While Geneva resides within the Francophone canton of Switzerland, it is home to expats who congregate in Switzerland for its centrality as a hub of international affairs, business, technology, and more. For this reason, outlets for non-native French speakers to practice and develop their capabilities in informal settings are abundant. I have taken advantage of several of these opportunities (many of which are provided without cost by the city of Geneva) during my time here, and they continue to open up doors to accessing the rich public life of the city, including its art, music, and film.
Amongst others, the city offers language exchange groups almost daily (with a particular emphasis on French). Midway through the summer, a public initiative called “French in the park” invited participants to attend talks and language exchange opportunities for learners of all levels in a nearby green space. The initiative proved wildly successful and remained in high demand. There are also “philosophy cafés” for those whose French level permits discussion at a deeper level about issues of morality, ethics, and various philosophical traditions.
Having this breadth of opportunities available to me in Geneva builds upon my official course of study and my independent language learning. To be in a space that so deeply embraces the collective goal of learning languages affirms my desire to continue the academic and relational work of studying French.