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University is all about two things – your studies in the classroom and the life experiences you have outside of it. For Glion students, the combination is like nowhere else in the world. In a recent interview, final year BBA student, Payton-Azhlee Toscano, shared what life is like on-campus once studies are over for the day.

Right from the start, Payton-Azhlee knew the unrivalled life experience she would gain while studying at Glion. “I chose Glion because it gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe and be in an international classroom. You can’t find that in a lot of places. It’s been an amazing international experience.”

“This is where I am supposed to be. These are my people, my family.”

All students at Glion have a moment when they know ‘this is the place for me’. For Payton-Azhlee, it was making new friends and meeting like-minded people. “It was in Semester 4, I was very involved in school and the committees. Which allowed me to meet other people that weren’t in my semester. I just realized that this is where I am supposed to be. These are my people, my family.”

Life on campus

Living in a campus environment is completely different to living at home, especially in a new country. “Living on campus gives you the opportunity to be close to your friends and always have something to do. I met my best friends from living on the same floor for 2 semesters”, Payton-Azhlee said.

“It is not my first time living away from home, but it was my first time living in a different country. It was scary at first, but you learn to adapt quickly because you’re not the only one. The majority of my semester is not from Switzerland, so we were able to rely on each other for everything.”

The social life

With over 1,500 students, 9 committees, sports facilities and the Alps on her doorstep, there was plenty for Payton-Azhlee to do in her downtime. “I have been an Ambassador for two semesters and have been on the Graduation Committee for 3 semesters, and I am going to be the Gradcom’s Creative Director in the fall”, she commented.

“If you are a part of any committee, you will always have something to do. Maybe too much to do, but it definitely keeps you busy and never bored. It’s opened my horizons and helped me become more open-minded. I’ve learned to not take myself too seriously and it’s helped me realize that the classes we go to are not only to pass, but to take the lessons we learn and apply them to the real world.”

“An opportunity of a lifetime.”

With almost 100 nationalities on-campus, students can expect to make new international friends, experience different cultures and encounter alternative viewpoints. “Glion having a diversity within cultures and ethnicities is definitely an opportunity of a lifetime, because you meet people from all over which helps you gain different outlooks on life in the work world and personal world”, Paton-Azhlee said.

Embracing the Glion Spirit

As an Ambassador, Payton-Azhlee is a strong advocate for the approach to life that Glion embodies. “The Glion Spirit is the support from your fellow colleagues and the faculty. Being able to have a voice and be supported”, she said. “Our school is very unique in the way we are so close to faculty and other students from different semesters. I don’t think you would find that anywhere else.”

“Switzerland gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and do things I normally don’t do.”

Studying at Glion, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, is quite an experience, especially for Payton-Azhlee, who made the move from one of the world’s most bustling cities. “It is an adjustment, because I am from New York City, where everything is open 24/7 and you always have something to do even if you think you don’t”, she said.

“You kind of take advantage of it, so moving to Switzerland gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and do things I normally don’t do. Like speak in French on a day to day basis.”

“Living abroad has taught me to enjoy the moment.”

“Glion has helped me gain a different perspective on life in general. In New York, everything is super cut throat and you have to constantly think about what is next. Living abroad has taught me to enjoy the moment and the steps it takes to succeed.”

“It also has taught me to slow down. What I love about Glion especially is my friends, because they’ll say “New York slow down” or “Breathe”, which honestly helps me snap out of what I am used to and pushes me to try another way of doing different activities.”

Thank you to Payton-Azhlee for sharing her experience of life outside the classroom at Glion. We’re proud of her commitment to the Glion Spirit and wish her all the best with her final year studies.

Want to learn more about student life at Glion? Check out our blog for student stories, field trips and campus events.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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