What Does the Future Look Like for Franklin Students?

The one thing every student has in common, when in college, is anxiety about the future. And so it's important for universities to provide the support, tools and connections that are needed to lead their students into their futures. Franklin University Switzerland especially prepares students with its travel opportunities, namely academic travel, which I wrote about in my last blog post. The opportunities in the classroom, on campus and off campus (and abroad) at Franklin have especially given me a new confidence and independence. Experiencing new cultures with the support of the close-knit community we have here, makes anything seem possible in the future. And one of the most important aspects of reaching goals in the future is having experiences which expand what seems possible in the first place. 

In keeping with my previous post, I decided to once again go ask my classmates how their time at Franklin has already started to set them up for the future, and where they see themselves after graduation. 

Read on to learn about their personal experiences, as well as some of my own 👀

Clary Cho: Junior, majoring in International Relations

What initially brought you to Franklin?
I was interested in coming to Franklin because I knew I wanted a global, multi-disciplinary college experience.

What would you like to do in the future?
My future plans are going to graduate school and ultimately becoming a corporate lawyer.

What skills do you think you'll take with you from Franklin to your future? From my experience at Franklin as a student leader, Marketing Life-Long Learning Scholar (LLLS) and student in general, I will have advanced communication and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to complete administrative tasks and financial program events. I also think Franklin has allowed me to develop and broaden my language skills, and, overall, has made me more culturally aware.

How is your Franklin education helping you move towards your goals right now?
I firmly believe that the classes I have taken for and outside my majors of International Relations and History have provided the foundation and stepping stones towards my plans for the future on going to law school, and ultimately working for a law firm.

What do you feel you might have gained from going to an international university specifically?

Having an international university experience has allowed me to meet new people, travel to new places, and learn things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of ever encountering.

How do think the travel aspect of a Franklin education will impact your future?

Apart from the knowledge I have gained from traveling as a part of Franklin’s education, I have created close relationships with peers from all over the world and have matured from the experiences that I have encountered abroad.

Joe Tally-Foos: Sophomore

What initially brought you to Franklin?
When I received a postcard from Franklin, I definitely put it down as a school to apply to. I suppose it may have just been the mystique of applying to a school across the ocean ;) When I received my acceptance letter and my financial aid package, I suddenly jumped at the opportunity. Being the youngest in my family, all of my siblings had already been to school, and I'd been able to vicariously learn what I wanted from a college by watching them. Franklin's size guaranteed that in each class I took, I would have easy access to my professors, and could establish a working relationship with them more easily. The academic travel aspect looked really novel, and the opportunity to see concepts taught in class in a new and concrete setting was nothing to underestimate. 

What would you like to do in the future?
I hope to enter work in a government agency after I graduate. I think that the skills taught at Franklin, both inside and outside the classroom, will help me engage with the problems in society. After some time in the workforce, I definitely want to go back to school to get my master's degree.

What skills do you think you'll take with you from Franklin to your future?
I'm definitely confident that what I've learned in class will be applicable in whatever job I seek to pursue. Invaluable as the course content is, what has been most important to me thus far is the fortitude and flexibility that Franklin has given me. My professors have challenged all of the conventions I'd taken for granted, and given me the tools to solve problems with unconventional answers.

How is your Franklin education helping you move towards your goals right now?
I can definitely say that my time here has changed me. Being an ocean away from home, you don't quite have the same sort of safety net to land on. Of course, no one here will leave you out to dry, and there are systems in place if you need help. But the distance from home and the different environment really encourage self-reliance and forward thinking. It really helped me engage with the world around me, and pursue opportunities outside of school that I wouldn't have before. 

What do you feel you might have gained from going to an international university specifically?
Without a doubt, adaptability. No matter how comfortable you may feel in an international setting, living internationally gives you much more perspective on your place in the global community. Before coming here, I'd never left the United States. Now, I'm comfortable enough navigating my way around new countries and cultures that I'd never been exposed to. For example, during a summer semester that I attended, I chose to visit Bulgaria for a bit. I couldn't (and still can't) read a lick of Cyrillic. But I wasn't scared that I didn't have any experience with the country. I was all the more eager to learn about where I was.

How do think the travel aspect of a Franklin education will impact your future?
I think that the travel aspect of Franklin makes it much easier for me to apply my knowledge in any situation or setting I find myself in. It opens your eyes to the little details that help you put wherever you are in context.

Pearl Kasirye: Sophomore, majoring in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS)

What initially brought you to Franklin?
I was looking for a private university with an edge. The exclusivity of Franklin struck me as unique. This is a university that has under 1,000 students. Classroom sizes range between 10-20 students and each student is from a different part of the world. This university was in my list of 20 other institutions. What stood out to me was the Academic Travel program and the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures. When I did more research, I knew that I wanted to be in a place that encouraged students to be global citizens.

What would you like to do in the future?
I am an educator at heart and have been exposed to the process of curriculum design since I was a teen. I would like to work in the education sector and devise ways to improve the education system in East Africa. For that, I’ll study and get a doctorate in education after earning my B.A. from Franklin University Switzerland.

