Incoming StudentsDepartment of Social Work
The Department of Social Work at the FHS St.Gallen has established an international network of partner universities. Every spring or autumn semester, exchange students from abroad have the opportunity to study and/or complete an internship spanning one to two semesters at the Department of Social Work. We welcome students from our partner universities as well as from other universities.
The required workload for exchange students is defined by the home university's guidelines. We recommend that incoming students take a maximum of 24 to 30 ECTS credits per semester. On the basis of a Learning Agreement, courses should be selected before arrival. If necessary, changes to the Learning Agreement can be made up to two weeks after the regular semester has started.
Exchange students can start the application process as soon as they are nominated by their home institution. In order to get the process startet, the International Office at the FHS St.Gallen requires the following forms an documents:
- Student Application Form, incl. two passport-size pictures
- Learning Agreement
- Completed Erasmus (SEMP) formalities
The regular registration procedures take place at the end of February and beginning of March (calendar weeks 8/9) for the autumn semester, and at the end of September and beginning of October (calendar weeks 38/39) for the spring semester. Regristrations for exchange students are nevertheless accepted until mid-July and mid-November, respectively.
If you want to complete and internship, we will provide you with addresses and descriptions of the internship positions. Ideally, you should get in tough with us before the last week of January (calendar week 4) for an internship in the autumn semester, or before the last week of June (calendar week 26) for an internshipd in the spring semester. Please apply directly for the respective positions (in writing). An agreement will be set up between you, the organisation and the FHS St.Gallen. You will then be assigned to a supervision group.
- Complete our Student Application Form and send it to the International Office
- Write a short letter of motivation and send it directly to the organisation
- Complete the Erasmus formalities in cooperation with the International Office
Living and Studying in St.Gallen
Location of the FHS St.Gallen
In February 2013, all four faculties moved to the new FHS centre located next to the main train station. It offers a very good infrastructure, a cafeteria, a library and the perfect atmosphere to study. A big terrace invites students to spend time with friends before or after lectures. The whole building is equipped with Wi-Fi. It is recommended that exchange students bring their own computer, although some computers are available on campus for free use.
Students with special needs
The classrooms and building are barrier-free. Contact the International Office if any further assistance is required. We are keen to find individual solutions for meeting the needs of our students.
Student ID card
Exchange students will be provided with a student ID from the FHS St.Gallen. In addition to discounts at restaurants and museums, the card can also be used to print documents at the university and is needed to enter classrooms and the building outside of opening hours. FHS e-mail account and Internet At the beginning of the semester, all exchange students will be provided with their own FHS e-mail address and login details. At the FHS, you can use the “eduroam” net to navigate for free.
Your FHS buddy, a local student volunteer, will be pleased to help you find your bearings in your new surroundings. Before coming to St.Gallen, we will provide you with contact details so that you can get in touch with your buddy. He or she will pick you up from the train station, show you around the city and help you with issues such as finding accommodation or choosing a plan for your mobile phone. Your buddy will assist you with any questions that might arise in connection with your student life in St.Gallen.
FHS courses are mostly taught in German. As an exchange student, a good knowledge of German is mandatory. We recommend a level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). German language courses are offered at different levels for international students in August at the University of Konstanz. If you decide to attend a language course in August, your Erasmus grant will be extended by 1.5 months. Interested incoming exchange students are requested to enrol via the FHS St.Gallen International Office. We will be pleased to assist you in finding a suitable language course.
27 Printers are available on campus. Students can upload money to their student ID card and use it to print or copy documents on campus.
Cafeteria and refectory
The campus cafeteria and the refectory offer a selection of meals as well as sandwiches and a salad buffet at reasonable prices. Lunch meals, including a side salad, are available for between CHF 7 and CHF 11.
The FHS St.Gallen has some places at various day care centres in the city. Please check the website below for further information as well as the application procedure, or contact us for assistance. www.fhsg.ch/kinderbetreuung
The library forms the heart of our building. Around 25,000 books, encyclopaedias, reference texts, academic papers and journals as well as audio-visual media are housed over three floors and are available to loan free of charge. There are 98 individual workstations designated for concentrated reading and studying.
With their student ID card, exchange students are able to take part in Unisport activities. The sport facilities are located at the University of St.Gallen, about 10 minutes away from the train station and the FHS St.Gallen. Unisport offers a comprehensive, year-round sports and fitness programme. While most courses are free of charge and have open admission, some do require you to register and/or pay in advance. For this reason, please make sure to visit the Unisport website to find out if you need to enrol for the courses which interest you.
The city of St.Gallen
St.Gallen, the city of steps, bay windows and green oases, is located in the north-east of Switzerland between Lake Constance and the Alps.
The rich history of St.Gallen begins with the legend of the Irish monk Gallus. With his settlement in St.Gallen in around 612, it is believed that he laid the foundations for the construction of the monastery and thus of the city itself. "Bangor", the hometown of Gallus, is the striking name given to the station at the bottom of the Mühleggbahn funicular railway and bears witness to this past.
