Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome to the first blog post of the 2013 Sustainable Europe program in Riva San Vitale. My name is Patrick, and I will be letting you in on some of the things happening on the first day here in Switzerland. While today is the beginning of our study-abroad session, there was absolutely no studying involved! No joke. Instead, today was designated for people to arrive here in Riva San Vitale and to unpack and get acclimated to the city around us. Just making the short walk from the train station to the Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA), where we will be based, you knew you were in a special place. The gigantic mountains, the subtle alleyways, and the historic buildings all make this city one that can only be thought about in dreams.

The first few people to find their way to the villa were AJ, Allie, Michael, Arisa, and myself. We met each other, did the customary hangout break, and then went off to relax on the Lake Lugano beach here in Riva. Even though it was perfect weather for lying on the beach and swimming in the lake, we quickly found out that we would have to pay to actually go to the good section of the beach. Seeing as though we are poor college students that would rather spend money on other things, we just walked up the street to the free beach, which was not nearly as awesome as the other one. Later in the day, after we had gotten tired of the beach, we went back to the villa to find that other students, Kayleigh, Caroline, and Asher, had joined us here in Riva. Together we went to explore the city’s ins and outs, which turned out to be breath-takingly beautiful.  I know that today is only our first day here in Switzerland, but I can truly say that this city is one that shows the utmost beauty of our world. Also, I know that this line is incredibly cliché, but I absolutely cannot wait to see what else this trip has in store for us. Classes really begin tomorrow with our first area of study–energy policy–to be followed by water and transportation.

Guest writer: Patrick Brown

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