International Economics, Switzerland: Student Profile

International Economics, Switzerland: Student Profile main image

Angela Bulgari explains how a master’s in international economics helped her get a job which is a good fit, and why she’d recommend studying in Switzerland.

"A bachelor's degree might not be enough for those with a big thirst for studying," Angela says. "At master's level, professors get involved more with your research and you feel you are treated on a more equal basis from an academic point of view."

The Moldovan student began her tertiary education at Essex University in the UK, studying for a bachelor's degree in financial economics.

It was in the last year of her undergraduate degree that a friend suggested she apply for a master's degree at Switzerland's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI).

Stronger credentials

"I wanted to study international affairs even before I went for my bachelor's degree and this seemed like a great opportunity to diversify my study portfolio," she says.

Three years ago, Angela graduated from HEI and is now working as a Financial Application Support Specialist for Thomson Reuters SA, a subsidiary of news agency Reuters.

She says her master's degree gave her the ability to have a wider view on career opportunities as well as recognizing a job that is a good fit for her.

"International affairs has many sides to it and can provide you with a fascinating job. However, there are several boring things to do within the sector too, which is equally haunted by insecure job status, short-term contracts and monthly consultancies."

Life in Switzerland

Studying for a master's degree was far cheaper in Switzerland than it was in the UK. "It's roughly 1,000 chf (Swiss francs) per semester or 2,000 chf a year, which is around US$1,000."

However, she adds: "The costs of living in Geneva are quite high. Try to apply for a scholarship from the Swiss authorities or your institute of study. It will make living in Switzerland a lot easier, and you'll get to enjoy more things with some money in your pocket!"

Despite the cost, Angela still enjoyed living and studying in Switzerland – the fourth country she's lived in.

"Geneva is a great city in the summer – if you're going to move here, move in the summer! There are many outdoor activities taking place: swimming, wake boarding, hiking, beach volleyball.

"It has a big ex-pat community as well, which makes it very dynamic. I'd recommend the summer Orange Cinema, the old town for cosy coffee breaks, and the Paquis neighborhood for world cuisines."

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