My First International Trip

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My First International Trip - An astonishing experience

Submitted: April 05, 2017

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Submitted: April 05, 2017



MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRIP- An astonishing experience

Being always under the shelter of my beloved ones till then, my 4 week trip to Basel, Switzerland was exiciting at the same time bit anoyying.  It wasn’t that easy for me to set my mind for that international stay away from home.

Though many a times I have flew in domestic flight, it was September 1st my first international flight experience. Early that day, I reached Hyderabad airport at around 6:30AM and was waiting for my senior colleague to join. My sisters who were with me in the Airport to send me off, gave me lots of safety tips and advices. As the departure of the Emirates airways was announced, I headed towards the counter for baggage check-in with a heavy heart. The gentleman at the boarding counter  was very well-behaving and allotted me the boarding pass for both the flights. The Flight is from Hyderabad to Dubai - after 3 hours- Dubai to Zurich.

Sep 1st is a treasured day in my life, not because its my first day in Basel, its my younger sisters birthday !! !

I arrived at Basel on Saturday at around 11:00 pm and checked- in the hotel with mixed feelings.  It was a sleepless night for me.  First thing, I noticed is that the Hotel I stayed was in France and Novartis Campus in Basel (switzerland).

I must thank My Global Manager for  the hospitality she extended to me,  on the second day of my trip.  She came to visit me in my Hotel with a white color bag filled with some basic needs like Warm clothing, foodstuff (Mango juice, Yogurt, ice-tea, apples…and many more).  She was a great support throughout my stay at Basel.

On 3rd Sep I have then reached Novartis campus, Gate no. xx without any slip-up,  Petra(My Mentor) was standing there to take me to the right tower,  Building No. 210, 4th floor and work station 36. She introduced me to everyone in the office.  After that I started on with my office work  asusual.  I must thank Petra for being my mentor and for her guidance in every way. Everyone at office was so friendly and hospitable.

During Weekend’s I tried to explore the City a little along with my friends and colleagues.  Things I have noticed in this City:

  • Basel is located at the meeting point of France, Germany and Switzerland
  • Basel has an extensive public transportation network serving the city, including a large tram network.
  • I used Tram no.11, A common tram (ST. Louis Grenze) to reach my Hotel/office
  • Novartis Campus is about 10 min Walk away from my Hotel/apartment
  • Basel city is almost Pollution-free , Noise-free, Bicycle-friendly and comprises a large number of theatres and many museums
  • Majority of  the population are from Germany and speaks German language

I realised that I was slowly getting comfortable with this new place and the life style.

This trip helped me  in so many ways I should say. It raised my self-confidence levels, strengthened me a lot and elevated my thought process for the potential improvement of my skills.

During this trip I had great experiences to cherish and to be remembered always.  However throughout the trip I missed my Family terribly every day,every moment.  It made me  realise that my family is my whole world. Whenever I talked to my father or sister over phone, I felt like I am the Princess of their lives and realized that I am high in their minds. No doubt, I have the best Father and sister, one could have.

I almost never cooked anything at home. Moreover my parents/sister never let me use the kitchen except for potato peeling, vegetables cutting duties. This time I had taken the copy of all my favourite recipes, hand written from my sister - I started cooking myself, for I missed Indian spicy taste in the hotels around Basel.  Now, I feel more comfortable saying I can actually cook now. Surprisingly I did not waste food and also I started enjoying cooking.

At Office, I met many people during the training sessions, who had a wide range of experince, knowledge and skills in the industry.  Fortunately it happened to me without  any hardships.  I was in a meeting along with these dignitaries and SME’s and they are simple , humble  and very approachable.  We shared many details related to our studies/processes and had been appreciated for our work.

Another memorable experience which I must mention here is my meeting with a group of around 15 senior citizens, when I was travelling in a speed train from Luzern to Basel. They all were retired from their formal service and were on the way back to their homes from a  long trip of HIKING. It was a treat to my eyes watching them.  They were behaving so cordially with each other, inspite of neither being friends nor relatives. They were just grouped for this trip.  The best part was, 5 to10 minutes before they would even reached their respective destinations, got up, went to each person in the group and wish good-bye with gratitude. And the other person, even if he was not able to getup, still manged to getup and wish good-bye. Seeing them, I realized that a pleasant smile,  a warm hug, a caring look and a gentle touch is a common language across the globe, across the ages. It really makes others feel so special and this sort of gesture among human has the potential to turn a life around in a beautiful way.

Overall my first international trip was a mind blowing one, which would remain in my memory forever. 

Thanks for the opportunity!!

Vijayalakshmi Gajulapalli

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