When ¾ of your studies are self-learning, managing your time is not always the easiest task. Even less if you intend to work part-time alongside! Here are the top do’s and don’ts for you, coming from the personal experience of an international student.

A regular full-time student of a master’s degree at the Lucerne UASA has classes only two days a week; the rest is self-study. When hearing this, many people think that the workload will not be that demanding. However, the academic credit system of the Lucerne UASA shows the reality: 1 ECTS credit is equivalent to 30 working hours; a master’s degree includes 90 ECTS = 2,700 working hours, in two semesters. Doing the math can be overwhelming; experiencing it can be even more because the goal is to study, probably work, be successful, and still have a life… right? That’s why being conscious about this will help you to better manage your time as a master student in Switzerland, while obtaining the best results at the same time.


  • Prepare mentally for your week ahead

Even though classes take place during the same days of the week, the schedule usually varies. Therefore, knowing which classes you will have and when during a specific week, is helpful for you to better program your activities.

  • Find “your space”

Unless you are very used to study on your own, finding the place where you get the motivation and focus you need for self-learning is not always easy. Some people feel comfortable at home and some get so distracted there, that they prefer the university or the library. Whichever that ideal space is for you, find and enjoy it.

  • Maintain an updated agenda

Noting down everything can save your life, believe me. Whether it is a new project meeting or a timeslot to eat/drink water/take a break; it is never too much organization. Most importantly: make it a habit!

  • Keep a work-life balance

We strive for excellence and we work nonstop many times. Don’t forget to assign times for enjoying life too!


  • Get distracted with social media

Avoid using it during the timeslots you assign for studying and working. Putting your phone aside might be the best strategy.

  • Ignore the prior required readings

These not only help you to arrive prepared to class, but also to study throughout the semester. Don’t forget to assign time for them!

  • Miss classes

The knowledge and input you acquire during the lectures and group works in class do make a difference. Moreover, direct interaction with your professors and classmates is crucial!

  • Leave studying for the exam period only

The amount of information we must learn as a master student is enormous and wanting to study everything a couple weeks before the final exam is simply impossible. Study throughout the semester and you will not regret it.

Can you think of any other recommendations? If yes, please share them in a comment below!

Ana Cristina Pérez Carrillo
MSc student in Business Administration
major Business Development & Promotion