Incoming students Autumn Semester 2020-21
Servizio relazioni internazionali e mobilità
21 Ottobre 2020
Despite the uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic which accompanied our daily job during the last months, we have been finally able to welcome the incoming exchange students for the autumn semester in the safe and enjoyable atmosphere of a 3-day orientation event, where they had the chance to meet fellow USI and exchange students and discover the region in safety and in full compliance with the protection provisions thanks to the amazing job of the USI volunteer staff.
We were happy to see 27 exchange students joining this event. Among the activities offered, our incoming students chose the excursion to Monte Generoso (it turned out to be the most popular choice), followed by the hiking trip to Monte Bré, the Lugano guided tour and Treasure Hunt (a different way to discover the city), and last but not least, the half-day introduction to indoor climbing.
Moreover, during the first week, exchange students have been invited to a Welcome Apero in collaboration with the local European Student Network (ESN) group.
In Switzerland, International Relations Offices have experienced a significant impact on mobility: many overseas partner universities and some European universities have cancelled the student mobilities for the current semester.
USI has adopted a dynamic and flexible approach, and this was reflected in a higher number of nominations and pre-applications with respect to the past semesters. We have handled cancellations and deferrals to the Spring Semester, last-minute application and changes of mind: the insecurity among the students wishing to participate in the exchange programme was palpable. Finally, the Semester has started as planned (USI has adopted a hybrid solution combining online and in presence teaching) and we have welcomed 48 exchange students in the Lugano and Mendrisio Campus: 39 students from European universities, 9 from other Swiss universities, 2 students in the framework of the international programme and 1 freemover.
Despite the higher number of pre-application, numbers for incoming students have decreased by about 30% compared to the last autumn semester. This data is in line with the other Swiss universities: according to a survey by the public radio SRF, the figures for foreign students in Switzerland have dropped by about 40% for the current semester.