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?
Global Goes Virtual in 2020!
Check out the all-new Virtual International Internships section. More cross-cultural learning tools set for release soon!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
9769
- # of # Filtered -
  • 92
92
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
1
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: Building International Skills at Home
2
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
3
9753
A Season in Sweden
4
9765
Simpatico in Florence
5
9787
A Spring Semester in London
6
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
7
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
8
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
9
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
10
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
11
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
12
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
13
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
14
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
15
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
16
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
17
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
18
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
19
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
20
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
21
9737
Passionate About Panama
22
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
23
9773
Independent In India
24
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
25
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
26
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
27
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
28
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
29
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
30
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
31
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
32
9771
Learning To Love London
33
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
34
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
35
9762
American Freshman In London
36
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
37
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
38
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
39
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
40
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
41
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
42
10851
Tips From Tasmania
43
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
44
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
45
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
46
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
47
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
48
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
49
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
50
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
51
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
52
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
53
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
54
9748
Adventure In The Alps
55
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
56
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
57
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
58
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
59
9754
Building Memories In India
60
9752
Giving In Guatemala
61
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
62
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
63
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
64
10157
Changing Course In China
65
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
66
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
67
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
68
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
69
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
70
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
71
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
72
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
73
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
74
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
75
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
76
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
77
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
78
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
79
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
80
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
81
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
82
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
83
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
84
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
85
10192
Out And About In Paris
86
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
87
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
88
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
89
9756
Springtime In Spain
90
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
91
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
92
9769
All Job Boards
455
All NGOs
1421
Au Pair Resources
38
Awards And Grants Resources
51
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
62
Country Guides
69
Cross-cultural Skills
79
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
8
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
45
Health And Medicine Job Boards
48
Health Career Resources
66
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
45
International Development Career Resources
73
International Internship Organizations
309
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
112
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
498
Internship Directories And Advice
36
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
158
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
28
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
62
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
46
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
19
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
42
Stories From Abroad
92
Study Abroad Resources
186
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
99
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
72
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
38
UN and Other IGOs
271
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
62
Visas and Passports
24
Volunteer Directories And Advice
49
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73