place Franklin is, with such a unique student body. The traveling is definitely one of the best parts, especially Academic Travel. There is so much you can take advantage of while here, and it's such a gift. I just recommend you really immerse yourself fully into Franklin life and approach any situation with a positive attitude.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Cara, who is a senior from Portland, Oregon, USA and is majoring in International Management.
Cara! Wow, you're a senior, how does it feel to be in your last semester of university?
Honestly, it's terrifying. I can't believe it's already over, these years have completely flown by. I really feel like I have changed and matured so much over these years. I'm nervous about leaving and taking the next steps and finding a job, and of course sad because I'm going to miss the people I've spent so much time with and with whom I've shared so many unique experiences.
How did you end up at Franklin? I'm always curious to hear.
I lived in Germany for three years when I was 13, and it shaped my life and made me completely change my perspectives on travel and who I wanted to be as a person. Before moving to Europe for the first time I thought I would be attending a traditional American college and playing soccer professionally, I never dreamed I would want to move and study in Europe. But that experience changed my entire family. We had always been very content in Oregon, but we all got the travel bug from our time there. So, I tried to find a school here that would enable me to continue my adventures abroad, and that's where Franklin came into the picture. Franklin absolutely caters to a very unique person, and that's one of the reasons I think it's such a tight-knit community, because if you aren't a relatively out-of-the-box thinker and pretty open-minded, it's not the place for you.
What are some things you love about this school?
This might sound strange, but I sometimes count the nationalities in my classrooms, and it's truly so remarkable that I will often count 10, 12, or higher amounts countries represented in a classroom of around 20. I love walking from class to the Grotto and hearing English, Arabic, Russian, and Italian all being spoken by my peers. I love the fact that I live with three other girls, and one is Norwegian, one is half Finnish and half Spanish, and the other is half Palestinian and half Italian, from Dubai. We embody the term "global citizens", and really, we are all third culture kids. I love the management department and the opportunities we have to grow through independent travel. I also love that even if you stay around Lugano for the weekend, you are still enhancing your international perspective just through interactions downtown, or going grocery shopping in Ponte Tresa (just across the border in Italy).
What do your friends at home think about your time here?
I think many of them think I'm nuts to have chosen this place! (laughs) I hope they are inspired to travel themselves though. I wouldn't change my experience, even for a second. I know this school isn't for everyone, and of course, there have been lows as well as highs, but I would rather be that adventurous, radical girl who left Oregon and took a chance to come to Switzerland than to be someone who stayed at home! I will say it definitely makes it harder to connect with people at home when you do go back, but even with that, I truly wouldn't change it. We become almost like mythical friends, these people with amazing stories and unparalleled experiences, and that can be lonely at times because often my friends who I made these Franklin memories with are all around the world, and not in necessarily in Portland. I will forever recommend Franklin to people I meet and will probably not stop talking about my time here, especially for those who are interested in attending.
Any last thoughts on your Franklin experience?
I know for anyone who is thinking about coming here, it will be the most transformational experience you might have, ever. You will meet people you never imagined you'd be best friends with, your favorite places in the world will be places you couldn't even pronounce properly before your first year, and you will mold and grow as a person and become such an independent thinker. My wanderlust has only just begun, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where my adventures lead next!
Many thanks to these lovely friends for sharing their perspectives on being at Franklin. I will say, while I was doing these interviews I was smiling the entire time because I couldn't believe how much I resonated with what they were saying, and honestly this made me feel closer to each of them. It's so heartening to hear about how positive attending Franklin has been for each of them. These four students contribute so constructively to Franklin life, but that's the thing about this school, everyone has a place and everyone can have an impact on each other. I just really don't think that in many other universities I would know such a breadth of people, both in terms of grade level and in terms of cultural heritage, and know their journeys so personally. I love knowing that I have friends not only in my junior class, but even first-year students who are just beginning their adventure here.
That's all for now! I am heading on Academic Travel this weekend, for two weeks, to Morocco to study music and culture. I'm very much looking forward to filling you all in on my time there... I've been patiently waiting for this ALL semester. Follow along on our adventures #ATFUS on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, a little quote that inspired me this morning...
"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world". -Mary Ann Radmacher