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The Swiss Guide For Exchange Students in Switzerland “Make the best of your Exchange Experience with ESN!“

Schweiz

Suisse

Svizzera

Svizra


Are you planning to go on exchange in Switzerland? Or maybe you are already here in the country of watches, mountains and chocolates. On behalf of the Erasmus Student Network Switzerland (ESN Switzerland), I warmly welcome you to our beautiful country! You will have the chance to learn a new culture, a new language, study in a different university, meet people from around the world but above all live a unique experience you will forever cherish. During your exchange semester or year, several questions will occur: “What to do in Spring? What type of mobile phone contract should I get? Where can I get cheap food?” The ESN Guide contains all these information and beyond: Swiss traditions, best destinations, tips and tricks, ESN activities, and an awesome contest to win tickets for the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe! The mission of ESN is to foster student mobility in Higher Education under the principle of “Student helping Students”. It is divided into more than 500 local sections in 40 countries and take care of more than 200’000 students. At the local level, the ESN sections volunteers organize trips, cultural events and also the buddy system for exchange students. To conclude, I would like to thank all the Swiss ESN sections for their collaboration and our partners for their support. Last but not least, I wish all of you an unforgettable stay in Heidi’s Land! Anaiz Martinez, Communication Manager of ESN Switzerland, January 2017

Contact and Publishing information ESN Switzerland 8400 Winterthur Cover photo:

Autor: McIntosh Natura, Arnisee Lake in Canton of Uri Switzerland, 24.08.2008 | commons.wikipedia.org

Project Authors:

ESN Switzerland, Winterthur, Switzerland board@esn.ch | www.esn.ch

Editor/Layout:

Anaiz Martinez, Fribourg, Switzerland booklet@esn.ch | www.esn.ch

Copyright:

ESN Switzerland, Winterthur, Switzerland board@esn.ch | www.esn.ch Remo Weber, Winterthur, Switzerland booklet@remo-weber.ch | www.remo-weber.ch

All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission of the owners. If any damage occurs - directly or indirectly - by the use of information presented here, neither the author nor ESN Switzerland is liable.

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Content

Welcome to Switzerland......................................................................................4 Switzerland‘s History............................................................................................5 Switzerland‘s Political System ..............................................................................6 Landesgemeinde.................................................................................8 Geographie..............................................................................................9 Swiss Values ........................................................................................................10 Seasons.................................................................................................12 Swiss Traditions ..................................................................................................16 Tips and Tricks ....................................................................................................21 Public Transport Overview ..............................................................................23 Finantial Matters and Markets .......................................................................25 Mobile Phones ....................................................................................................27 The Post ...............................................................................................................28 Erasmus Student Network (ESN) ...................................................................29 International Level .............................................................................................30 Projects...........................................................................................................31 Swiss National Level...........................................................................................34 Join ESN Team....................................................................................................35 ESN Switzerland..................................................................................................36 Intersection and National Events.....................................................................37 ESN Basel..............................................................................................................41 ESN Bern...............................................................................................................42 ESN Chur...............................................................................................................43 ESN Fribourg........................................................................................................44 ESN Geneva.........................................................................................................45 ESN UNI & EPF Lausanne................................................................................46 ESN Lugano..........................................................................................................47 ESN Neuchâtel....................................................................................................48 ESN Olten.............................................................................................................49 ESN St. Gallen.....................................................................................................50 ESN Winterthur...................................................................................................51 ESN Wädenswill..................................................................................................52 ESN Uni & ETH Zurich.....................................................................................53 The Swiss To Do List..........................................................................................54 How to go on exchange....................................................................................56 Contact of Universities and ESN Sections.......................................................58 Contact of Universities of Applied Science....................................................64

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Willkommen, Bienvenue, Benvenuto, Bainvegni, Welcome to Switzerland You are about to experience an exciting term or year abroad. This ESN Guide will spare you precious time looking for information and will prepare you for some typically Swiss quirks. In here, you will find answers to all the key questions that may arise before and during your stay in Switzerland. If while reading this booklet you come across any errors or missing information, please feel free to contact us at booklet@esn.ch. We have provided a lot of additional links, but do not hesitate to contact us, visit www.esn.ch and/or your local ESN section’s page to get more information, and the latest news and activities!

Content of the ESN Guide In the first part of this booklet, you will find historical facts and useful information that will help you discover your host country. It also includes some insightful survival tips. For example where to buy the cheapest food, common mistakes upon arrival, and much more. The second part of the booklet focuses on general information about the Erasmus Student Network, and last, but not least, the Swiss ESN sections introduce themselves and their cities.

Erasmus Student Network (ESN) The aim of ESN Switzerland is to make your stay an unforgettable experience. ESN activities take place all year long and offer you the best opportunity to meet locals and other incoming students, to get to know new places as well as Swiss traditions and, of course, to have lots of fun!

...Mobility is a lifestyle!

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Switzerland‘s History The Helvetians, a Celtic tribe, populated what is known as the Swiss Mittelland as well as present-day south-western Germany. Nowadays, the country code domain on the internet “.ch” is actually the abbreviation of the Latin name “Confederatio Helvetica” (Swiss Confederation). In 58 BC, Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire conquered the Swiss territory, their rule lasting until 401 AD. During the 5th century, the Burgundians conquered the western part of Switzerland and adopted the local language, which later became French. Aside from that, the Alemanni took control of northern Switzerland and their language gradually transformed into Swiss German dialects. Finally, Rhaetia and Ticino kept their Latin dialects, which evolved into Romansh and Italian. According to the legend, on the 1st of August 1291, representatives of the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden united on the Grütli (a meadow above Lake Lucerne) and swore the Grütli Oath. They agreed to become allies, and fight together against surrounding aggressors. This agreement is historically considered as the official formation of Switzerland, thus the Swiss National Day is celebrated on this day. From the 14th century to the 19th century, several cantons joined the Swiss Federation to become the Swiss Confederation in 1848, when the first federal constitution was written up. Surprisingly, it is only in 1971 that Switzerland voted for the implementation of women’s suffrage at federal level after a national (men) plebiscite. In 1992, in an emotional plebiscite, Switzerland’s entry to the European Economic Area (EEA) is overruled by 50.3% of the votes , and 8 years later the first bilateral treaty between Switzerland and the European Union is signed. The second followed in 2004. In 2002, Switzerland joins the United Nations, and in 2010, Switzerland is headed by a woman for the first time in its history.

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Switzerland‘s Political System Switzerland has a strong direct democracy. Swiss citizens have quite a lot of influence in daily political decisions. They are entitled to vote 3 to 4 times a year and they elect the parliament (two chambers) directly every 4 years.

The political levels Switzerland is a federalist state. This means that state powers are divided between the Confederation, the cantons and the communes. The cantons and communes have extensive powers and have their own sources of income. Federalism makes it possible to enjoy diversity within a single entity.

Political Structure of the Swiss Government In order to prevent any concentration or abuse of power, in Switzerland the powers of state are separated between three independent branches:

• Executive Power: Federal Council The Federal Council consists of 7 equal members, elected by the parliament. Its chairman (“primus inter pares”, the “President”) changes every year (Swiss people often do not know the name of their President as it changes every year!).

• Legislative Power: Federal Assembly The Federal Assembly is composed of two chambers. These two chambers have to find an agreement to pass a law.

The United Federal Assembly during Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey’s farewell speech in the National Council in Bern in 2011. (Keystone/Lukas Lehmann)

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National Council (Big Chamber): The National Council consists of 200 members, representing the Swiss people. The canton’s population is represented proportionally. Each canton has at least one seat. Council of States (Small Chamber): The Council of States consists of 46 members, representing the cantons. Every canton has two seats; half cantons have one seat each (half cantons are the result of a separation in two of a canton, therefore to the two parts of the former canton have a voice each).

• Judiciary Power: The Federal Court of Justice is located in Lausanne, Luzern, Bellinzona, St.Gallen and is the Swiss Supreme Court. Since the beginning of 2016, Switzerland is led by Mr Johann Schneider-Ammann (FDP) as chairman of the Federal Council. In 2017 another member of the Federal Council will become the chairman or chairwoman. This means that no one can be a member of more than one of the three federal authorities, parliament, the government or the supreme court - at the same time. Swiss politics are greatly influenced by the cantons and municipalities. For example, national policies allowed you to come for an exchange in Switzerland, but your University here might be managed by the canton and some of the public transports you use everyday are organized by municipalities. For more informations, please visit to folling webpage: www.admin.ch

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Landesgemeinde The Landsgemeinde is one of the oldest traditional forms of Swiss democracy and is still in use in the cantons of Appenzell Inner-Rhodes and Glarus. On a certain day, all eligible citizens of the canton or village gather in the open air to decide on laws and expenditures. They have the right to debate questions or submit an individual initiative.

