College in Europe and the ETH Zurich

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by firewire2001, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. firewire2001 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2002
    Hong Kong
    The other day, I was visiting Europe and had the chance to visit the Swiss Federal Institute in Zurich (ETH-Z), which many consider to be the Swiss equivalent of MIT.

    ETH-Z seemed really cool and from my admittedly few interactions with students, it seemed like a place far less stressful than its American counterpart. Interestingly enough, though, the institute has numerous alumni that have gone off to win Nobel Prizes.

    Anyways, my question is as follows: are competitive in Europe -- not just the ETH -- as stressful as their American counterparts?
  2. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    It's different.

    When I studied in Germany last year, at first I thought - oh wow, this is far less stressful! Class took place less often per week, no homework, and much more indepedent work and freedom.

    But when it came time to do exams and write papers, especially Hausarbeiten, I found that much more stressful. Often, one grade - one exam, or one paper, will constitute your grade for the entire course. And they also have exams which determine whether or not you can continue your course of study and those can be oral exams lasting up to an hour with a many professors. I took 15 minute oral exams with one professor to get credit for classes and those stressed me out enough. Also Hausarbeiten don't necessarily have deadlines and unless you're really good about getting stuff done without someone nagging you, sometimes it doesn't happen and you don't get credit for a class.

    Hope this gives you some idea.

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