University of Bern

Bern, Switzerland

No. Students: 17,000 (2,380 int'l)* No. of Academic staff: 1,980
Funding type: Public
Campuses:
Listed programmes:
Type of education:
University ranking:

*: Approximate

studies available.

About

The University of Bern offers top quality across the board: it enjoys special recognition in leading-edge disciplines, is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting, and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the city.

The university's comprehensive offering includes 8 faculties, some 160 institutes, 60 Bachelor- and 83 Masterprogrammes, PhD in all disciplines and more than 200 executive programmes. Courses include theology, humanities, law, the economic and social sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine and sciences. With 17,000 students, it is of mid-range size among Swiss universities. Unlike the bigger institutions, it retains a human dimension and a warm and friendly atmosphere. The central geographic location and its attractive programmes, draw students from all Switzerland's language communities and from abroad. Fees remain very affordable and there is a vast choice of rented accommodation.

Its academic and research organisation prides itself on ist interdisciplinarity, exemplified by its Strategic Research Centers and its leading of several National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR): International Trade Regulation and TransCure (membrane transporter research to the treatment of human diseases). Additionally it shares the NCCR MUST (experimental physics) as well as RNA & Disease which studies a class of molecules that is pivotal for many vital processes both with the ETH Zurich. Furthermore PlanetS with the University of Geneva, which aims to contribute to a better unterstanding of planets. The University is actively involved in a wide range of European and worldwide research projects, notably in the field of Space and Fundamental Physics Research; Climate Change, and Biomedical Engineering Research and Dental Medicine.

During the academic year, the university offers some 300 courses, training sessions and competitions in more than 90 sports disciplines, ranging from Ragga Hip Hop to paragliding. Students are invited to join in any of the numerous groups and associations such as the Bern University Theatre, the Uni Big Band or the university choir; they can take part in many interest groups or fraternities.

Most of the institutes are located in the Länggasse, a lively student quarter that offers a wide range of places to eat and drink: snack bars, restaurants and cafes are an invitation to wind down. The railway station and city centre with an abundance of shops are just a few minutes' walk from the different university buildings.

The city of Bern is listed among the cities that offer the best quality of life in the world. The people of Bern are welcoming and peaceable, and the old town of Bern, nestling in a breath-taking setting surrounded by the Swiss Alps, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The Swiss capital also has an outstandingly broad range of cultural activities. There are plenty of green areas in which to relax, and, for the local, there is nothing more vivifying than a daily dip in the Aare river.

Services

Supports the faculties by informing future students, advising students, and accompanying alumni. The Center for University Education is committed to enhancing the profile of the University both at home and internationally.
Bern, the Swiss Capital, is located in the heart of the country. It is easily accessible from anywhere in the country and makes an excellent starting point for interesting excursions. The University of Bern campus is located very close to Bern's railway station.

Public Transport

The city of Bern has an excellent public transport system, which extends to neighbouring towns.

A special ticket, the «Libero-Abo» is available for CHF 59 to 77 per month. It offers unlimited bus, tram and train travel to commute to the University and explore the city and its surroundings. You can get a «Libero-Abo» at BernMobil.
Bern's ideal central position makes it a perfect point of departure for excursions throughout Switzerland.

The Swiss Federal Railways offers a railcard (Halbtax-Abo) which costs CHF 175 per year. Holders of the Halbtax-Abo pay only half fare for trips by train, post bus, and boat.

In addition a range of special tickets and services for young people are available.

Practical Information

All about Student Life; A Guide
Student Information Services

Information for prospective and current students
Orientation Day for First-Year Students

Join on the Friday before the official beginning of semester to gather Information and meet other students.

International Office

Information and counselling for exchange students
Mobile computing on Campus


Eating

In every major building you will find a cafeteria or restaurant.