Did you know...? ....the citizens of Glarus (GL) vote since 2005 by raising their voting devices (Stimmrechtsausweis) and that the president of the cantonal executive decides by eye? ....in Appenzell Inner-Rhodes (AI) the elections of the Governing Council and its member is accomplished by those in favour of a motion raising their hand or the Swiss military sidearm. The votes are only counted if the result is tight. ‌.Appenzell Inner-Rhodes (AI) was forced to let women vote in 1991 by the federal court.

Challenges The main problem of the Landsgemeinde is the fact that the votes are not anonymous as stipulated by the European Convention of Human Rights. An exception clause was therefore included for this Swiss tradition. The Swiss Federal Court additionally protected this kind of voting procedure. The biggest challenge is in the logistics, since this procedure requires a location where ten thousand people can gather for this annual event. An additional problem is people who vote without being entitled to do so or who were eligible but raised both hands. This is also the reason they created the so called Stimmrechtsausweise (voting devices).

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Geographie Rivers and Lakes: The Rhine is Switzerland’s biggest river and drains almost 68% of his water into the North Sea. Second comes the Rhône River, which drains 18% into the Mediterranean Sea. There are many other smaller rivers, ideal for taking a swim or doing a white water rafting trip. Besides the rivers, there are also about 1,500 lakes, which form Switzerland’s characteristic landscape. The biggest lake is Lake Geneva (which is half French), followed by Lake Constance (with a German and Austrian part), but probably the most well-known and most beautiful lake is situated in central Switzerland; Lake Lucerne. It is surrounded by imposing mountains and was used as scenery in Hans Schriber‘s famous saga of William Tell, written around 1477.

Glaciers and Mountains: With an area of 1,143 sq km, Swiss glaciers cover around 2.8% of the country‘s total surface. The largest and also one of the most well known glaciers is the Aletsch Glacier, with a length of 22.7 km. There you can find the Jungfraujoch (3.471 m) and the restaurant, where James Bond film was filmed. Not to forget one of the most emblematic mountains of Switzerland: The Matterhorn (4.478 m), one of the biggest mountains in the Alps, a place not to miss! Due to global warming the glaciers melt rapidly, but the melting water often flows into the mountain lakes and is then used to produce eco-friendly electricity.

Did you know...? ...Switzerland is often called the water tower of Europe and is known for its high water quality and quantity of supply. ...Water is almost everywhere potable and, in cities and hiking tracks, you can find water fountains, where you can fill in your bottle.

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Swiss Values There are two main pictures of Swiss values in the world: one which is inspired by the books “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri and “William Tell“ by Hans Schriber, which shows the Swiss citizens as traditional farmers and shepherds in the mountains. The other may have been influenced by the James Bond movies where Swiss people are shown as punctual, precise and reliable bank employees. The truth probably lies somewhere in-between.

Individualism: In Switzerland, many different people, cultures and religions live peacefully next to each other/ together. Most Swiss people follow a principle of “Live and let live”; the individual’s freedom ends where the others’ freedom begins to be affected.

Sovereignty:

Swiss people have always been committed to staying politically independent. This is probably the reason why Switzerland will not join the EU in the near future and waited until the year 2002 to become a full member of the United Nations.

Neutrality:

Since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Switzerland is a neutral country. It therefore hosts many international institutions and organisations (Red Cross, WTO, UN, etc.). and has acted on many occasions as an international mediator.

Punctuality: When you have a meeting or classes, the expectation for you to be on time is high, as it shows respect for one another. It is also highly recommended to be punctual for all other appointments, formal or not.

Innovation & Quality: The infrastructure in Switzerland allows it to be an innovative country, where research is highly appreciated. Thanks to this, Switzerland is amongst the top countries in Europe and therefore the label “Swiss Made” stands for high quality.

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Making local Friends in Switzerland: Swiss people are generally helpful but introvert, which could be interpreted as unfriendly, close-mouthed or sometimes even as arrogant by an outsider. But not only outsiders are facing this problem, Swiss people have sometimes trouble meeting other individuals too. The best way to get in contact with the local population is to join an association and to follow the local way of life. An association could be a sports club, a student organisation - like ESN - or a music organisation. It can be hard to make friends but once you have a Swiss friend you can count on them for life. If you think the language barrier is a problem, don’t you worry, they will find ways to communicate: multilingualism is key!

Cultural Activities Many Swiss are crazy about open air festivals. That is why there are lots of festivals which are held during the summer. There is also a wide range of cultural activities to enjoy, such as museum nights, open air theatres and historical trips. In the cities, you will find a versatile nightlife and lots of shopping possibilities. Besides the modern activities, there are many traditional ones. The contrast in Switzerland between towns and the countryside is really big. Whereas yodel, folk music and cattle exhibitions are still popular in the countryside (even with young people), they are often perceived as old-fashioned in urban areas. Townsfolk rather go to clubs, bars or cinemas with friends to have a good time. Before going out or finishing a long day of University, work or skiing, swiss people gather for an “Apero”. It consists in meeting with your friends and enjoy a drink together at home or in a pub. It’s also called Afterwork or Après-ski! For more information about the cultural activities in your city or if you would like to travel to another city to explore it, do not hesitate to contact your ESN section or the ESN section of the city for advices! We are always happy to help.

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Seasons Depending on the season, there are different activities to discover! Here are some tips on what you could do in each season and some events you shoudn‘t miss ;)

Spring: After a cold winter, spring warms you up and what better way to start the season with a bang than with the typical swiss carnivals (fasnacht). It is an old tradition, where people gather and enjoy each other’s company. In most of them, you have typical costumed bands playing in the streets and food trucks with Swiss meals and beverages. The one of the most famous is the Basel Fasnacht, that begins on Monday after Ash Wednesday with the “Morgestraich” at 4 am and lasts exactly 72 hours with music, costumes and parades. Rabadan in Ticino is also a not to miss carnival and each year attracts tens of thousands of people. It‘s also a great season to start with the hikings in the mountain as the weather allows you to explore amazing panoramas.

Date

Event

23-28. February

Rabadan in Bellinzona

06. March

Basel Fasnacht

31. March- 08. April

FIFF (International Film Festival Fribourg)

14. April

Interlaken Classic Music Festival

24. April

Sechseläuten in Zürich

20. Mai

Titanic Lemanique

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Summer: After a day of studies, a long night or a hiking trip, it is wonderful to have a refreshing swim in one of the many Swiss lakes or rivers. You can also go rollerblading or biking on trails around them and enjoy the proximity of nature and the beautiful views. The vast nature of Switzerland also allows you to disconnect from city life and reconnect with the call of the wild. Hidden high up in the mountains, if you follow one of the many hiking trails, you can also find deep blue natural pools (up to 4,600 m) ready for you to explore. Other great hikes can lead you to an overnight stay in a typical Swiss mountain refuge, the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) offers simple accommodation in huts for reasonable prices in the Alps. If you live for that adrenalin rush, you can go bungee jumping down the wall of one of the highest dams in Europe - at the same spot where James Bond jumped in Golden Eye (in Ticino) or paraglide off of some of the highest peaks. Furthermore, there are also glaciers where you can go skiing throughout the summer (Saas Fee, Zermatt).

