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many participants hardly sleep at all. Therefore, an open-ended farewell night including a disco and a DJ was organized in the common room and turned out to be – not unexpectedly – a success.

5 . 4  Logistics and Infrastructure 5. 4. 1  Accommodation Lacking a university campus with suitable student dormitories to house all participants, and given the relative small size of the city of Bern, finding appropriate accommodation for all guests was a difficult task. This was even more difficult as students and jury members needed to be separated during the main part of the week.


Besides the scientific aspects, one of the main goals of the IBO is to promote the exchange between all participants. Therefore, the preferred student accommodation should house all students in one place, preferably with a large common room enabling social activities in the evenings. Many hotels in Bern were unable or unwilling to house 280 persons for 8 days (including team guides). Alternative solutions such as military dorms, civil protection shelters or several camp sites with bigger dorms (scouts, sports) were evaluated. Unfortunately, many were unable to house the desired number of people or had no satisfactory infrastructure (10 bed dorms or more; no manned kitchen; no common room…) or were too far away from Bern. In the end, two hotels at the same place were chosen and could house all students and guides in double and three bed rooms which were simple but of a good standard, with private bathroom and TV. Unfortunately, they were not able to cater for all 280 guests simultaneously and had no common room big enough for this number of people. This problem was solved thanks to the curling center and adjacent restaurant across the street. Although the wish to go back to the roots of the IBO is often heard from coordinators, mean­ ing less luxurious accommodation for instance, quite a few students reported to have some problems. This affected mainly the three bed rooms, which were sometimes criticized for a lack of privacy as the rooms and bathrooms were rather small. Also, the rooms often had a double bed instead of two separate beds (equipped always with two separate blankets, after initial problems caused by the hotel), lacked an alarm clock and, in many cases, had no lock­ able shower room. Also, no air-condition system was available (but air-cons are in general rare and also not necessary in Switzerland in any case). These negative aspects are reflected in the score obtained for the accommodation in the students questionnaire, with a low average of 3.27 (the lowest score reached, see chapter 7). Rooms were shared wherever possible with students from the same delegation and always of the same gender. In some cases, youngsters of different delegations had to be mixed, giving the students another opportunity to get to know each other.


Having booked the only hotels available with sufficient capacities for more than 200 people, a different solution for all jury members and observers had to be found. Therefore, all hotels within 10 minutes walking distance to the jury room (Kursaal) were contacted. They were conveniently located along the tramway line stopping in front of the Kursaal. A combination finalreportIBO | 39

IBO 2013 Final Report