Lugano, Switzerland February 2015

11:28 AM

Overlooking the picturesque Lago di Lugano

Despite the snow, some flowers outside of our hotel

How to properly do Europe

How to properly do Europe part 2: ten pound cheese wheels

A favorite shot from the trip

Entrance to campus

During the quite arduous process of applying to college, I stumbled upon a school called Franklin University Switzerland. You can check out their website at fus.edu for more info, but basically they're a dual Swiss and American accredited school located in the Italian canton of Switzerland. They have an amazing study abroad program in which you spend the final two weeks of every semester abroad or somewhere in Switzerland learning about course material. I was accepted in December with a good scholarship, so over my February break I went with my mother and Egyptian exchange student to Lugano to see the college. Unfortunately, finances didn't work it so I couldn't attend, but for anyone looking for a fantastic international undergrad program, definitely check out Franklin.
Because Lugano is in the Italian part of Switzerland, we flew into Milan and took a bus into Lugano. It was a breathtaking drive, everything was pretty flat for a while until thee started to be hills, then bigger hills, then suddenly the bus was driving on roads bordered by the Alps. Lugano is located on the aptly named lake Lugano, or Lago di Lugano in Italian. Most people spoke Italian, so my rudimentary French skills were of little assistance. When we really needed to, a mix of my French and my mom's Spanish somewhat communicated our points.
We stayed in a very peculiar hotel, in that it was located in somewhat of an office park. Other companies shared the building of the hotel, so there ended up being an ophthalmologist down the hall from our hotel room.  The first night, we were surprised to wake up to snow, given that it usually doesn't snow after January in that region. The hotel courtyard also had a lot of palm trees, and snow looks very strange against such a backdrop.
In Lugano, we took plenty of time to explore the city and parks. As I said, the town is right on the water so many an afternoon was spent meandering through the park paths, eating gelato, because Europe. It's probably interesting to note here that I had a croissant for breakfast every day I was in Switzerland. Very European as well. 
Because we were in Switzerland, it was high priority to visit a chocolate factory. Although the factory was sadly not operating while we visited, being surrounded by that much chocolate was a remarkable experience. 
I can't get over how gorgeous this region of Switzerland is. The other regions are on my list to visit, as well as anywhere surrounded by mountains as magnificent as the Alps.

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