Wednesday, 4 October 2023

The academic semester has begun and many local and international students discover the lecture halls, campus activities and student clubs. However, these two student groups hardly ever mix. Shuffle proposes a way of changing things on the campus of the University of Fribourg.

The call for participation in the Shuffle pilot project was opened early July, inviting motivated Higher Education Institutions to join an innovative digital adventure during two semesters. Shuffle is a mobile application that aims to foster interactions between local and international student communities. 

Unifr will be the pilot institution
The international relations office (IRO) of Unifr was immediately convinced by the aim of the app as Veronika Favre, Head of Office, explains, “the idea of better connecting local and international students through common interests and thus promoting cultural exchange between the two groups appealed to us very much.” At the end, the HEI was retained as the ideal candidate for the pilot project with its medium size campus and multiculturality. The app was launched at Unifr this September. 

The concept of Shuffle
Students post ideas for activities on the app, ranging from hikes to sports sessions, in the form of virtual cards and explore at the same time suggested activities from other users. If two students like each other's activity, they match and can do the activities together.

Shuffle is going to be promoted, tested and iteratively adapted 
Over two semesters, Unifr and the Shuffle team will collaborate to promote the app among the local and international students in order to generate feedback and to monitor its impact. The pilot phase is thereby financially supported by Movetia, offering a free package with a 2 semesters license worth 2'500 CHF/semester. On the one hand, the Shuffle team is excited to see the students’ response to the idea and to take their feedback to further improve the platform for the most suitable experience. On the other hand, the IRO of Unifr hopes to perceive a better integration of international students with the introduction of Shuffle, providing at the same time the local students with more opportunities to get in touch with exchange students and, in the long term, see an increase of international mobility.  

What are the next steps to come?
The priority at the beginning of the pilot project is the promotion of the app among the student population. Veronika Favre highlights that Unifr will disseminate the news with the support of the local section of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and the student councils. “We as the International Office pointed it out at the Welcome Sessions for incoming students at the beginning of the semester and are currently preparing various social media and news elements. Of course, information about the app is also provided via posters and flyers.” The Shuffle team wishes to work alongside the international office and the ESN community to reach all students and encourage them to interact on the app. They would also use this opportunity to understand how interactions work and use the insights to improve the application to suit other Higher Education Institutions in the following semesters. 

Shuffle in the context of Internationalisation at Home
Movetia would like to take the opportunity during the pilot phase to test new tools for strengthening "Internationalisation at Home". As a comprehensive concept that includes all international activities that do not involve mobility, "Internationalisation at Home" aims to raise awareness of the issue of internationalisation within the institution of higher education and to promote intercultural understanding within educational institutions. Movetia is expanding its offer in this regard: In addition to the financial support of mobilities and cooperations, activities should be initiated more often in the future that deal with current topics of the internationalisation of our education system.

More information about Shuffle
You can obtain more information by contacting the Shuffle team at: 

Or consulting the project website:

You can also follow them on 

and Linkedin: