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At work at Credit Suisse
My first day at Credit Suisse was great. I had lunch with the team followed by an orientation. My work desk was already prepared with a welcome card and flowers, and the rest of the week, they were making sure that I had access to all I needed to complete my tasks. During that first week, we also had a team event up in the mountains which gave me the opportunity to interact with my colleagues on a more personal level and to really get to know them. It was a wonderful experience to work at Credit Suisse. The environment is very positive in that there is always room to learn and grow and the people are supportive. I also loved the fact that they did not see and treat me like a child who needed constant help so I learnt how to be independent, yet also understand the importance of teamwork.
There is so much that I learnt at the office. I had the opportunity to implement some of the things I have learnt at school and experience things that I had only heard of. I also got the chance to learn about other functions and jobs in other departments of Credit Suisse. Although I had a workplace mentor, my tasks were not only limited to his department but from other colleagues as well, which gave me quite a variety of skills and knowledge.
I really wished I could have stayed longer at Credit Suisse.
Living with my guest family
The first day I met my host family was the most exciting and scary day of being in Switzerland. I also got to experience snow on that first day and a little tour of Zurich. The days and weeks after that, I was discovering new things and learning. My host family helped me get along to my new environment. My host mother was especially helpful. One day I got lost on my way from work and my host mother drew me a map of the tram routes with the exact tram colors! She is amazing. My guest sister, who is younger than me, is very joyful and we always found something to laugh about. My host father is passionate about travelling and loves seeing and learning about different cultures. He also knows the best places to travel to and he helped me with my travel plans.
During the week, we were usually busy throughout the day and only met at dinnertime. Usually, we had nice healthy meals while we talked about our days. On a normal weekend with good weather we would do some sightseeing. My host family really integrated me well with society. We had lunch with their friends and also visited other family members and friends. Through interaction with other people, I learnt social etiquette from different parts of Switzerland, as well as useful phrases of different languages.
The last day with my host family was somewhat sad, as it was a realization of how fast time flew. But I was really glad and felt fortunate to have been living with these amazing people.
My interaction with different people helped me be confident enough to travel without a local person. It helped me get my way and also avoid trouble when necessary. I can say I easily fit in. Yet, I did not mind sticking out as it was always an opportunity to tell people about my country when they were curious. The exposure to German and Italian also helped me along my travels and made my stay much easier and more fun.