“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”
Of course, there is no such thing as “Swiss study culture”. But we can still pin down a couple of aspects that best describe studying in Switzerland. A quote by Albert Einstein is a good place to start.
When studying as a bachelor or master’s student at any Swiss university, you will be expected to have and defend, and if necessary, also revise your opinions – a prominent feature of a direct democracy. Lecturers will not simply tell you what to think; rather, they will expect you to develop a problem-based and critical approach. As you will see, interactive teaching is highly valued in Swiss faculties.
Academic instructions are of a high quality. Especially in classes, seminars and excursions, all students are asked to actively engage and contribute. Students bring an excellent educational background, commitment and their own opinions. Together with fellow students, you will develop team-building skills in group work. You will regularly present team work or individual findings to an audience of peers and lecturers, who will critically question your work and give you the essential opportunity to improve and professionalize your scholarly skills.
You will acquire and apply state-of-the-art scientific methods in your subjects.
Swiss universities make sure that didactically skilled researchers teach state-of-the-art knowledge to their students. The teaching is substantially derived from the research of the faculty. It will frequently involve interdisciplinary approaches corresponding to the complexity of issues under study.
Universities combine theoretical approaches and practical applications linked to fundamental research. Universities of applied sciences and arts focus on problem-based and hands-on learning that is in general related to R&D projects with real-time implementation. Universities of teacher education will link research findings with internships, study weeks and teaching practice exams during your studies.
Some institutions have started to develop blended learning and offer distance teaching supported by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Take into consideration that you will have to formally enrol at a Swiss university to obtain a formal degree.