YFU Switzerland

Forget about the exchange year – there is so much more…

A few days ago I had the opportunity to give a speech to the newest generation of Swiss exchange students going abroad this summer to start their own and unique experience. 23 years ago, I was in their place. Sitting there and listening to all these nice and lovely words. Boy, I had no clue how my decision to go abroad with YFU would change my life!

Of course at that time it was the curiosity what to expect from that big place across the big pond. However, now, almost a quarter of a century later, it is so much more that I learnt from my involvement in YFU. No question, the biggest learning experience by far was my not so great exchange year. Even years later did I realize what that time did to me, my personality, my character. In a very positive way, I want to add.

Looking back at the various tasks I had in YFU after I returned from the US, whether it is on national or on international level, I was able to expand my knowledge in so many ways. Gaining leadership experience as a regional director in Zürich, understanding what it means to manage an organization as a National Director or working in a truly intercultural environment with partners all around the world as a member of the YFU International Secretariat in Washington D.C. YFU has soooo many opportunities to offer. I was lucky to grab several of them. And all of that began 23 years ago by attending a school presentation of YFU followed eventually by listening to a lovely speech during my orientation weekend. Boy, am I glad did I take that decision to go abroad with YFU.