Learn French prior arrival

If you would like to learn some French prior to your arrival in Lausanne, try the free online platform “Ca joue! “. With the help of situations in daily and academic life, it will give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with French and get to know Lausanne. The following tools will be invaluable to your successful integration : videos, activities for working on different aspects of French (expressions, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary) and practical information about life in Lausanne.


Will I need a visa?

Participants are responsible for arranging their own visa to enter Switzerland. Please check this link to see if a visa is requested for citizens of your country and make sure you are aware of all requirements.
If you need a visa, you can download the form here.

How do I get an invitation letter?

Participants are invited to contact the summer schools coordinator to ask for an invitation letter once their application to the summer school has been accepted.

The University of Lausanne does not offer on-campus accommodation but every summer school includes an offer of accommodation in the city. You will be staying in the heart of the city, or close to the lakeside, and always within a 15-minute metro journey from the university. More information on specific accommodation can be found on each course’s webpage.

Switzerland uses the Swiss franc. You can find a currency converter here. It is better to change money before coming to Lausanne. Credit cards (Visa, American Express, Maestro) are accepted almost everywhere for purchases of more than CHF 20.00.

To get an idea of the cost of living in Switzerland, here is a list of some average prices:

  • Coffee: CHF 3-4.00
  • Soft drink in a store: CHF 2.00
  • Soft drink in a restaurant: CHF 5.00
  • Beer: CHF 6.00
  • Big Mac menu: CHF 15.00
  • Lunch at a restaurant: CHF 25.00
  • Dinner at a good restaurant: CHF 100.00
Getting to Lausanne

By train from Geneva airport

Geneva is the closest airport to Lausanne. Go through the baggage claim area and customs, turn left and walk through the hall, towards the railway station. The one-way journey to Lausanne lasts approximately 45 minutes. A second-class one-way ticket costs CHF 27.00. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines and paid for with cash or by credit card.

Please see your course’s webpage for information on how to get from the railway station to your hostel.
You can find the train timetable here.

By train from Zurich airport

Once you have gone through customs, follow the signs to the railway station, which is located in the airport’s lower basement, under Terminal B. The one-way journey from Zurich to Lausanne lasts approximately 2.5 hours. A second-class one-way ticket costs CHF 78.00. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines and paid for with cash or by credit card.
You can find the train timetable here.
To get to your hotel, please check the information in the accommodation section on your course’s webpage.

Lausanne can be explored on foot, by bike or by public transport. The city enjoys a high-quality transport network, with two metro lines, buses and a large railway station connected to all the main cities in Switzerland. Public transport throughout Lausanne will be free for you during your stay, as your hotel will provide you with a travel card.

Here are a few routes you will probably be travelling, but you can find all the information on the Lausanne Transport webpage:

From the Railway station to UNIL Campus

At the railway station, take the metro M2, direction “Croisettes”, to “Lausanne Flon”, which is the next stop. Then, take the metro M1 (direction “Renens-Gare”) to the university stop that is most convenient for you (UNIL-Dorigny, UNIL-Mouline or UNIL-Sorge).

From UNIL Campus to the City center

Take the metro M1, direction “Lausanne Flon”, and get out at the final stop, namely Lausanne Flon. Once you walk out of the metro station, you will be in the heart of Lausanne city centre.

From the City Center to the Lakeside

Whether you are at Lausanne Flon or near a metro stop in the city, take the metro M2, direction Ouchy-Olympique, to the final stop. This is the port of Ouchy, where you can take a walk along the lakeside.

Good to know

Time zone
Central Europe standard time: GMT+2


Lausanne enjoys a temperate climate, and its weather is directly influenced by its proximity to nearby Lake Geneva. In June, July and August, the temperature fluctuates between 15°C and 25°C (59°F to 77°F) but it can also be as low as 7°C or as high as 36°C (45°F and 97°F). The weather is usually nice but can be rainy and windy. More information on the following website.

Spoken language

The language spoken in Lausanne is French. Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. English is often used as a lingua franca between the country’s different language communities. In tourist areas, there will usually be English speakers.

Opening hours

Banks are usually open from Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 12.15pm and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Banks are closed on weekends.
Stores are usually open from Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.30pm or 7pm. On Saturdays, they are open from 8am to 6pm, and they are closed on Sundays.

To call Switzerland from another country, the dialling code is 0041.

Power plugs

The voltage in Switzerland, as in most of Europe, is 230V/50 Hz. Switzerland uses type C (2-pin) and Type J (3-pin) plugs (Type C 2-pin plugs also fit J sockets). Don’t forget your adapter!

Switzerland is known to have one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialised countries. However, theft and violence can happen to anybody. Be vigilant as you would be in your own country – generally at night.