Date

Event

23-25. June

FĂŞte de la music in Geneva

30. June-15. July

Montreux Jazz Festival

21-23. July

International Alphorn Festival in Nendaz

18-23. July

PalĂŠo Festival in Nyon

02-12. August

Film Festival Locarno

12. August

Street Parade Zurich

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Autumn Enjoy a train or bus ride through Switzerland’s colourful autumn landscape. The golden, shining vineyards in Valais or in the Lavaux (World Unesco Heritage Site) are especially recommended in this season. It’s also the perfect opportunity to go to the autumn fair (Herbstmesse) in Basel and besurprised by the exhibitions and activities planned for all the visitors. If you still have some time left, don’t miss the chance to visit museums. Probably the most famous are the Swiss Museum of Transport (Verkehrshaus) in Lucerne, the Swiss Technical Museum and Science Centre (Technorama) in Winterthur and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Date

Event

15. June- 15.October Alpabfahrt/ Désalpe (depending on the village) 28. October

Basler Herbstmesse

04-12. November

International Film & Televion Festival in Geneva

27. November

Zibelemärit, Onion Festival in Bern

November

Lucerne Trip

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Winter: Winter season traditionally starts with the Christmas markets. There’s no better way to get in the festive mood than go to Basel or Montreux. But don’t forget that Switzerland is an Eldorado for winter sports lovers. As the country is quite small, you can get to many resorts for skiing or snowboarding pretty quickly from anywhere. Winter sports can be quite expensive, especially in big resorts, but the price is worth it. Check in the SBB website for the Snow’n’Rail to get convenient deals! There is not only the possibility to go skiing, but also to go on snowshoe hikes or eat fondue with friends in the Alps, enjoying the spectacular mountain scenery and its surroundings. So don’t forget to bring your winter clothes to keep you warm!

Date

Event

24. Nov.- 24. December

Montreux Christmas Market

6. December

St. Nikolas Fribourg

16-21. January

Grindelwald Snow Festival

21-29. January

International Balloon Festival Château d‘Oex

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Swiss Traditions National Day (1rst August) On 1st August 1291, the three ancient cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden signed the Federal Charter (according to a legend on the Rütli Meadow above Lake Lucerne) and pledged alliance. This day became the National Holiday and it is celebrated with fireworks, paper lanterns and bonfires in the mountains, which remind of the liberation from the Habsburgs in 1291.

Chalandamarz The “Chalandamarz” (1st March) is an old and famous rite of the RhaetoRomanic part of Switzerland and dates back to the time of the Romans. Back then, the 1st March was the first day in the new year and the rite was an a empt to banish the evil spirits. Nowadays it is used to drive out the spirits of winter and it is practised by young people cracking whips, singing and ringing cow bells.

Escalade On 11th December 1602, the Duke of Savoy attacked Geneva by trying to climb over the town wall (French: “escalade”) which failed, thanks to the heroic defenders. Nowadays, Europe’s biggest historic deployment is celebrated annually, the weekend before or after December 11th, to commemorate this feat.

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Food Switzerland has more than 450 different kinds of cheese. Fondue and Raclette are some of the most famous Swiss dishes made with cheese, and you will find that Swiss people have their own recipes for the fondue. Sbrinz, Tête de moine, Tilsiter, Appenzeller, Emmentaler, Raclette, Vacherin Mont-d’or, Tomme vaudoise, Vacherin fribourgeois and Gruyère are probably the most well-known cheese of Switzerland, but each region has its own delicious local products which vary in taste, texture and type of milk (cow, sheep or goat milk). Also try the tasteful Alpine cheese! Don‘t forget to try the swiss chocolate. Is world famous and really delicious. There are many local chocolatiers (chocolate makers) which offer a huge variety of specialities.

Beverages There are many beverages which you can try during your stay in Switzerland. Rivella, is a well-known brand and is a milk serum soft drink (where red is the standard drink, blue the light one and green a green tea extract). Its name follows the Italian word “Rivelazione” which means revelation. Another typical beverage, which has a long tradition in Switzerland, is Beer. Popular brands are Eichhof, Falken, Feldschlösschen, Haldengut, Schützengarten, Quöllfrisch and many other ones found in all the regions. But don‘t forget to try the swiss wine. You can find vineyards all over the country! Kirsch, Appenzeller Bitter, Bündner Röteli and other fruit brandies are typical swiss spirits that can be frequently enjoyed after a meal. In the next page you will see a map wit some traditional food of the regions. Of course, there are many other typically Swiss dishes that are not mentioned here, but now it‘s your chance to explore them yourself!

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Berner Platte in Bern

Croûte au fromage in Neuchâtel

→ a meal consisting of different meats and sausages. Mostly served with sauerkraut or green beans and boiled potatoes.

→ a dish made of grilled cheese and eggs on a big slice of bread moistened with white wine.

Meringues with double cream in Fribourg → a pastry made of sugar and egg white and usually served with a thick cream from the region of Gruyère.

Gratin de cardon and a Longeole in Geneva → a type of artichoke baked in a gratin cream and cheese sauce. Usually served with Longeole, an unsmoked pork sausage.

Raclette in Sion

“Papet vaudois” in Lausanne → a dish of potatoes and leeks mixed together served with a pork and cabbage sausage.

→ half of a cheese wheel grilled and spread on top of potatoed. Usually served with pickles and tiny onions.

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Mehlsuppe in Basel

Zürcher Geschnetzeltes in Zurich

→ a flour soup served during the famous carnival of Basel and made of flour, onions, cheese and beef broth.

→ a plate of sliced veal in a creamy sauce with mushrooms. Usually served with Röstis.

St. Galler “Schüblig” in St-Gallen → a well-known sausage from this region and is mostly served with potatoes or bread and mustard.

Älplermagronen in Lucerne → a meal consisting of macaroni, potatoes, cheese, cream and roasted onions. Often served with apple purée.

Polenta in Lugano

Bündner Gerstensuppe in Chur

→ a dish made from boiled cornmeal. For centuries, it was regarded as a meal for the poors.

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→ a solid soup with barley and potatoes.


Sports/ Games: Hiking is one of the most popular sports activities for young and old. It allows you to take a break from your usual routine and you can enjoy the beautiful nature of Switzerland. Swiss Wrestling (Schwingen) is the Swiss variant of folk wrestling and considered a Swiss national sport. The champion wrestler is chosen at the national wrestling and Alpine festivals held every 3 years. Cow fighting is a traditional, usually bloodless event which determines the queen cow leading the herd up to the Alpine meadows Jass is the name of a very popular card game and sometimes considered the national game in Switzerland.

www.myswitzerland.com

Music: Yodelling (the voice rapidly and repeatedly changes from the vocal chest register to the head register) was probably developed in the Swiss Alps as a means of communication between mountain peaks and became later part of the region‘s traditional music. The SchwyzerĂśrgeli is a type of diatonic button accordion used in Swiss folk music. It has a unique tuning called Schwyzerton. The Alphorn is a wind instrument, consisting of a natural wooden horn of conical bore, having a cup-shaped mouthpiece. Similar horns can also be found in other mountainous regions.

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Tips and Tricks Switzerland is generally separated into regions by the four main language groups; each group ‘dominates’ a specific part of the country. The culture is very different from the South (Italian) to the North (German) and from the West (French) to the East (Romansh). Multilingualism is an integral part of the Swiss culture and most of the population often speaks at least two languages. Foreigners living in Switzerland also contribute to the country‘s linguistic diversity. Although there are 4 official national languages and many Swiss are multilingual, do not assume everyone speaks all of them. For some, English can be the „second language“ even if they studied another official language at school. As arriving in another country without knowing the language is always difficult, here are some words that might help you out at the beginning of your journey:

Dictionary: English

German (CH)

French (CH)

Italian (CH)

Hello

Hallo/ Grüezi

Salut

Ciao

Good morning

Guten Morgen

Bonjour

Buon giorno

Please

Bitte

S‘il vous plaît

Per favore

Thanks

Danke

Merci

Grazie

Sorry

Entschuldigung

Desolé

Scusi

How much...?

Wie viel...?

Combien...?

Quanto...?

Where is...?

Wo ist...?

Où c‘est...?

Dov‘é...?

Toilet

Toilette

Toilet

Bagno

Beer

Bier

Bière

Birra

Cheers

Prost

Santé

Salute

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If you don’t know the country well, you might make some common mistakes upon arrival. But not to worry, these following hints can help you out to be more at ease:

Greetings: People in Switzerland greet with 3 kisses on the cheek in a friendly or familiar environment. When you don’t know the person, you typically greet them with a formal handshake. If you arrive at a ,usually smaller, social event, you should greet everyone individually in order not to be considered as rude.

Recycling: The separation of rubbish is really appreciated and recommendable and to do so, there are many waste bins at your disposal. Usually an apartment building or student residence will have appropriate “eco points” available to sort the rubbish. Littering is also strongly frowned upon. Be carefull with this, if you don‘t do it, you might get a fine!

Tips: Tips in restaurants and bars are not necessary as service is already included in the price, but if the service is worth it, a tip is recommended (5-10%).

Shopping: Most shops and supermarkets are closed after 6-7 pm and on Sundays, as Swiss people enjoy spending this day with family or friends and doing outdoor activities such as hiking.

