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Geneva: A Student Travel Guide

A stones throw away from the United Kingdom, Europe lies across the English Channel beckoning adventurous visitors. For short weekend breaks there are so many options it can be hard to decide where to go. To help you out we are creating a series of guides to places in Europe that are perfect for short holidays. If you have been anywhere exciting in Europe and want to write a short guide, then please get in contact with us.  

This time, we venture off to Geneva, Switzerland. A city of splendour and beauty and a mix of languages and history, there is never a dull day in Geneva.


Getting There

Getting to Geneva is fairly easy, and simply involves hopping on the tube to Heathrow or the train to Gatwick and getting a short flight from London. The airlines that fly there include: Easyjet (if you are on a budget), Swiss Air, British Midlands and British Airways. The earlier you book your flights, the lower the prices.

Britain Has Its Cake And Eats It Too

International students are an important source of income to the United Kingdom, as proven by the exceedingly high fees, which can range from £10,000 to £13,000 in London. It does not end with high tuition fees, but also with tax on money spent on renting a house, paying for the tube or merely buying some university books. VAT! VAT!

However, recently we have seen that the British government wishes to make it more difficult for international students to enter the country, through either categorizing them as high risk nationalities, or introducing a cap on the number of international student visas issued. Similarly, there is talk of the post-study work visa ceasing to exist meaning graduates must leave to go back home once they have completed their degree. But wait, there is another option to returning home.

Once Upon a Time in London...

London is probably one of the greatest cities to study in. The multicultural community, the fast paced life and the varied entertainment makes London never a dull city. This week, I will present a number of small anecdotes I will never forget.

British Culture: An Outsider’s Point of View

What is British Culture? The term is unclear but what is clear, is that there are many social values often frowned upon by international students. Altogether, an experience to learn from.

Some may term the culture as unacceptable whilst, others may learn to love and adopt it. I believe this is one of the main issues which many international students face- holding on to their culture in the UK during their stay or adopting that of the country so as to be better accepted. I will comment on what I found to be international students' view of the British culture.

The Shocks

Often what many international students find shocking is the ‘going Dutch' culture. This means that everyone pays for themselves. This has often been a source of laughter or snide comments. International students tend to come from societies where they are used to one person paying for the whole table, and each person would have their opportunity to pay for the bill on different occasions.

The Big City Life

Leaving the home you grew up in, the people you will love forever and experiences to look upon from afar, being an international student is no easy task, perhaps, even more so, when you come from a small island.

Goodbyes are always hard but entering the realm of the unknown is harder. The flight is long but worsened by tears and already missing home but there is the element of excitement, curiosity as to what the future holds. Upon arrival the welcome is not exactly friendly with a fierce immigration officer questioning you to ensure your intentions are really to study here. Once you exit a different world appears before you, no longer the tall palm trees but towering skyscrapers - the land of opportunities all at your fingertips.

"A Different Life to Lead"

A chilly wind, temperatures of 7 degrees, nothing like the 31 degrees and hot sunny days of the Seychelles. No horizon in sight but the nearest thing to the sea is the River Thames. Layer upon layer, soon to wear boots and scarves, is a drastic change to the everyday flip flops and shorts. A different life to lead.

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