When I got chosen to go exchange to Lucerne University of Applied Sciences for the spring semester 2018, I got super scared at first, and actually was pretty 50/50 to cancel the whole thing. Biggest doubts I had, was about my capabilities on studying in English, which you might be able to believe if you keep reading this blog…Sorry but not sorry! However, after pushing all the negativity aside for awhile, February arrived and it was time for a departure. I packed my snowboard with me and hopped on white&blue-wings at Helsinki-Vantaa airport and hoped to come back one day mentally and physically more or less healthy. Possible credits would be just a big plus!
I took the train to Lucerne from the Zurich airport and the journey took approximately 45 minutes. Just to mention, Swiss railway network is amazing. The network is super comprehensive and Swiss people has built tracks even on the mountains and these trains are always on time, unlike in some other countries! Have to admit, that the arrival in Lucerne was some sort of an shock. The city had just started an four day festival and 90% of the people were wearing an festival costume in a very crowded station. I had no idea of the festival before my arrival, and the sight really wasn’t corresponding on my thoughts I had about Swiss people. At this point I decided to forget everything I thought I knew about Switzerland and all the expectations I had on my exchange semester.
After surviving first two weeks in Switzerland, and when I started to be settled down in Lucerne, and speaking only in English wasn’t that big deal anymore, I really enjoyed every second during my stay. The best part of Switzerland, in my point of view, was of course the Alps. The first day on Swiss slopes felt unreal.
Academic level is relatively high in Switzerland, however, if I was able to pull it trough by compensating bad English with hard work, I’d say anyone can. Switzerland is very expensive country, but in the end, places I saw and things I did, justifies the fact that I successfully burned my student loan! Accommodation was arranged very well by the host University, and I don’t have a bad thing to say about my apartment. I was sharing the apartment with 4 other students. We were sharing the kitchen and the shower, but we had own rooms. The best part of the accommodation was, that it was in a building which consisted of 50 rooms in total, and all the rooms are reserved exclusively for exchange students. 50 exchange students in one building = great parties every week and new friends from all over the world for life.
I really suggest everyone who’s thinking about going exchange to give Lucerne at least a thought, since I can’t imagine better exchange semester than I had!