Celebrate #50YearsFranklin – tell us your anecdotes and share your memories of the University.

For half a century, students have charted their path to success at Franklin University Switzerland. Here we feature a collection of their inspiring quotes and reflections, collected to celebrate Franklin’s 50th anniversary.

Check back here throughout this academic year to see updated and new memories from alumni and members of the Franklin community on the impact Franklin has had on their lives and the communities we serve.

#50YearsFranklin – We are FUS!

Franklin Founders

Theo Brenner, Wilfried Geens, and Pascal Tone: "Franklin is the most unique educational experience in the world. Ask any students who have been here - they would say 'those were formative years that changed my life',  no matter where you go. And we applied it to ourselves as well - Franklin changed our lives!”

Class of 2018

Carly Seedall, Class of 2018, Copy Editor at Copernicus Publications in Göttingen, Germany
“As a Franklin student, studying and living in an international environment prepared me for a multicultural workplace. As a copy editor, I am also thankful for the experience of writing a senior thesis. After dedicating so many months toward putting together my own in-depth work on a specific subject, I am able to better understand the challenges and frustrations of writing a manuscript. Though I didn’t study science at Franklin, academic travels such as those to India and Bhutan as well as South Africa and Swaziland familiarized me with the significance of climate change and pollution on an international level, topics covered in many journals published by the organization. Of course, my German classes prepared me well for living in the country as well as speaking the language in a professional setting.”

Sarina Leon, Class of 2018, Writing Center Coordinator and Intern for No Violence Alliance at Al Akhawayn University, Morocco
“Within my first year I traveled throughout Switzerland during Academic Travel learning about travel writing, and then later that year to Germany and Poland focusing on art and history. This helped pique my innate curiosity to learn more about different parts of the world, understand intercultural communication and explore my interest in international education. My experience working as a research assistant and tutor with Professors Pyka and Gardiner absolutely helped me get this new job opportunity at Ifrane. Additionally, as I plan to continue working in academia, this new position offers many opportunities to explore the different facets of an international university by working with students, faculty and staff, and it will strengthen my opportunities to pursue a career path in the future.”

Alli Zeper, MSIM ‘18, Recruiting Administrator at McKinsey & Company, USA
“I still remember with enthusiasm how in my class we had fashion experts, a block chain expert, and an animation expert in one classroom. Never did I think I would get to learn about all of those fields so deeply by entering into a management program. My main growth came from the mix between the soft and the hard skills. I think the way the program is designed it really forced me to become a more well-rounded person.”

Class of 2017

Samuel Miller, Class of 2017, freelance writer and photographer
“Frankliners have a special quality to them, a uniqueness in the way they talk and interact and see the world. At a recent impromptu gathering in Miami, a half dozen of us sat around and discussed this. Not all of us had been friends, in fact, there were one or two alumni that barely knew each other. But sitting there, we all felt an immediate sense of comfort and familiarity with each other, like a family holiday without all the family baggage. Trevor Herden ‘17 best described the atmosphere by observing “Franklin has built such a unique community that every time we get together it's like a therapy session.” It’s true – even a few years after graduating, there is still an instant sense of familiarity and camaraderie with Frankliners young and old.”

Olivia Meira, Class of 2017, Manager of Retail Intelligence at Grupo Big, Brazil
“Franklin made me feel comfortable with change, with development, with transformation, and with uncomfortable situations. I think that’s the most important lesson you can learn for the rest of your life because you’ll be going out there and if you’re not courageous or if you don’t feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations, then you’re never going to take risks or give new things a try – like I did in Brazil. At Franklin, you learn how to be an adult, how to deal with problems and be flexible, proactive and independent. And I think that’s the greatest thing a University can teach you.”

Erika Milenka Lopez Arellano, Class of 2017, MPA Candidate, Marketing Analyst Intern and Sumners Foundation Scholar, USA
“Being at Franklin meant having daily conversations with my professors and peers about social justice issues, history and politics that challenged me to consider various perspectives. My professors were always supportive of my interests and encouraged me to research the links between government, politics and theatre which is what I ultimately wrote my thesis on. I truly believe the confidence, skills, and values that Franklin instilled in me contributed to me being chosen for this scholarship. I also want to give a shout out to my thesis advisor Professor Roberto Cordon and my RA supervisor Russell Martin for guiding me through the application process and writing letters of recommendation for me. I know I am successful because of the support I’ve received and continue to receive from the Franklin community.”

Andrew Bunker, Class of 2017, Research Associate at Better Markets, USA
“I began my studies in Environmental Science but with broad interests. Franklin's liberal arts curriculum allowed me to take courses that piqued my curiosity outside of my major and through exposure to other disciplines I was drawn towards economics. While studying economics, I continued my course work in Environmental Science for a minor and I expanded my quantitative coursework as well. I graduated with majors in International Economics and International Banking and Finance with minors in Environmental Science and Applied Mathematics. Having access to a flexible curriculum and courses outside of my initial interests were key in helping me find my intellectual interests and pursuing enriching electives that can only be found in Franklin's interdisciplinary ecosystem.
The careful attention and time that Professor Colombo provided me allowed me to leverage my undergraduate thesis as a large advancement in my intellectual progression.”

Class of 2016

Brandon Berdecia, Class of 2016 BA and 2017 MSIM, Client Relationship Specialist at Charles Schwab in New York City, USA
“As a member of Franklin’s SGA and while serving as President, I was put in a position where I was made aware of the needs and concerns of students and worked with my fellow members to address the issues at hands. I found that those skills help immensely when interacting with clients and coworkers, by allowing me the ability to understand how to engage and interact with others on a professional level, while also acknowledging the emotional and personal feelings one often has with regards to one’s finances.” 

Troy Billett, Class of 2016, Director at OffGridBox, USA
“During my first semester, I found myself in culture shock, overwhelmed by the changes and new surroundings I was thrust into. It was only after I returned to my comfort zone back home that my entire perspective changed, transforming my personal and academic life. Through the international network I was exposed to during my studies, I learned how to build compelling international teams of entrepreneurs whom I met through the FUS network. This is what brought me to where I am today.”

Class of 2014

Elisabeth (Ellie) Leaning, Class of 2014, Environmental & Humanitarian Project Manager (Contractor)
“In my CLCS classes we were talking about real people, with real issues, adding a layer of complexity and critical thinking that allowed us to learn to look at issues from different lenses, find alternative perspectives, and analyze the overarching system in which we live in, ultimately looking for creative solutions. Franklin opened up the world to me in a way that I can’t even fully understand at this point, but I do know I would be a completely different person without it and the lifelong friends I made there. It gave me the confidence and skills to believe that it’s possible to make the world a better place.”