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UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana

UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana, Via Lambertenghi 10 A, CH-6900 Lugano, Switzerland
3.66 / 5 based on 24 reviews.

Programmes
Accreditations
80% of students recommend
24 reviews
Housing
4.1/5
All experiences (24)
Student life
3.8/5
5 stars (6)
Academic
4.1/5
4 stars (6)
Languages
3.8/5
3 stars (12)
Expenses
2.5/5
2 stars (0)
Overall
4.3/5
1 star (0)
Buy the binario metta prezzo (half price train tickets for a year if you pay a lump sum of CHF 150 and get a card with your picture on it) - it pays for itself in pretty much 3 trips and it's essential if you're planning on seeing any of CH (doh!) Go skiing in St. Moriz (or anywhere, for that matter) but see if you can hook up with some local friends and stay at their house/chalet so that you don't have to pay tourist prices for the hotel etc. Travel more. Pack twice the money and half the... Read Review
jasnam, Canada

24 reviews of UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana

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1 to 1 of 4 
HOUSING    
by jasnam, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Communication and Information Sciences, Independent
Personal assessment
Cost
KEY:
Couldn't have asked for more.
Pretty good.
Could've been better, but didn't lessen the overall experience.
Disappointing.
Facilities
Location
Cleanliness
Space
Type of housing: Apartment/House
Arranged by: Host university
If returning, I would choose: Apartment/House
Why? The Logis Suisse owned student house (Castalia 2) was right across the street from the university - couldn't ask for anything better. The only drawback was the fact that the grocery store was a 10 minutel walk, but it was in the centre of the city, which would be far from the school. It suited my purpose.
Personal comments:
The university itself does not have a residence hall. However, there is a private company that owns two buildings intended for the use of students. One (Castalia 2) is right across the street from the main university buildings. The other (Castalia 1) is a 20 minute walk from the university, a short commute by bus (which are infrequent in the evening) but very close to the train station (which *can* and does have its drawbacks). The rent is affordable, apartments spacious and well lit with a nice, large kitchen. They come semi furnished (one shelf, bed, armoire, desk, chair and small hanging shelf) which again suited my purpose. The only bad side of the accomodation is that you can't really choose your flat mates so you might end up with people you dislike/don't get along with (which is what happened to me).
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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STUDENT LIFE    
by jasnam, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Communication and Information Sciences, Independent
Personal social experience
Activities
KEY:
Amazing! Hardly had time to study.
Plenty to do when I had the time.
So-so.
Did not get involved.
Nightlife
Travel
Overall
Describe host city: Students interact with the local community without much university involvement
Activities, Nightlife, Travel: Takes place mostly outside the university/student environment
Personal comments:
Hmmm.. "Tra" restaurant/cafe was a great hang out spot, and pretty close to the university. There is a small cafe/bar/restaurant in the main university building and it was *the* place to find/meet people. This may have changed since they added new buildings since I was there. In the city itself, the old town is not to be missed, but it doesn't hold eternal appeal since it's pretty commercialised (aimed at the jet set/rich tourists) and the cafes though nice are forbiddingly expensive. Lugano has a jazz festival, and generally there are things happening in and around the city. Get the paper, suss it out and hopefully you won't miss BB King when he comes to the Bellinzona blues festival like I did! As far as clubs and such go there are two things that you will need: a car and lots of cash. Clubs are usually outside the city proper and there are no buses that run to them, so you will have to drive. Once there, you will have to pay quite a bit for drinks... dress well, Lugano is the third largest banking city in Switzerland with plenty of bankers and rich kids to scoff at your outfit... I found the most of my fun through friends. I met a lot of really cool and nice people that I hung out with after class/during weekends/study periods so my social life did not suffer. The best part was going over to a friend's house for a party/dinner and just hanging out, talking and drinking wine.
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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ACADEMIC    
by jasnam, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Communication and Information Sciences, Independent
My academic experiences
Quality of courses
KEY:
Fantastic.
Pretty good.
Could've been a bit better.
Disappointing.
Variety of courses
Availability/access to resources
Interaction with teachers
Interaction with other international students
Interaction with local students
Course recommendations:
Take Knowledge Management with Martin Eppler, Public Relations with Jon White, Teorie delle organizazzioni with Giorgio Inzerilli and see what seminars are on offer in your year. The profs are generally of international repute, so check out their CVs online and compare them with the areas of study that you're interested in.



My opinion of the university assessment
Exams at end of course
KEY:
Liked it.
It was alright.
A bit annoying.
Didn't like it.
Exams throughout the course
Essays and/or projects at the end of course.
Essays and/or projects throughout the course
Overall
Personal comments:
Hmmm.. Maybe more courses in English for the sake of being more accessible to the general international community, but that's not too likely to happen since the univeristy is trying to style itself as the only Italian-instruction university in Switzerland (and that is a big deal for them). Other than that, keep trying to attract profs with international profiles, keep the ones that you have there and keep offering the amazing courses that you do!

