2011 – Axel von Swanebach from Germany


“Ever since I started studying, I have firmly been convinced of the precious advantages of extending my subject-based knowledge and developing on a personal level by studying a semester abroad. Reading about Foreign Trade University and finding out about the possibility of attending to interesting courses not available at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main definitely sparked my interest, especially because the field of Banking and Finance suited perfectly to my field of specialization. Moreover, it epitomized a challenging experience for me, which supported important communicative, cross-cultural and work-related skills. It was additionally my desire to avail myself of the opportunity of widening my horizon by experiencing a different way of life and cultural dissimilarities in a first-hand perception.


My placement at Foreign Trade University of Hanoi was simply a fantastic experience and I made lots of friends from countries all over the world during my semester abroad. The FTU offers an environment that supports your well-being as well as your academic studies. The University was very cooperative and supportive before and during my exchange semester in Hanoi. I received help whenever I needed it, whether I was dealing with bureaucratic issues, looking for courses or a place to live (even if we decided to move in somewhere else). It was reassuring to know that there was someone at the end of a phone call or email whenever I needed advice.

I particularly liked the wide and varied selection of units on offer during my exchange program as well as the style of teaching in which we learned. I especially enjoyed my lectures as academics were engaging and passionate about their subject. I also liked taking part in the lively debates and group works as well as supporting my fellow students in their projects in the wide range of extracurricular activities, including sport and numerous social events, that are on offer all year round to help students maintain a good work-life balance.

The city of Hanoi itself is the perfect size – small enough to feel welcoming yet big enough for there to be always plenty to do. Spending a semester in Hanoi was simply an amazing and mind-opening experience and I would not hesitate a fraction of a second if asked if I would do it again. There is not much left to say, just take a leap of faith, pack your things together and experience by yourself what Vietnam, its dazzling and vibrant capital Hanoi and the Foreign Trade University have to offer, you will not regret it a single moment!

If you have any questions concerning my exchange program, do not hesitate to contact me via axel.vonschwanebach@gmail.com or feel free to invite me to some beers or a Vietnamese restaurant if you live near Frankfurt!”

Axel von Schwanebach, Germany.
December 2011