Student exchange during Corona times
As far as is possible the University of Lucerne is continuing with its exchange programmes. In this currently uncertain and ever-changing situation, all those involved are doing their utmost, and ensuring flexibility in order to enable students to have a successful exchange experience. In consultation with the International Realtions Office, faculty-based study advisors and our partner universities, study abroad arrangements can be changed or postponed due to the pandemic.
Should you have any further questions or concerns please get in touch with your mobility advisors.
Current, autumn 2020 University of Lucerne outgoing students provide the following answers to this question:
"A mobility semester is an unique opportunity for a great adventure, bringing with it an enormous enrichment for your professional and private life. Although the experience is different due to the pandemic, it is no less interesting - on the contrary, it brings many other special experiences and I have gotten to know myself in a completely new way. After all, the pandemic is also a part of our lives, and despite having to observe safety measures, it is not an insurmountable obstacle - you just have to be sensible about it." Patrizia, Master student, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna
"When I planned my exchange semester in Madrid, Corona was still a long way off. But when it became clear what problems this semester might bring with it, I didn't hesitate for a second to start the semester here, because a study-related stay in a foreign country is always an enormous enrichment, no matter what the conditions. Moreover, the Covid crisis is a global phenomenon, so Switzerland is also affected by it. In the end, I am even able to live more freely here in Spain today than in Switzerland, since, for example, all lectures are still taking place 'in person'. Furthermore, however, it must also be said that in my situation it would not have been possible to postpone the exchange semester." Dominik, Master student, Faculty of Theology, Universidad Pontifica Comillas Madrid
"A semester abroad is always associated with many challenges - which means that now, due to the worldwide pandemic, there are a few more difficulties to overcome. Nevertheless, in my opinion, a semester abroad is still worthwhile, because the immersion in an emic perspective, the international friendships as well as the academic perspectives offer a unique opportunity that should be taken advantage of." Milan, Master student, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tel Aviv University
"Wanderlust and the longing to broaden my cultural and academic horizons are of course only two of the many reasons that moved me to take part in an exchange semester. The intertwining of politics and religions in particular makes it very appealing for me to learn more about the interesting culture in Israel and especially in Tel Aviv. The worldwide situation of a pandemic has of course not made this step easier and has set up a number of hurdles. But it became evidentthat through the helpfulness and great support of the University of Lucerne and the University of Tel Aviv, the impossible can be made possible." Noah, Master student, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tel Aviv University
"I decided on an exchange semester to break out of my "comfort zone" and broaden my horizon. The COVID-19 pandemic does not stop me, it teaches me even more to deal with uncertainty and to make the best of situations that do not meet expectations. " Vera, Master student, Faculty of Law, University of Edinburgh
"At first I had doubts whether I should really do my semester abroad because the corona situation in Spain was not particularly good. In the end, however, I decided to do it because I believe that you can benefit from the experience of studying abroad even under extraordinary circumstances. I do not regret this decision. Of course, a semester abroad is a bit different at the moment, but I would say different, but certainly just as enriching." Noémi, Bachelor student, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Universidad de Granada
"An exchange semester is - regardless of external circumstances - a unique and in every respect enriching life experience. For me personally: the perfect conclusion to my studies." Florian, Master student, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen
Erasmus Student Network (ESN): Follow the relevant ESN section of your prospective (European) host country for the most up-to-date information on the situation for students.
Further information on the situation in your host country can be found on the website of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
University of Lucerne - the personal university: Our motto "the personal university" takes on a special meaning during a pandemic. With a relatively small number of exchange students, we at the International Relations Office can ensure personal advice and support both during the preparation phase of your exchange semester and of course during your studies here in Lucerne.
A sense of community: Most exchange students at the University of Lucerne are accommodated at the 'Student Mentor Foundation Lucerne' student residence. Here, exchange students from very different cultural backgrounds gain the experience of living together during a difficult time and can face the challenges of a semester abroad during a pandemic together.
Lucerne's lake and mountains: Even though cultural life during Corona times is also very limited in Lucerne, nature with its countless possibilities is freely available. Hikes and excursions to the surrounding mountains are possible at any time, and offer a great compliment to "online learning".
“Being on exchange semester during the ‘corona semester’ was hard, but way easier than I thought because of the wonderful people around me! The exchange students’ community, the professors, and the International Relations Office will be there for you, as they were always there for me!” Vinicius Gregório Ribeiro de Souza, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Brasil, spring semester 2020
“During the difficult time of the pandemic, the international office tried to make our Semester here as varied as possible, so we went on a few excursions at the beginning of the semester like on a hike and also sightseeing through Lucerne. Besides, the international office has always an open ear for you!" Alexandra Kuznecov, Universität Kiel, Germany, fall semester 2020 & spring semester 2021
"In even the most difficult contexts, the International Office offered generous support and guidance throughout the covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that no student was left alone." Bridget Collrin, Carleton University, Canada, spring & fall semester 2020.
At the University of Lucerne, all courses have been held digitally since 28.10.2020. However, the university building and the library have remained open. The university management decided on the 25.11.2020 that the spring semester 2021 will also start in digital mode up until the Easter break (02 - 11.04.2021). A decision will then be made in March 2021 as to which format will be used for teaching from 12.04.2021 onwards. All current information for the spring semester 2021 as well as the protection concept of the University of Lucerne can be found here.
Compared to other European countries, Switzerland has chosen to take the middle path as regards its Corona measures: there is a general obligation to wear masks in public places, but shops and restaurants remain open for the most part and there are no general lockdown restrictions. All the current and detailed information on the situation in Switzerland can be found on the official website of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).