10 things I've learned while at FUS
Exploring Ponte Tresa, a nearby town across the border in 2012
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
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
Skipping to lunch at the grotto