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FAQ

Discover our extensive FAQ page! Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions that will best prepare you for your stay at the University of St.Gallen. Dive in and find valuable information that will help you get the most out of your time at HSG.

About living in St.Gallen

1. Excellence for your impact

The University of St.Gallen (HSG) is one of Europe’s leading business schools and holds top rankings at world level. HSG's motto, "From insight to impact," reflects its commitment to excellence and the practical application of knowledge. With a focus on applied research, international perspectives, and knowledge transfer, HSG cultivates insights that have a significant impact on society. As a vibrant meeting place for passionate individuals driving social and economic progress, HSG's practical relevance has been evident since its founding in 1898, attracting diverse personalities from various fields to collaborate and contribute to the community's collective knowledge. This collaborative spirit makes HSG an exceptional innovation hub and a laboratory for addressing crucial contemporary issues. Four out of five Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates have at least one offer of employment by the time they graduate. A University of St.Gallen (HSG) qualification is recognised internationally as an indicator of high quality and, as a result, you are likely to receive multiple offers as you look to start your career. Alternatively, you may prefer to set up your own company – HSG graduates create a higher than average number of start-ups, most of them with international impact.

2. Vibrant Campus Life 

An exchange can be overwhelming at first. That's why the student initiative "BuddySystem" acts as an official link between exchange students and Swiss culture. To accomplish this, the BuddySystem offers exchange students numerous cultural events and enjoyable activities.

With over 130 accredited clubs and initiatives, students actively participate in enriching campus life, both on and off campus. HSG encourages students to take responsibility and make an impact, leading to a vast and diverse range of clubs covering various interests. Whether it's contributing to the students' magazine, organising start-up events, or participating in sports associations, there's something for everyone. 

3. Perfect Location – Heart of Europe

Switzerland's central location allows for easy travel to neighboring countries, making weekend getaways and adventures across Europe a breeze. But that's not all, Switzerland itself has so much to offer. Immerse yourself in the country's stunning landscapes, from majestic mountains to serene lakes, and experience the tranquility of its environment. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or simply love to bask in nature's beaty, Switzerland has something for everyone. 

On Campus: Our campus on Rosenberg offers an inspiring park-like environment with stunning city views. Modern infrastructure supports academic excellence, and a rich blend of art and architecture adds to the overall experience.  HSG is a vibrant place to be. 

Are you looking to connect with like-minded individuals, explore various interests, or engage in thrilling events during your guest stay at HSG? In that case, we strongly encourage you to explore our extensive selection of over 150 student associations and initiatives, which greatly enrich the university experience. These encompass the BuddySystem, along with a diverse array of cultural and sporting activities. Notably, you can also take part in internationally renowned events organised by HSG students, for example including:

learn more about our student associations

 

If you want to find out more about costs of an HSG degree and the cost of living in St.Gallen, please feel free to visit our website.

Guest students only pay the tuition fees at their home university. No tuition fee is charged at HSG. (except Freemover)

Find out more here

There are several ways to look for accommodation. Rents range from CHF 500 / 650 upwards per month. Rents for small private studios range from CHF 650 upwards per month.

In case of foreign insurers, the population services of the city of St.Gallen usually insist on the completed, specific health insurance certification (form provided by the population service). Special requirements also apply for students with EU/EFTA nationality.

Please find more information on our website:

Incoming guest students - Organisation of your stay in Switzerland

 

Further information if you are staying more than 90 days

Length of stay >90 days

Further information if you are staying less than 90 days

Length of stay <90 days

A student visa (L-Permit) does not entitle you to work! Canton officials must approve an application for a working permit handed in by your employer. Due to current regulations, students without EU/EFTA nationality are highly unlikely to receive a work permit.

Studying in Switzerland offers a unique and enriching experience, and to ensure a smooth transition, here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

 

  1. Public Transportation - SBB: Switzerland boasts an efficient and reliable public transportation system, with the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) being the primary mode of travel. Trains, buses, and trams connect various cities and regions, making it convenient for students to explore the country or even neighboring countries. 

  2. Bank Account - Campus Bank UBS: Opening a bank account with the Campus Bank UBS will simplify financial transactions during your stay. We would recommend to ask your consultant to help you set up “Twint”, which is similar to paypal or venmo and is widely used in Switzerland and by students. 

  3. Buddysystem: Every semester, more than 300 students from all over the world spend an exchange semester at the University of St. Gallen to broaden their academic and cultural horizons. The student initiative "BuddySystem" acts as an official link between them and Swiss culture. To accomplish this, the BuddySystem offers exchange students numerous cultural events and enjoyable activities. In addition, our initiative also includes 300 Swiss students who support the exchange students in their integration as local buddys for the exchange students.

  4. Language - German and International Environment: While German is the official language, the academic environment is highly international and locals can understand and speak English to a certain degree. 

  5. Currency - Swiss Franc (CHF): The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Familiarize yourself with the currency and exchange rates to manage your expenses effectively.

  6. Safety and Health: Prioritize your safety and well-being during your stay. It is recommended to have health insurance coverage, and additionally, a liability insurance and car insurance if you plan to drive during your visit. 

  7. Healthcare: In case of illness or emergencies, St. Gallen offers modern medical facilities with multilingual doctors specializing in various fields. The Kantonsspital St. Gallen on Rorschacher Strasse 95 is available for acute emergencies. Keep Swiss emergency numbers handy, and you can find them on the University of St. Gallen's emergency card.