Taxi services

Dial 0844 814 814
From the city centre or the hotel, the trip to UNIL by cab costs about CHF 30.00 in cash.

Important contacts

Emergency telephone numbers

Tourist Information Centre
Lausanne Tourisme & Bureau des Congrès
Av. de Rhodanie 2, CH – 1000 Lausanne 6
Tel. +41 21 613 73 73 – Fax +41 21 616 86 47
UNIL Campus
Email: info@lausanne-tourisme.ch
+41 21 692 2046
Web: www.lausanne-tourisme.ch
Emergency Pharmacy
+41 21 613 1224
Av. de Montchoisi 3
7/7, 8am – 00:00
Rules & Regulations

1. Application

  • Participants must register by completing the online application form. By submitting the application form, the participant declares they have received and read these rules and regulations and declares him or herself in agreement with their content.
  • Registration becomes effective after payment of the tuition fees applicable to the course, as indicated in the application and on the website, by bank transfer or credit card.
  • Applications will be considered provisional until payment has been made in full; no place on the course will be guaranteed until then.
    If you are not able to apply online, please email summerschools@unil.ch.
  • Registration closes on the date indicated for each course on the website. This is subject to change if there are still places available on the course. This decision is left to the discretion of the course provider.
  • UNIL summer schools must receive the course fee before the date indicated on the online course page or applicants will not be accepted on the course.

2. Enrolment

  • All applications are evaluated as they are received, and UNIL reserves the right to deny access to a course if the entry requirements are not satisfied.
  • In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, a selection process may apply. The selection criteria are usually explained in the website course information. Should this not be the case, the regulations may be requested via summerschools@unil.ch.

3. ECTS Credits

  • Courses lead to a certificate of attendance or credits, as indicated on each course page, if participants successfully complete the course in accordance with the assessment requirement outlined in the course materials.
  • The University of Lausanne is not responsible for the recognition of ECTS credits by the home university. It is the participants’ responsibility to make sure their home university recognises the program.

4. Cancellation

  • The University of Lausanne reserves the right to cancel the course if it fails to meet the minimum number of participants when registrations close. Tuition fees will be fully refunded in such circumstances. However, organisational costs, resulting from the process of applying for a visa, travel, accommodation or any other arrangements will not be reimbursed by UNIL.
  • If an applicant is not admitted, or a course is cancelled, he or she will be notified by email. The course fees will be fully reimbursed.
  • In case of a cancellation by the participant, costs will be payable as follows:
    • If the participant cancels more than four weeks before the start of the course by writing to summerschools@unil.ch, explaining in detail the reasons for the withdrawal, he or she may be refunded 80% of the tuition fees.
    • If he or she cancels within four weeks of the start of the course, UNIL reserves the right not to refund the payment.

5. Visa
All participants are responsible for securing any visa required and are advised to contact their home embassy as soon as possible for more information. Once fees have been paid, UNIL can provide a letter confirming participation in the summer school.

6. Insurances
UNIL does not provide insurance for its students. All participants are therefore responsible for obtaining adequate insurance in Switzerland (health, accident, civil liability) during their time at UNIL.

7. Rules
Participants shall conduct themselves appropriately at all times during the delivery of the course, and in accordance with UNIL policies. UNIL reserves the right to exclude participants from the course or take such other action as it deems appropriate if they behave in a manner deemed unacceptable by UNIL. In such case they will not be entitled to any full or partial refund of their tuition fees and no certificate of attendance will be issued.

8. Final provisions

  • In the event of default on the part of the University of Lausanne summer schools, compensation will be limited to the course fee and any directly related costs.
  • Failure to pass the examination does not warrant any claims for reimbursement of tuition fees.
  • Should any circumstances arise that are not covered by the terms and conditions of registration, the University of Lausanne will make a decision on the basis of reasonableness and fairness.
  • Any disputes arising between the participant and the University of Lausanne summer schools that cannot be resolved amicably shall be resolved by the University of Lausanne under the University law.
  • The University of Lausanne shall not be liable for any failure or delay in the performance, in whole or part, of any of its obligations arising from or attributable to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond its reasonable control including, but not limited to strikes, riots, war, civil commotion, malicious damage, accident, breakdown of plant or machinery, fire, flood, storm, pandemics or epidemics.
  • By agreeing to these terms and conditions you authorise the University of Lausanne to publish photographs taken of you during the UNIL summer schools for use in print, online and video-based marketing materials, as well as other UNIL publications related to promoting its study programmes. You further acknowledge that your participation is voluntary and that you will not receive financial compensation of any kind associated with the taking or publication of these photographs or participation in marketing materials or other UNIL publications. You acknowledge and agree that publication of said photos confers no rights of ownership or royalties whatsoever. If you do not wish photos taken of you to be used, you must state this specifically by sending an email to summerschools@unil.ch.