Lunch: After 2 PM you may not find easily a restaurant who serves „warm“ food. The best option in this cases is to grab a salad or a sandwich at the supermarket. In many cities, you have “street food” such as special kinds of sausages (“Bratwurst”) with bread in many corners of the german part of Switzerland. For the Italian and french part, the easiest solution after 2 PM is togo eat a kebab or pizza.

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Public Transport Overview Public Transportation in Switzerland is very well developed . You can travel to almost anywhere in the country without a car. Big cities are connected at least half-hourly, smaller localities at least hourly by train or bus. Even small villages in the mountains are connected several times daily. Before entering the vehicle you need to have your ticket; otherwise you have to pay a fine, depending on the transport and on the region.

Railways: Most of the rail infrastructure is maintained and operated by the state-owned SBB (in French: CFF; in Italian: FFS). Every medium-size town has a railway station. Apart from the SBB, there are several private train operators (SBB ticket is also valid). You also have the possibility to book a journey with an old steam engine and the original rail cars.

Buses/ Tramways: Most municipalities offer some bus lines. A major state-owned provider of interurban bus transportation is the “Postauto�, a bus operated by the Swiss Post. They also connect some tourist spots in the mountains. All the big cities have their own tramway or bus system.

Ships/ Navigation There are fleets on all Swiss lakes. Most of the ships are used for tourism and public transportation. Ask if your train ticket is also valid there (Travel cards are usually valid on the boats).

Tickets: Super Saver If you buy your super saver ticket in advance on the website of the SBB or on their app, you can have a discount (20%-50%) in the price of the selected ticket. However, you then have to stick to the selected time, whereas normal tickets can be used anytime in the selected day.

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Half-Fare Travelcard With this card, you only pay half-price on most of the public transportation systems. If you are staying in Switzerland for several months and plan to travel long distances by train from time to time, we highly recommend to buy this card - it pays off very quickly.

Track 7 This one year valid card (add-on to the Half-Fare Travelcard ) allows you to travel for free in trains departing and arriving (?) between 7 pm and 5 am (night fares have to be paid separately!). You can buy this card until one day before your 25th birthday. With this pass, you can travel very inexpensively, if you time and plan your trips accordingly. It is a must have for exchange students because it allows you to travel basically for free!

1 day Travelpass The 1-day Travelpass (add on to the Half-Fare Travelcard) provides you with unlimited travel for one day on railway, (most) boats and postbus lines, as well as on tram and bus networks in most Swiss cities and agglomerations. It also provides a discount on most mountain railways.

Swiss Travel Pass The Swiss Travel Pass is your all-in-one ticket to travel by rail, road and waterway throughout the whole of Switzerland It includes free travel on public transport in 75 towns and cities, free admission to more than 490 museums, 50% discount off most mountain railways and much more! Visit their hopmepage to have mor informations.

GA Travelcard With this card, you can use Switzerland’s whole public transportation network (including lake boats, private railways etc.) for free, with a few minor exceptions. You have to buy it for a minimum period of at least four months. There is a special price for students younger than 25. Don‘t forget to download the free SBB/CFF mobile application to check timetables, buy tickets and to check their website for more information! www.sbb.ch

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Finantial Matters and Markets Currency: Switzerland’s currency is the Swiss franc and has a fairly stable exchange rate of 1Euro = 1.05-1.10 CHF since 2015. The smaller denomination, which is worth a hundredth of a franc, is called “Rappen” (German), “Centime” (French) or “Centesimo” (Italian). It has been a very stable currency during times of crisis and is therefore called “safe haven”. As the inflation always has been low, you still find coins from the early 20th century in circulation. To guarantee the protection against forgery, the bank notes have been replaced several times.

Banks: There are several options to open a bank account. You can choose between the two big leaders: UBS and Crédit Suisse and, of course, the many smaller banks, like Cantonal Banks, Migrosbank, Bank Coop, Raiffeisen Bank and many more. Another possibility is Postfinance of the Swiss Post. For exchange students, Postfinance is the easiest way to get a post account, because you do not need a domicile confirmation as with normal bank accounts. On the other hand, banks often offer special student conditions (like credit card for free or a bonus program). Banks are usually open from 9 am to 5 pm on working days and closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) can be found almost everywhere.

Payments: Besides cash, credit cards (VISA / MASTERCARD) are widely accepted. Invoices usually have to be paid within 30 days. Afterwards, you often have to pay a 5% p.a. penalty and additional administrative fees. In Switzerland, it is common to pay an invoice at the post office with the received payment slip . Of course, it is also possible to pay invoices via e-banking. You just have to copy the payment slip information into the electronic form.

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Supermarkets: Migros and Coop are the two big players in the Swiss supermarket scene. Have a look at the low-budgetlines in their assortments: “M-Budget” of Migros and “Prix Garantie” of Coop. Even though their packaging might simple, the quality exceeds the expectation many have about low-budget-products and even swiss students love these low-budget-lines. Migros and Coop have a vast product range: from food and household articles over mobile phone and bank services to tank stations. Both Coop and Migros are cooperatives. There are a few good discounters as well in Switzerland most importantly Aldi, Lidl and Denner (under others) with a small product range. Denner is widely spread and belongs to Migros; Aldi and Lidl are way less common and are independent.

Opening hours: Opening hours vary from canton to canton and in some cases even inside the same town or village. Most stores close no later than 7pm and even earlier on Saturdays. Some big stores can have extended opening hours until 8pm or, in rare cases, 9 pm. As last minute option, there are a few gas stations (Migrolino) with extended opening hours and most importantly Coop Pronto. Coop Pronto is more expensive than the regular Coop but is open until 10pm or 12pm. They are often found near train stations. Banks are open only on weekdays, usually from 9 am until 5 pm. Bigger postal offices are also opened on Saturday and on Sundays, regular stores are closed. Only a few shops in bigger train stations and tank stations are open.

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Mobile Phones Getting a Swiss phone number can be a hassle. Some providers ask for a lot of paperwork, others don’t even accept temporary visas! If you chose one of the three main providers, Swisscom, Salt and Sunrise, the monthly plans are more advantageous but a pre paid SIM card from a secondary provider is the most economic option.

Swisscom: Monthly plans start at 25 chf per month with unlimited calls to other Swisscom numbers, unlimited SMS plus 500 Mo of data. They also offer prepaid cards, with calls costing 0.29 chf per minute, SMS 0.15 chf each and data packages starting at 5 chf for 200 Mo. www.swisscom.ch

Salt: The basic monthly plan costs 19 chf per month including unlimited

calls to Salt numbers, 30 minutes of calls to other Swiss numbers, unlimited SMS and 1.5 Go of data. The prepaid option costs 10 chf with 20 chf of credit included. Calls to Switzerland cost 0.49 chf each, lasting up to 60 minutes, SMS cost 0.12 chf and data starts at 1.99 chf per day. It is also possible to call the EU, Brazil and Turkey for 0.01 chf per minute. www.salt.ch

Sunrise: The first monthly plan starts at 20 chf per month including free

calls to Sunrise numbers, unlimited SMS to Swiss numbers and 500 Mo of data. Calls to other Swiss numbers cost 0.30 chf per minute. www.sunrise.ch

LycaMobile: Prepaid cards are available for free at every Kiosk with their

logo and the options available are very flexible and can be combined. They have data packages starting at 2 chf for 120 Mo and minutes+SMS packages starting at 12 chf for 200 minutes and 200 SMS. They also offer special prices for international calls which can be very inexpensive depending on which country you wish to call. www.lycamobile.ch

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The Post The postal service in Switzerland is very efficient, albeit a tad more expensive than in other European countries. There are offices in almost every city and village and their services are extremely varied, going from bus services in smaller agglomerates, to banking, to simply letter shipment. All the information about sending and receiving mail, transfers and payments can be found on the website www.post.ch/en.

The Post also has two free mobile apps. The first is called “Swiss Post App” which can be used to track the packages you sent, find the closest post office and determine the price of a specific service. The second application the “PostCard Creator” which allows you to send one free Post Card per day directly from pictures you have taken. The Post takes care of printing and sending it for free, so don’t hesitate to send also one to your ESN section (go to glosssary to find the post address of your section!).

www.poste.ch www..postcardcreator.post.ch

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Erasmus Student Network (ESN) ESN is a non-profit international student organisation. Our mission is to represent international students, thus providing opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development under the principle of “Students Helping Students”. ESN was created on 16 October 1989 and was legally registered in 1990 for supporting and developing student exchanges. It is composed of more than 500 local sections in 39 countries working in 800 Higher Education Institutes (Universities, Polytechnical schools, Universities of Applied Scienceor ts, Colleges of Education, etc.) and it is constantly developing and expanding to offer its services to around 200,000 international students every year.

