Putting the “study” in “study abroad”

At Hope, I have a few places on campus that I have designated as top-study locations. 

If you know me, or have routinely seen an over-stuffed blue and maroon backpack in the same places, you would know that my favorite study spots are: the Bultman Student Center, Phelps Dining Hall, Ferris Coffee, and, of course, the ol’ faithful dining-room table.

While in Geneva, especially during this ISP period, it was important to me that I establish a few home bases where I could comfortably research, reflect on interview notes, and write my paper… So what else to do, but explore my options?

When searching for these places, I had absolutely no criterion in mind, except for wifi access and the likelihood that I could stay for at least 2-2.5 hours without being severely judged. My friends even hopped on this quest, and we traveled to different cities, like Bern, Zurich, and Lausanne, to expand our options! From cafes, to libraries, and to bookstores, I have enjoyed being able to explore the different places where I could get work done!

Alas, the verdict is in. Here are my favorite study locations:

  • University of Genève, Uni-Mail
  • A coffee shop near my classroom (name withheld until completion of program)
  • The dining room table at my host mom’s apartment

Why are these locations my favorite?

  1. Uni-Mail

Uni-Mail is a college in Geneva, where thousands of students around my age study. Within the campus, there is a multi-floor library that is quiet, has big tables, and is well-lit (this is definitely a triple win in my book)! But one of my favorite parts about this location is that it is usually filled with students, allowing me to fully immerse myself in Swiss university life! If you are studying abroad, I definitely recommend finding a study spot where local students gather– you’ll feel right at home and even develop friendships with students along the way! 

  1. The coffee shop

Great cappuccinos, even-better background music, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Need I say more? (And a bonus… Shoutout to my favorite barista for speaking with me in French!)

  1. The Dining Room Table

When the coffee shop and Uni-Mail library are closed, this place provides a comfy ambiance where I can laser-focus. What’s especially nice is that sometimes my host mom and I will work at the table at the same time! If I want to spice things up, I can even sit on my host mom’s balcony and listen to the birds as I click away on my keyboard. 

Though I love my designated study spots at Hope, I have to say that they now have some tough competition!

Published by Juliana Struyk

Class of 2023 Political Science Major and French Minor SIT Geneva, Switzerland

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