I should like the window to open onto the Lake of Geneva — and there I’d sit and read all day

-John Keats, 1819

When I chose to go to CERN I expected to gain some experience in the world of international research and develop some useful skills. What I didn’t expect was to enjoy living near Geneva so much!

Firstly, the views of the Jura mountains to the north and the Alps to the south were a stark contrast to the streets of Portswood. Every time I went shopping I walked along a road with near uninterrupted views of these beautiful mountains. Be it blue skies or snow-capped and cloudy, it was always a delight.

Secondly, the city of Geneva itself is beautiful and full of life and variety. There are grand, old buildings in the Old Town on the hill looking out over the rest of Geneva and the lake, newer areas with modern buildings, a number of parks, museums, and the luxurious shops.

I have some lovely memories of walking around Geneva in the snow before Christmas.

Coming into the sunny months the city became vibrant and full of life and colour.


While living there I spent my time in many different ways. I climbed up Mont Salève, traveled to nearby towns, sat by the lake reading, walked through fields and along the river, and went to the Geneva International Motor Show, to name a few…

Alongside the leisure activities, I did gain a lot academically from my time abroad. It was a mixture of having to quickly develop my programming ability, learning how to explore and understand the data I was working with, and producing reports of my progress. This involved a mixture of long days spreading into nights and weekends, and days with not much to do while my analysis was running.


I would thoroughly recommend taking the opportunity to spend time studying/working abroad. You will almost certainly experience and try things that you would not have come across if staying at university.

The Delights of Geneva

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