Our Values • Unity in diversity, diversity in unity (we all have different backgrounds, but share one common aim and goal) • Fun in friendship and respect (we enjoy relationships based on respect and understanding) • International dimension of life (we are open-minded and mobile, we like to discover and explore, to co-operate and to interact, to break borders) • Openness with tolerance (we understand and accept others and learn from them) • Cooperation in the integration (we share an holistic view towards internationality)

Our Aims • Work in the interest of international students • Work to improve the social and practical integration of international students • Represent the needs and rights of international students on the local, national, and international level • Provide relevant information about mobility programmes • Motivate students to study abroad • Facilitate the reintegration of homecoming students • Contribute to the improvement and accessibility of student mobility

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International Level The International Board of ESN is the executive body of ESN. It consists of five members: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Communication Manager and Web Project Administrator. Since September 2005, the International Board is working at the headquarters in Brussels. It can take any decision except when it comes to budgetary, strategic, and policy matters. The Board is elected in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year.

AGM The Annual General Meeting is the main decision-making event of ESN International as all the network’s official sections are invited to make decisions about how ESN should be run the following year. As the AGM is a perfect opportunity to exchange information between all the sections and get updates on the international board and international committees.

Regional Plattform In order to talk about issues that will be matters of discussion at the AGM, to exchange best practices about local activities and to start partnerships with other sections, ESN sections have the opportunity to meet at the Regional Platforms: • Northern European Plattform: DK, EE, FI, IS, LV, NO, SE • Central European Plattform: AT, CZ, HR, HU, LT, PL, SK, SI • South-Eastern European Plattform: BA, BG, CY, GE, GR, MK, RO, RS, TR • South-Western European Plattform: ES, FR, IT, MT, PT • Western European Plattform: BE, CH, DE, IE, LU, NL, UK

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Projects Buddy system The Buddy System gives exchange students the possibility of “having a local friend of their own”. This programme is a great opportunity for exchange students to connect with locals, get help settling in and integrating the local community. You can get information about the ESN Buddy System of your host university on the local ESN sections’ homepage or by asking any ESN members.

ESN Card The ESNcard is the magic key for many ESN activities. It gives you cheaper access to trips, parties and other activities organised by ESN sections locally and internationally. There are many special deals for ESNcard holders. For further details on discounts check ESNcard.org and the partners homepage of your ESN according section! Get an ESNcard from your ESN section.

ESNSurvey Every year, ESN launches a survey that explores the current issues connected to academic and non-academic mobility. Since 2005 more than 80,000 students responded to the annual online survey. Through the gathered students’ opinions, ESN gets a better insight into the issues and is therefore able to better represent the students. ESN shares the results with the main stakeholders in higher education and mobility programmes. Don’t forget to share your experience to help us improve the system.

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Tandem Tandem is a system of learning or improving foreign languages with another student during individual meetings by exchanging knowledges. When and where is up to you and your tandem! It is also a chance to gain a better insight in another culture through someone like you. Check if your University or an other organization sets up meetings for you to find a Tandem.

Eduk8 Eduk8 is ESN‘s international training project aiming to empower ESN members to allow them to perform better in their ESN daily tasks. The aim is to create a pool of trainers empowered with the tools and knowledge needed to educate fellow members in the network. Every day ESN‘ers all over Europe, work hard to support and develop our association and while doing so they gain new skills and competences.

www.eduk8.esn.org

SocialErasmus The aim of the SocialErasmus project is to involve young citizens during their mobility experience through volunteering activities that take social action, fostering change in the society. International students are invited to volunteer in the framework of the SocialErasmus project under eight main areas of action: animals, disasters, discrimination, education, environment, health, poverty and violence.

www.socialerasmus.esn.org

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ExchangeAbility ESN is a vital part of the mobily system of Swiss universities, especially when it comes to support incoming students with their new daily routine in Switzerland. As studying abroad can be even more challenging for students with disabilities when facing inaccessible environments and disability-related stereotypes, ESN developed the ExchangeAbility project to make our organisation more accessible. This project aims to help remove obstacles to participation in exchange and promote the opportunities available.

MappED! is a follow up on the ExchangeAbility project, and as such will provide students with information regarding the accessibility of not only university facilities, but also the surrounding establishments and services available in the city. It will do so via a digital platform with an improved interface that will be available both as a web portal and as a mobile application. Swiss higher education institutions are committed to making all reasonable efforts to ensure the integration of students with disabilities into the university environment with access to all courses and facilities. Please don‘t hesitate to contact your Higher Education Institude, visit the FB page of ExchangeAbility Switzerland or check the following webpages:

www.exchangeability.eu www.uniability.ch www.inclusion-handicap.ch

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Swiss National Level National Board (NB) The National Board is responsible for the communication between the sections as well as the communication with partners and institutions outside ESN. Furthermore, the National Board cares for the knowledge management, the organisation of National Events and the support of the sections.

National Representative (NR) The National Representative represents the voice of the sections within the international area. The NR expresses the country’s opinion and gives feedback on various issues presented at the international level.

National Platform (NP) The National Platform takes place three times per academic year. The third one, usually in May, is also the general meeting of ESN Switzerland during which the new National Board is elected. At the NP, members of the different Swiss sections meet and discuss current topics concerning ESN Switzerland, during plenaries, workshops and small sessions. The NP includes a social programme besides the plenaries in order to allow the ESNers to meet informally and create links to strengthen the network.

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Join ESN Team You want to discover an international environment or keep in touch with it after your exchange? Then we recommend you to join the local ESN section at your home university. If there is no ESN section in your city yet, then there is nothing more challenging and more rewarding than starting a local section with your friends and other former exchange students.

ESN members are: • Willing to work for ESN’s main principles • Internationally minded and very mobile • Active and dynamic • Multilingual and communicative

Advantages for Members: Besides being in contact with an international environment, a commitment as an active ESN member offers you many possibilities such as: • Manage independently successful projects • Develop soft skills • Attend trainings and conferences all over Europe • Practice foreign languages • Make new friends from all around the world • Attend fun events in your city, Switzerland and Europe

How to Set Up a New ESN Section: First check www.esn.org/content/section-information if there already is an ESN section at your university. If there is none, go to www.esn.org/ content/become-section where you can find all information needed to set up a new section. Don’t hesitate to contact existing ESN sections or the National Board for advice.

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ESN Switzerland We are 15 Swiss sections who represent the ESN spirit. Each section is composed from 5 to 60 active members, who help the incoming students to integrate in their city. The official spoken language between the sections is english, but in the section itself depends on them. During the year, there are local events and intersection/ national events for you to enjoy!

If you have any questions regarding your stay in Switzerland, don‘t hesitate to contact one of our sections or ESN Switzerland directly! We are glad to help! Don‘t forget to follow ESN Switzerland (@esn_ch) and your section in the following channels:

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Intersection and National Events An Intersection Event is an event organized by at least 3 Swiss sections for exchange students. This gives a good opportunity to the sections and the international students to get to know new people and experience Switzerland in a fun way. A National Event is an event, where all the 15 sections and their exchange students participate and help out, to make your Erasmus experience unforgettable. Several Intersection and National Events take place all around Switzerland. The National Board encourages all Swiss sections and all exchange students living in Switzerland to participate and experience one of these awesome events :)

International Erasmus Games Do you like sports? Have you ever dreamed of competing on an international level? Then you should take the chance and participate on your local or national Erasmus Games to have the chance to go to the International Erasmus Games. There are three different sports: • Futsal: team of 5 (at least 1 woman on the field), max. 2 substitutes • Volleyball: team of 6 (at least 2 woman on the field), max. 2 substitutes • Futsal: team of 3 (no restrictions), max. 2 substitutes Normally you sign up as a group, but it‘s also possible to sign up as individual and the organisators will then try to arrange groups for you. Don‘t worry, you don‘t have to be a pro to sign in! We just want you to have a good time ;) See you at the gym. Ask your section directly for more informations!

