Timo, why did you choose to study in Switzerland as opposed to Germany?
After two years working in practice after completing my bachelor’s degree in banking and finance I was looking for a practice-related master’s programme, where I had the possibility to continue working in my occupational field. This is what attracted me to the MSc programme of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, which allows me to connect studies and work in a well-balanced way. Of course, it was also an important aspect to me to gain some additional experience away from my home country Germany.
What were the main reasons why you chose HSLU for your Master?
The contents of the offered courses are very practice-oriented and continuously adapted to the needs of the labour market in the field of banking and finance. For example, in the third se-mester of the programme, a module called Blockchain and Analytics is offered – it is difficult to find content which is more up-to-date than that. At the same time the content is always application-oriented and taught by lecturers who have experience in academic research as well as in the finance industry.
The size of the class is about 20 to 30 students and therefore allows a close relationship and a dynamic interaction between students and lecturers. The programme is offered not only in German but also in English and is attended by students coming from all over the world: India, USA, Nigeria or Russia are just a few examples. The international environment offers new perspectives to see certain aspects from a different and unknown angle as well as to exchange diverse experiences.
An important aspect for my decision was also to have the possibility to complete a dual degree and graduate abroad at a second university in Hong Kong or Edinburgh. This allows students to obtain two Master Degrees in two years and to gain international experience.
Last but not least, the location of the Institute for Financial Services IFZ in Zug was perfect for me: From Zurich, I reach the institute in 35 minutes by train, which allows me to swing easily between my residence, place of work and university. From Lucerne, you do not even need 20 minutes by train.
How does a typical day at the University look like? How is the semester set up?
Usually we have two different modules per day. The lecturers design the lessons very interac-tively and students are always integrated with discussions, case studies, presentations or group tasks. The lessons always take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. This of-fers students the possibility to maintain their jobs in their companies in the second half of the week. All the written exams are usually taken at the end of the semester. During the semester there are several assignments like projects, academic papers or presentations that are also part of the final grades.
What can you tell us about the student life and leisure activities with your classmates and in Zug?
Due to the relatively small classes, we share a close relationship and often organise events in our free time such as ice hockey games or a ski-weekend. We recently enjoyed a ski getaway weekend in Saas Fee after completing our final exams in January. The student or party life in Zug is admittedly non-existent, so most social events take place in Lucerne or Zurich as both cities are easily reached by train in a short time.