Zurich, with 370,000 inhabitants (or almost one million in the greater metropolitan area), is the largest city in Switzerland. While Berne is the political capital, Zurich is considered the business capital: formerly an industrial town, its focus is now shifting to commerce. With schools of all levels, theatres, concert halls, museums, art galleries, libraries, and bookshops, Zurich is also a centre of cultural importance. Its location on Lake Zurich, surrounded by hills and within easy reach of the Alps and other places of interest, makes Zurich one of the most pleasant cities in the world in which to live.
Zurich has excellent air, rail and road connections. EuroCity and InterCity trains from all directions stop at the central station (Hauptbahnhof). Within the metropolitan area there is a combined network of public transportation (called Verkehrsverbund), which comprises a rapid suburban railway (S-Bahn), trams, buses and boats.
There is an information centre at the central station.
The "Handbook for International Students" provides useful information about Zurich and studying at ETH Zurich (PDF, 2.1 MB).
Citizens of the European Union need not do anything before their arrival. Citizens of other countries participating in a bilateral exchange programme will be assisted by the Student Exchange Office in obtaining their residence permit. The relevant details will be included with your letter of acceptance.
The Immigration Office requires of all foreigners to have CHF 1750 per month at their disposal for the entire duration of their stay in Switzerland.
Neither ETH Zurich nor any of the universities in Zurich own or let any student accommodation. Housing for students is offered by various institutions connected with, but independent of, ETH Zurich.
However, ETH Zurich has a number of rooms available at these different institutions for exchange students. With your ETH acceptance letter you will also receive information on registering for accommodation. We are unfortunately not in a position to answer email inquiries regarding accommodation.
Since the number of rooms available for exchange students is limited it is important to start looking for accommodation early and to explore every possible source. In the Housing Handbook, the Housing Office of the University of Zurich/ ETH Zurich provides several useful addresses.
The conditions for renting a room / studio or an apartment in Zurich vary widely. There are rooms/studios available with/without cooking facilities; it is also possible to share a house or flat; some prices may / may not include cleaning and laundry, bed linen and meals. Prices/rents for single rooms range from CHF 450 to about CHF 850 per month.
Total: ca. CHF 1400 per month
Individual expenses such as clothes, leisure, travel, telephone calls etc. are not included.
Swiss law requires all persons residing in Switzerland for more than three months to be covered by adequate health insurance. Students attending a mobility programme may - under certain circumstances - be exempt. There is a special procedure for students from EU and EFTA countries. Students from other countries will receive information during their application procedure.
Health Insurance Advisory Service (in German) of the University and ETH.
All exchange and visiting students are welcome to participate in the ERASMUS Student Network.
All mobility and exchange students have the opportunity to ask for a mentor from esn. The mentor will help you to find your way around ETH and to settle down well in Zurich.
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