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Titanic Lemanique Organized since 2013, the Titanic Lémanique is a 1920’s themed gala cruise for exchange students of all over Switzerland. During a four-hour cruise on the biggest boat of Lake Geneva, the guests embark on a fantastic journey back to the roaring 20’s. Fancy dresses, breathtaking views and incredible music are part of the event. The gala cruise is the closing event of the year for ESN Switzerland and its exchange students. Organized jointly by ESN Uni Lausanne and ESN EPF Lausanne, this incredible event represents the culmination of an academic exchange for more than 600 students. With 70+ staffs, two live bands, a casino, various animations such as a live magician show, a wedding stand, a professional photo stand and a live Cluedo-like game on board, Titanic Lémanique is an event not to miss! This year, on Saturday the 20th of May 2017, take the chance and embark for the cruise of a lifetime on beautiful lake Geneva. See you on board!

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Lucerne Trip The trip to Lucerne is different from other trips since its participants come from various ESN local sections from Switzerland. Our goal is to bring up to 200 Erasmus and ESNers to Lucerne to make it the biggest intersection week-end organized by Swiss sections.

On Saturday, there will be a citytour of Lucerne and the Gletschergarten Museum, then we will attend a traditional Alphorn Concert, where exchange students can try to play the alphorn afterwards. At night, all be gathered together to enjoy a meal and after to go to one of the biggest clubs in Switzerland. On Sunday, participants are split into 5 or 6 groups which are going to do different activities around the Lucerne area, including climbing to MountRigi, visiting a cheese factory, entering a real Swiss bunker, etc. Excursions are open to all participants, regardless of their section, so that people from different places can get mixed up and get to make new friendships in this amazing event! Every ESNer of the participating sections contribute actively to the event and help out in the activities to make sure you spend an amazing time in Luzern.

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Grand Schwarzwald Trip What do ESNers do day in day out? They work hard and they play harder. But how do they get this energy? Usually the ESN spirit is enough but one section thought: Why not make a recovery event in a spa hotel? ESN Olten dared to present this event at the National Platform as was greeted with amazing support. With many sections sending exchange students as well as helpful members this National Event was in its first edition and is called: the „Grand Schwarzwald Weekend“. Up to 200 ESNers from all over Switzerland embarked on a wonderful journey to the legendary Black Forest in Germany. The group travelled together from Olten and arrived within a few hours in the St. Anna Spa Hotel which was booked only for ESN. The programme included an international dinner, meals throughout the weekend, Olympic Games, Bad-Taste Movember and Toga parties, all-inclusive relaxation in the spa, hiking , and cultural activities - basically anything you can think of - in ONE weekend!

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ESN Basel Language of the canton of Basel: German

Section: Since its founding in 2006, ESN Basel is organizing everything to make the stay for exchange students at University of Basel a little more pleasant. Whether it is organizing „Welcome Events“, „Pub Tours“, „City Trips“ or other activities around Basel, the section’s members are organizing it. The team has an open ear for questions about the city and its university and is happy to make the events happening, that are wished by the incoming students.

The city: Basel is the third biggest city in Switzerland, after Zurich and Geneva. It is the centre of North-Western Switzerland, bordering Germany and France. This special geographical position is called “Dreiländereck” (border triangle). Thanks to this, it is possible to easily visit all three countries during your stay. The city’s motto is “Basel beats differently”, which is absolutely true! Basel has a traditional, but lively culture and an international air. Identification with the city is exceptionally high not only among the city‘s population, but also among those who live in the city‘s suburbs and beyond.

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ESN Bern Language of the canton of Bern: German and French

Section: The ESN Bern section consists of around 25 volunteers, who try to make the stay of the incoming students in Bern as unforgettable as possible. We offer a variety of services, such as a buddy system or mentoring program, many different cultural events, a regular language exchange event, adventurous trips as well as parties. These activities should help the „Erasmi� get to know the universities better as well as the city of Bern, the whole country of Switzerland and last but not least to get in touch with each other and the locals. ESN Bern unites the University, the University of Applied Sciences and the College of Education of Bern.

The city:

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and the seat of the Swiss government. The picturesque old town of Bern is on the list of the UNESCO cultural heritages and is a very cosy and open-minded city. Bern’s inhabitants are famous for their satisfied and unhurried way of life.

The historical University of Bern was founded in 1834 and today is the third biggest in Switzerland with more than 14,000 residential students and around 180 exchange students. Bern is close to the Bernese Alps and therefore an ideal starting point for winter sports enthusiasts.

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ESN Chur Language of the canton of Grisons: German, Italian and Romansh

Section: The Chur section was created in 2010 as a part of the “Studentenschaft der HTW” but is now active on its own since 2011. We organise events for our incoming international and exchange students during their stay at HTW Chur. When attending our activities they get to know the city better as well as more local students. They also have the opportunity to get a buddy whose aim is to help them during their new lives in Chur.

The city: Chur is said to be the oldest city in Switzerland and acts as the gateway to the “Bündner” (Grisons) mountains. The small but charming city offers not only various cultural activities but is also a paradise for sports lovers. Those who like to discover Chur by night will find interesting venues in “Welschdörfli”, a street made up of bars and clubs as well as the usual afterparty-Kebab stands. “Brambrüesch”, the city’s local mountain, is the ideal escape from the busy city life. In summer it offers nice trails to hike up and mountain biking. In the winter it is a close option for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

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ESN Fribourg Language of the canton of Fribourg: German and French

Section: The ESN Fribourg team is composed of volunteers from different backgrounds from all over the globe, all with different study fields and interests but with one common intention: To make your Erasmus stay awesome! We believe that mobility should be a very important aspect in everybody‘s life as it brings independence, cultural understanding and open-mindedness. We love to organise all sort of different events for you, and that is why we all joined ESN.

The city: Fribourg/Freiburg is a bilingual city at the border of French speaking and German speaking Switzerland. There is no better city to give you an insight into Swiss diversity. The surrounding region offers everything you would like to see in Switzerland: impressive mountains, beautiful lakes and rivers, chocolate and cheese factories and so on. The beautiful city is famous for its medieval old town located on the Sarine River. From the 40‘000 inhabitants, around 10‘000 are students from different countries. As an Erasmus student you will find affordable accommodations and activities, student nightlife and of course lots of interesting people. Perhaps you had never heard of Fribourg before, but once you are here you will never want to leave!

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ESN Geneva Language of the canton of Geneva: French

Section: The activities offered by ESN Geneva are no less dynamic and varied than its participants and reflect far more than just the Swiss way of life! Exchange students have the opportunity to visit the most important sites in Geneva, such as the UN and CERN. Besides that, ESN Geneva also offers a weekly pub night in the most alternative and unique bars and the possibility to have dinner in little known artisanal restaurants. This gives exchange students the opportunity to experience parts of Geneva they otherwise would never see.

The city: Embedded between nearby Alpine peaks and Jura’s hilly terrain, the French-speaking city of Geneva lies in the bay where the Rhone leaves Lake Geneva. With its humanitarian tradition and cosmopolitan air, Geneva is known as the “capital of peace”.

The city hosts the European seat of the UN and the headquarters of the Red Cross. The University of Geneva is the second largest University in Switzerland.

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ESN UNI & EPF Lausanne Language of the canton of Vaud: French

Section: Lausanne has two sections that take care of exchange students: ESN Uni Lausanne and ESN EPF Lausanne. Both strive to make the stay of exchange students exceptional by helping them organise their stay in Lausanne, discover the country in a multitude of ways and meet locals and other exchange students easily. Among the numerous activities organised are ski weekends, hikes, visits of famous Swiss cities and sites,

wine tasting, pub nights, theme parties, etc. Lausanne is also the host of the famous Titanic Lémanique gala cruise which, once a year, brings together 800 students from all around Switzerland.

The city: Lausanne, the Olympic Capital, is not only for sports lovers. Lausanne spreads around part of Lake Léman and offers gorgeous views of the Alps and neighbouring France. The old city has many stories to tell and monuments to discover, like the old cathedral. The region is also home to the famous “Béjart Ballet” company, the incredible vineyards of “Lavaux”, a great choice of interesting museums and theatres, etc. Finally, Lausanne has many universities and other higher education institutes, which makes it a great student city.

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ESN Lugano Language of the canton of Ticino: Italian

ESN section: ESN Lugano was founded in March 2013 and is one of the newest ESN sections of Switzerland. In collaboration with the International Office, we organise a Buddy Program, which provides support to exchange students when they arrive in Lugano. Moreover, we aim to entertain incoming students by organising parties and other activities around Switzerland.

