An Ocean Away

Student feels at home abroad


Avery Franks

Every summer sophomore Mia Bergier travels to Switzerland with her family. This past summer she venture out of Switzerland and into Croatia and Italy.

Ava Nelson, Staff Writer

Gray mountains cut across a fierce blue sky seldom adjourned by clouds. Rustic brick houses dot the countryside, slicing through lush grassy fields. Sidewalks buzz with citizens eager to shop from farm markets or accompany a boat across Lac de Genève to the neighboring country of France.  

A small European country rife with colorful shops, renaissance-era castles and sightseeing destinations, Switzerland is located 3,196 miles away from the United States — a distance that has yet to keep sophomore Mia Bergier away from her “home away from home.” 

“I go to Switzerland every summer,” Bergier said. “My dad’s whole family lives there, so that’s a big part of going.”  

When Bergier was an infant of seven months, this foreign land was introduced to her as home. With the warm embrace of grandparents and cousins from her dad’s side of the family waiting for her, the Swiss city of Genève is a consistent destination for her family vacations. 

“It’s really nice to go and almost have a second home.” Bergier said. “Traveling to Europe gives me a different perspective.” 

Having the home of her father’s childhood only a flight away, Bergier has been submerged in the culture and heritage of Switzerland and her family, despite being raised primarily in the United States. 

“Seeing my family there is great; I love being able to go over there and disconnect,” Bergier said. “I absolutely love traveling.”  

What began as trips to visit family have blossomed not only into a culture and land to explore, but also a comforting abode. A dual citizen since birth, Bergier’s heart has been captured by the native foods, atmosphere and countryside of Switzerland. 

“I have a lot of cousins over there to show me around,” Bergier said. “The people are kind and there are a lot of markets.”  

At 15 years old, Bergier can describe skiing down mountains and venturing into the adjacent countries of Italy and Croatia, as well as regularly delving into the dense Swiss markets where groceries are purchased. Traveling has since become an integral part of Bergier, a spark that was ignited in Switzerland. 

“There are people speaking French everywhere, and there’s the best ice-cream.” Bergier said. “It’s pretty amazing … not only is the country great, but so are the people.”