Iris from Enschede, Holland, reports from her exchange semester at the ZHAW School of Social Work in Zurich.

iris-willemsen-hr-giger-museum

Some of the other exchange students, teachers and I, took a journey back to the «old Switzerland». The journey itself was an experience on it’s own. The nature and mountains we saw on our way were astonishingly beautiful. Even though some of the houses and craftsmanship we saw at the Open-Air Museum Ballenberg were built more than 300 years ago, walking there gave you the feeling that people from back then left their houses only yesterday. With a lot of care, 110 buildings were moved from all over Switzerland to this museum. Piece by piece, they took them apart and rebuilt them later, like they were never moved.

Handwerkskunst im Museum Ballenberg

Craftmanship at the «Museum Ballenberg»

Not only was it really nice to see some of the Swiss history, but it was also really nice to meet other exchange students and have a chat with them.

A museum always makes me realize how relative time is. Looking back, it seems like such a short time. Looking forward things still seems far away. This is already my 7th week as an exchange student. I feel more and more integrated to the Swiss culture and the life here. Especially to the «raclette» (cheese dish ) and chocolate I got used quickly 🙂 .

A dream came true when my boyfriend and I spent the weekend in La Gruyère, a beautiful medieval village with an old castle. Of course we enjoyed a «raclette» with cheese that shares its name with the village (Gruyère).

The next day, we visited the «Cailler» chocolate factory in Broc. The whole history and process of chocolate was explained in a vivid way. And even more important, you could taste as much chocolate as you wanted!

chocolate-factory-cailler

Last but not least, the HR Giger-museum was worth a visit. Not everyone might like it, since HR Giger had his very own style. He was a famous Swiss painter, known for his contribution to design in the movie Alien.

hr-giger-museum

Time flew by and we were back in Zurich before we knew it. But that is a good sign I guess 😉