The city: Lugano is the main city of Switzerland’s Italian-speaking region. It forms a conurbation of more than 57,000 inhabitants and is the third financial centre in Switzerland after Zurich and Geneva. Lugano (and Ticino) blends cultural components that are typically Italian with a tradition of politics and administration that is unmistakably Swiss. Moreover, it is able to act as a genuine bridge linking central Europe to the Mediterranean area. Some of its attractive features and opportunities worth highlighting include: a rich selection of cultural events, a natural landscape of moving beauty characterised by its lake, but also its mountains (good ski resorts for winter sports); and a temperate and sunny climate.

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ESN Neuchâtel Language of the canton of Neuchâtel: French

ESN section: ESN Neuchâtel is a small section that counts about 15 active members each semester. The section organises a lot of visits to discover the beautiful region of Neuchâtel. The advantage of a small section is that each member is in contact with exchange students and can also answer the incoming student’s questions. The highlights of the section are the traditional Weekend in Valais, the walk in le Creux-du-Van and the fondue night at the end of the semester. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

The city: Neuchâtel is both a city and a Canton of Switzerland (north of Bern and Lausanne). The city is located on the lakeside. In good weather you can enjoy a beautiful view over the Alps. When you visit the city you definitely need to go the the castle and the Collégiale. There, you can see the whole city and the lake. The historical center has a lot of restaurants to eat or just to have a drink. The University has four faculties. These are spread throughout the city. The city is not that big so you can easily reach every place by foot.

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ESN Olten Language of the canton of Solothurn: German

ESN section: ESN Olten was founded in 2012 at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). Four years on the section has grown in numbers and experience. Now boasting just over 60 registered members over three campuses (Olten, Basel and Brugg) the section organizes at least 10 events each semester. As the section was first founded as a part of the students council and under guidance from the international office it is very well connected to those bodies. Besides organizing events the team manages the buddy system and supports the exchange students on a daily basis. An exchange student coming to the FHNW will be greeted by his or her buddy on arrival and introduced to ESN Olten and its programme on the first week of the semester.

The city: Olten is a small town in the Canton of Solothurn situated centrally in Switzerland. The city has a population of approximately 18000 residents. The old city includes a roman ear vicus, as well as medieval and modern day buildings. The famous wooden bridge of Olten over the Aare river and the Naturmuseum are listed as swiss heritage sites of national significance. Furthermore, the entire town of Olten is considered to be a significant part of the Swiss heritage sites.

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ESN St. Gallen Language of the canton of St. Gallen: German

ESN section: The BuddySystem’s (that’s how we call ourselves here in St. Gallen) aim is to integrate and involve each semester’s exchange students at the University of St. Gallen. This year, we are welcoming more than 600 exchange students from all corners of the world. Adding several hundred local buddies, more than a 1000 people benefit from what we organize each semester – including a welcome week, several trips, ski weekends, fondue nights, parties and many more.

Besides social contacts the key aspect of the BuddySystem is providing our exchange students with advice when adapting to life in Switzerland. We therefore offer help getting used to the university’s requirements, the city and the people. Great friendships develop that way and we enjoy meeting new exchange students from all over the world each semester.

The city: Although being a relatively small city with a population of 75000 inhabitants, you can feel the vibe of student life and internationality on St. Gallen’s streets during the semester. Thanks to its three universities and HSG in particular, it is no rarity to hear people speaking English, Spanish, Chinese, German… and of course, the beautiful Swiss German St. Gallen dialect. We hope to see you soon in St. City!

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ESN Winterthur Language of the canton of Zurich: German

ESN section: ESN Winterthur has around 15 team members and every year we welcome about 300 exchange students from all over the world. The section’s aim is to connect study abroad students with the local students and to make their time in Switzerland unforgettable! In the beginning, we mainly focus on the integration process for the exchange students with our local student body during the Welcome Week and with the support of our buddy system, helping them to learn more about our Swiss culture, our languages and our beautiful Winterthur. During the semester we organise all kinds of events from sports activities to wine and beer tours, city trips, chocolate factory visits and fondue parties.

The city: Winterthur, also called “the city of museums”, is a town in the canton of Zürich in Northern Switzerland and it lies approximately 30 km away from Zürich City. Winterthur has about 110,000 inhabitants and consequently it makes the sixth largest town in Switzerland. Despite the industrial character of the town, it is also a cultural center with a lot of museums, historical places and green spaces. In its old town you will find many shops, bars, clubs and street cafés.

© View of Winterthur, Simon Aughton,27.06.2009

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ESN Wädenswill Language of the canton of Zurich: German

ESN section: Wädenswil’s ESN Section strongly collaborates with ESN Winterthur. With around 15 exchange students per semester, it is a small but friendly section. For its size, the time of ESN Wädenswil and ESN Winterthur is the same with about 15 member, since both locations are part of the same school - the Zürich University of Applied Sciences - we collaborate closely together on all events and we try to make the time here in Switzerland as remarkable as possible for all exchange students of both sections. Organising events such as city trips, pub crawls, ski weekends and degustation tours. And not to forget is our Buddy system, which helps the incomings to be more integrated in our culture.

The city: Wädenswil also known as ‘Wädi’, is an attractive small town with 22,000 inhabitants located on the southern coast of Lake Zurich. It lies about 20 km away from Zürich and 40 km from Winterthur. Even though the town is evolving, Wädenswil still has this small village atmosphere. In the town you can find bars, restaurants, cinemas and open green spaces. During the summer, you can go swim and relax on the beaches of Wädenswil. Not to forget is that since it is so close to Zürich there is always the opportunity to visit the city and also go clubbing until the sun comes up.

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ESN Uni & ETH Zurich Language of the canton of Zurich: German

ESN section: ESN Zurich is the biggest ESN section in Switzerland with approximately 70 members and 20 years of experience. We organize various events such as our famous Welcome Party, city trips, ski weekends and mentor systems. Our section is active at the University of Zurich (UZH), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), but also open to students at the University of Teacher Education Zurich (PHZH) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK).

The city: Zurich has about 390‘000 inhabitants and is the biggest city and also the economic centre of Switzerland. Going out in Zurich is an unforgettable experience thanks to the highest density of nightclubs in Europe, as well as a huge variety of cinemas and pubs. The old city centre and the lake create a unique ambiance. Zurich is among the cities with the highest quality of living in the world.

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The Swiss To Do Contest You’ll be spending one or two semesters in Switzerland? Well here is a to do list you cannot ignore! Send us a picture or video of you doing all these activities, your full name, swiss higher education institute and your home country to booklet@esn.ch and you will have the chance to win one of our “Jungfraujoch -Top of Europe Passes” worth 210 CHF. The quicker you are, the bigger are the chances to win one of our tickets. If you post your pictures in social media, don‘t forget to tag them with the following hashtags: #ToTheTopOfEuropeWithESN #TheSwissToDoContest #ESNSwitzerland

The List: • Eat fondue or raclette • Go skiing or ice skating • Hike in mountain • Take a bath or a boat trip in a swiss lake • Drink water from a public fountain • Learn a sentence in the 4 national languages • Enter or sleep in a bunker • Join a traditional festivity (ex. carnaval) • Take a selfie with a cow • Enjoy a dip in thermal baths (with a view) • Discover a chocolate or cheese factory • Take a selfie of you in another canton • Take a picture in the highest spots you reached Most of these activities can be done while taking part in an event created by your ESN section, so stay tuned with them and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them or contact us. Terms and conditions: To take part in this competition, you have to be an incoming exchange student in a Swiss University, Polytechnic School or Higher Education Institutes and older than 18 years old (proof of these facts will be requested, year of exchange 2016-2017) . The price consists in a ticket for the routing Interlaken Ost – Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe - Interlaken Ost (limited stock available). Deadline: 31 July at 23:59 CET.

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Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Up to the highest-altitude railway station in Europe · 3454 m

The best place to discover snow and ice · open 365 days On the way, the “engineering feat of a century” gives you an overwhelming view of the vast glacier world of the Eismeer (Sea of Ice). A world of eternal snow and ice.

top offers, tickets and more Infos at jungfrau.ch

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How to go on exchange: Are you interested in going on exchange? Here are some steps you should follow:

1.Preparation: An exchange gives you the unique opportunity to explore another country and another culture. In order to be well prepared and not to be negatively surprised by cultural changes and different behaviours, we strongly recommend you to get well informed about the place you will go to (not only the university but also the culture and the local situation). Be open to everything that might be different from home (food, language, newspapers, way of life, public transport, opening hours, and so on).