What skills do you think you’ll take with you from Franklin to your future?
For years, I have done work with the UN in Africa, and I was a UN Youth Delegate for Uganda. I noticed that my intercultural experience at Franklin made a difference in my work. I am in an environment that pushes me to co-exist with culturally diverse people. This has developed my cultural intelligence.

How is your Franklin education helping you move towards your goals right now?
I’ve been wanting to become a better writer both academically and creatively. I’m a Sophomore now and my writing level is much better than it was when I got here. I am writing more analytically and thinking critically. Also, for a long time, I did not know how to work well with people. Studying here has dramatically changed that. To put it simply, I am really getting my money’s worth.

What do you feel you might have gained from going to an international university specifically?
I have been roommates with an Israeli, a Syrian, an American and a Russian. Where would I have met them if it weren’t for Franklin? I haven’t just met people from different parts of the world, but I am friends with them. We sit and talk about our experiences. We learn from each other. My view of the world is so different from what it once was.

How do you think the travel aspect of a Franklin education will impact your future?
It is one thing to read about another culture. It is a whole other ball game to live and breathe that culture. I’m majoring in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies with a minor in Psychology. I feel like my social consciousness has been awakened through the programs here. Franklin helped take away my fear of traveling alone, and has taught me to look at it as a priceless learning opportunity. The travel aspect of Franklin is not just about taking photos and being a clueless tourist. We have been taught to look beyond the tourist destinations and immerse ourselves with the culture. Who can put a price tag on that? So many people travel and gain next to nothing from it because they are there for the Gram. Not only has Franklin provided several opportunities for travel, but it has taught me how to travel and how to be a global citizen.

Camila Arguedas Najarro: Senior, majoring in Social Justice and Sustainability with an emphasis in Environmental Justice

What initially brought you to Franklin?
I initially came to Franklin because I knew that I wanted to go to a small university with a diverse group of people as I had in high school. I learned that small schools give students the opportunity to make experiences their own. Additionally, I was looking for a liberal arts institution as I am a multidisciplinary person myself and I wanted to attend a University where learning was more than memorizing the answers for a test. Not to mention that I wanted to enhance my global citizen skills further and meet people from around the world.

What would you like to do in the future?
I have many goals I would like to achieve in the future, one of these is working as a sustainability consultant or corporate social responsibility director for private companies. I believe that it is crucial for companies to start moving away from destructive and unethical ways and start implementing more responsible practices. I went to a conference last fall with the help of FUS, and one of the speakers said "if a company is not being responsible and sustainability they are not thinking about their future." This phrase has stayed with me because I also believe it is true and would like to help private companies see this.

What skills do you think you’ll with you from Franklin to your future?
And how is your Franklin education helping you move towards your goals right now?
FUS has given me multiple opportunities to grow as an individual and as a student. Some of the skills that stand out are working in a team, whether it is in class for a presentation or project, or working with coworkers or with other departments through an LLLS. Another skill that I have acquired is critical thinking, which is not a natural skill to have, but Franklin faculty push students to think outside the box. Additionally, I have also learned how to bring in knowledge from one discipline to another so as to have a more holistic understanding of the world around me. We are currently in a time where focusing only on one discipline does not work. Teamwork and collaborating with others and bringing knowledge from other areas is crucial to understanding current problems and finding meaningful solutions. Therefore, I am grateful to the Franklin education style for helping me strengthen life skills that are necessary in the "real world."

What do you feel you might have gained from going to an international university specifically?
And how do you think the travel aspect of a Franklin education will impact your future?
At FUS, we disseminate the words "global citizen" a lot because we genuinely have a diverse learning environment. Our professors represent such global learning and lifestyles that encourage students to follow their paths and be just as enthusiastic to learn about other cultures. More importantly, I have been able to learn locally and internationally.

I learn about the local Swiss culture in almost every class as each professor always brings Switzerland into the classroom to help us better understand the country we live in. Additionally, through Academic Travel, I have learned a new way of traveling in a more "authentic" way, where we can learn from the people who live in the places we visit, with a professor who is from or very passionate about the travel destination.

Furthermore, Academic Travel is the best way to apply classroom knowledge to the field of study. For example, in my Academic Travel to India "Sustainable Economic Development", we looked at the Kaziranga National Park areas, and we studied its struggles and success through theories and articles on the subject. Then, while traveling, we were able to visit the park and see how companies, the community, and the park interacted together. Once back to Lugano, we had a better understanding of the struggles that the park faces and the importance of sustainable development commitment in private companies.

Although the future can be daunting to any college or high school student, it is clear from speaking to students around Franklin's campus that our school has opened up new avenues of possibilities for every student. Most of the students on campus are living abroad here and such an undertaking is, in itself, an experience that allows for rapid growth personally and academically. That, mixed with our small yet notably diverse student body, means that the future has a whole world of opportunities waiting for us!

Ciao, a presto!


Popular posts from this blog

Key Words and Phrases to Know in the Major Swiss Languages

Switzerland: All About Cantons!

Swiss Cities in Depth: Bern