Global competence + mobility

BFH promotes international opportunities for students and staff. A stay abroad allows you to broaden your horizons and strengthen your language skills. BFH students can demonstrate their global competences with an additional certification.

International Offices of the schools

The International Offices in the schools support and advise incoming and outgoing students, lecturers and employees.

The relevant contact persons in the schools will support and advise you on your exchange programme. The service is aimed at students, lecturers and employees. It does not matter whether you are already studying or working at BFH (outgoing) or whether you are interested in joining us at BFH for an exchange (incoming).

The services of the International Offices – outgoing

  • Help with planning and organising your exchange semester
  • Help with finding internships abroad

The services of the International Offices – incoming

  • Information on studying a specific subject area at BFH
  • Help with planning and organising your exchange semester at BFH
  • Integration support

You can obtain a Certificate of Global Competence from the schools. Exchange programmes can be credited towards the acquisition of such a certificate. Please see below for more information on the Certificate of Global Competence.


The mobility programmes within Europe are funded by the Swiss-European Mobility Programme SEMP. In this way, Switzerland ensures that Swiss students and employees of Swiss universities can participate in the European mobility programme Erasmus+.

Student mobility

Outgoing: studies and internships abroad for BFH students

Studying or doing a work placement abroad enables students to gain a variety of experiences outside their familiar environment and to strengthen their language skills. This is why we offer our students the opportunity to complete part of their studies or a work placement abroad. Under certain circumstances, it is also possible to complete a guest semester at another Swiss university.

If you are interested in an exchange semester or a work placement abroad, please do not hesitate to contact the International Office of your school for individual advice.

Incoming: studies and internships at BFH for students from abroad

Are you enrolled as a student at a university abroad and interested in studying at BFH? Or would you like to apply for a semester abroad or a work placement at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Information for international students is provided on the following pages:

Staff mobility

Outgoing: mobility for BFH staff

As a BFH employee, you can teach or continue your education at a European partner university. This helps you to expand your professional skills and network and enables you to be more involved in the international exchange of knowledge in your field of study.

BFH staff who are interested in teaching or further education in Europe can find more information on the myBFH intranet.

Incoming: mobility for employees of partner universities

Staff from BFH partner universities can spend time at BFH for education or continuing education purposes as part of the SEMP mobility programmes.

SEMP supports employees of partner universities with a cost contribution for stays of at least two days up to a maximum of two months. The cost contribution consists of a daily flat rate and travel expenses.

Will you be starting your job at Bern University of Applied Sciences soon? The BFH Welcome Centre supports you and helps you with all matters concerning life in Switzerland.

Global competence

According to the OECD (2018), global competence is a multi-dimensional construct that requires a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values successfully applied to global issues or intercultural situations. Global competence thus supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing the vision of education the SDGs advocate for, and by encouraging young people to act in the general interest of collective well-being and sustainable development that the SDGs embody.

Certificate of Global Competence

The “Certificate of Global Competence” (CGC) enables students to acquire intercultural, transcultural and linguistic competences as part of their regular studies and to demonstrate these to future employers.

You can obtain the certificate as a bachelor’s or master’s student. Due to different academic structures, each school defines its own customised implementation of the CGC.

Swiss Global Competence Lab

The Swiss Global Competence Lab (SGCL) is a transdisciplinary innovation platform that brings together experts from various fields to promote international innovation and collaboration.

Together with ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO), BFH is one of the four institutional members of the association.