Frequently Asked Questions


What is the cost of living in Geneva as a student ?

Plan ahead on the basis of CHF 200 – 350 a week, depending on your spending habits, for living expenses (food, entertainment, travel, etc.) on top of accommodation costs.

Do I need a student residence permit for entry into Switzerland ?

Not for entry, but such a permit will be required within three months of arrival. For more information, check the “Visa & Student Permits” tab above.

In order to obtain a residence permit, students will need to prove to the relevant Swiss authorities that they are in a position to support themselves financially during their studies in Geneva. For that purpose, a bank statement or other authenticated document will help.

Are student jobs available to foreign students ?

Yes. While education must remain the rationale for your stay, and your academic workload will leave little time, except during the summer recess, for gainful employment on the side, it is possible for holders of a student residence permit to take part-time jobs in order to earn pocket money, and relieve the financial burden of living expenses while in Geneva.

What should foreign resident students bring to Geneva ?

Here’s a list of items that are either indispensable or strongly advised:

  • Valid passport
  • Credit card or debit/ATM card
  • Copies of letters received from GGSG
  • Copy of academic transcript
  • Medical records and permanent prescriptions
  • Medical insurance covering the first few months – before you make other arrangements locally

Practical advice

A laptop computer is a must for a self-respecting graduate student. However, the question arises for resident students of whether it is best to bring one to Geneva, or buy it on arrival. If your laptop runs on 220/240 voltage and uses a power cord that can be adapted to European plugs, bringing your own will raise no problems. Should that not be the case, buying one on the spot may be the best solution.

Likewise, Internet access, either through your own service provider or through a Swiss one, is of the essence. While GGSG will offer WiFi access, a Swiss Internet service provider may be needed for working from home.

Electrical adaptors are available and cheap: make sure you have one if you come from outside Europe!

Will I need a car while in Geneva ?

Not really. Public transport services are excellent in and around the Geneva area! And many places of interest for study, fun or work are within walking distance…

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