Students’ first up close look at the mountains


Shot from Oeschinensee. UNESCO world heritage site for natural beauty.

Off on a “sledge” ride to the valley floor. Wipeouts were plentiful.

Student Reflections:

“The first few days were sooo fun, but one of the days that really stood out to me was when we went to Tropenhaus and went sledging. It really brought the whole group together and gave us many laughs. On the second day, it was officially the first time I had sledged and it was AMAZING!! It was really a great start to the Switzerland trip since everyone got together and had a great time, playing in the snow, falling, running, pushing people in the snow.. etc. I can’t wait to continue my Switzerland trip and I am so happy with the first couple days, while facing my fears and getting closer to people I wasn’t as close to before.” –Leen Naser



Visit to the Tropenhouse to get a firsthand look at Swiss sutainability

Fruitigen Tropenhouse is a center of aquaculture in the middle of the Swiss Alps. Using water naturally warmed through geothermal heat, the facility is able to raise and harvest 30,000 sturgeon a year with little environmental impact. Top grade caviar and fillets of flavored fish are shipped to markets across Eurasia. On top of the hatchery, Tropenhouse’s tropical garden produces exotic fruits for Swiss supermarkets. This significantly reduces the large environmental footprint that shipping in these items from far flung places would otherwise create.

Student Reflections:

“The Tropenhaus was amazing not only because of my personal interests, but also because it provided fun and interesting information about how black caviar is made. Personally, I really liked the trip because I am interested in underwater flora and fauna and overall, I think that the trip was very informative.” -Nikita Galanin


Introduction to the operation.

Tanks holding 80,000 sturgeon in various stages of maturity.

Bananas in the Alps.

Sturgeon on display.


Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their lesson on Swiss chocolate making

Student reflections:

“As I have a love for chocolate, going to the Chocolate Factory was a great treat! We had a wonderful chef demonstrate how chocolate is made and it was very interesting to watch. We all were able to try each of the different chocolates and they were delicious! This was a really informing experience and it increased my love for chocolate even more!” – Tansin Huq

Getting accustomed to the snow and cold…

Student Reflections:

“The first day walk was so much fun. We walked around the village, it was the first time we left the cabin. It was cool walking in the snow. I saw many rivers and tributaries.” – Farouk Bilbeisi
“The first day we had taken a walk around the village, as we walked we saw the beautiful mountain view as we looked up from the sparking white snow path. We walked beside the cold and fresh mountain water stream which was as clear as the morning sky. The walk was  great, we got to walk with our friends and explore the village in groups.” – Ananchai Saengla Wagstaff