Swiss universities drew a lot of interest at study abroad fairs this spring

As in every year, the Science & Technology Office Tokyo represented all Swiss universities and universities of applied sciences at various study abroad fairs held at Japanese universities this spring. The fairs offer an excellent opportunity to strengthen the exchange between Swiss and Japanese universities and their students, as well as to highlight Switzerland’s high-quality education, innovation, abundant nature, good quality of life and safety. This year, three fairs have been attended in person while information materials were sent to four others.

Interested students from high school to university level visited the Swiss Universities’ desk for consultation and asked about programs from bachelor’s to PhD degree. Many were interested in doing a one-year exchange from their Japanese university to a Swiss partner university, but there was also great interest in pursuing full degrees in Switzerland. Especially popular fields were natural sciences, economics, management, international relations, law, engineering, arts, and languages. Many also enquired about the cost of living in Switzerland, scholarship opportunities, language requirements as well as student and everyday life.

Over a total of four days at the study abroad fairs, we catered to about 200 students. At the European Higher Education Fair we even attracted 10% of the 1,300 visitors that attended the entire fair! In addition to the Swiss presence at the consultation desk, the Office had the opportunity to give a presentation about Switzerland and Swiss universities at Keio University. Furthermore, Prof. Kobayashi of Keio University kindly invited the Office to talk about life in Switzerland from a comparative point of view in front of his students. Prof. Kobayashi teaches about francophone culture including Switzerland. The presentation was followed by many questions from the students, about how Switzerland compares to Japan and what to expect of life in Switzerland. Finally, Mr. Yuta Daigi, an alumnus of the University of Zurich, was invited as one of few alumni participants for a panel discussion on studying abroad at the European Higher Education Fair in Kyoto.

The Office was also greatly supported by other Swiss exchange students to Japan as well as Japanese alumni of Swiss universities. In addition to providing information on various Swiss universities, they shared their valuable experiences with the Japanese students and in that way could offer a first-hand impression of what studying in Switzerland is like. On this occasion, we would like to thank Mr. Simon Walo (exchange student from the University of Zurich), Mr. Kenta Shimamoto and Mr. Daniel Dunkelmann  (alumni of ETH Zurich)  and Mr. Hiroto Kojima (former exchange student of the University of Basel) for their great effort and wonderful support in promoting Swiss universities in Japan. We are also grateful to the two students of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, who were assigned to our desk and informed their fellow students of the experiences they gathered during their one-year exchange in Switzerland.

Study abroad fairs in spring 2017:
Waseda University: April 14-15 (only info materials provided)
University of Tokyo: April 15  (only info materials provided)
Tokyo Institute of Technology: April 26
European Higher Education Fair in Tokyo (Meiji University) and Kyoto (Doshisha University): May 20-21
Keio University: June 6

Upcoming fairs (only info materials provided):
Sophia University: June 15-16
JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization): June 24

Tokyo Institute of Technology
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