  8. Campus Safety: While Switzerland is considered one of the safest countries globally, it's important to note that the University of St.Gallen campus is open to the public. Ensure you don't leave your belongings unattended and always keep your valuables with you to ensure their security.

Guest studies at HSG

Academic Calendar:

Enrolled students can find the full academic calendar in Compass. To help you keep track of the most important semester dates and deadlines, the entrie academic calendar is available in Compass.You can filter the calendar by study level and subject and import it into your private calendar along with your schedule.

 

Examination:

You can only take exams in courses that are assigned to you through bidding. The exam registration takes place automatically after the end of the bidding and the course deregistration phase. Only for the accounting examination you have to register yourself in Compass.

At the HSG, a distinction is made between centrally and decentrally organized examinations, Centrally organized examinations take place in the examination block after the lecture period (Jan/Feb or June/July). Decentrally organized examinations take place during the semester.

A special feature of the examination system at the HSG is, that examinations cannot be repeated in the same attempt. If you are unable to take an examination, you must cancel your registration before the examination begins. Please read the course and examination fact sheet for guest students carefully - you can find it in the download section at the end of this page.

Further information

 

Courses:

The definite course list for the upcoming semester will be available on the online timetable about one month before the semester begins. If you would like to inform yourself in advance about the courses offered, we recommend that you refer to the course information of the respective semester of the previous year, as not all courses are offered each semester.

For further information, follow the link, choose "Courses in English" and your level of study.

courses.unisg.ch

 

 

Student initiative: BuddySystem

An exchange can be overwhelming at first. That`s why the student initiative "BuddySystem" acts as an official link between exchange students an Swiss culture. To accomplish this, the BuddySystem offers exchange students numerous cultural events and enjoyable activities before and during your studies

 

SHSG Campus App:

The SHSG Campus App brings all relevant information for your studies directly to your smartphone. It combines the most important functions of the platforms Compass, StudentWeb and the Facebook group "Sharing is Caring" through the embeddd university login. For instance, it displays how many seats are occupied in the various study rooms, features a calendar overview with all campus events and the cafeteria menu for the week can be called up with one click. It includes many practical shortcuts, such as "room booking", a virtual campus tour and your own grades and achievements. Another key feature is the "Marketplace" page, on which you can buy and sell everything from books to shared rooms to tutoring. Finally, the app provides a platform for HSG university clubs. Discover all those features and many more on  iOS  and Android.


 

Our digital services

Your HSG user account gives you access to various digital services, including different digital platforms as well as communication and IT tools. These help you to organize your studies easily, independent of time and location.

 

Compass

You can manage important administrative matters via Compass, including semester registration, course selection (Bidding) and examination deregistration. In addition, documents relevant to your studies, such as your grade transcripts will be sent directly to your Compass mailbox if you have agreed to electronic delivery.

Tutorial: Compass und StudentWeb

Platform: Compass (HSG login required)

 

StudyNet (Canvas)

StudyNet is more than just a platform with learning contenct, slides and other lecture material. It represents the HSG's virtual teaching environment and supports innovative digital learning formats. As a guest student you will also be able to access information about your exchange semester on the platform.

Platform: StudyNet (HSG login required)

Overview of the most important platforms at the HSG

 

StudentWeb

StudentWeb is a password-protected portal for students of the HSG. The portal features news concerning your studies, additional information about the examinations, as well as the study and exchange programmes.

Tutorial: Compass and StudentWeb

Portal: StudentWeb (HSG login required)

At HSG, all students follow a course registration procedure (bidding) in order to enroll in their courses. Students have a certain number of virtual points which they can use in an auction-like procedure to bid for their courses. The bidding procedure starts approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the lecture period. Detailed information is available in the download section "Bidding Instructions for Incoming Students Bachelor and Master".


Guest students will be informed about the bidding procedure one month before the lecture period starts by e-mail. The bidding takes place on the student's portal "Compass" and you will receive your provisional user name and login for the portal after you application for a guest semester at the university has been checked by Student Mobility.We highly recommend that you read the bidding fact sheet carefully in order to understand and follow the procedure once it begins.
CEMS guest students refer to the download section "Bidding factsheet CEMS".

More detailed information about course information, course registration (Bidding), course system and workload, please visit our website. 

Find out more

If you were unable to get a course by the end of the bidding process, unfortunately, there are no further options to obtain it. When bidding for courses, be mindful of your points and allocate them wisely. Higher points increase your chances, but they don't guarantee a spot if there's high demand. For more information on the bidding process, please check the download section at the end of this page. 

We have collected a selection of useful links to ensure that you are well prepared for studies at the University of St.Gallen. 

 

Where to get information about your studies 

Compass  (HSG Login required)

StudyNet (Canvas) (HSG Login required)

StudentWeb (HSG Login required)

Course list

Mobility Online Portal (Login required)

 

IT Tools  

Microsoft: Office 365 Teams 

Library 

 

Other useful links 

Website Incoming: Organization of your stay in Switzerland

Housing Office

SHSG (Student Union)

Buddysystem

Orientation (Mazemap)  

Payment portal​​​​​​​

Resident’s office St.Gallen (Bevölkerungsdienste)  

Required Downloads

Course and Examination Factsheet for Guest students Spring semester 2024 (EN)

Orientation Programme FS24

Bidding Instructions for Incoming Students Bachelor and Master

Bidding factsheet CEMS

Required forms

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