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Studying Abroad in Geneva: Everything You Need to Know

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If you’re thinking about studying in Geneva, or if you’re fortunate enough to have already been accepted by a university, then you have a lot to look forward to. Geneva is known as the city of 1001 delights for the sheer range of what’s on offer to visitors, from theatres and museums to world-class restaurants and nearby ski resorts. 

Geneva also has a thriving business community. The city is home to several of the world’s best-known companies and institutions, including Procter & Gamble, the World Trade Organization, CERN and Rolex, as well as an exciting startup scene and convenient transport links to the rest of Europe.  

In this short guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to make the most of this fantastic city.  

Why Study in Geneva, Switzerland? 

Geneva combines traditional charm with world-leading innovation and amenities. Business students will have the chance to intern at some of the top companies globally while enjoying an array of cultural attractions, beautiful countryside and a vibrant student community. 

Here are some of the main reasons to study in Geneva: 

  • It is home to many of the world’s largest companies and international organizations. 
  • Geneva has a large student community (25% of the city’s population). 
  • Geneva boasts a range of amenities and a well-developed public transport system. 
  • The city houses many museums, theatres, art galleries, festivals and other cultural attractions.  
  • Geneva is situated between the Alps and Jura mountains; the great outdoors is on its doorstep and very easy to access for skiing, hiking and more. Geneva is also located in the center of Western Europe. With regular flight and train connections, it’s an excellent base for exploring other countries like France, Germany, Austria, the UK and so on.  

Getting a Student Visa Is Relatively Straightforward 

Applying to study in Switzerland is a straightforward process. If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa. But you will have to register with the local immingration authority, called the Canton de Genève, to get a residence permit within fourteen days of your arrival. You will need to show proof of a university place along with medical insurance. As a student, you can work for up to fifteen hours each week.  

For international students coming from outside the European Union, the process is a little more complex. You will need to apply for a visa from the Swiss embassy in your home country. Required documents include a letter of acceptance from your university, proof of medical insurance and funds to support yourself, a valid passport and the relevant application form.  

Geneva Has Myriad Options for Student Accommodation 

Geneva is one of the world’s most expensive cities, so it pays (quite literally) to be savvy when hunting for accommodation. Fortunately, students have multiple options when it comes to finding a place to live.  

Before you do anything else, ask your university if any dormitories are available. These will likely represent the best value for money. EU Business School, for example, offers a number of student rooms that are only a short distance from campus.  

If you’re unable to find student accommodation, flatshares are your next best option. Students can take advantage of several online services, such as Erasmus Student Housing and Nestpick, to help spread the cost of rent.  

Geneva Has an Exciting Array of Cultural Attractions and Activities 

Once you’ve moved to Geneva, you won’t have to look far to stay entertained. The city boasts dozens of museums, art galleries and theatres. You can also take inexpensive day trips out to the Swiss countryside and the Mont Blanc area to go hiking, paragliding and skiing. 

Geneva is also an excellent place to explore the rest of Europe. EasyJet offers several low-cost flights from Geneva Airport; Paris, London and Rome can all be reached in less than two hours. And Switzerland’s central location makes it the ideal starting point for exploration of Europe by bus and train. 

You’ll Have to Keep an Eye on Your Finances  

It’s no secret that Geneva isn’t the cheapest city in the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s prohibitively expensive. With your ISIC student card, you’ll have access to a number of discounts. And as long as you remain sensible by relying on public transport and spreading the cost of rent, you won’t have to worry about your finances too much.  

The official currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (Confoederatio Helvetica Franc or CHF). One franc is currently equivalent to about 0.9 euros or 1.10 dollars, but you should always check the latest conversion rates before making payments in a foreign currency. Rent ranges from around 700 to 1200 francs per month, and food will set you back an extra 800 francs (although you can nip over the border into France for cheaper prices). A monthly bus and tram pass will cost you 70 francs. All in all, you’re looking at a total living cost between 1500 and 3000 Swiss Francs per month, depending on your lifestyle.  

Geneva Is One of the World’s Leading Business Hubs 

Geneva is one of the world’s leading business cities. Many well-known companies and organizations are based there, including Procter & Gamble, Rolex, Bacardi, Dell, McKinsey & Company, CERN, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and more.  

Universities have established links with many of these institutions and, as a student, you’ll have a myriad of interning opportunities and access to conferences, graduate programs and external learning events. It’s also worth remembering that half of Swiss companies’ top positions are filled by expat business leaders. And Geneva has a notable startup scene too, with hundreds of young companies headquartered there.  

Study at EU Business School’s Geneva Campus 

EU Business School has a bustling campus in Geneva. As a student, you’ll gain all the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in your chosen field. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading business thinkers.  

Take a look at the programs on offer at our Geneva campus, which include Bachelor’s, Master’s, and MBA degrees. 

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