Yesterday was the big arrival day: 348 students with their 272 mentors and observers arrived in Zurich. For most of them, their stay in Switzerland started at Zurich airport, some teams arrived by train. From there, the students went to the hotel Aja for registration, and the mentors and observers to the hotel Crowne Plaza. All in all, Zurich presented itself from its best side: blue skies, punctual trams and trains and a warm welcome by the IChO team. Now the moment has finally come for everyone to physically meet at the venue. We are all ready to make the 55th IChO a great celebration of joy, togetherness and cross-border friendships, and to work together to find solutions that will advance our world and make it a better place.
Student Yavor from Team Bulgaria: Yavor's journey went smoothly with a relatively short flight of about two hours from Sofia, a capital city of Bulgaria. This is his first time in Switzerland, but he is considering studying chemistry at ETH Zurich after finishing school!
Student Taiba from Kuwait: The long but comfortable journey from Kuwait was exciting for sweet Taiba. She participated in the Middle East competition and is now here (at IChO)! Her father accompanied her on this trip. Taiba was very emotional during the interview because she had to say goodbye to her father until the exams are over.
Student Osewuike from Nigeria: All Nigerians look tired after a long journey, but they are still smiling. Osewuike mentioned that he watched two movies on one level instead of sleeping and that is the reason for his tiredness.
Austria, Georg Schellander. Head Mentor: Georg is a lead mentor for an Austrian team. He teaches students in Vienna and has been leading IChO teams from Austria since 2015. He believes that language is the biggest commonality and at the same time the biggest difference between Switzerland and Austria.
Sabine, Switzerland: Sabine comes from the country where IChO is taking place this year, so she only had to travel 1.5 hours by train to reach Zurich. She feels very comfortable in her team and is looking forward to meeting new people and learning something new about chemistry during the exams. As she said, even if you do not know how to answer the question directly, you can think, use your current knowledge and try to find a solution.