Franziska Hewitt was a student on the MSc course in Systemic Psychotherapy at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and graduated in December 2016. Speaking of her opportunity to take up an Erasmus exchange, she told us:
While undertaking my course I was approached by two of my tutors when they became aware of the possibility of an Erasmus student exchange programme between Queen’s and the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland. My tutors knew that, for my MSc dissertation, I planned to conduct a comparative study between Switzerland and Northern Ireland on practitioners’ perceptions of interventions for under 18 year olds affected by mental health as well as substance use issues. With that in mind, the possibility of studying in Bern was an exciting prospect.
I am extremely grateful to the staff from the Schooland the University of Applied Sciences in Bern who were involved in setting up the student exchange link. It was beyond my dreams when I found myself studying for two semesters and writing my MSc dissertation in my native country – especially in its beautiful capital city, where I was born and grew up.
As an exchange student, I attended courses which were linked directly to my dissertation and which increased my knowledge, understanding and career prospects. In both Northern Ireland and Switzerland I conducted face-to-face interviews with practitioners and enjoyed one-to-one support from experts in both universities in my field of research. Since completing my exchange in Bern, students from there have enjoyed opportunities to attend semesters at Queen’s.