Dominik Wagner

My semester abroad at FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland


The semester I spent abroad at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) significantly influenced my personal career progression. I was also able to make new contacts and get to know the country better.

Good organisation beforehand meant that I was able to concentrate on all the individual modules immediately. The level of knowledge in Switzerland was somewhat ahead of ours and therefore I was not able to do much most weekends – I spent most of my time studying. I only took two big trips during the half year period I was there: to the capital and to the winegrowing regions of French-speaking Switzerland.

The study system at the FHNW is very well organised. During the semester, short examinations of approx. 1.5 hours are held. A performance grade is accumulated over the course of these exams and this is then averaged out with the end-of-module grade, which covers the entire content of the semester.

There are several thousand students on the FHNW campus in total but there is a very strong sense of cohesion on the course and it could almost be described as a ‘big family’. The students generally study together before the exams and the campus offers plenty of opportunities for this. It has its own laboratory building, kitted out with the latest equipment, where practical experiments can be conducted. Very impressive!

All in all, my stay in Switzerland was very expensive but looking back, it was a good investment: my semester abroad gave me a strong grounding for the rest of my studies and subsequent career path.