Bryn McCrossan-Maire went to NJC in 1992, met her husband (who happened to be the son of her pension family) and has made a fulfilling life in Switzerland.
Bryn McCrossan-Maire attended Neuchatel Junior College in 1992. Just like all other NJC students, she was assigned a pension family and is now married to the son of her pension parents. They now have a 21-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter that communicate in French as their first language, English being their second.
Ms. McCrossan-Maire was born and raised in Toronto. Before coming to Neuchâtel Junior College, she would come to Switzerland during the summers to camp out in Le Landeron with her family. Her older sister had come to NJC two years prior and had gained a lot of independence.
When the idea of moving to Switzerland for a year abroad was brought up to Bryn, she didn’t want to go. Her life was in Toronto, she wasn’t interested in leaving all of her friends and family. However, given that when her sister came back to Toronto, and her parents were less strict with her, the idea of leaving became more appealing.
Bryn departed on her journey to be a full-semester student. There were around 70 students in her graduating class, and most of them were females. She keeps in touch with certain NJC friends through Facebook and the NJC Conseil.
Bryn expressed that her favourite school trip was the Zermatt ski trip. She wasn't a big skier and noticed a big improvement considering it was a week-long and she got a lot of time to practice in the Swiss Alps. I, too, can agree with her on this one. I myself didn’t have much experience snowboarding and dedicated my time spent in Zermatt to some lessons. Also, her favourite independent travel was when she flew to Egypt with her boyfriend during the Easter school break. They spent time riding camels and learning from their guided tours. During the interview, she expressed that her time travelling Europe was full of culture and history, making Switzerland a great location for NJC.
Bryn’s most notable takeaways from NJC were that she matured so much while being here, she was accepted to university with just a diploma, and she learnt a lot of French because her husband (at the time boyfriend), didn’t speak any english. Also, the most valuable aspect she learnt about herself while on the road to self-discovery, was that she was mature enough to make decisions on her own.
Neuchâtel Junior College was the beginning of her new life. Bryn ended up staying abroad in Neuchatel because of her love, and attended the Université de Neuchâtel. She failed her first year of university and finished with a Masters of Business Administration. She always loved math and did all three math courses at NJC which included algebra and calculus. It’s ironic because she didn't actually do accounting or math in university, but did a marketing degree instead. She then got her first job in finance and stuck to that ever since. Bryn is now a senior finance director for an American pharmaceutical company that makes medication for cancer patients.
A full circle moment occurred to me, her great-grandfather was Swiss from St Gallen. She had never met him, but it made her and her family proud that she went back to his origins, continuing a life in Switzerland.