Introduction

My name is Sif and I study Multimedia design in Copenhagen at the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology. I chose to take an exchange semester in Chur because I really liked the subjects that they offered at FHGR. And I also heard that the nature in Switzerland was wonderful, and on my arrival I was amazed because the nature here is crazy beautiful and I felt like exploring nature in a whole new way.

me

Courses & lessons

One of the reasons I chose FHGR was because of the courses. I wanted to challenge myself and improve my skills. I chose to try out different kinds of courses like Programming, Infospace and Designing a video game which are really practical courses like I am used to from Copenhagen. I chose German and Business English to improve my language skills and writing skills. I also chose International & intercultural communicationto get more knowledge and understanding about different cultures and how to communicate better.

me
programming

Videogame

In my first semester in Copenhagen we had a short course where we had to develop a video games. I chose to take the course Designing a video game, to get more knowledge of designing a video game and storytelling which is one of the most important parts of developing a video game.

programming

Programming

My specialization from my home university in Copenhagen is programming. Therefore I chose courses that matched my skills. One of the courses I chose was Introduction to Programming 1 where I have learned how to programme in Python - a programming language used for many applications and websites.

programming

Infospace

I am really into 3D and therefore it made sense to choose the course Info Space where we learn how to use Unity and develop 3D projects. In Unity we use Mapbox SDK which means you can design a custom 3D or 2D map over different cities and customize the map with 3D objects.

Student life

Food

Buying groceries can sometimes be expensive, so here is a tip for what you can do to save some money: You can use the Too Good To Go-app. With the app you will get a lot of food but with a last sale date. If you are trying to live a more sustainable life you can buy local cheese and eggs around Chur. There is a very nice place called Hofladen Plantahof, where you can buy local cheese and vegetables, you can even see the cows and goats walking around the grassfield. There is also a Zero Waste store called Oba Aba ZeroWaste Ladencafé where you can buy your groceries without using any plastic and you can grab a nice cup of coffee while shopping.

transport
transport

Transport

Before coming to Chur I wish I had known how nice it would be to have a bike. In Copenhagen everyone bikes, so I am used to biking everywhere, but I didn’t think it would be possible in Switzerland. But as it turns out most of the students in Chur use a bike as their everyday method of transportation. However, what I really quickly realized when biking around here was that the hills are very, very steep so it is a good thing to be a bit in shape and if you are not, you definitely will be by the end of this semester.

If you are wanting to travel around Switzerland, I would suggest buying the SBB half fare travel card for the trains. This card gives you the opportunity to save 50% off the tickets every time you take the train or bus. The card is a bit pricey, but it's worth it in the end. And it is even possible to take a train from Chur to Hamburg, so you can go there on a quick weekend get-away.

Buddy programme

When I came to Switzerland I came alone and I didn’t know anybody. The buddy programme consists of local students who volunteer to be matched up with an exchange student, to make the exchange transition easier. I therefore chose to sign up for the buddy programme and I was assigned the nicest buddy. She has been showing me around Switzerland and shown me all the good places in Chur. She made my start easy and took me to the coolest places that I would never have seen without her. I made a friend that I would never have thought could happen without the buddy programme at the school.

food

Housing

Before coming to Chur I lived alone in my apartment in Copenhagen, after having lived in shared flats and moved around a lot. I therefore firstly looked for shared apartments in Chur, but I came to the conclusion that it would be best to stay in a student house. I arrived alone in Chur, not knowing anyone but by living in the student house, gave me the opportunity to meet other students and soon I had a whole new group of friends.

The student house I moved into is called Konvikt. Konvikt has a lot of facilities and the building is newly renovated. The view is amazing and the rooms are cozy. Our rooms are cleaned once a week and breakfast and dinner is prepared for us from Monday to Friday. I moved away from home when I was 18 year old, and moving to Konvikt is kind of like moving back home again, which has been very nice but I had to get used to it in the beginning. And I am pretty sure I have to get used to cleaning my own room and cook when I am back home in Copenhagen.

room
Pool
Cinema

One of the facilities which has been very useful during this semester with Corona is the study room. Here you can sit and study instead of sitting in your room all day. Other facilities are the cinema in the building and the game room that can be used in your spare time. Konvikt is very big and easy to get lost in, but you will soon find your way around. Konvikt is close to the old town but it is high up the hill, so you should be ready to climb the hill everytime you leave Konvikt. Luckily there is a gym which has the most beautiful view and a bunch of workout equipment, so you easily can get into shape for walking and biking up all the hills.

My guide to Chur and around

Before coming to Chur I didn't know a lot about the city. But I was very lucky to meet some nice people that showed me around in Chur and some parts of Graubünden. I therefore made a guide to make it easier and to share some of the nice places I have been to.

Swiss life

Swiss life is so different from the Danish life I am use to. One thing I notice was the weather, I was in Chur from September till the end of January and the weather changed constantly, so if you don’t like the weather wait ten minutes and it might just have changed. One day it could be snowing and the next day I could walk around in a t-shirt and feel crazy hot. The Swiss people are very polite and good at hiking.

me

Hiking

Buying groceries can sometimes be expensive, so here is a tip for what you can do to save some money: You can use the Too Good To Go-app. With the app you will get a lot of food but with a last sale date. If you are trying to live a more sustainable life you can buy local cheese and eggs around Chur. There is a very nice place called Hofladen Plantahof, where you can buy local cheese and vegetables, you can even see the cows and goats walking around the grassfield. There is also a Zero Waste store called Oba Aba ZeroWaste Ladencafé where you can buy your groceries without using any plastic and you can grab a nice cup of coffee while shopping.

hiking
swiss

Formal greetings

In my country we are rarely formal neither towards people we know nor strangers however it is very different in Switzerland. Swiss people are very polite and formal - you even greet other people you meet on hikes. You greet them by saying “Grüezi” and you even greet your cashier in the supermarket with “Grüezi”. Somehow by greeting everyone makes the culture more personal. Experiencing this has made me realize that you can seem more anonymous in Denmark because we just pass the other people without greeting them or even making eye contact. Another thing I have noticed while being in Switzerland is that Swiss people are always on time, and it is seen as very rude to be late. Finally, if you go to dinner remember to ask if you should bring something, and bring something even if they said no. So to sum up, greet everyone you meet, remember to be on time and always bring something for dinner!

Project

I study Multimedia production and through my exchange I had to do a Multidisciplinary project through my semester. It is possible to choose the theme, but I chose to go with the school's suggestion. So I had to promote the school through my project and I could choose how I wanted to promote it.

At my home university we usually make websites as a part of our projects and I could see how my fellow students improved their skill in creating websites. I therefore chose to create a blog through a website to promote FHGR, to improve my skills in creating websites. On the website I created content through pictures, blog posts and a video. Through the blog I wanted to share my exchange experience and show it though pictures and video. I designed the website in adobe XD and I built up the website with bootstrap.

Through the project I had meetings with counselors and the head of the institute for multimedia production. These meetings were guidance through the project and if it had troubles with my project.

I am used to group projects in Copenhagen and I had to do this project alone. The project was a lot of self discipline and I really needed a fellow student to ping-pong and brainstorm with. But I am happy with the result and I have learned a lot by working alone on a project and it provided me with qualifications and gave me tools that are useful in the future.

pil