On Sunday, August 20th, we arrived in Chur by bus from Milan. Driving through the Alps was incredibly beautiful and quite different from the flat landscapes of Denmark. Upon arrival in Chur, we quickly noticed that the entire city was incredibly clean. There were small drinking stations placed everywhere with clean water, which we took advantage of every day.
Monday morning, we were met by Armando Schär at UAS Grisons, he warmly welcomed us. We met the President Jürg Kessler, who told us about the new campus they are going to build. We got a presentation of Swiss culture and had a cheese tasting with Niall McLauchlan, who also had a goodie bag for each of us. In the afternoon we went to Churwalden to try toboggan run, which was a lot of fun! Two Swiss students also joined us, and they also went out to dinner with us in the evening. Here they told some of us to try the local dish Capuns, which was very interesting.
Tuesday morning, we visited Hamilton Medical. We went in to see their production site and heard about the company and their story. It was quite interesting how they went from a manual syringe to a fully automated over the years. The production of the tips for the syringe was automated. To see it function with the robots was interesting. It was also interesting how they could use digital platforms to “talk” with the customers’ machines and minimize downtime.
After Hamilton, we visited DHP Technologies at the wastewater plant in Chur. We saw how the folding solar panels worked and were extremely impressed that they installed a weather station at the location, so it could protect from extreme weather and expand when the weather is good again.
Then we had a great ending with a beer tasting and tour of the facilities at the Campus Brewery. We tried eleven different beers from different students and brewing teams. Ingo Barkow is a very passionate man concerning craft beer, so we had a great time. Some of us even brought some of the beers home.
Arrival: August 20th
On Wednesday, we ventured into the world of sustainability with Reto Fry, hired by the Weisse Arena Group to transform the alpine Ski Area to become a 100% sustainable ecosystem. All their practices are written down for others to copy in the «Greenstyle Book». He shared how they have installed solar panels and green energy initiatives. Strolling through the area, we saw how they made use of sensors which intelligently dimmed the lights when the parking garage was unoccupied while also having the ability to turn to follow you.
After a short bus ride, we went to one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland, and that was bathing at Caumasee in Flims. The water was super clean, and the weather was great. We walked along a cute little creek towards the lift before getting to the lake. We swam around in the lake and jumped from rocks and bathing bridges. If you were standing still in the shallow water, the fish would get really close to your feet.
Thursday started with a presentation by Mauro Casellini regarding Crypto Valley. He shared a lot of his knowledge. We got the story of Crypto Valley and the importance of the Danish bitcoin millionaire Niklas Nikolajsen. Mauro explained the difference between the regular banking system and the transparency of blockchain. He talked about permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains and how each of the systems has its pros and cons in different markets.
We had a dialog regarding the development of blockchain and how it could be compared to the start of the internet in the 90’s. It was very interesting to see how the different elements regarding blockchain and crypto is on Gartner’s Hype Cycle and to hear the difference between Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0. At the end, we talked about how Switzerland is the hot spot to work with crypto and blockchain.
Our Swiss adventure provided a captivating window into Swiss culture and the evolution of certain businesses over time. This study tour not only strengthened class unity but also fostered connections with Swiss peers who joined us along the journey.
Meeting individuals rooted in Swiss enterprises and engaging in heartfelt conversations with them has granted us a firsthand glimpse into the intricacies of working in Switzerland. The structure of the Swiss work environment came to life as we exchanged stories and insights, offering us a broader perspective on professional life in this charming nation.
Our journey gave a wealth of new knowledge, revealing the unique fabric that makes Switzerland as a nation. The contrast with our own Danish lifestyle, we gained appreciation for the differences that set Switzerland apart. And of course, we must mention the beauty that surrounded us all the time.