A few days ago I arrived to work for the summer program at the American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in Lugano for a 7th year. For those of you who might not know Switzerland very well, Lugano is located in the Italian speaking part of the country. That’s right, I said Italian (not Swedish, people!). Everything here looks and acts a lot like Italy: the language, the food, the architecture, and the weather. There are palm trees, little lizards crawling around, and even the rare scorpion! However, there are some glaring differences between Italy and Italian Switzerland. For one thing, Swiss preciseness is on full display every day. Trains run on time, quiet hours are in place for small villages like ours, and streets and public areas are so clean you could indulge with a spoon in a fallen scoop of gelato on the ground without two twinges of disgust.
There is a lot of hard work ahead, but in the few days that I have been here it’s been great to reconnect to so many wonderful people. The majority of the staff arrives on Monday and some of the most amazing people will be making their way to TASIS. The performing arts staff members are very talented. So are the counselors whom I get to work with in the middle school program. Let’s be real: all the the teachers and counselors of the elementary, middle, and high school programs are terrific!
In addition to the work us early birds have put in so far, we’ve enjoyed a number of superb Italian grotto experiences. Three-hour meals are not uncommon here. Risotto, pasta, carne, e vino! Another glass of wine? Oh ok…va bene.
Below are photos from the train ride through Switzerland. The bottom two photos were taken from my baclony at TASIS.