International Student Stories: Meet Bernard

Bernard Armstrong is a Geography major and construction management minor who enjoys rock climbing, skiing and hanging out with his friends. 

Bernard was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but knew he wanted to study in the United States, just like his father. When the time came to choose a college, he had no idea where to start. His school’s college counselor suggested DU and, after researching about it,  Bernard realized it was a perfect fit! DU is close to the mountains and with a “small community” feeling, which was the prime environment for him to succeed. When he got accepted, he was thrilled! He was skeptical about leaving his home but excited to meet new people and experience a different culture.

His favorite thing about DU is the friends he’s made, they make the homesickness worth it. One day Bernard suggested that he and his friends go and hammock outside during a snowstorm. He said it was one of the best days, with everyone laughing and acting silly together. 

What he likes the most about DU is the friendly, open environment. Everyone he’s met has welcomed him with open arms, embraced his culture and helped him however way they could. Bernard loves going to DUPB events such as the winter carnival; he also enjoys going to the Ritchie Center, where he uses the indoor climbing gym. He feels the most at home when he’s up in the mountains and his favorite ski resort is Keystone. In Denver, he enjoys eating at Ginza, FatShack and D Station. 

In Bernard’s opinion, the biggest difference between the United States and Switzerland is that people here are overly polite. He was not used to the amount of “excuse me’s” and “I’m sorry’s” he would receive while walking down the street. His advice for fellow international students is to enjoy yourself. Do not get too caught up in what you should do or fearful of being seen as awkward or weird. People in the United States, especially in Denver, are very kind and won’t think you are weird.

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