Experiences of students at partner universities of the HSW: Analysis of student feedback

With the use of different quantitative and qualitative research methods the authors examined the utility, the main purposes and target groups of the "Outgoing Student Questionnaire" which is completed by the students of the School of Business after returning from their semester abroad. In this thesis, the results of the research are presented, and recommendations were formed which can be used for redesigning the process of completing the questionnaire, as well as the form of the questionnaire itself.

Trummer, Sofie & Richner, Adriana, 2019

Art der Arbeit Bachelor Thesis
Auftraggebende FHNW School of Business
Betreuende Dozierende Göldi, Susan
Keywords Exchange, semester abroad, living abroad, experiences, recommendations
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Around 200 students of the FHNW’s School of Business spend a semester abroad every year. This semester abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the outgoing students and leaves a lasting impact on their lives. It requires thorough preparation to facilitate acclimatization at the destination country and to minimize any avoidable difficulties. Every Swiss student who spends a semester abroad within Europe receives a grant by the Swiss government. The condition to receive this grant is to fill in a questionnaire, for which the Swiss-European Mobility Programme provides a template. Hence all outgoing students from the School of Business are obliged to complete a questionnaire about their experience abroad after returning and are asked to include as much information as possible. The questionnaire is not only used to inform the successive outgoing students, but is also used by the International Office itself, to be able to ensure the quality of the stay and to consecutively verify whether the courses taken abroad fit into the respective study programs of the FHNW. However, until now, the reports were not yet conclusively analyzed.
The thesis will provide insights into the 533 collected student reports of the FHNW from the past years and assesses its utility, its main purpose and its target groups. To achieve this, different research methods have been used. Interviews with the members of the International Office and one with an employee of Movetia, the Swiss agency for exchange and mobility, were conducted. Moreover, an online survey was run aiming to collect feedback on the structure and form of the questionnaire from other students who have used it.
With the help of the different empirical methods, the authors came to the conclusion that the utility of the outgoing student questionnaire is quite high; for both the future outgoing students as well as the International Office. Furthermore, as it was agreed upon with the client and the supervisor, the past questionnaires have been analyzed. To come to comprehensive results, research questions for each main topic of the questionnaire were set. The first of them was courses. The authors have found out that this is the most important aspect of the questionnaire for both the students and the International Office. In general, the analysis has revealed that the students take 4-6 courses while being abroad, find their courses interesting and think that the workload is lower abroad than it is at the School of Business of the FHNW. When it comes to rating the campus at the host institutions, most students indicated that the services and infrastructure of the campus are good or even excellent. The outgoing students also had to rate the social relations with other students during their semester abroad. Here, most students were satisfied. However, some countries have had surprisingly bad ratings, for example Australia and Spain. The client and supervisor were also interested in what kind of accommodation the students usually stay in during their exchange semester. A key-word analysis has showed that most students stay in an own apartment or flat. Another major part of this thesis was the recommendations section, where the authors presented recommendations for the future process of the outgoing student questionnaire. Here it was suggested to change the form of the questionnaire slightly, to facilitate future analyses and to also maximize the utility for the students as well as the International Office. Additionally, some questions were added and removed.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Vertraulichkeit: öffentlich
Art der Arbeit
Bachelor Thesis
FHNW School of Business, Olten
Autorinnen und Autoren
Trummer, Sofie & Richner, Adriana
Betreuende Dozierende
Göldi, Susan
Sprache der Arbeit
Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Standort Studiengang
Exchange, semester abroad, living abroad, experiences, recommendations