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In the year under review, 650 foreign students spent a guest semester at the University of St.Gallen. In comparison, 986 HSG students stayed in one of the more than 200 reputable partner universities abroad. "A student exchange provides a unique opportunity for students to acquire intercultural competencies and to dare to look beyond the end of their noses," says Arno Hold, the new Dean of External Relations since October 2016. He remembers his Erasmus exchange semester at the University of Bologna, as well as several international summer schools, as a formative experience.
Students are not treated with
kid gloves on their stays abroad
A detailed confrontation with foreign cultures, languages and working methods − no matter whether at home or abroad − is now part of a university graduate's wherewithal and at the same time part of lifelong learning. This is why the HSG Student Mobility Office does not want to treat students with kid gloves in regard to their stays abroad and completely shelter them from the sometimes difficult living conditions in other countries. Of course it must always be ensured, however, that exchange students are not exposed to any disproportionate risk in their host countries.
It is not a contradiction if a modern educational institution such as the HSG positions itself as a globally interlinked business university while simultaneously cultivating its already strong roots in the region. "Thanks to our international network, we promote the transfer of knowledge into Eastern Switzerland and also make a substantial contribution to the perception of our region in foreign countries," says Arno Hold. "Our Asia Connect Center, for example, advises companies based in the region about entering new markets in Asia, and in parallel supports Asian firms in gaining a foothold in our region."
In the future, the focus will be on continuing to strengthen the quality and intensity of cooperation with strategically important international partners. The demand for exchange student places − particularly at Anglo-Saxon universities − is constantly increasing. In parallel, however, there is also a genuine interest in an exchange of knowledge with global regions that have been neglected so far, such as the Arab region or future growth markets in Africa