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Swiss Cultural Experience

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Practice your Italian, French, German in multilingual Switzerland!

Give English lessons to Swiss kids!

Are you eager to challenge yourself and engage your sense of global citizenship this summer? Join us for this meaningful and dynamic experience with other college students and share your intellectual curiosity for the European continent! Spend your summer in the breathtaking city of Lugano, Switzerland to volunteer, learn,and explore!

About the program: Nestled at the foot of the mountains on the edge of Lake Lugano, there are few more stunning regions in the world. During your exploration, we will provide you with every opportunity to fully absorb Lugano’s unmatched cultural diversity while obtaining the credit you need for your college education*.

Enjoy magnificent landscapes, hike the Swiss Alps, and immerse yourself in all the beauty of Switzerland. Living in the very heart of Europe will give you endless possibilities for visiting other countries on the continent. Take a train to Italy, Germany or Austria where you can spend unforgettable weekends. A few days in scenic Venice, or shopping in fashionable Milan will provide an incredible addition to your Swiss-Italian exploration.

Levels Grades: College sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students; college majors: Education, International Relations, European Studies, History, Art, Architecture, Italian Studies, Communication, Environmental Studies and more. Students must be at least 18 years of age. Initiative and self-motivation are qualities that are greatly welcomed. Experience with children is ideal.

Program Curriculum: Based in Lugano, Switzerland, this program gives you a good background in international studies with additional insight into the traditional values of the Swiss political system: federalism, neutrality, and direct democracy as well as tolerance, and respect for minorities. You will gain a better understanding of multiculturalism of the country and its multilingual approach to education.

If you are an Education major, you will spend time engaging in Lugano’s multi-national community of schools, expanding your repertoire of educational knowledge. Learn to immerse yourself in a highly unique system of education and bring a new understanding to your home university. In exchange for the opportunities you receive, you will have the privilege of teaching English as a Foreign Language to the children of your hosts. This will allow you to effectively communicate and give back to the community during your time in Lugano. Local community centers will also welcome your contributions in educating children and young adults about American culture. This blending will be an essential part of your experience, allowing you to simultaneously become both a teacher and a student of culture.

Throughout the program, students conduct interactive research at administrative offices, public and private schools, social service agencies, cultural centers, and youth organizations. During the program, students complete an independent project with a field-based component, directing their interests toward a specific research question, which could become a part of their thesis.

The experience you gain in this Experiential Learning Program will enhance your ability to market yourself to prospective employers after graduation, and make you a valuable asset to any organization. For universities that require community service hours or internships, this is an incredible opportunity to fill requirements while also obtaining global learning experience.

Official Language: Italian; German, French; English is widely spoken.

Highlights of the program:

  • Get to know Swiss education system, teachers and administrators
  • Visit local schools, community agencies, non-profit organizations
  • Volunteer teaching English and introduce American culture to students in 
    Switzerland
  • Participate in cultural events in Lugano
  • Conduct interactive research and work on your independent project
  • Live with a local family and immerse yourself in Swiss culture
  • Try Swiss food inspired by Italian, French, and German cuisine, learn new recipes
  • Enjoy the best chocolate!
  • Hike Swiss Alps and get inspired by its beauty and peace
  • Take a train to Luzern, go for a weekend trip to Venice or Milan
  • Visit cultural capitals of Europe and compare the modern and contemporary architecture with old historical UNESCO buildings.
  • Practice your Italian, French and German anytime!

painting class

When: May-June, flexible start/end dates, preferred arrival to Lugano on Saturday, minimum time commitment: 3 weeks

Where: City of Lugano and the area,Ticino canton, Southern Switzerland.

Housing:   Homestay with local families. Students live for four weeks with a Swiss or international family in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, outside of Lugano in a small town, or village. Students use the area’s excellent public transportation system, traveling regularly by train or bus.

Meals:  Breakfast and dinner with host family, some lunches.

Arrival airport: Lugano, Switzerland (LUG). Airport (LUG) pickup and welcome by host families. Students should make their travel arrangements to arrive to Lugano on Saturday.

Fees and availability: Please contact us for details.

*If interested in earning college credits students should seek preapproval from their home institution before signing up for the program. In the past college credits were granted for community service, field learning experience, independent studies, innovative project, summer study abroad or an internship. We will make every effort to match your institution’s requirements.