Hello!I am Sheyla a second year IBL student at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Last autumn I have been as an exchange student at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
While I was on exchange the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted studying and due to the heightened health risks the lectures at university switched from presence to remote. Nevertheless, thanks to the highly efficient management of the FHNW University this transaction happened in a very smooth and efficient way, without compromising my studies.
The educational system at FHNW University is the same as at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Teachers are nice and willing to help the incoming exchange students.
The university organized lot of activities for foreign students which was very nice because it helped me to integrate into the university community. During the first week of studies the university organized an event called “Welcome Week” in which exchange students get to know some basic information about the country. At this event I was also able to meet other students including other exchange students studying in other campuses. This helped me to get integrated into my class.
During my exchange I have been traveling around Switzerland a lot. The country is rather small and easy to explore. Transportation means are very efficient which make it easy to move around the country and also visit neighbor countries. In my free time I have been practicing lots of outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing. Despite the fact that museums were closed because of the pandemic I was able to enhance my cultural baggage by visiting cities, admiring and getting to know their cultural heritage.
Switzerland is a beautiful country but also expensive, even more than Finland. My suggestion to students willing to go on exchange to Switzerland is to consider bringing with them their savings if they have. Transportation price was also rather expensive. I bought a monthly travel card because even if quite expensive it is worth of it if you are planning to travel a lot across the country like I did.
When going on exchange to Switzerland it is also useful to learn at list a bit of German, French or Italian language depending in which part of the country you are going . Although English is widely spoken throughout the country in same areas people prefer to speak the local language. Nevertheless it is still easy for a foreigner to cope during everyday life.
Going as an exchange student to Switzerland was, without doubt, a great experience through which I made lot of friendships and got a worldview I would not have without this amazing adventure. All thanks by apply to a program we are so lucky to be offered by Metropolia Business School.