Now that the semester is drawing to a close, my professors have made a switch from lecturing straight out of the book, to more hands-on, real world examples. One course took this methodology to an extreme with my first college “field trip” since my Geology of the Pacific Northwest class in community college.
Mind you, this field trip was considerably more professional than the day spent hiking around Palouse Falls back in 2013, but it was still a bit exciting to load up on a bus instead of piling into the classroom; if only for a day.
One sunny April morning, my Green Management & Corporate Sustainability class I’ve talked about in previous posts hopped onto a bus and took the hour and a half drive to Stabio, Switzerland. Many of the students, including myself had to do a double-take at the itinerary when we saw such a short bus ride. A quick look at the map quickly explained that Stabio (near Lugano) is in a little section of Switzerland that’s like a peninsula sticking into Italy. While we would be crossing boarders, culturally, we might as well be staying in Milan.
In fact, it took longer to get out of the city traffic of Milan and onto the highway than it took to actually drive to Switzerland, wait at boarder control (we weren’t checked), and navigate the little backroads to the company we were visiting.
While it’s pretty hilarious to say that I’ve now been to Switzerland after spending an afternoon basically in Italy, I have to say, the little bit of Switzerland that I did see was stunning and really makes me want to come back and really see the country.
At one point (I think we were actually still in Italy but I know the whole region in Switzerland is like this) we went through a really long tunnel (Europe tends to go through mountains instead of over them) and emerged suddenly on a mountainside overlooking the most stunning lakes imaginable. It was so fast that no one had time to get their camera’s out, but I know that if/when I return, I will have hundreds of photos of these lakes.
The company visit was very good and informative. The office itself was really beautiful and the handful of talks the company gave were really helpful for connecting what we were learning in the classroom to the real world and what careers might be available to us as we graduate.
As a sidenote, can colleges do more field trips in general? The two that I’ve been on in my 6 years of college education were incredible and I think college students (as opposed to high schoolers) really appreciate the experience for what it brings in addition to the excitement of not being in a classroom. Even the weekend spent in Luxembourg which really was more of a semester kick-off rather than a field trip, was very welcome and exciting. Just something to think about if any professors (or future professors) are reading this. 😉
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