Having lived in various big cities all my life, I thought that trading the hectic city lifestyle for a quieter village life up the mountains would require a massive adjustment. Surprisingly, the transition was very smooth and I am enjoying the tranquillity of Bluche.
What I like about Les Roches is the panoramic view of the mountains and the friendly people on campus. We received a very warm and personal welcome from the key management personnel of Les Roches. I was really impressed by the campus director, Mr Clive Taylor, who has been earnest in ensuring that we were well-settled on campus. He took pride in the history of Les Roches being a family-focused community, and in observing how the returning students were excitedly screaming and hugging when they saw each other again on campus, I felt positive about having chosen Les Roches as an institute to pursue my postgraduate education. It seems like an environment where people are friendly and that it would be relatively easy to make new friends and call this new place home.
There are 65 of us in the Postgraduate Diploma Program from approximately 20 countries this semester. Initially, I thought that it would be a challenge getting to know everyone, as there weren’t many formal ice-breaking activities. However, after spending a few days together in the induction programs, we had more opportunities to better recognise each other and interact while waiting in line for the next event or while having meals. I found that the best way to make friends is to be open-minded and be willing to interact with people from different backgrounds.
To be fair, Bluche is a small village and the nearest supermarket is either 10 minutes in Crans-Montana or 15 minutes in Sierre by funicular. However, the benefit for Les Roches students living on campus is that it is easy to find companionship to do various activities. On my first weekend, there was a group who organised a pool party on campus, another went to visit Sierre and a few others went hiking in Crans-Montana. There is always something to do when one is in good company! Sports activities such as basketball and volleyball have started while a few friends and I are waiting for the yoga class to commence.
Unfortunately, I caught the flu bug and fell sick during my first week. Thankfully, the school has nurses on site seven days a week to attend to students who are feeling unwell and also to provide medicine if necessary. As students are covered by health insurance provided by the school, we don’t need to pay for the medicine. With the near proximity of the nurses and convenience of getting medicine, I’m glad I can focus on resting and getting well quickly before classes go full swing!
Oh, in case you were wondering how I managed with the packing – with a little self-control, I came with what I need in 30kg check-in luggage and two backpacks! Ok, I did cheat a little and used FedEx to send a box of 10kg worth of winter items, stationery and food, but I think I have enough for now.
As I get to know more people and be more familiar with the campus, I look forward to a fruitful and memorable year here at Les Roches!