Workshop with Ariane Curdy: "Beyond Cheese, Chocolate, Watches and Banks"

Ariane Curdy during the workshop
Ariane Curdy during the workshop
A moment of discussion among the students
A moment of discussion among the students

International Relations and Study abroad Service

4 October 2019

To study abroad is an exciting, enriching and often life-changing experience. Yet, it can also be a challenging one to start with, until one identifies and understands the cultural particularities of the host culture.

Why are shops closed on Sundays? What is all this recycling about? Do the Swiss really follow the rules by the book? Some Swiss habits may, indeed, seem strange or even unreasonable, until one recognizes the reasoning behind them.

To help students making sense of some of the first impressions about Ticino and Switzerland, USI has organized a workshop to further explore what the Swiss Culture is really about. The workshop took place on 1 October.

The session also aimed at giving the audience some intercultural tools stimulating the interest and curiosity for other cultures in general, helping to interact efficiently with fellow students from around the world, and supporting the participant in the development of their intercultural competence.

Ariane Curdy involved the students in a rich discussion about culture, cultural differences, stereotypes, perceptions, and the rollercoaster journey that is living and studying in a foreign country, or, said with her words, the "rental car system experience". 

The 17 students who participated had the chance to interact with each other, share their experience in Switzerland and reflect upon why things are as they are. 

Positive and negative perceptions depend a lot on who we are as individuals, on our culture and experience. This is why learning about others also means learning about yourself and vice-versa.  

Students also received some useful tips on Swiss Do’s and Don’ts which will help them adjust to the new living and studying environment.

Ariane Curdy, a management training consultant, brings decades of international experience covering four continents. She specialized in working successfully across cultures.

For more information: www.culture-relations.net

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