Essential skills to make the most of Swiss university life

The stress of daily life can make you miss opportunities if you're not alert. Shubhangi Makkar

Indian student Shubhangi wishes she had been more prepared to tackle student life and take advantage of opportunities. 

This content was published on March 11, 2019 - 12:32
Shubhangi Makkar, swissinfo.ch student blogger

One semester on, here are some of the essential everyday skills that I found to be very useful: 

Personal Finance

Do you find it hard to manage your expenses? As Switzerland has high living costs, you’ll need to manage your expenses wisely. Having a fixed monthly budget will help in keeping track of your expenditure. There are many budgeting apps on the app store that you can download. From personal experience, they are very helpful and convenient to track your spending, and they also segregate by category, so you’ll know where you spend the most. 

Eating homemade food is the cheapest option, followed by your university cafeteria. It is a good idea to sharpen your cooking skills before coming here. 

Avoid using your credit card if you find it hard to control your expenses. Use a debit card instead. Once you’re managing your expenses like a boss, then go ahead and reap the benefits of a credit card. 

For more blog posts and information on studying in Switzerland visit our dedicated page Education Swiss Made.

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Time Management

Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day. As a university student, you will be in complete charge of how and where you spend your time. There are seldom penalties for skipping classes. You can sleep-in during morning classes – but should you? 

It’s important to maintain a balance between work, leisure, chores and sleep. Often, we tend to skip meals or postpone chores because we do not have enough time. Over time this can become a habit and starts affecting other parts of your life, which may only increase your stress rather than reduce it. On the other hand, having a solid routine will make your life much easier. By maintaining a to-do list, or having a study schedule, you can start to see a difference. By going to classes daily and participating in work exercises, you can stop having to cram the last minute. 

Find time for leisure in this wonderful country. To reduce stress, you should go outside, talk to people, incorporate some physical exercise. 

Laundry

It’s an essential skill that you may or may not have picked up yet. Typically, student accommodation in Switzerland will have common washing and drying machines at your disposal for a nominal charge. You can also visit nearby launderettes, but they may be slightly more expensive. It’s a good idea to get to know the basics of grouping your clothes for laundry purposes.  Finding the right temperature and pre-treatments you may need are basics.

You snooze, you lose 

You will have abundant opportunities flying at you during your semester and they will often go unnoticed if you are not switched on. Missed opportunities often have consequences. For example, I waited a few days before applying for my semester courses. I later found out that some already had a wait-list of over 100 students and I couldn’t enroll. The following semester I was quick to apply and got in. 

Likewise, opportunities such as teaching assistant jobs, internships and extracurricular activities come and go. Therefore, make the best use of your limited time. 

These are some of the essential skills to have before you move abroad to any country. They’ll surely help you later in life too.  If you have any other skill you would like to share, then comment down below.

 

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