Most incredible summer ever

Impact: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Value: 5
Safety: 5

As I just turned 18 I was qualified for the TravelNStudy volunteer programs in Central Europe. I finished my freshman year in college, inspired by other students to do some study abroad, however not ready yet to go away for the whole semester. My family actually encouraged me to travel abroad over the summer and we thought that Europe would be the perfect place for a novice traveler like me.
Christina from the admission office at TravelNstudy was extremely helpful, patient and thorough with answering my questions. She actually suggested considering both Switzerland and Poland discovery programs for my first summer abroad. Combining both programs worked out perfectly for my summer break since the Swiss program is in June and the Polish program is in July and August. I also had some time to travel by trains in Europe between the programs. The program is relatively small with six Americans participating, which made it a very unique experience in a more intimate setting. Every morning we met in Lugano and we either explored the city, went for a hike, a boat ride, or visited places of our interests (schools, local universities, banks, NGO’s). The location itself is absolutely stunning, palm trees, beautiful lake surrounded by Alps and the town of Lugano with it's colorful Piazza della Riforma! In the afternoon we thought English to kids of our hosts for about 2-3 hours every day. We came up with all kind of American games to get them more excited and involved. Most of the host families know each other since their children go to the same elementary school. I stayed with a lovely Italian-Swiss family with 2 kids ages 10 and 12 in a beautiful village near Lugano. The family spoke both Italian and French. During my 3-week stay, I improved my French, picked up some Italian and thought basics of English to the kids. The father spoke pretty good English but I learned later that English is not being introduced to Swiss students until high school. Reason? Swiss kids should master their French and German first. I was amazed and somehow inspired by the fact that an average college student in Lugano is fluent in Italian, French, German, and English. I very much enjoyed my stay with the Bollino family, practicing my French, conversing in English with Carla and Gorgio and I really hope to visit them again in the future. They cooked the best food in the world, shared their recipes with me, and even took me for a weekend trip to Milan and Venice. Thanks to them I learned how to take the train when in Europe and inspired by the awesome time in Italy I decided to travel more after the program was over. Before I started my next adventure in Poland I traveled by train to Austria and Germany. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in touring Europe inexpensively, learning more about Swiss culture and teaching English to multilingual kids. Thank you TravelNStudy for the rewarding experience!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed