Igor Travels Abroad

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take."


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School is back in session! – Studying Abroad, Jazz Festival and More!

Vacation flew by fast and the two weeks off with family are now over. I had a great time seeing my family and friends and having fun, such as visiting the latest escape rooms in Russia and going for daily walks in the city centre and trying out all the different restaurants. I really enjoyed seeing my relatives in the evening and eating and drinking traditional Russian foods and drinks. I even got to attend my cousins graduation, where she graduated for her masters, with a red diploma (meaning all A’s).

Moreover, I went out of the city and visited my grandfather at his dacha (summer house) and enjoyed the fresh air and had some delicious food, picked straight from their garden, including alpine berries with milk, a truly Russian speciality.

Of course I missed my family when I had to leave and fly back to Switzerland, yet the new term at Hotel Institute Montreux would be very exciting and I knew it. There would be lots of new students and this term I will study my specialisation, finance, which is so far outstanding. I am learning financial management, capital markets, corporate investment decisions, digital marketing and organisational behaviour and leadership. This past week, we studied how to build customer funnels, begin to learn how to trade on international markets, corporate legal structures and investing, among so much more. I love it!

After I landed, I went and met with my friend Julia. We both worked at the Gstaad Palace and did our internship in front office there together last winter season. We went for a nice long walk, had food and the best ice-cream in Montreux.

Afterwards, my friend and room mate Daniil flew in back from Ukraine and it was so great seeing him again. He brought his cousin along and we had a ton of fun going to Jazz festival as well as Gstaad, where we got in lots of swimming and fondue. We even got first row seats to watch Poland versus Netherlands and Germany play against USA at the world volleyball championships.



My new class is really amazing and I really enjoy having them all in class. We are all from very unique cultures and places and it’s such a multicultural, smart and good-hearted group. We even attended the last week of Jazz festival together and went out and danced every night. And when not partying and dancing, we went swimming by the lake. Thank goodness Jazz festival is now over, so I can catch up my sleep and do some more studying.

I even had someone give us their dog to take a picture. Thank you Ferrari (the dog) for posing in my photo 😀


The week was not over yet, as we played soccer today with 21 other students. We formed 3 teams and played for over two hours in the sun and kicked off the term in a most outstanding way. Overall, it was a really awesome week and looking back, it was incredible how much can take place in seven days.

Anyway…off to bed now. I have school tomorrow 🙂

Until next week and can’t wait to update you on more adventures abroad and studying in Switzerland,

Igor


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Vacation, Family and Hospitality….

Such a marvelous week has passed by and the end of semester 4 has arrived. Finally, time to recover from all the sleepless nights of final exams and studying with two whole weeks of vacation. I’ll find out my grades by this Friday and will start semester 5 after the break.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting my SEG coordinators for USA and South America region and we had a great, lively conversation about student life. It is always wonderful to meet such amazing people, especially my USA coordinator, Aline, who has helped support me through the past two years education. For those of you who read about my time when I did the CBYX program, she is like my betreuer(featured right)

For my break, I decided to fly back to where I was born in Russia and visit my grandparents. After surviving through the wars, especially World War II, my grandma is getting older and it’s always a pleasure to be able to see her and help out, especially cleaning the apartments, going for more walks and making sure that everything at the apartment is in order, since things are falling apart and I fix them.

More importantly, I love spending the time with her and hearing her stories and supporting her, being the strong and loving woman she is who helped take care of me when I was just a little boy. I owe it to her and love her very much.

Family is the most important thing we have and we must always support our family, especially our grandparents who are getting older. And not only to take care of them but to accept them and love them no matter what.

For break, I decided to go really go offline and I’m feeling great. I’m sleeping a lot and “recovering” from exams, eating healthy, going for daily exercise, reading many great books, such as American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, and have no internet at home. It’s a wonderful and much needed break.

Today, I gave back and went to a local business and spoke about hospitality, studying in Switzerland and the English language. It’s always nice to help others and provide value and I really had a blast. The next couple of days, I’ll see old friends and more family and my parents will come this Friday. I’m very excited.

I’ll leave you with this, as it was a question that was really good that one of the employees at the business asked me. He asked, “What is hospitality and what does it mean for you? Of course, there’s hotels and stuff but what does it mean?” What a great question, as I think it is a great conclusion to this post.

Each person of course has their own definition but for me, it is the act of caring for other people. To make them feel welcome. To exemplify true and authentic humanity and help others. To do the right thing, even when no one is looking. A combination of integrity, trust, compassion, love, care and support. That, for me, is hospitality.

Until next week,

Igor


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A Most Beautiful Week and Hospitable Sunday

This past week has been very beautiful and amazing and I have had a great time connecting and getting to know my friends and classmates better. I completed 5 big exams during the last week as well as presentations as well as had a lot of fun. Today has been the most exciting of all, to finally take a break and relax during my final exams. I understand it may not be the most traditional way of doing things, but while all my classmates are stressed out and trying to cram the last bit of information in, I am aiming to really relax and feel good when it comes to my exams. I personally believe that if I studied hard and learned the knowledge throughout the semester, I am prepared for the exams and I studied a bit beforehand but overall I feel ready. Today was more about reconnecting with my friends and taking it easy and stepping into the exams tomorrow with a fresh mind and feeling relaxed.

Firstly, I want to reflect on finally getting used to Montreux, Switzerland a bit more and starting to finally fit in. I’m finally starting to understand Swiss neutrality more and the diplomacy of the country and it’s people. Additionally, the fact that people have their work life and private life balance and therefore aren’t open 24/7 and that quality comes before quantity. Of course prices are more, but things are hand-made and crafted and take time and labour, rather than other countries where machines manufacture everything under the sun and quality is affected. Moreover, I really am getting used to and enjoy the Swiss style of clothing and atmosphere, it almost reminds me of the 50’s and 60’s to a calmer, more peaceful time, where life was more relaxed, more simple and people simply enjoyed it more without the rigamaro of the busy city life or rushing to work and high stress. Don’t get me wrong, people work very hard here and can be stressed too, but I think the work-life balance is much more destinct and cultural.

Since I am studying hospitality, I wanted to show you some of the Swiss hospitality and talk about what it’s like. Today, for example, I slept in and really had a great time waking up when I wanted to and watched a movie. Afterwards, I did some studying and prepared for my upcoming exams.

Afterwards, I went to the Sunday brunch at the Fairmont Montreux which was a magical experience. I went with our dear family friend Monica, which owns a beautiful annex up in the mountains of Montreux and is a superhost by Airbnb (you can read more about her Airbnb about my Gstaad Palace post). We got to know her very well with my family and she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I invited her for brunch together and had an amazing time. From the beautiful live piano music that echoed through the vast hall of the 5 star palace to the exquisite swiss pasteries, cheeses, meat and assortments of food and hospitable staff, it was an incredible experience. If you are ever in the area of Montreux, I definetly recommend to reserve a table for the sunday brunch to enjoy a true and authentic swiss dining experience.


Afterwards, I played video games with my friend Daniil and talked a bit. Finally, to conclude the evening, I went up to the Hotel Victoria, situaed in Glion, above the Geneva lake and enjoyed some delicious tea and ice cream with my friend Gioele. Afterwards, we layed on the reclining seats and enjoyed the amazing views and sun and had a delicious dinner of gnocci with tomato sauce, fresh from the alpine garden of the Victoria with freshly baked bread. It was stunning.

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All in all, it was a fantastic day and week and my last week of school will be next week for my final exams and then off to vacation, before coming back to term 5 in a couple of weeks! I’m literally pinching myself everyday living here as it is such an amazing and one-of-a-kind environment. Nevertheless, it’s definetly time to go see my family again and take a break. I’ll do a little more studying tonight and I am ready to go conquer those exams!

Have a most delightful Sunday and take care,

Igor