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Practical Information

University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Accommodation

The University of Zurich arranges accommodations (single rooms) for participants of the EuroScholars Program. Rooms are appointed in consideration of a student’s laboratory/working space; as a rule, accommodations closest to the lab will be offered. The rooms are all similar in style, with shared facilities (kitchen: four persons, bathroom: two persons), and measure 14 to 16 m2. All rooms are furnished and have Internet, TV, telephone (optional, extra costs), and kitchen equipment. Tenants have to supply their own bedding and are responsible for cleaning the apartment.

Cost of Living

The following is an estimate of the monthly cost of living in Zurich in CHF (Swiss Francs):
Rent (including heating): 690  (included in the EuroScholars fee)
Utilities (telephone, Internet): 140
Health and other insurance: 100
Meals: 450
Transportation: 100
Clothing, laundry, personal items: 100
Miscellaneous: 150
Total: 1730

More information can be found here.

Photo: Universität Zürich; Frank Brüderli

Health Insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for anyone staying in Switzerland longer than three months. The responsible office for health services requires international students to submit their health insurance policy. If your foreign policy meets Swiss requirements, you may be exempted from purchasing obligatory insurance. If not, you must take out a policy for basic insurance at a Swiss health insurance company. You are advised to not buy an additional health insurance policy in your home country. In most cases, foreign policies do not cover all the necessary points and you would have to buy an additional Swiss policy as well.
The student-run legal advisory service VSUZH offers help concerning health insurance.

Visa and Residence Permit

The International Relations Office at UZH helps visiting students obtain a visa. Students will receive the instructions and forms from the International Relations Office.
Residence permit: After entering Switzerland, you are required to register at the local resident’s registration office (“Kreisbüro”) in your neighborhood of residence. You have to bring a valid passport, your visa, two passport-size photographs, your rental contract, and confirmation of matriculation at UZH. Your residence permit and foreigner's identity card will be issued four to six weeks after registration. A fee is charged for both registration and the identity card.

Facilities

Orientation

Before the beginning of each semester, EuroScholars students must arrange a meeting with the International Relations Office; at the meeting, you will receive all relevant information individually. In the fall semester, there is a reception held by the President of UZH, giving EuroScholars students the opportunity to meet other international students.

Study Facilities

Various cafeterias at UZH and ETH (Federal Institute of Technology) provide a wide choice of food. Students can use their ID card to buy meals at a reduced price. More information on cafeterias can be found here (UZH) and here (ETH).

The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a European student organization that helps international exchange students feel at home in their host country.

ESN organizes various excursions (for example, city tours, ski and hiking weekends) and a monthly party or social gathering. ESN has established a mentoring system to bring foreign exchange students into direct contact with Swiss students who will help them get settled in Zurich. Visiting students can also put their name on a mailing list and find out what the current events are via the website.

There are also a large number of student societies, associations, and other organizations. More information is available here.

Photo: Universität Zürich; Ursula Meisser

Student Support

For mentoring opportunities, see Erasmus Student Network (see above).

Student ID

International students receive their student ID at the orientation event. Upon showing valid ID, you will receive a discount at the University’s cafeterias and at the student shops, where you can buy books, scripts, computers, and other study materials. Your ID also allows you to use the University’s sports facilities (see below).

Computer Access and E-mail Account

All students at the University of Zurich receive login data for their personal account, which includes a personal e-mail address, use of the Internet, and computer access at the University. You also need the login data for online enrollment for modules and courses. Help with using your account is offered online here and at the UZH office IT Services.

Libraries

Students have access to excellent public and academic libraries in Zurich. The main research libraries are the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (central library) and the Main Library of the University of Zurich. Together with the numerous academic libraries at the University’s departments and institutes, these collections contain more than 5 million volumes and a large number of electronic databases and journals. In addition, students can borrow books at more than eighty public and academic libraries from all over Switzerland via interlibrary loan. All libraries offer excellent facilities including computer access, reading rooms, and copy machines.

Student Services

More information on advisory services can be found here.

Sports and Recreational Facilities

The Academic Sports Association Zurich (ASVZ) operates four different sports centers and offers classes in over 80 different types of sports. There are also numerous and individual athletic and wellness offerings, such as solariums, saunas, and weight rooms.

Leisure and Entertainment

There is a vast amount of things to do in Zurich. Apart from internationally renowned institutions such as the opera house, the theater (Schauspielhaus), the concert hall (Tonhalle), and the art museum (Kunsthaus), there is a great variety of smaller venues providing abundant entertainment for all tastes. In addition to bars, night clubs, and discos, there are concerts in former factories, dance performances at the river, and art exhibits in secluded galleries; on Mondays, movies at all city theaters and plays at the Schauspielhaus are shown at reduced rates.

Detailed calendars of events are published on Thursdays in the city newspapers (Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Tagesanzeiger) and are available online.

There is also an exceptionally wide range of sports facilities available in the city – Zurich offers everything from ice skating to beach volleyball. In summer, the city’s numerous public swimming pools along the river and lake are especially popular. For more information, please check the homepage of the city of Zurich.

Public Transport

Public transport in the city of Zurich is a dense and well-planned network. There are buses, streetcars, regional trains, and even boats. Students under the age of 25 receive a discount. For students, bicycles offer an inexpensive alternative to public transport.