Heading into a student exchange is just like starting school all over again – new university, teachers,
classmates and subjects. Only this time, it is also a new country, language, home and friends. As
you can expect, it might take a little bit of time getting used to. However, it’s already been more
than two months since I first arrived in Chur. Time flies by so fast and it seems like only yesterday
it was my first day here.
When I first decided to apply for an international exchange, I had difficulties in finding
programmes that were in line with my study plan from Romania. Therefore, when I discovered
that at FHGR, due to its wide range of subjects, I can take all of the classes I needed, I knew this
would be the perfect fit for me.We are halfway through the first semester; by now, some modules have already been completed, while others still have to start. In the very beginning, I did not know what to expect – Will I be able to keep up with the assignments? Do I even have all of the necessary prerequisites? The answers to my questions came soon enough. I learnt that, as long as you actively participate
in class and are genuinely passionate about your studies, you will most definitely have a positive
experience at FHGR.
What I like most about my courses here is the fact that theory is put into practice, either through
in-class applications or by having study excursions. Even though, nowadays, travelling is not
always as easy as it used to be, we had our first field trip to the mountain village of Andermatt,
in the canton of Uri. It was very interesting to learn about the concept behind Andermatt Reuss,
the developing tourism and real-estate project, which enables foreign and second-home buyers
to purchase a property without special permission or restrictions.
For other subjects, we took part in different hotel visits and perception walks around Chur, to
help us build our assignments on real-life case studies and information. We were able to see and
compare different levels of hospitality services, management and layout plans and to also learn
from the insights provided by hotel managers. Moreover, the assignments we develop encourage us to use creative tools, have a critical approach of the given topics and manage teamwork efficiently.
Study tip: try to be creative in all of your assignments and bring in some personal inputs. Don’t
focus on theory alone – the learning process is highly valued, and the more innovative and
invested you are going to be, the better results you are going to achieve!
At the Berglistüber waterfall, Linthal
On top of Fadärastein, Malans
On top of Fronalpstock, Schwyz
Squirrel walk in Arosa
The start of the ski season, Davos
The study experience here is even nicer due to the International Office and Erasmus Student Network,
who are always kind and supportive, making us exchange students feel integrated and guided
throughout our journey.
Looking back, I can already tell that I have so many amazing memories that I will hold dear
forever. I have made new friends with whom I visited breathtaking places around Switzerland, shared
my first cheese fondue and set an early start for the skiing season in mid-November.
Stefana Dudea is an exchange student from Babeş-Bolyai University in Romania. She is currently studying on the Master Tourism & Change degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons.