Preparing for Final Exams in Switzerland

Beecher, center, with friends

Keaton E. Becher ’13 – Well that time of the semester that all students just love (*note lots of sarcasm) has arrived here in Fribourg. Yes, I am referring to the time that requires long nights, lots of coffee, and surround-sound yodeling music as I begin to prepare for my final examinations. A matter of fact, as soon as I finish this, it is back to the books as I have two finals already tomorrow.

It is with great joy to know that another semester is about behind me. I have definitely been tested and tried in many ways — culturally, physically, and of course, in regards to my language, academically; culturally because despite coming from an area with a deep Swiss heritage, the customs and nuances vary greatly in Switzerland compared to Indiana; in a physical sense, the terrain of Switzerland is drastically different from back home — you go up one hill, reach a “flat” spot, only to realize that you are standing at the start of an incline up another hill!

My Grandma told me recently in an email that she believes I won’t walk right for a couple days once I return to Indiana as I will have to adjust to what it feels like to walk on flat land again.

Finally, academically, my language has been stretched exponentially. In the past month, I have had to give two presentations — one being in German and the other being in French. I can say though, it truly is a great feeling when you realize that you think and dream in another language other than your mother tongue. On top of my presentations, as I enter into my exams, both my written and oral language will be tested as I do everything from analyzing German poetry to explaining the different historical stages in western Europe following the fall of National Socialism.

The amazing daily views of Switzerland.

My exams will span out over this week as well as the first week in June; however, before I got underway with finals preparations, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Redding and his group of Wallies in Marburg, Germany last weekend. It was great being able to catch up with the group and it was exciting to see such a large group of underclassmen that have such an enthusiasm for the German language and culture. I hope that my time with them served as an encouragement as they continue on their academic and linguistic journey.

This will probably be the last time I write to all of you as a student at the Université de Fribourg but I have enjoyed sharing my experiences through blogging as well as the many stories I will be able to share once I return to campus in August. Please keep your eyes open though in the next 4 weeks as I will be starting my internship in Burgdorf, Switzerland (thanks to the generosity of the Dill Grant) before I return back to the States at the end of June. As always, your prayers are greatly appreciated as I complete my exams and wrap up my semester here in Switzerland, as well as my internship that will be starting in a short two weeks.

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