My name is Diana, and I’m an exchange student from Romania. I started my experience in Switzerland on the 14th of February. I remember coming by a car late in the night, and Google Maps kept directing us on the mountain, higher and higher. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but then I saw a big building with “Konvikt” written on it, and it was pretty clear that I was in the right place, although I couldn’t believe it.
I was shocked by the mountains, the views, the approachability of the people and their hospitality. I’ve always told everyone since I moved here that Switzerland is not even a bit overestimated. It is exactly how I imagined, but of course in the beginning I was confused and was not sure if it is for me. It is indeed an expensive country (especially for internationals), people here really respect their free time and you should expect not finding too many things open on Sunday or late in the night, and Swiss people are always eager to help you, but not that open to make new friendships, at least in the beginning.
Coming from a country that still applies the “15 minutes late means on time”, and its inhabitants are mostly night owls, Switzerland was a cultural shock for sure. It took me almost 1 month and a half to accommodate here, but after that, I truly fell in love with this place.
Great food, awesome people, open-air parties, hikes & the nature in general and being in the centre of Europe are the things that made my exchange memorable. I would make this decision again everytime. Even though it may seem shocking at first or too expensive, or too lonely - just give it time. That’s the best advice I received.
I am happy that I came here, I am grateful for the International Office of UAS Grisons and the people from Konvikt, and for all the people that I met here - they really made my 5 months here a blast.
Diana Stanciu is an exchange student from Babeş-Bolyai University in Romania.She's studying Tourism at UAS Grisons in the Spring Semester 2022.