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Help! I'm a student moving to Lausanne, Switzerland...

Travel Forums Europe Help! I'm a student moving to Lausanne, Switzerland...

1. Posted by rhotchkiss (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y

rhotchkiss has indicated that this thread is about Switzerland


I'm new here, and I thought I would start off by trying to get information on la suisse romande. Most of the Swiss on here seem to be in the German part? Not a surprise to me, since it's the majority of the country, both geographically and linguistically. :)

I'm moving to Lausanne in September to study at the university there for a year. I have read several guide books and a culture book but of course I still feel very intimidated because I will be gone for 10 months...not something a guidebook can cover. Paperwork is more or less done (just awaiting my visa) and now the reality of it is starting to sink in.

Mostly I have gathered that Switzerland is:
1. Very beautiful
2. Quite expensive to live in

I am very lucky in that my housing is arranged (well, paid to my university here, and they're finding me a comparable exchange) and I will get a monthly stipend of 1'650 CHF (my housing, approx. 500-600 CHF has to come out of that, and the rest is for food, etc.). It's a good deal because that leaves transportation as the biggest bulk of my expenses.

So, I guess what I want to know is:
-What's it like in Switzerland (Lausanne or the Vaud canton in general)?
-How much additional money would I need to bring for monthly expenses?
-Anything I should know from those who have studied abroad (esp. for an extended time like this??

Thanks so much!!

2. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 10y

Hi Rachel,

I was an exchange student for a year in London, the best time of my life. It´s a hard job to be a foreign student but I really had a ball. Which uni are you doing in Lausanne ? (by any chance are you doing the hospitality one?)
Most of the university pair you with a local student on arrival may be you can email her or him beforehand so they can you tips.

Take care and have a good year

3. Posted by Canadiana (Inactive 10 posts) 10y

Coucou Rachel,
I'm just at the end of my ten month exchange in France, I'll be going home soon. You are going to have an amazing time, Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. The little advice I have for you is, if you are going to visit other countries during your stay, be careful about changing your francs into euros. Alot of restaurants will take foreign money, but on their own varying exchange rates. Use banks, Switzerland has alot of em ;). Make the most of your year abroad, it will go by very quickly. Gros Bisous, Dana

4. Posted by rhotchkiss (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y


I'll be at the Universite de Lausanne which is actually on the lake, a 10 minute or so metro ride from the old town. I'll be studying English linguistics, literature, and French.

I know there is at least one other university in Lausanne, near UNIL, don't remember the name though...

Oh, and I know there will be someone meeting me at the train station, but I don't know if I'll be paired with a student or not. There are over 1,000 international students at UNIL...that would be a pretty impressive program if they had it. ;)

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 28, 2006 8:39 AM by rhotchkiss ]

5. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 10y

When i did my exchange we started an international student association . We organized day trips and movies projection to pay for them. We did dinners in local restaurants where we were swapping languages every 30mm, for example 30mm in french and then 30mm in english, so everyone can pratise.
This dinner got quite popular between the local and international student.

6. Posted by aleah (Full Member 400 posts) 10y

Hi Rachel,

Lausanne is great! I've did a French course at UNIL and enjoyed every minute of it. The location of the UNIL is perfect, just a hundred meters away from the lake. Next to UNIL you will find the EPFL (technical University), which is huge compared to UNIL.

Lausanne has a lot to offer, first off all the great view from almost everywhere. I was fortunate to have a balcony facing the lake.

Lausanne is very good for you legs, as it is situated on a hill, shopping is an fitness exercice for itself ;-)

It will be easy for you to meet loads of people, as everyone is very open (specially the many swiss-german and foreign students). On the other hand I thought it was rather hard to meet "real" locals.

Have fun in Lausanne


7. Posted by rhotchkiss (Budding Member 22 posts) 10y


That sounds great!! I'm taking a French class in September before my classes start. I hope it isn't too hard! ;)

It sounds like a lovely place. I guess I am just hoping that it is an interesting, busy college town with lots of young people, not too touristy.

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