Libraries

In numerous institute libraries you can take out books or get access to electronic media
Central Library
Language courses

Courses in German as a foreign language (no beginners courses)
Academic English Services

English for science
Student Union (SUB) of the University of Bern respresents your interest as Student
Help and advice

Student guidance and councelling
Responsible for all questions directly concerning courses of study
Advice and Information


Counselling Service of the Universities of Bern

Counselling for students and staff on career and personal issues (in German)
Office for gender equality

Assistance and advice on gender equality issues for University staff (in German)
Integrity office

The integrity officer is the contact Person for all University affiliates in cases of research misconduct. He or she is Independent of all institutions of the University (in German)
Ombudsman / Ombudswoman

Counselling and mediation for University staff in conflicts concerning employment (in German)
Sexual harassment at the workplace and at the University

Consultation and assistance for students and staff members in cases of sexual harassment (in German)
Social fund foundation

Financial aid for all registered students who are in financial distress (in German)
Welcome Center

Information and advice for researchers new to the University of Bern on all non-academic issues, such as: «Moving to Bern», «Health Insurance», «Family», etc.

Student life

The city is situated in the Swiss «Mittelland», the densly populated area between the Jura and the Alps. Bern is the capital of Switzerland and the seat of the Swiss Parliament and government. It has about 127,000 habitants.

Bern is a mixture of Old and New. Duke Berchtold V. of Zähringen founded the city in 1191 on a peninsula of the Aare river. UNESCO has declared the ancient heart of the town a World Cultural Heritage Landmark. The exteriors of the splendid medieval houses, which were reconstructed in stone after a major fire in 1405, have been carefully preserved, while the interiors of the buildings have been adapted over the centuries to suit the needs of the day. In the historic arcades you will find small and large shops of every sort, plus restaurants, cafes, cinemas, galleries, small theatres, and discos.

This mixture of Old and New makes Bern a particularly charming city. On top of this, a recent study done by an international consulting firm rated Bern together with Vienna the capital with the highest quality of life.

In summer and winter alike, the Alps are just a stones throw away.

Swiss Entry Requirements

No visa is required for citizens of EU or EEA countries except Croatia. Whereas citizens from non-EU and non-EEA countries and Croatia have to ask about visa regulations at the Swiss embassy in their home country.
Cost of living

For your living expenses in Switzerland you must allow for at least CHF 1500 per month.

Health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for everyone staying in Switzerland for more than three months. Information and a FAQ in English is available at the Federal Office of Public Health. The Bern Social Insurance OFfice provides a brochure detailing your obligations under the law.
Accommodation

- Students Residence Hall: The Bernese Student Lodging Association provides housing for students in furnished rooms in several students residence halls.

- Accommodation Service by the Students Union (SUB): The students union of the University of Bern (SUB) runs an accommodation service for short-term and long-term accommodation.

- Housing Anywhere Accommodation System: Housing Anywhere is an international student-to-student housing platform.


Apartment shares

It is common in Bern to rent a room (Zimmer) in a group apartment (Wohngemeinschaft or WG). Many people enjoy the social aspect, while others simply need to save money. Rooms in apartment shares are generally unfurnished, but furnished rooms are sometimes available temporarily when students take semesters off or participate in exchange programs.

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Going out


Cultural Bern

Bern has a wide variety of cultural events and exhibitions. Find current information in Bern's daily papers, at the Tourist Office at Bern's main train station or by browsing through the "Bewegungsmelder", a popular guide to events.

Museums

The Museum of Fine Arts is a particularly attractive art museum. In June 2005 its collection of works by Paul Klee, the world's largest collection, was transferred to the new Zentrum Paul Klee. Students will also find Einstein House of interest, where Albert Einstein, the Nobel-Prize-winner, developed his Theory of Relativity. The Swiss Literary Archives (Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv), which hold the literary autograph estates of Swiss authors, are located on the premises of the Swiss National Library (Schweizerische Landesbibliothek).

Master's Programmes at University of Bern

Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät

Philosophisch-humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Philosophisch-historische Fakultät

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