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Old 09.11.2018, 14:54
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Uni life and Expectations

So I have taken a big step and have chosen to take a back step from my professional career to change direction and realign myself with International Business Standards.

Currently, I am studying at BFH in Bern and studying Business Administration. Cutting out the reasoning to study, I thought I might bullet point some tips for anyone who is thinking of coming to Switzerland to study at a Uni or equivalent:

At BFH Bern, we have 10 subjects a semester. It is definitely something I am not use to in comparison to the educational system in Australia. The work load is heavy and you the teachers expect a certain level automatically from you. Most Swiss students are already at this level as most have completed a apprenticeship equivalent.

Don't get caught in the early weeks of Uni Life. You really need to be focused and committed to study especially if you are intending to do full time. You need 2-3 hours per subject so that is about 30 additional hours a week for study.


Students are generally friendly however the novelty of you being from a English speaking background can wear off quickly (not in all cases). Its a great idea to start learning German or French prior to arrival.

Any questions, feel free to respond back to the thread or send me a message. I hope sharing this information with you is of some value
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Old 17.11.2018, 12:43
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Re: Uni life and Expectations

Good luck with your new endeavour! I just finished a 3 year degree this year (reentering after age 40), and it sure was tough. You will get there if you keep at it!
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Old 17.11.2018, 18:15
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Re: Uni life and Expectations

Super idea, this thread. Thanks.

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... we have 10 subjects a semester.
Do the subjects run from semester to semester, i.e. the same 10 subjects thoughout? Or are some subjects completed (and assessed and marked) within a semester, to be replaced by new subjects in the following semester?

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You need 2-3 hours per subject so that is about 30 additional hours a week for study.
Do the attendance hours fill out the entire day, Monday to Friday?
Could you please set out an approximate timetable, showing your classes and the "additional hours"? Thanks.
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Old 17.11.2018, 18:48
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Re: Uni life and Expectations

Thanks for your post - you are spot on.

It's also incredibly complex to plan which modules to take in many subjects.

And as a non-Swiss, you might need to recognise that any project-groups you join may have a certain pre-opinion concerning reliability in critical delivery times within study groups and team-work.

Apologies, based on experience from my daughter now doing her masters at the Uni Zurich.
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Old 17.11.2018, 19:24
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Re: Uni life and Expectations

Yes, ZuriRollt, you are right about the project groups.

A young woman I know found herself allocated to work with two other students, of whom one was as diligent as she, and the other often late and lazy. The laziness and tardiness of the one ended up being reflected negatively in the marks of the two hardworking students.

She learnt from that, and henceforth has included a "participation journal" in one form or another, as part of the documentation submitted for each subsequent project. In several cases, this has kept everyone on their toes. In one case she successfully used this documentation to achieve a shift in the marking policy, so that individual - not group - marks were allocated.
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Old 17.11.2018, 19:48
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Re: Uni life and Expectations

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Yes, ZuriRollt, you are right about the project groups.

A young woman I know found herself allocated to work with two other students, of whom one was as diligent as she, and the other often late and lazy. The laziness and tardiness of the one ended up being reflected negatively in the marks of the two hardworking students.

She learnt from that, and henceforth has included a "participation journal" in one form or another, as part of the documentation submitted for each subsequent project. In several cases, this has kept everyone on their toes. In one case she successfully used this documentation to achieve a shift in the marking policy, so that individual - not group - marks were allocated.
Thanks for your reply.

My daughter in the last couple of months was randomly paired with a non-Swiss student for a group project work, which contributes a significant credit toward her masters.

At first, her ex-Swiss group partner delayed due to illness/accident over a few days.

Then finally retracted from the course module, as it hadn't been approved by her University of origin.

It was a tough time for my daughter to do everything on her own at 48hrs notice before deadline with a very tricky assignment! Luckily it was within my area so I could support.
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