ICSE - Intercultural Communication and Sustainable Economics - USI’s international Bachelor with Hanken School of Economics (Helsinki)

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”
(Albert Einstein)


Content: The ‘Intercultural Communication and Sustainable Economics’ (ICSE) is an interdisciplinary structured exchange program for USI ECO and COM Bachelor students in partnership with Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. USI students spend their fifth (fall) semester at Hanken, while Hanken students spend the sixth (spring) semester together with their USI-peers in Lugano. Taught entirely in English, students acquire intercultural experiences, engage hands-on in practice projects, and sharpen their understanding of Nordic and southern European commercial, societal and ecological implications and ambitions. A capstone of ICSE is the field project, in which students conduct fieldwork to tackle a local issue at the interface of economic, social, and environmental concerns. Projects include for example sustainable vineyards (2020), reducing bottled-water consumption (2019), and the implications of re-migrating wolves in the region of Ticino (2019).

Ambition: ICSE is designed for bachelor students who are interested in broadening their horizons and increasing their insights into the challenges of modern societies. The great issues of the so-called Anthropocene involve global warming, human and nonhuman rights violations, industrial pollution, plastic waste, pandemics, and food waste — problems that affect the whole planet and become more urgent every day. Working together for a solution to transform these problems into a more sustainable and ethical world becomes an essential skill in communication and economics.
Our objective is to support students in becoming well-balanced individuals who are capable of understanding the economic, societal, and environmental impact of their decisions by providing key skills that will integrate international agility with a firm grounding in the local context. Courses, workshops and other training activities put a premium on interdisciplinary problem-solving skills, intercultural competence, and extramural exposure to professional work environments.

Eligibility: ICSE is open to

  • COM students who chose for the "Business, Markets, and Society" track in their 1st semester
  • ECO students who choose the “Management track” from the 3rd semester onwards

Interested students are invited to contact the World Challenges Programme (see contacts below). Students are selected based on a letter of motivation, academic merit, and their CV (we are interested in the person behind the grades).

Scholarship: Students from USI receive a scholarship of 380 CHF/month + 50% discount of USI’s tuition fee to participate in ICSE and to join students from Hanken School of Economics to study for a semester in Finland. All courses are recognized by both universities and included in the USI bachelor’s degree. USI students will receive support from Hanken’s student accommodation services.

Contact: Visit https://worldchallengesblog.wordpress.com/ as well as https://www.usi.ch/en/wcp for further information or contact the coordinator of ICSE Nele Langebraun ([email protected]).