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Practical Information

Practical Information

University of Geneva, Switzerland - Practical Information


The International Affairs Office organizes an orientation meeting for international students at the beginning of every semester. This meeting takes place on Friday in the week before lectures start. Participants will receive all relevant information on the orientation meeting before their arriving in Geneva.


On average, a student will need at least CHF 1,200 per month (food: CHF 600, cultural activities and leisure: CHF 250, communication: CHF 130, study materials: CHF 100, public transportation: CHF 45, health care/other insurances: CHF 80). This estimate does not include accommodation fees and depends on the student's spending habit. Accommodation fees are already covered by the EuroScholars Program Fee.

> Read more about the budget.


The University of Geneva offers participants of the EuroScholars Program a private room with shared facilities (with max. 4 persons). Rooms are located downtown, at a short distance from the University buildings.

> Read more about accommodation.

Health and accident Insurance

Medical and pharmaceutical costs are high in Switzerland. You must absolutely purchase medical and accident insurance upon your arrival.

  1. As an exchange student, you are eligible for health insurance at the price of CHF 80 per month.  Discounted insurance is available for mobility students (partnership negotiated with UNIGE). You are nevertheless free to choose any health and accident insurance provider that is recognized in Switzerland.
  2. The various available insurance options will be sent to you with your letter of acceptance.
  3. If you have private insurance, you can request recognition of its equivalence using the form “check form for the equivalence of Swiss health insurance 2019 “ (EN)

Ideally, this should be done before your arrival in Switzerland.

For more information, please contact Ms. Christa Lang at the University of Geneva.

Visa and Residence Permit

Depending on your nationality, you will need a visa to study in Geneva. It can take up to three months to obtain a visa.

  1. To enquire as to whether you need a visa or not, consult the website of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. If you have several nationalities, verify the conditions for each nationality as one of them may permit you to enter Switzerland without a visa.
  2. Once you have received your letter of acceptance, you may apply to the Swiss embassy in your country/region.
  3. Cost: Inquire at the Swiss Embassy of your country/region.
  4. Your visa allows you to enter Switzerland. Once in Switzerland you must ask for a residence permit. This is mandatory for all students. It costs approximately CHF 250 for the entire stay. Full details will be provided during the Orientation.


Study Facilities

Students can join in a wide range of activities, such as:

Student support

The International Affairs Office organizes some activities for international students during the academic year. International students are also invited to join in the International Students Association of Geneva’s University.

We also organize some parties and sail cruises on the lake during the year.

Photo: Université de Genève, Matthias Thomann

Student ID-Cards

The Student ID-Card will be given to the students at the orientation meeting. It entitles them to use students' facilities like the libraries and the university’s restaurants. Some theatres and bookstores also offer discounts for students.

Computer Access and Email account

Each faculty has its own computer rooms, accessible during daytime. All students at the University of Geneva receive an e-mail account and access to the university intranet website. All university buildings offer WiFi access.

For more information, please contact Ms. Christa Lang at the University of Geneva.


Students are entitled to use all academic and public libraries in Geneva. There are many research libraries, the BPU being the more important one, and over 50 faculty and department libraries, which offer access to approximately 5 million books and several thousands electronic resources. Many of them are open on Saturdays and even Sundays.

> Read more

Student Services

Each faculty has its study advisor(s) giving academic advice. In addition, there is an International Coordinator, who can give more information if needed.

Counseling Services

Sports and Recreational Facilities

Photo: Université de Genève, Jacques Erard

All students are members of the sports section of the University and are invited to take part in sports activities. There are many sports facilities (swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, ice skating). Furthermore there are lots of possibilities to sail or windsurf on the lake and the mountains surrounding Geneva are close enough to allow one-day skiing trips during the winter.
> Read more

Dance, photography, cooking courses and several other recreational activities are also organized for students.
> Read more


Geneva and its area offer a wide range of cultural and leisure activities: opera house, museums, concerts, sports events, music and dance festivals, bars, night clubs and discos.
Read more about the General tourist information on Geneva.

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