Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day trip and long night

My weekends have been pretty full as of late. Last week, I went to Ascona, which is a(nother) pretty Swiss town situated next to a lake. I also walked up an entire mountain and went to this interesting restaurant/hotel/art gallery thing at the top.

There was this energy path thing that one could walk along in order to recharge your chakras or something. Unfortunately the final circle was closed so I guess my chakras got to about 95%...

 After that lovely excursion, I came home and then thanks to the efforts of my hiking buddy, got a second wind and we decided to go to the "Notte lunge dei Musei" or long night of the museums. The exhibitions were open until midnight, which really is a long night for Lugano.

I have to say, it was a pretty eventful day. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Day trip to Milan

This Friday I went to Milan for a symposium on English medium instruction at the Center for Higher Education Internationalisation (CHEI). It was held at the Università Cattolica del Sacre Cuore, which had a beautiful, old campus right in the center of Milan

The subject matter of the conference wasn't exactly what I'm interested in researching, but given that I want to focus on international education, it was a good chance to network and see what's out there when it comes to this field. 

The presentations were interesting, and, as always, gave me a lot of ideas for my own research. The only downside was that we were inside and underground in the Aula Cripta for most of the day. The weather was gorgeous and the surrounding areas were really interesting. 

Here are some pictures I took during the lunch break. 

After arriving back in Lugano that evening, I could only say that the day had been a success. I managed to learn some things in a field related to my own research interests and network and meet some interesting people. I'm glad I stumbled upon such an interesting opportunity. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A very Swiss experience

A few weeks ago, we were told to be ready to go on an "excursion" this last Wednesday with the other members of the Institute for Public Communication. It was all very hush-hush, to the point where we didn't find out where we were going until we were on the bus. Even then, they mislead us into thinking we would be going to the construction site of the new Gotthard tunnel between Zurich and Milan (which would have been interesting, I guess). Anyways, we roll up to this strange building with a bunch of people dressed in camouflage in front of it. 

The view from the mountain we had driven up was amazing.

They then tell us that we are actually at a military training base for the Swiss army. The entire day  consisted of a tour of the base, an explanation of the role of the Swiss army, and a demonstration of your average medical intervention. The whole thing was mostly in Italian, with some French and a little bit of German so, I only understood about half of what was going on at any given time. 

The demonstration was interesting, as some of the recruits were from the German- or French- speaking part of Switzerland, and communication took place in a mixture of the three.

They were very hospitable, offering us copious amount of the (in)famous military chocolate

At the end of the whole affair we were also treated to a beautiful aperitivo, with some very delicious finger foods and desserts.
After that, it was time to take our bus back home through the beautiful Ticino landscape. All in all, the experience was indicative of the multiculturality that constitutes a big part of the Swiss experience. It's probably not something I would have chosen to do, but I'm glad I did it.