Semester in Switzerland

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      Last weekend, I returned home from Switzerland after a nine-hour long plane ride journey from the country I called home for four months. Throughout this semester, I've been sharing photos from my many adventures, from skiing the Swiss-alps to hanging by the Eiffel Tower to boating on Lake Lugano. Here are some pictures from each of those trips, as well as a little recap video! I hope you guys have enjoyed following along and seeing what I have been up to. With Christmas just days away, I want to wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year! Enjoy your time with family and friends-- I know I will. xoxo Isabelle 
            
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The Last Weeks | USC Takes Paris,The Lumineers, & Lugano Sunsets

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      Hi guys! Even though I posted about a week ago, it feels like an eternity since I've talked to you. This past week has truly tested my ability to a) concentrate on my studies, b) avoid sending memes about finals every 5 minutes (when scrolling Twitter, to procrastinate, of course), and c) pack like I've never packed before. I'm happy to say that, since my last post, I've come out on the other side of finals madness! Two written finals, a French research paper, Hitler related research paper, and a final project later, I am finally done with my first semester of college! I was once doubtful, but it really is true that college flies by, especially with a semester system. Now that I am in Zurich sitting in the airport hotel room with my roommate, prepping for our flights tomorrow, it's beginning to hit me that I had quite the exceptional first semester of college and will have had an exceptional freshman year too. I studied abroad in Switzerland, visiting roughly 15 cities, most of which were in Switzerland, and I'm now off to Los Angeles to begin at USC. Is this real life? I think not!! I also made some friends for life, some of which will continue on at USC with me and some not, and I am so grateful for all of the people I've met. 

      Thank you all for following along on my adventures abroad! I know that my blog has kinda been all over the place, from living in France for a year, to returning home, to this semester in Switzerland, but it looks like we'll be posted in LA for a hot second. I can't wait to share this next chapter with you all! I never got to reflect on orientation in Paris or seeing the Lumineers perform in Milan, but lets just say that next semester is going to consist of finals week vibes every week and that the Lumineers are incredibly talented and underrated. Oh! And we happened to stay at the hotel where their staff was staying, and their openers called the Bahamas ate breakfast with us! Safe to say that was a weekend I'll never forget. It's also safe to say that I'll never forget this semester. This isn't to say that every moment was all sunshine and roses, but I think there's a lot to learn from difficulty and hardship. On that note, I'm going to go indulge in some TV because I CAN! Finally! Do nothing days never looked so good. I'll talk to you all [jet-lagged] from home. xoxo Isabelle 
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Winter Wonderland: Zermatt

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      A few weeks ago (already!), I set out on yet another 5 hour train journey (which entailed less complications than last time, thankfully) to see what the hype was all about in Zermatt for skiing. Prior to coming to Switzerland, I only knew Zermatt as a) the place where my parents took pictures with the iconic dogs and b) a famous mountain formation. I left Zermatt with more or less the same impressions, except that I now know that the Toberlone chocolate packaging features the Matterhorn, and I probably should've taken some sort of artsy picture of the chocolate there. However, my friends Morgan, Maddie, and I were rather busy skiing it up and trying out the ever-famous burgers at The Brown Cow, a pub style restaurant that isn't to miss in Zermatt. The town was rather small, with probably roughly 50 shops or so to offer. When I wasn't nearly breaking my neck on the icy streets, strolling the streets at night after a tiring day of skiing was both chilly and magical. 

Since Zermatt, I've gone back to Paris for USC orientation and my mom and brother have come to visit me in Switzerland. It's absolutely insane how the weeks just get the best of you. I'm currently knee deep in two research papers and finals season...but there's only 7 days until I'm homebound! Can you guys believe I've been here since late August? Stay tuned because the blog's next stop is La La Land. xoxo Isabelle 

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Best of: Switzerland Academic Travel & Paris

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             Nearly a month ago, I left for academic travel with my entrepreneurship class. Although my peers traveled as far as Botswana, Iceland, and southern Italy, my class stayed in Switzerland, visiting Geneva, Lausanne, and Bern. I had visited both Geneva and Lausanne earlier in the semester, but I really enjoyed discovering Bern for a few days. Despite being cooped up in presentations from start-up companies, IP offices, and organizations of the likes, the time we spent exploring the towns (aka eating & shopping our way around) was enjoyable. The best part of those two weeks, though, were when we were able to part ways with the group and either travel home to Lugano or go elsewhere. My two friends (Claire x2) and I rented an Air BnB situated right next to the Musée D'Orsay in Paris, and we spent three days there living like true Parisiens. I assumed the role of tour guide, taking them to my favorite corners of the city-- notably, Centre Pompidou, the restaurant L'éventail, Angelina's for hot chocolate, and the top of the Arc de Triomphe, among other locations. This was my first time back in France since I went the summer after studying abroad, which was nearly two years ago, so it felt good to be back "home". 
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Bundled Up in Lausanne

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Wearing:// Sweater: Zara, Skirt: Aritzia, Boots: Minelli (Rag & Bone)

     For some reason, packing a reasonable/rational amount of clothing for any trip still seems to trip me up. I have an undeniable tendency to pack enough for every and any possible event or situation which may arise. However, I usually end up wearing the same few pieces once I am actually traveling. When I went around Switzerland with my business class, my go-to pieces were my leather jacket and my blanket scarf. Even when I lived in France, blanket scarves seemed to be the popular accessory of the time. And when you're done trying to look chic, you can take the Zara blanket scarves, which are unbelievably massive, and take a nap at any given time. Score!! Not that I am promoting napping in random places/cities, but I know the college student struggle of wanting to pass out from overall exhaustion while walking from your dorm to the library.  

I am currently procrastinating a French cinema paper on the movie À Bout de Souffle and studying for a political science quiz by finally catching up on my blogging...sorry for my hiatus! Traveling and finishing up my last assignments of my first semester has been rather hectic. I can't believe I'm nearly halfway done my Freshman year, and that I'll be leaving Switzerland in roughly 29 days. Prepare for an influx of catchup posts starting..now. Feel free to comment with what you've been up to! How're you guys doing? xoxo Isabelle 
           
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Frost

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Wearing:// Jacket: Roxy Snow, Jeans: McGuire Denim, Beanie: Saas Fee

      There are few things better than going from 70 degree sweater weather to beanie ski0jacket weather within hours. Although I will be enjoying the California sunshine in a couple of months, there's no denying my love for wearing layers in brisk weather. Despite traveling difficulties (see my previous post), being transported to this quaint, winter-y atmosphere was all I could've asked for. Being surrounded by the nature, skiing, and donning my ski jacket just felt right. Even though my weekend in Saas Fee just happened, I've already done so much since I last posted! I have been traveling around with my business class, discovering the inside of various entrepreneurship offices and quite curiously learning about the proton and molecules?? It was surely 10 days spent traveling around Switzerland to remember...photo post coming next! 

      This morning, however, I took a train with my friend Claire to Paris. We are here for the next few days with our other friend Claire-- expect copious amounts of macaroon pictures and cliché Eiffel Tower snaps!! It feels so good to be back in France, after studying abroad here for my junior year. Here's to many croissants, avoiding damage to my wallet, and long walks along the Seine this week! I hope you guys are having a great first week of November (not sure where October went?)!! I'll talk to you all soon. xoxo Isabelle 
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