10 things I've learned while at FUS

Hello Lugano!

Senior year has been a time of reflection as I navigate through these last months here at Franklin. There are countless lessons I've learned over these past four years, but I thought it would be fun to narrow it down to 10 key lessons to share with prospective students.

Exploring Ponte Tresa, a nearby town across the border in 2012

1. Home becomes the people you love-- not a place. I have found more than ever I do not identify as much with Boston being my home, but home is the family that makes me happy, both here and in the United States. Lugano is my second home because of the students and members of the community who make it joyful, comforting, and exciting.

2. Office hours are REALLY important. During my first semester, I was too nervous to visit the office of several of my professors, and man, what a mistake that was. Our professors are such a huge resource Franklin offers, whether it is for academic support or just talking through a bad day, I've found visiting Professors during office hours to be hugely instrumental to my academic success.

Walking along Lake Lugano at night

3. You can never be too prepared for a trip. At this point, I would consider myself a travel pro, but I still misplace boarding passes, almost forget my passport, have to make last minute accommodations, etc. While Franklin students pride themselves on their traveling abilities, it is essential to stay prepared and get organized ahead of time, so you don't get tripped up when it is go time.

4. Be prepared to always learn something new from an international friend. While I feel many friends here are more my brothers and sisters at this point, it's so cool to still witness the little nuances that differ between us culturally. From the way Germans cross their fingers when they are hoping for something, to my Arab friends saying "yallah" when it's time to hurry to class, I love knowing these small variances between cultures. I feel it will be an enormous asset when it's time to enter the workforce, especially as I will be doing international business, to already be aware of the cultural difference and not have to learn them the hard way.

Downtown Lugano during the Holiday Season

5. Life on campus can be stressful-- and it's essential to get out and about. One of our strongest assets is that we can walk downtown into Lugano in just a few minutes. When I find myself stressed over an exam, or just plain old need an hour to myself, we are very strategically located to downtown! Just as it's great to be on campus and be around friends, it is equally as important to find time to carve out offline, off campus, and away from the hustle and bustle of university life.

6. Learning the local language is really important. While I am nowhere near fluent, sadly, after four years, with every word I learn I feel more comfortable living in Ticino! Knowing other languages is such a gift, and it helps the world not feel so alienating! Learning languages is a way to connect with one another, and form lasting bonds. Knowing Italian is unbelievably helpful downtown and within the Luganese community, but it's also possible to practice French, German, and even Arabic and Russian around here.

Celebrating Holi: Festival of Colors in 2014

7. If and when you can, just say yes to traveling. If you have a light workload and receive an offer to go on a quick trip, take it! You will never regret the adventure, and we are so lucky that there are so many nearby places we can explore during our free time. There was only one time I said no to a spontaneous trip-- two years ago, and I regret it to this day! Traveling brings people together at Franklin, so travel as often as you can, work and finances permitting.

8. School is about showing up. Whether that means consistently going to class, contributing to the class discussions, handing in assignments on time, going to those academic events when needed... you have to be invested in your education. Academics are not a joke at Franklin, and you must stay on top of the work, otherwise it will catch up to you.

Walking to the library from our dorm, 2013

9. It would be impossible to find a more beautiful campus than Franklin University Switzerland. I have visited many other schools over the past couple of years, and while I can admire their beauty, quietly I think to myself-- this just will never compare. Yes, I'm biased, but we are so lucky to be surrounded by mountains and have a view of the gorgeous lake. You just can't get much better than Lugano, Switzerland.

 Skipping to lunch at the grotto

10. Especially with all that is going on in the world right now, community feels more important than ever. It's too easy to see the world in black and white through the media these days, but it is more difficult to generalize when we go to school with people with such diverse nationalities, religions, and experiences. I am much more compassionate and sensitive to when people say broad statements about a specific religion or region of the world, because of all of the beautiful friends who hail from that area.


  1. That's my girl! Franklin has been such a magical place for you, and we are so proud to know you can handle so many different experiences life will offer... while it is VERY SWEET to be writing your final college payment this month, I'm sure it's bitter sweet for you! Love you to the moon and back, Momo. Mom & Dad :) :)


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