Geneva, Switzerland by Jillian Gray

Towards the last leg of our journey, we went to Geneva, Switzerland to visit the World Health Organization and United Nations. As a Public Health major, I was so excited to see the World Health Organization headquarters and further my understanding of global health. We arrived in Geneva via train. The train ride was equally as beautiful as our train ride to Nice as we were able to view the beautiful lakes of Switzerland.

This opportunity was particularly significant to me because it was my first time going to Switzerland. My ancestors immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. I grew up going to Swiss Day each year at the Swiss embassy in Washington D.C. I was excited to be able to see where my family came from as well as the once of a lifetime opportunity of going to the World Health Organization and United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

Our first day in Geneva was jampacked with visits and guest lectures. We started with a walking tour of the World Health Organization headquarters followed by a guest lecture. It was incredible to further my understanding of global health through the testimony of an individual who had worked at the World Health Organization for over 30 years. It was interesting to hear her unique perspective and insight as well as how the WHO functions on a day-to-day basis. After the first guest lecture, we attended a series of three lectures at the UN, regarding climate change, environmental hazards to human health, and UN sustainability goals. It was interesting to be able to gain insight into the functions of the UN and all of the agencies it works with to accomplish the member countries’ goals.

After all the lectures, we decided to grab dinner across the lake in the Old Town. The Old Town was beautiful and filled with such vibrant character. We enjoyed a traditional Swiss dinner overlooking most of Geneva. After dinner, it began to pour and we ran back to our hotel, laughing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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