Today, the St.Gallen Stiftsbezirk abbey district, with its magnificent cathedral and abbey library, which houses 170'00 books, is the city's landmark and has been a UNESCO World Heritage since 1983. A further legacy of St.Gallen's history are the traces of its past as a textile city. Some of these are obvious, such as the Textile Museum and the St.Gallen Kinderfest children's festival, while others are more latent to nature, for example in form of various district names. Museums, including the Kunstmusuem St.Gallen museum of art and the Natural History Museum St.Gallen, add further to the city's offers for cold and rainy days.
With its Tonhalle concert hall, the Theater St.Gallen city theatre and a variety of smaller theatres, the city boasts a diverse cultural offering. Venues such as the former Grabenhalle gymnasium and the old Palace cinema contribute to the diversity of St.Gallen's cultural scene with ocnerts, dance shows and theatre performances.
In St.Gallen, the season are, for the most part, very distinct. For example, you can expect a cold, snowy winter with a Christmas market and stands selling mulled wine. During the summer, the area in and around St.Gallen is home to a number of small and large music festivals. The biggest and probably best-known of these is the OpenAir St.Gallen, which attracts more than a 100'000 visitors and music acts from all around the world. Between spring an autumn, the city also host various festivities in the areas of music, culture and food, as well as outdoor-cinema screenings. The so-called Bermuda3Eck, a triangular-shaped are housing more than 20 bars and restaurants, offers a vibrant nightlife - and not only during the warm summer months.
A hill above the city is home to one of St.Gallen's oases: the Drei Weieren swimmnig ponds. This is one of the most important sites for locals, attracting people to enjoy a swim during the summer and offering a venue for ice skating in winter. Whatever the time of year, visitors can enjoy a walk and the magnificent panoramic view over the city.
St.Gallen also does not come up short with regard to its culinary delights. In the Old Town, the traditional Erststockbeizli (restaurants located on the first floor of a typical St.Gallen Old Town building) invite guest to enjoy international and local specialities, while street cafés and classic restaurants round off the offering. Of the city's approximately 80'000 residents, 12'000 are students, meaning that St.Gallen can be called a true student city. In addition to an appealing cultural programme, the city offers students attractive flats and furnished rooms at favourable prices by Swiss standards. Besides, St.Gallen ist renowned as being a compact city. For example, most sites in the city's easy-to-navigate centre can be reached by foot. While quiet and family-friendly, St.Gallen is also urban and vibrant, and this combination makes it an ideal location for meeting a variety of needs.
Before you leave home
Basic health and accident insurance is mandatory for all persons living in Switzerland for more than 3 months. Exceptions:
- EU or EFTA citizens legally insured by their state who hold a European Health Insurance Card
- Citizens of any country with adequate private insurance coverage
Students are responsible for providing evidence of adequate insurance coverage. Please contact the St.Gallen Resident’s Register Office (“Einwohneramt”) to apply for exemption. You can also enquire at the International Office if you need assistance in this process. The Swiss health system is complex, and some useful links may help you to understand it better. Various helpful links concerning health insurance can be found in the last section of this guide.
Other insurance cover
If you plan to rent an apartment in Switzerland or move into a shared flat, you can take out household insurance (“Hausratversicherung”). This insurance covers damage caused by fire, water, natural hazards, theft or the breakage of glass. You can also take out personal liability insurance (“Privathaftpflicht”) if you ride a bike or do things that could cause a higher degree of damage.
In order to study in Switzerland, foreign citizens need a valid travel document that is officially recognised by Switzerland. Students from a EU or EFTA member state do not need a visa to enter Switzerland. Citizens of some other countries need to apply for a visa for entry and residence in Switzerland, regardless of the duration of their respective stay. Apply for your visa at least four months before the start of your studies at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your home country. The relevant requirements are subject to change at short notice due to the ongoing talks on the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. Updated information can be found at: www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home / www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html
Working in Switzerland
In principle, all students who want to work in Switzerland need to notify the competent authorities and apply for a work permit (depending on their nationality). Please contact the International Office for further support, or the Migration Office (“Migrationsamt”) of the canton of St.Gallen.
Obligation to register
If you are moving to Switzerland, you must register within 14 days of your arrival at the St.Gallen Resident’s Register Office. Citizens from abroad (EU/EFTA) must bring a valid ID card, a recent passport-size photo and an enrolment confirmation from their host university, and are required to complete an application for a foreign resident’s permit (form “Gesuch Ausländerbewilligung”). The fee is around CHF 66. Citizens from other countries must be in possession of a Swiss residence permit, a valid passport, a lease contract or a confirmation from their landlord and a current health insurance card or policy. In this case, the fee is CHF 142. Further information can be found here.
Extension of the residence permit
International students who are not intending to leave Switzerland on the day mentioned on their residence permit are required to contact the International Office to apply for an extensi - on of the residence permit. Residence permits can be extended for a maximum of four weeks and will cost CHF 50.