Saturday, August 22, 2009

A most wonderful summer

I am back in the U.S. after a spectacular summer spent in Zurich participating in the Biology Undergraduate Summer School. In Zurich, I was able to explore a vibrant city filled with so much to do (swimming in the river and lake, hiking, discovering quaint shopping districts, dancing!, etc), do some interesting environmental microbiology research and get acquainted with the University of Zurich system, and spend time with an international group of students that could not possibly be any more wonderful! I have learned so much this summer, academic-related learning about microbiology and getting more comfortable working in a laboratory as well as cultural knowledge from interacting with so many people from all over the world.

I have also been able to explore some of Switzerland, with trips to Bern and Luzern with the BUSS group. Switzerland really does not contain one place that is not filled with natural beauty, and there is so much rich history to be found all over the country as well. My extended family also all live in Switzerland, and it was very fulfilling to be able to visit them during my stay. Many of them live in the beautiful St. Gallen canton, so I was able to do a lot of hiking in the mountains with experienced aunts and uncles who always chipped in with interesting historical and nature-related facts!

This summer could not have been traded for a better experience. I will always retain fond memories of my time spent in Zurich- culturing microbes in the environmental lab, jumping into the river Limmat and floating down the current in its freezing water, great conversations and laughs with good friends, delicious Swiss foods (and chocolate!), and hiking in the gorgeous Swiss countryside. It could not have been better!

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