We are Alex, Clara and Michelle, and currently on our semester abroad at UTS, coming from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. In this blog we will tell you a bit about ourselves and why we came to UTS, but also inform you about our home university and where we are from.
Who are we?
Alex is Swiss/Finnish and lives in Geneva, in the French part of Switzerland. Clara is German and moved to Switzerland a few years ago. Michelle is from Barcelona in Spain and half Swiss. She moved to St. Gallen to study and is currently living there. The three of us are pursuing our major in Business Administration, and we are currently in our 5th semester. Here in Sydney, we all live in the UTS student housing.
What was the reason for us to go on a study abroad semester at UTS?
Many factors motivated us to come on exchange to Australia, and specifically to Sydney. First of all, we wanted to experience the big city life, which we do not have in our home university. Another reason is the city of Sydney itself. It is such a vibrant city, packed with tasty restaurants, cool bars, lots of shops, beautiful beaches, and amazing opportunities to go on adventures. There is always something to do and it is impossible to get bored. Furthermore, Australia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It offers a perfect mix between nature and city life, tradition and innovativeness, chill and edgy vibes. Therefore, a big city offering the opportunities for adventure and staying in touch with nature seemed like the perfect choice for us. We also received very positive feedback from friends who had gone in previous semesters on exchange to Sydney and UTS.
Let’s talk about our home university town.
St. Gallen is a city in the North-Eastern part of Switzerland, at the border of Austria and Germany. It is lovely; you are surrounded by nature and all the activities nature offers, while living in a small and cozy city. The city is mainly populated by students from the University of St. Gallen, so you could say it is one big campus where you can meet a lot of people. Since 1/8th of the citizens of St. Gallen are students, it creates a unique atmosphere and stimulating experience in terms of study life.
UTS and University of St. Gallen
Our university, the University of St. Gallen, is said to be the best university in Switzerland for Business Administration and Economics and has a high ranking in the German-speaking countries as well. It also is under the Top Ten University Rankings in the world regarding Master programs in Strategy and International Management.
However, doing an exchange gives us the opportunity to explore how other universities work. A few years ago, UTS was a TAFE (Technical and Further Education) School, however through hard work and strategic restructuring, the university presidency was able to reposition the school as a university, which actually just entered the ranking of the top 200 universities in the world. We are amazed by the many services the university offers, as well as by the organization of this institution. Another interesting point is the fact that UTS has an important focus on social cohesiveness, equality, and sexual consent. Also, UTS is very large compared to our home university, where a total of approximately 8000 students have the privilege to study. UTS is very focused on technological progress in terms of teaching, all of the university’s technical infrastructure are latest high-tech and everything works very well in terms of administration and also security (in UTS housing).
What is our interim verdict so far?
For now we are enjoying the semester fully. We have met a lot of nice people from very diverse backgrounds and we have settled very well down in Sydney. We have understood how things work in Australia and we are taking full advantage of every opportunity we receive to learn more about the culture. Australia is a wonderful country and has so much to offer to exchange students. We are amazed by the openness towards exchange students here and are looking forward to spend another few months here! Cheers!