Student exchange in Switzerland for a year, looking for recommendation on equipment
As the title mentions, I am doing a student exchange at Lausanne, Switzerland from Sept 18 to Sept 19, studying at HEC Lausanne. Great experience, but also crazy effin expensive. Since I'll be there for a long time, one of the goals I had was to slowly learn photography by myself (from the actual 'taking a proper picture' to the basic software editing afterwards). I'll have the opportunity to travel Europe/Middle-East (as some of my fellow student are doing exchanges there) so there will be plenty of chances/different environment for photos.
Now, don't bash me right away, but I currently use my iPhone X with the Halide app for picture taking in RAW (yeah that's a new term for me, and newer is always better?) plus Darkroom on iOS for editing. I know, I know, basic right ..
I have +/- a 2.5K$ budget for photo taking gear, but I really REALLY wanted to get the Mavic Air, so that leaves around 1-1.5K$ for the camera itself.
In term of feature, I'm looking for something that is portable, rugged (weatherproofed, I think), fairly common (I believe bigger brands are easier to get services/parts replaced if something were to happen), relatively beginner friendly but that will also evolve with me (some high end features, I guess).
Anyway, any output would be appreciated.