Bronte - University of St Gallen

B Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Honours)
Semester 2, 2022


I wanted to experience living and studying overseas. Doing exchange seemed like the best way to access deep exposure to another culture and Europe generally at a time in my life with minimal commitments.

Personal development

I gained lifelong friendships, the opportunity to live both out of home and in a completely different country and system. I improved my German language skills, learnt to be fearless going to an event where you know no one, explored some breath-taking nature, history and places. I definitely improved my self confidence and ability to communicate effectively with others.

Academic development

I attended quite a prestigious university in St Gallen, so the academic standard and expectations were high. I had to juggle 6 courses as opposed to 4, including a language course (German), develop my skills in R and economic maths quite profoundly and collaborate on many group projects (something I rarely do at UQ). Completing in person exams was also something I had to relearn. The workload was similar to UQ, perhaps slightly more. Using the support of others in my classes and my teachers really helped me overcome these challenges.

Professional development

Great networking skills and some skills like communication and problem solving. Some hard skills like greater competence in R and mathematics.


I didn't really budget besides having a set amount for the whole trip. Overall I probably spent 15k including two months of travelling outside exchange. Rent in Switzerland costs over 5k, and i probably spent another 1.5k on accommodation before and after. transport was a big budget item, and probably cost a few grand for the whole trip, including plane tickets, train tickets and bus tickets before, during and after exchange. The half fare card and 7-25 were fantastic for whilst in Switzerland.


Absolutely, the 5k I received in a BEL grant almost completely covered my rent in Switzerland.


Through uni. it was both good and bad. Great for meeting other exchange students, the ease of application and proximity to uni. But it was so expensive, kind of far from the city and a really old run down place. I would say think about what you want to prioritise with accommodation, sometimes the uni accommodation is not the best option.


So much. The hikes in Switzerland, my travels before and after exchange, skiing in the dolomites, the food and culture and people. Tiny little town on Amalfi coast (Erchie), Barcelona, Interlaken and London, especially Camden, were highlight places.

Advice/Top tips

Say yes to every opportunity, go to every exchange event, the friends you make is what will be the most memorable part of the experience. Explore as much as you can. Factor in the weather, the language, the food, the place itself (is it a big city or small town?) when making your decision. I was so happy to go somewhere with a bit of culture shock, but that might not suite everyone. don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone, you'll end up better for it. If money is important to you, budget! exchange is expensive. But also its a once and a lifetime opportunity don't be afraid to splurge on things you want to do.

Switzerland specific: St Gallen is a very academic uni, very well known for business, economics and law. It won't just be partying, passing is harder there than at UQ. The town itself is small, which is great for that experience, for having everything in walking distance, for the nature and having friends all super close. But you have to make your own fun. Go to Switzerland if you love hiking, want to learn swiss German (but you can get everywhere with English), want a very safe country where everything works, all trains are on time. The people are a little reserved but can still be lovely. Lots of internationals at St Gallen uni. No Australians.