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Studying in Switzerland - a student perspective

calendar_month 01 Mar 2011, 00:00
Name: Neo Weijie Bernard Nationality: Singaporean Department of Study: Environmental Sciences

Bernard is still trying to find his favourite cheese while studying abroad in Switzerland. He speaks with Top Universities about life as an international student at ETH Zurich.

Bernard has no excuse not to be at class on time while studying abroad in Switzerland. "The Swiss transportation system is fantastic," he says. "Trains, trams and buses always arrive with Swiss precision at the scheduled time. I'm impressed every time I use public transportation here."

His choice of university "ETH Zurich" may be a long way from his home country of Singapore, but he's not missing Asian life too much. "ETH Zurich is a unique school; it has elements of a city university and a campus university. Studying at a known school such as ETH Zurich and living in a high quality of life city such as Zurich is indeed pleasant and memorable."

Bernard feels the courses in ETH are well-structured and the professors are dedicated to teaching. He's also grateful for the industry knowledge he's been able to experience within the classroom. "The professors share their research work and papers, bringing learning beyond the classroom. I also remember classes where there were guest lecturers from different industries who spoke about their experiences. I'm grateful for their presence and even though it's hard to fully appreciate and comprehend what they were sharing, I believe that it is a great introduction into real society after many years of schooling."

Courses in ETH focus strongly on applying theory to practical situations. In addition most courses require students to give presentations; a skill that students will need later in working life. "Teamwork, which is also needed in working life, is strongly demanded here at ETH as well," says Bernard. "It's meant that students, each with imperfect knowledge, must come together to solve problems." However, Bernard's time in Switzerland hasn't been all study, presentations and teamwork. He's managed to explore the country known for its great outdoors and quality of life. "The views in Switzerland are spectacular. The majesty of the Alps can be seen from high altitudes in Zurich and it's especially brilliant during winter. Natural beauty is abundant in Switzerland - I don't think I need to elaborate on this!" Bernard has also been enjoying Swiss cuisine. "Chocolates always taste so good here," he says. "Bread and pastries always look appetizing and main menus (including raclette) are always delicately prepared. Coffee is always of a premium grade and the assortment of cheeses is ridiculous - it would probably take longer than my stay to try them all and find my favourite one."