Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a great choice for international students who want to experience a vibrant culture, receive a high-quality education and gain valuable skills and experience to prepare them for a successful career in a globalised world. Madrid is consistently named one of the best places to study in Europe, both for its cultural activities and its cost of living.
We chose Madrid as the location for the first two semesters of the study programme. Here are some of the factors behind our decision:
UN Tourism headquarters
UN Tourism experts are present in Madrid and can thus make a direct contribution to the teaching. Indeed, this is why most of the modules with UN Tourism integration take place in the first two semesters, allowing for live and face-to-face interaction.
Cultural and linguistic immersion
Spain is a major tourist destination in Southern Europe and has a rich culture and history that students can experience first hand. Madrid is known for its museums, art galleries and historical landmarks, providing a unique learning experience for students. Additionally, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and studying in Madrid is an opportunity for students to become fluent in the language and immerse themselves in the local culture.
Madrid is a cosmopolitan city that attracts people from all over the world. By studying in Madrid, students will have the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and develop a global perspective. Furthermore, the new BSc programme is specifically designed for international students, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from different countries and cultures.
Quality of life
Madrid is known for its vibrant environment, unique culinary heritage and warm Mediterranean climate, making it a great place to live and study. The city is also well-connected to other parts of Spain and Europe, providing students with the opportunity to explore other destinations during their time abroad.
Location and accessibility
Madrid is located right at the centre of Spain, which makes it easy for students to travel to other parts of the country and abroad. For instance, the nearby city of Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre and can be easily reached. Madrid itself is well connected with an extensive public transportation system.
Madrid is home to many multinational companies and organisations (including the UNWTO headquarters), providing students with opportunities to gain practical experience and develop their professional skills. Additionally, Spain has a strong economy and a growing job market, making it an attractive destination for students who are looking to return to Spain to launch their careers after graduating in Switzerland.
In summary, studying in Madrid offers the perfect blend of academic excellence and cultural immersion for international students.
The second year offers flexibility: students can return home, stay in Madrid or move anywhere else in the world for the upcoming two semesters. The teaching is methodically designed to enable students to participate remotely from all over the world: with group sessions and, if possible, time-zone-independent asynchronous lessons.
Over the past few years, HSLU has been able to develop its experience in online teaching professionally. Online platforms and tools allow for virtual collaboration among students, from meet-ups to virtual excursions or fun discussion rounds.
The internship in the fourth semester enables students to gain experience anywhere in the world, intensify their intercultural skills and experience the professional world of tourism first hand. Accompanying online sessions allow this internship to be completed anywhere in the world.
At the heart of Switzerland at the foot of the Alps lies the charming city of Lucerne. Learn more about why Lucerne is the ideal place for your studies below:
Thanks to decades of experience in tourism, Switzerland is able to position itself as a best-practice country in the industry. For international students, the country is therefore highly popular – not least because of the extremely reputable, globally renowned high-quality education they can expect to receive. Lucerne in particular has a long history of tourism: from Thomas Cook himself guiding the first groups of tourists from England and the first cog wheel trains in Europe transporting tourists up Mount Rigi to becoming one of Switzerland’s most visited cities today.
HSLU’s new campus building, which is currently still under construction, will be finished by 2025, one year before the university welcomes the first cohort of students on this programme to Lucerne. As a university of the future, the new building, which is near to the railway station, encourages exchanges between students and lecturers and allows for various forms of teaching – from blended learning to traditional lectures.
With around 80,000 inhabitants, Lucerne is still quite small and pedestrian-friendly, even though it is Switzerland’s seventh largest city. Lucerne rests on the shores of the picturesque Lake Lucerne on the edge of the Swiss Alps. The city’s rich historical and cultural heritage, wide range of restaurants, wealth of entertainment, and wonderful leisure and recreation opportunities all contribute to a high quality of life. This, in turn, is conducive to studies.
Lucerne's location and excellent public transport network ensure that students can reach major cities such as Bern, Zurich and Basel in about an hour. Students can get almost anywhere within the city by bus or rental bike.
The Swiss Alps are right on Lucerne’s doorstep. They are ideal for hiking, climbing and mountain biking, as well as winter sports. The numerous lakes in picture-postcard landscapes are perfect for a refreshing dip in summer to cool off. The leisure activities available at the lakes include swimming, stand-up paddle boarding and even kite surfing in some places. Weekend trips to the mountainous regions of eastern Switzerland, the Mediterranean-influenced and Italian-speaking south or the French-speaking and wine-making western part of Switzerland are great ways to enjoy a well-deserved break and experience Switzerland’s diverse culture whilst studying in Lucerne.
Lucerne is becoming increasingly geared towards students, with student discounts and concessions being offered in shops and at events. At HSLU, more than 8,300 students are working towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree. There are also other universities, schools and exchange students. This all makes for a thriving student community.
It really is true that many of Lucerne's international students not only receive their graduation certificates with joy, but also look back somewhat melancholically on an unforgettable time in Lucerne.