USI: The invaluable opportunities of Swiss higher education
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USI: The invaluable opportunities of Swiss higher education

USI: The invaluable opportunities of Swiss higher education

Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) is a gateway to invaluable opportunities and experiences in Switzerland.

“Here you will hear many different languages spoken. And find yourselves exchanging ideas with classmates and professors from 100 countries. The atmosphere is friendly and you really get a chance to talk to people,” said USI Communications graduate Giorgia Blotti.

USI — which has three campuses in Lugano, Mendrisio and Bellinzona — is a university where international students will feel at home.

According to Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020, USI ranked second for its international outlook by scoring 99.6 out of 100.

And in the recent 2021 edition of the QS World Rankings, USI was the highest “new entry,” ranking 273rd (together with the University of Arizona) out of 1,002 selected academic institutions. USI scored high for its international outlook again, for both its student body composition (eighth place) and its faculty (17th place).

In a recent interview with QS, USI Pro-Rector Professor Lorenzo Cantoni said: “From the very beginning, USI has attracted students and professors from several countries. The adoption of the Bologna system has made inter-university mobility much easier, as well as the fact that most programmes are taught in English, has helped to scale-up our internationality.”

Università della Svizzera Italiana

Source: USI Lugano

Cantoni also adds that international students create a very inspiring and stimulating environment which helps USI to be “universal”.

For USI rector Boas Erez, these rankings are further proof that USI, by national and international comparison, is “absolutely competitive” and that the university deserves the trust of those who choose to study in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.

“Finding this level of quality near home is a precious opportunity, especially in light of the last few months of confinement,” he said.

Università della Svizzera italiana is now online

USI is now firmly and smoothly in online teaching mode with no disruption to academic progress.

The university uses recorded and synchronous lessons, conducts Q&A sessions with the aid of video-conferencing tools and manages online learning with eLab.

“USI prepared a handbook to support teachers in rethinking their teaching activities and initially to support students who could not attend classes. Of course, the same tools are now used by everyone, after the suspension of in-classroom activities on campus” said Lorenzo Cantoni, USI’s Scientific Director of eLab and Pro-Rector for Education and Students’ Experience.

What is more, USI staff set up a fun online learning competition where students, academics and staff could share photographs and videos about their experiences in eLearning mode by hashtagging #USIeLearning.

USI’s annual Middle East Mediterranean (MEM) Summit 2020 will also be hosted online this year due to the COVID-19 circumstances.

Those who planned to attend the eight-day Seminar in August will still be able to take part in a virtual, intellectual and social exchange across borders, cultures and languages.

Università della Svizzera italiana: A safe international study experience in Switzerland

Student wellbeing is a major priority for USI as the world battles a pandemic.

The Solidarity Scholarships Fund 2020 is set up to help students impacted by COVID-19.

USI Rector Boas Erez said: “Our students, your university. The Solidarity Scholarships Fund 2020 will be set up with the aim of increasing the number of scholarships available to USI students, thus helping a larger number of students in need.

Rest assured that safety and wellbeing beyond USI’s campus grounds are safe too. The Swiss government is working hard to keep all residents in the country safe from COVID-19 infections.

Its efforts are exemplary enough that according to a recent 2019 Safety Assessment Global Rating by Deep Knowledge Group, Switzerland is ranked the safest country in the world for COVID-19.

A first choice university for aspiring professionals

Even though USI was established in 1996, the university continues to evolve until today.

Faculty members are always taking on new challenges while remaining true to USI’s three guiding principles: quality, openness and responsibility.

One such challenge is the new East Lugano Campus.

“The new East Campus is currently under construction. It will be the new home of the Faculty of Informatics and of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and will also have a gym and a nursery,” said USI Economics student Alex Lanfranconi.

This new campus will house lecture rooms, faculty offices, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland (SUPSI) Department of Innovative Technologies and the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA).

It will also have a number of shared spaces, a multi-purpose hall, an exhibition space, a canteen, a crèche and several sports areas. It will host around 600 members of staff, 1,000 students on basic programmes and 800 students in continuing education.

“Lugano is only two hours away from Zurich and one hour from Milan. The city centre and the lakeside are just a 10-minute walk from the campus. In the surrounding area, there are many things to do and the university’s sports service organises a lot of activities,” added Alex.

Want to experience this global, safe and exciting university experience this year or next? Click here to find further information about Università della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland.

As Alex said: “Our university is always bustling, looking forward and working hard. So, what do you think — will you join us?”

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