This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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by camez, Costa Rican Institute of Technology, Cartago, Costa Rica
Engineering, Electronic, Independent
Language difficulties
Social
KEY:
No problems.
I coped pretty well.
Sometimes it was difficult.
It was a constant struggle.
Educational
Administrative / Institutional
Overall
Language of instruction: English
Local language was: Different than language of instruction.
Was learning English a key decision factor?
No, it wasn't.
Was learning the local language a key decision factor?
No, it wasn't.
How much did you improve your English?
My level before:
My level after:
How much did you improve your local language?
My level before: Basic phrases
My level after: Everyday knowledge (shopping, directions, etc.)
Personal comments:
Not many people speak english. That is a problem if you don't speak italian, foturnatelly I do, a little bit at least.
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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EXPENSES    
by jasnam, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Communication and Information Sciences, Independent
The accessibility of student needs
Second-hand text books
KEY:
Very easy.
Minimal effort.
Accessible but required effort.
Almost impossible.
Second-hand household items
Computers / Internet
Administrative
Money from home
Main source of funding:
Government assistance
Other sources of funding:
Family
bloody OSAP loan
Work opportunities:
I worked during my study abroad experience
Personal spending habits:
Food is more expensive in CH, especially if you eat out frequently. Restaurant going is considered appropriate for special occasions only but even lunches in trattorias were a little on the pricey side. I was maintaining a relationship while in Lugano, so my phone bills were close to astronomical. Still, 0.07 CHF/minute is a very good rate for Canada. Accomodation: in Toronto I live at home and don't pay rent, while in Lugano I had to pay CHF 465 for rent each month (water, heating and electricity included) I think I spent about the same for nightlife... Travel: I definitely traveled more than I do at home. I wanted to see the country, go skiing and places in Italy and suchlike. Overall: did spend more.. just because I had to, really.
Overall, Housing, Food, Travel, Telephone: was more expensive than at home.
Nightlife: was the same price as at home.
Personal comments:
There is only ONE bookstore in Lugano!!!! We had to buy some of our books online through Amazon, so we got a little shafted. I brought my own bedding, cutlery and other kitchen stuff (even food, for God's sake!!) so I didn't have to spend any on that. My building had a dedicated Internet connection so that you could have a high speed connection in your room (included in the rent) or you could go into an apartment that was converted into a computer room and work there. Banks all around, banks abound... Phone: aparently you need a huge deposit for the phone, so I was lucky that one of my flat mates already had a phone. I had the use of it, but at the end of the month we had to claim calls that were our own and pay accordingly. NB: get insurance at home. It's prohibitively expensive in CH. I was covered by my mother's company. Cost saving tips: eat at home, have fun at home with your friends, cook a lot and *don't* go shopping in the old town.
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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OVERALL    
by jasnam, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Communication and Information Sciences, Independent
Important to choosing this university...
Academic reasons
KEY:
Very Important.
Important.
Not really important.
Unimportant.
Culture
Costs
Activities
Campus life
Party / people
Weather / Location
I wish I had known...
Naah.. It was all right..
In my opinion:
Everybody loved it, you will too!



During my experience abroad, I ...
Became familiar with another culture
KEY:
Happened all the time.
Happened quite a lot.
Happened a bit.
Didn't happen.
Traveled
Improved language skills
Met people from other countries
Became more independent
Partied a lot
Experienced a change in life
Advanced my studies/career
Personal recommendation:
Go there if it meshes with your academic/career goals. Coming from a pretty obscure program at U of Toronto (Semiotics and Communication Theory) it was really good for me to take some courses that take an utilitarian view of communication (com. as a business tool rather than a study in itself) so the academic experience was absolutely brilliant. Still, there were a few blah courses taught by old school-Italian profs that stand in front of the class and spout their brilliance for 90 minutes, but that was part of the local colour. Another matter that not everyone may like is the fact that USI is a very young university - it was founded in 1996 so it doesn't carry the cachet that Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne and others do, but it's the best kept secret in Europe because of the international profile of its professors.



FINAL COMMENTS

Buy the binario metta prezzo (half price train tickets for a year if you pay a lump sum of CHF 150 and get a card with your picture on it) - it pays for itself in pretty much 3 trips and it's essential if you're planning on seeing any of CH (doh!) Go skiing in St. Moriz (or anywhere, for that matter) but see if you can hook up with some local friends and stay at their house/chalet so that you don't have to pay tourist prices for the hotel etc. Travel more. Pack twice the money and half the clothes. Don't worry about your accent/pronounciation. Be nice to the profs and get to know them. Fawn on the secretaries, they will love you and help you when you need it. Climb the hills around Lugano (great! view). See if you can find a canoe (*not* a kayak!) and go for a paddle on Lago di Lugano (calm water, great sights). Forget English/your mother tongue. Join AIESEC. *Don't* call the Swiss-Germans "zucchini" unless invited. Smile at the hills for me if you go, I miss them!
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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