Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Getting Sporty In Switzerland!

Q&A with Rebecca: Worked in Switzerland
Share this
Print this
Rebecca
Worked in Switzerland
University of Waterloo
Her thoughts on The International Workplace
One of the challenges in my workplace was that my colleagues were also the people I lived with. It was challenging to have my "colleague lenses" on, rather than my "friendship lenses."
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
I traveled to many cities -- London, Amsterdam, Berlin -- each country gave me a different perspective.
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
For me, education is a lifelong process, and this is only the beginning. I am already planning my next international exchange.

When and where did you work abroad? What was your position?

While I was a student at the University of Waterloo, I undertook a four-month work term as a Student Life Assistant at Leysin American School in Switzerland. I acted as a mentor to approximately 30 high school students, and assisted with recreational programs. As part of these programs I took on the role of ski instructor, and also helped plan large-scale school events.

What made you want to work abroad?

Several things. Firstly, I wanted to gain more from my work term than what I would gain by completing one in my hometown. Secondly, I wanted to travel to Europe. I wanted to visit somewhere I had never visited and do something I'd never done. Thirdly, had I not worked, I would not have been able to afford traveling to Europe. This job paid for my travels, so it was perfect!

How long did it take you to find a job and what job-search strategies did you use? Did you work in your field of interest?

Through the University of Waterloo, I used the site WaterlooWorks (formerly JobMine), which all the co-op students have access to. It just so happened that the job was posted, and they were accepting applicants with EU passports. I'm studying recreation and business, so this job seemed to fit with my field of interest. I'd get to work in the outdoors, support students, and motivate them to partake in recreational activities around the school. I also saw how much people are willing to pay to participate in recreational activities during high school!

What was the biggest surprise about your work experience abroad?

The biggest surprise about my work experience was the price of airfare. The flights between countries were so cheap! I couldn't believe how I could spend so little money traveling within Europe, when it costs so much money just to get around within North America!

What was the biggest challenge in adapting to your international work environment?

One of the challenges within my workplace was that my colleagues were also the people I lived with. It was challenging to have my "colleague lenses" on, rather than my "friendship lenses." I found it hard to differentiate sometimes because we all spent too much time together. We got to be so close that sometimes it was hard to be completely professional while working.

What did you miss most about home?

One of the things I missed most about my home was the ease of doing things. I was in a small town in Switzerland, rather than a big city. At home, it is easy for me to walk no more than thirty minutes and get anything I want. In Leysin, I had to walk more than thirty minutes just to get to the nearest grocery store, and if I wanted to buy anything more I had to go to the next town, more than an hour away by car.

Do you have any final thoughts on your experience?

Being in the heart of Europe, traveling to surrounding countries was easy and inexpensive. I was on co-op with nine other students, and we traveled to many cities in surrounding countries including London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Each country gave me a different perspective. My work term also allowed me to develop an understanding of the way different cultures participate in recreational activities. I can now apply these experiences to my education here at home. Also, I am aiming to start my own fitness company upon graduation, and I now know how I must formulate a program to appeal to teenagers! This experience was very rewarding because I was able to help students build self-esteem while experiencing a different part of the world. It has inspired me to help change people's lives through recreation.

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps by working abroad?

My top tip to anyone who might plan to follow in my footsteps, or do something similar, is to travel to other places while you're abroad! I know it can be a bit pricey, but it is worth every penny! These experiences are for ones that you'll remember for the rest of your life, and are some of the best moments you'll ever have. Make friends, work, travel, and enjoy!

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

An international work term is one of the best things that I have ever done with my life, and my education. I know I want to travel more, and see the rest of the world. For me, education is a lifelong process, and this is only the beginning. I am already planning an international exchange to the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia! This will surely give me even more of an understanding of how different cultures approach recreation and it will help me to open my own fitness-related business!

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher

It sounds like Rebecca had an amazing time in Switzerland, working and learning about the local approach to recreation. Rebecca combined travel and work in order to finance her travels, which is something more students should consider. Even if you can't afford to go abroad on a volunteer or co-op program, consider finding your own source of income by planning a working holiday. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you took matters into your own hands and built an experience where others may have given up. Rebecca is wisely adding a career-boosting focus to each of her international adventures. By learning about the professional culture of each country she visits, she's greatly increasing the chances of finding international work and building an international career. Here are some resources for those of you interested in going abroad to work while experiencing a foreign culture. (Note: You must log in to MyWorldAbroad to access the links below.)

Rebecca's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
Want to Have the Same Experience?
10 Core Global Competencies
Take control of your career with this ESSENTIAL model!
Virtual Internships in 2021!
Remote work is the way of the future! Start planning YOUR virtual international internship now.
The Global You
What skills, knowledge and experiences can change your life? Find out with this NEW model!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
The Culture Tree
EXPLORE the three levels of culture!
9769
- # of # Filtered -
  • 93
93
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
1
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
2
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
3
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
4
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
5
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
6
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
7
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
8
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
9
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
10
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
11
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
12
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
13
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
14
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
15
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
16
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
17
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
18
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
19
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: International Skills at Home
20
16017
A Globally-minded Visit to Qatar
21
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
22
9737
Passionate About Panama
23
9752
Giving In Guatemala
24
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
25
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
26
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
27
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
28
9753
A Season in Sweden
29
9765
Simpatico in Florence
30
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
31
9787
A Spring Semester in London
32
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
33
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
34
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
35
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
36
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
37
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
38
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
39
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
40
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
41
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
42
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
43
9773
Independent In India
44
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
45
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
46
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
47
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
48
9771
Learning To Love London
49
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
50
9762
American Freshman In London
51
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
52
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
53
10851
Tips From Tasmania
54
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
55
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
56
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
57
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
58
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
59
9748
Adventure In The Alps
60
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
61
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
62
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
63
9754
Building Memories In India
64
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
65
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
66
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
67
10157
Changing Course In China
68
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
69
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
70
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
71
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
72
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
73
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
74
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
75
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
76
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
77
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
78
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
79
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
80
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
81
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
82
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
83
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
84
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
85
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
86
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
87
10192
Out And About In Paris
88
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
89
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
90
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
91
9756
Springtime In Spain
92
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
93
9769
All Job Boards
462
All NGOs
1427
Au Pair Resources
39
Awards And Grants Resources
54
Business Directories
18
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
28
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
70
Cross-cultural Skills
80
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
45
Health And Medicine Job Boards
49
Health Career Resources
67
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
43
International Development Career Resources
75
International Internship Organizations
304
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
14
International Law Careers Resources
113
International Law Job Boards
26
International Student Exchanges [under construction until 2020/08/30]
2
International Studies In The US And Canada
11
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
489
Internship Directories And Advice
37
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
157
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
29
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
63
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
17
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
46
Stories From Abroad
93
Study Abroad Resources
187
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
98
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
73
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
39
UN and Other IGOs
269
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Virtual International Internship Organizations
77
Visas and Passports
26
Volunteer Directories And Advice
50
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73