By Alexandra White, Mass Communication Graduate Student
The following article is one of three posts written for Dr. Rao’s International Communication class during the students’ study abroad trip to Europe:
While studying abroad in London, United Kingdom and Geneva, Switzerland I experienced many new people, places and things. It was genuinely the best time of my life. I loved the food and beautiful buildings in London. I loved the culture and clear blue lake waters of Geneva. However, I feel the most interesting cultural experience I had while abroad in Europe was when a couple of friends and I spent the day in Chamonix, France, a small town at the base of Mont Blanc in the French Alps.
I couldn’t believe that only about an hour bus ride outside of Geneva, Switzerland was the coolest thing I have ever done or seen. I had never experienced anything as grand and beautiful as this mountain range.Pictures and videos will never do that view justice. Mont Blanc, a mountain that literally translates to “white mountain”, earned its name by never being without snow as it is the highest point in the summit. It is also situated between three countries: Switzerland, France and Italy.
The grandeur of these mountains was absolutely breathtaking. It is hard to believe that I was so close to not going due to the fact that the ticket was a bit expensive. I told myself that this is an opportunity that I could not pass up. And I was right. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
One of the craziest parts was walking around the town of Chamonix, because there were the touristy parts, of course. In the winter, it is a prime destination for amazing skiing. In fact, it was where the very first Winter Olympics were held in 1924. In the summer, it is a place for spectacular hiking.There are shops, restaurants, and amazing little crepe and gelato stations. Yet, from the top of the mountain we could see residential buildings and a high school, and I just took a moment to imagine what it would be like to live and grow up surrounded by something so majestic as the French Alps.
The bus ride to Chamonix beautiful as the green rolling hills reminded me of the Texas Hill Country where I grew up. Even though I was so far from home, there was a sense of comfort I felt looking out the window.
At the beginning of the trip, my friends and I were talking about our goals for this trip. I said that I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and say yes to more things. I am so happy that I took this opportunity to yes. This is an experience I will never forget. What I would give to be back!