A Day in the Life of a Franklin Student!
The view of Monte San Salvatore from a local park!
It's really funny to think about how much has changed, and in some cases, how much hasn't, in the past (almost) three years that I've been here at Franklin. Every time I go home I'm reminded of how much I've grown and matured, but recalling the very first days, and that first fall semester as a freshman, I'm proud to notice how much more Franklin really seems like home, and Lugano, the community I want to be in.
My parents came over with me during Fall Orientation, and it seemed as though Lugano was an entirely different world. I had no idea where to grocery shop, who the professors were, or even the name of the token mountain in our area, Monte San Salvatore (above). I've learned many lessons, big and small, since that first Orientation so I thought I'd share more about what life's like as a Franklin student.
In terms of academics, FUS students are truly are getting a liberal arts education, regardless of whether you major in International Relations, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, or International Banking and Finance. While I'm personally more inclined to study business and finance, I've also taken several fantastic marketing classes, history classes, and art classes as well. It's a well-rounded education and there a lot of flexibility in terms of combining majors or pursuing a minor in something you might be interested in that's entirely different from your major.
Fellow students presenting in my marketing class
I typically meet with at least one or sometimes two professors about once per week. I really value how Franklin professors are willing to make themselves available to talk about questions, concerns, career paths, travel, anything! Professor Georges Rocourt is a professor who I've spent a great deal of time with here at Franklin as an International Management major. Also, I genuinely enjoy spending time during office hours with some of my professors, because in my eyes they've lived several lives as professionals and global citizens and have given me great advice - whether it's figuring out which classes to take next semester or options for my future. The professors here are a huge resource that wasn't even really a major consideration for me when choosing Franklin, but in retrospect I am so grateful I have gotten to know these academics who I really respect and admire. I know that sentiment is echoed campus-wide.
Depending on the courses you are enrolled in, you might have a really heavy academic Wednesday, or an early start to your Tuesday/Friday classes. Unless the class is offered once per week, in which case you will meet for three hours on one day, you will either have a class that is offered on Mondays/Thursdays for an hour and fifteen minutes per session, or Tuesdays/Fridays. Wednesdays are typically reserved for Academic Travel classes, art classes, or upper level classes which meet for longer. This semester my Mondays and Thursdays are more filled up by class, so I make sure to schedule meetings, extracurricular activities, or social events for other days.
My friend Anna at CSI's clean-up day at our local lake
Aside from formal class time, I've enjoyed getting involved in some of the many clubs on campus. I'm a member of the Franklin Business Society, and we meet weekly to discuss major global events, and often we have guest speakers who will come to discuss their company and their experience in the business world. Franklin Business Society has helped me to make many professional contacts in the Ticino area and has also brought me closer to people who enjoy the business world as well. You don't have to be a business major to participate, in fact there are many members who aren't and just enjoy discussing ideas and listening to our guest speakers.
Another great way to get involved is through the Center for Sustainable Initiatives, which is a group of students on campus focused on the environment and whose goal is to promote sustainability in our international community through research, education, and outreach. These students organize Earth Week here on campus, as well as a clean-up day at the local lake in the spring. It's another way to be more involved on campus and also be able to help out the beautiful community we live in.
Making breakfast in my dorm, New Building (A)
On Tuesdays there is "wellness day" as an option at one of our dining halls, and many Franklin students (especially those with an aversion to cooking, like me) enjoy sampling local products that are available for lunch this day. On Thursdays, our one chef treats us with the best Indian food for lunch, as she is Indian and really knows her way around the kitchen! I really look forward to both of these days in terms of on campus food options, because otherwise I'll usually just make eggs or a salad for a meal.
Speaking of meals, the most common grocery stores are Coop, Manor, Migros, or Denner, with Manor being the most expensive and Denner being the least. Many Franklin students also choose to train over the border to Italy and go shopping in Ponte Tresa, an Italian town about 20 minutes away with excellent local produce and less expensive grocery options overall. I typically grocery shop about once per week, usually at Migros or Manor. I also hike or ski at least once per week as well, although that isn't true of everyone. My days during the week have fallen into a nice rhythm, with a balance between attending class, exercising, studying, and spending quality time with friends.
Hanging out with my friend Senya and B, a local dog I help walk during the week
Lugano as a community is so much more comfortable now than it used to be. It is a very safe region of Switzerland and I've never had a problem with security, even if walking by myself late at night. Of course, as with anywhere, it's better safe than sorry, and generally it's smarter to take a taxi if it is going to be very late, but generally speaking we live in Switzerland, a place world-renowned for its peaceful atmosphere.
I remember worrying so much in the beginning about how I would spend my time, how I would ever figure out how to live independently and in an entirely new culture. The cultural adjustment was easier than I had anticipated, which was helped by taking Italian during my first two years on campus. Learning the local language is appreciated immensely by Ticinese locals, and makes activities such as ordering food in a restaurant or making a new Swiss friend immensely more seamless.
Between classes, going for runs and hikes in the area, spending time with friends and in the library, and taking advantage of Lugano's downtown, your time will quickly fill up with activities! Of course, my daily routine varies, but I've tried to strike a balance when possible between concentrating on academics and exploring the local area.
Playing frisbee with my friend Pierre!
I've talked with many Franklin friends about our time here and we always remark how we often don't notice how much Lugano and Franklin has become like home until a friend or family member comes to visit Lugano and we are entirely comfortable showing them around the area, taking them to the best restaurants, and guiding them through hidden parks, etc. It really is a magical place and I try not take it for granted, because I know I will not be here forever!
It really is so eerily true what they say - the days might be long but the years are short. I can't even believe I'll soon be entering my final year here at Franklin. When I first arrived at FUS, my Orientation mentor, Nick, warned me that I'd blink and wake up a senior. While I didn't believe it at the time, I now know exactly what he meant.
I hope this answered a question or two about life here at Franklin and gave you a better idea of what a typical day might look like! Please, as always, ask away with any questions!