Born and raised on the prairies of America’s Heartland, I’m now living in the hilly farmland between two mountain ranges in the idyllic country of Switzerland. Of course, any place can be disillusioning, and life as an expat is anything but straightforward. Join me on this journey of betweens as I navigate the cultures, languages, and homes that come together in my daily life.
January 2015 – I left one university for another in search of a larger English department. To fill my class schedule, I picked up a French course, a language I almost hadn’t touched since elementary school. Surprised by how much I enjoyed the class, I remembered how fun learning languages can be; partly to honour my heritage and partly for the fun of it, I declared a double English and French major.
August 2015 – To complete the French major, I needed to study abroad. Preparations began for a year in Switzerland.
May 2016 – After an academic year of applications, seeking housing, and various other technicalities, I finally knew I was heading to the University of Lausanne for the 2016-2017 academic year. I would be staying with a local who was part of the church I would attend. A hard summer of working and packing lay ahead, and saying goodbye to the people and animals who made up my life in Nebraska.
September 2016 – My first flight alone was not an enjoyable experience, including an eleven-hour layover and getting very sick across the Atlantic. Happily, I arrived in one piece in Geneva Airport, where my host picked me up.
December 2016 – A difficult semester of adjustments, homesickness, and language and cultural barrier ended with some great triumphs. My family came to celebrate Christmas, and I surprised them with a Swiss boyfriend.
February 2017 – As classes started up again, I began to wrestle with the fact that I would probably return to Switzerland to live, though it was impossible to realise the difficult goodbyes that would entail.
March 2017 – I became engaged to my Swiss prince charming.
June 2017 – An emotional short-term goodbye from a country I was coming to love, a fiancé, and a wonderful church. But the summer ahead held much excitement—family trips, girlfriend trips, wedding preparations, and two Bachelor’s thesis to write.
October 2017 – Married my husband in Nebraska, surrounded by family. Moved back to Switzerland with two half-finished thesis and a heart full of confused emotions.
December 2017 – A Christmas trip to see my family and defend my thesis, drop off my horse at her new home, and say a long goodbye to my grandmother, aunts and uncles, and my dogs. Though my family will visit in the summer, it will be more than a year before my husband and I can make it back to Nebraska.