2. Application: Discuss your intention to study abroad with your local university’s responsible person. If there is a mobility office (international office) at your university ask them for the necessary documentation and pay attention to deadlines!

3. Selection and Confirmation: The decision about your exchange is up to the home and host universities. If several students are interested in studying at the same university abroad, it is possible that you will have to go through a selection procedure. After a few months you will receive a confirmation of acceptance by your host university. Please check if you might need to apply for a visa, you might have to show proof that you have adequate financial means to support yourself during your studies abroad or you also might need an additional health insurance for your host country.

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4. Timetable / Course Scheme: Together with the mobility office and your department you will prepare a degree course scheme according to the courses offered at the host university (so called learning agreement). It should contain as many similar courses as possible to the ones you miss at your home university while you are studying abroad. As offered courses at your host university might differ or not to be on an adequate level for you, it might be good to already have some alternative courses discussed with your home university.

5. Final Application The mobility office sends your complete application documentation to the host university. You will be contacted by the host university a few weeks later. Usually within 4-6 weeks they will send you a letter of acceptance and information about the university and possible lecture materials.

6. Accomodation and travel Check if your host university is assis ng you in nding an ac- commoda on and organising a transfer or if you have to do that on your own. If you don‘t get any support, you are welcome to contact the local ESN section of your host city for further information or help about your stay, the local life and daily business.

„It‘s not a trip or vacation, it‘s a second life!“

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Contact of Universities and ESN Sections University of Basel: Contact:

www.unibas.ch mobility@unibas.ch +41 61 267 30 28

Mailing Address:

University of Basel Student Exchange Petersplatz 1 4001 Basel

ESN Basel: Contact:

esn@stud.unibas.ch

Mailing Address:

Hegenheimerstrasse 14 4055 Basel

University of Bern: Contact:

www.unibe.ch zoe.ghielmetti@int.unibe.ch +41 31 631 34 70

Mailing Address:

University of Bern Hochschulstrasse 6 3012 Bern

ESN Bern: Contact:

info@bern.esn.ch

Mailing Address:

Universität Bern Internationales Bßro - ESN Bern Hochschulstrasse 4 3012 Bern

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ESN Chur: Contact:

esn.chur@gmail.com

Mailing Address:

ESN HTW Chur c/o International Office HTW Chur Comercialstrasse 24 7000 Chur

University of Fribourg: Contact:

www.unibe.ch international-incoming@unifr.ch +41 26 300 70 47

Mailing Address:

University of Fribourg International Relations Office Avenue de l‘Europe 20 1700 Fribourg

ESN Fribourg: Contact:

esnfribourg@gmail.com

Mailing Address:

University of Fribourg Site Miséricorde Av. de l‘Europe 20 Bureau 3010

University of Geneva: Contact:

www.unige.ch international@unige.ch +41 22 379 89 73

Mailing Address:

International Relations Office University of Geneva Bd du Pont-d‘Arve 40 1211 Geneva 4

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ESN Geneva: Contact:

contact@geneva.esn.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Genève c/o CUAE, Uni Mail Bd du Pont-d‘Arve 40 1211 Genève

University of Lausanne: Contact:

www.unil.ch info.sasme@unil.ch +41 21 692 21 13

Mailing Address:

Social Affaires and Social Mobility Unicentre 1015 Lausanne

ESN Uni Lausanne: Contact:

comite@unil.esn.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Uni Lausanne Quartier UNIL-Dorigny Bâtiment Anthropole 1015 Lausanne

Swiss Federal Institution of Lausanne Contact:

www.epfl.ch student.services@epfl.ch +41 21 693 43 45

Mailing Address: EPFL BP 1229 1015 Lausanne

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ESN EPF Lausanne: Contact:

esn@epfl.ch

Mailing Address:

AGEPoly (EPFL) - ESN EPFL Case Postale 16 1015 Lausanne

University of Lugano: Contact:

www.usi.ch relint@usi.ch +41 58 666 46 26

Mailing Address:

International Relations and Study-abroad Office via Giuseppe Buffi 13 CH-6904 Lugano

ESN Lugano: Contact:

esnlugano@usi.ch

Mailing Address:

Università della Svizzera italiana Via G. Buffi 13 6900 Lugano

University of Neuchâtel: Contact:

www.unine.ch bureau.immatriculation@unine.ch +41 32 718 10 00

Mailing Address:

Registration and Mobility Services Avenue du 1er-Mars 26 2000 Neuchâtel

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ESN Neuchâtel: Contact:

esn.neuchatel@unine.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Neuchâtel Avenue du premier Mars 26 2000 Neuchâtel

ESN Olten: Contact:

esn.olten@fhnw.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Olten / International Office Von Roll Strasse 10 4600 Olten

University of St. Gallen: Contact:

www.unisg.ch exchange@unisg.ch +41 71 224 23 39

Mailing Address:

University of St.Gallen External Relations Student Mobility Tellstrasse 2 CH-9000 St.Gallen

ESN St.Gallen: Contact:

buddysystem@myunisg.ch

Mailing Address: Buddy System Guisanstrasse 9 9010 St. Gallen

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ESN Winterthur/ Wädenswil Contact:

winterthur@esn.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Winterthur St.-Georgen-Platz 2 8400 Winterthur

University of Zurich: Contact:

www.uzh.ch international@int.uzh.ch +41 44 634 41 57

Mailing Address:

University of Zurich Raemistrasse 71 8006 Zurich

Swiss Federal Institution of Zurich: Contact:

www.ethz.ch exchange@ethz.ch +41 44 632 61 61

Mailing Address:

ETH Zurich Student Exchange Office Rämistrasse 101 8092 Zurich

ESN Zurich: Contact:

info@zurich.esn.ch

Mailing Address:

ESN Zürich CAB E 13 Universitätstrasse 6 8001 Zürich

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Contact of Universities of Applied Science BFH (Berner Fachhochschule): Contact:

www.bfh.ch international@bfh.ch + 41 31 848 33 50

FHNW (Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz): Contact:

www.fhnw.ch info.business@fhnw.ch +41 84 882 10 11

FHO (Fachhochschule Ostschweiz): Contact:

www.fho.ch info@fho.ch +41 71 226 17 24

HES-SO (Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale): Contact:

www.hes-so.ch international@hes-so.ch +41 58 900 00 00

FHZ (Fachhochschule Zentralschweiz): Contact:

www.hslu.ch info@hslu.ch +41 41 228 42 42

ZFH (Zürcher Fachhochschule): Contact:

www.zfh.ch info@zfh.ch +41 43 259 23 48

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SUPSI (Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana): Contact:

www.supsi.ch international@supsi.ch +41 58 666 60 33

Kalaidos Fachhochschule Contact:

www.kalaidos-fh.ch info@kalaidos-fh.ch +41 44 200 19 19

LRG (Fachhochschule Les Roches-Gruyère): Contact:

www.lrguas.ch info@lrguas.ch + 41 26 919 78 78

FFHS (Fernfachhochschule Schweiz): Contact:

www.fernfachhochschule.ch info@fernfachhochschule.ch + 41 27 922 39 00

ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences): Contact:

www.zhaw.ch info@zhaw.ch + 41 58 934 71 71 www.ch-go.ch www.swissuniversity.ch www.sbfi.admin.ch

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Emergency Phone Numbers: General emergency calls................................................................................112 Air Rescue........................................................................................................1414 Ambulance...........................................................................................144 Emergency Road service................................................................................140 Inquiries for Switzerland...............................................................................1811 Fire service.........................................................................................................118 Police...................................................................................................117 Railway Service..............................................................................0800 117 117 Poisoning emergencies...................................................................................145

Useful links: Administration: www.admin.ch

News Portals:

www.thelocal.ch www.swissinfo.ch www.eda.admin.ch/aboutswitzerland www.ch.ch www.20min.ch

Going out:

www.tilllate.ch www.usgang.ch

Tickets (Concerts, Festivals etc.): www.ticketcorner.ch www.starticket.ch

Tourism:

www.myswitzerland.com

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Š https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation, 20 cantons and 6 half cantons


Visit, explore, travel and enjoy!

We wish you all the best in your exchange semester and good luck with The Swiss To Do Contest! Your ESN Switzerland Team Schweiz

Suisse

Svizzera

Svizra

ESNGuide  

You are about to experience an exciting term or year abroad. This booklet will spare you precious time looking for information and will prep...

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