Studying abroad at RMU: Meet Lukas Keller
January 20, 2016
Studying abroad is a different experience for everyone no matter where they study. But what could the experience be like for two exchange students studying at Robert Morris University?
Lukas Keller, is an exchange student from St. Gallen University in Switzerland. He is studying international management at RMU but studies business administration at St. Gallen. Keller is in his final year of study and will be graduating from St. Gallen in the summer.
Robert Morris’s campus dynamic has been quite the different experience for Keller compared to his at St. Gallen. All of Keller’s classes take place in one building in Switzerland.
“Everything is inside of this tower. So we do not live on campus, like we do here. We do not have a campus so we are all commuter (students) and we are just there to study and for school. Here (RMU) you are here the whole time. I mean, I spend 95 percent of my time on campus,” said Keller.
Keller always wanted to have the campus experience since it is not available at St. Gallen.
When comparing classes, Keller thought that his classes at St. Gallen were a little bit harder than the classes he is taking at RMU. He has not had any problems with his classes at RMU, but something that is different is attendance and homework polices at St. Gallen.
“We have just one final exam at the end of the semester which counts to 100 percent. So, it doesn’t matter if we are in class or not,” said Keller. “The attendance is not (mandatory), (professors) don’t care if you’re there. We do not have to do the homework; we do not have to raise our hands so class participation is not…required.”
Keller said even with his classes at St. Gallen not being mandatory, he has not missed a class at RMU.
One of the things Keller has liked most while studying at RMU is being able to participate in sports on campus. He said in Switzerland many people practice sports, but in a club setting outside of school. Here he was able to participate in beach volleyball at the volleyball courts during the first part of the semester with other people on campus.
Having easy access to the gym and other activities has been something that Keller also likes. Since St. Gallen doesn’t have a campus, there really isn’t a way to have student life activities.
Coming to the United States, there wasn’t really any culture shock for Keller. He said that he had a very good idea of the culture from watching movies and since it is not that far of from Swiss culture. This was also not his first time in the U.S.
One stereotype that turned out to be true for him is that Americans have big cars.
“We just say all the time for example, American’s have a lot of big cars and stuff like that. But that’s true, I mean in Switzerland we do not see often pickups, that’s very often here,” said Keller.
Keller finds the two cultures to be very similar and that Americans are very open-minded and easy to talk to. Keller also found that the campus food was a lot better than he expected, but just wishes there would be more choices.
With the semester quickly coming to an end, it will be time for Keller to return home to Switzerland and St. Gallen.
“The experience was pretty nice here and I would do it again…but on the other hand it is nice to, for Christmas, to go back home because I was here (since) August. I mean you always like your own country and you always miss the family and the friends, so it’s nice to go back and see them again and to eat some different food. But no, it was a really nice experience and I really enjoyed it here,” said Keller.