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Studying Abroad in Geneva

Between the astounding Alpine peaks and the rolling hills of the Jura, at the end of Lake Geneva where the Rhone river flows out, sits the exquisite city of Geneva. From its international languages and cuisines to its neighborhood bars and chocolate shops, it’s a worldly city for studying abroad. The French-speaking, second-largest city in Switzerland is known for its humanitarian traditions, modern-day ideals, and history of social activism. For those who want an ultra-modern international education in a charming, old-school European setting, study abroad in Geneva!

How to Study Abroad in Geneva

Being a city that draws citizens to it from all over the world for reasons aligning with business or pleasure, the study abroad Geneva programs here reflect this variety in subjects ranging from foreign languages to international business and more.

Popular Subjects to Study. The top subjects for studying in Geneva include international relations, science,  technology. Geneva was the founding city of the International Red Cross, the historic headquarters for the League of Nations, and is the home of the largest United Nations office outside of its headquarters in New York. The city is also known for some of the most prestigious research and development laboratories in the world.

Short Term vs. Summer vs. Long Term Programs. Trying to decide how long to participate in a study abroad Geneva program? Whether you’re looking for a few days with a spring break program, a few weeks with a May term program, or a few months or longer with a trimester, fall, spring, or academic year program, you won’t be short on options. Almost all of the programs are also offered in the summer, which can help you earn extra credits and save money.

Attending Universities vs. Other Program Types. You could choose to directly enroll in the University of Geneva or one of its many other higher education institutions in Geneva. You might also opt to study abroad through your own university or through a program provider. Consult a study abroad advisor at your university to help you determine your goals and credit needs before choosing a study abroad Geneva program that will be the right fit for you.

Student Life in Geneva

With its cosmopolitan shops and beautiful architecture, you’ll need to recharge your phone after all the pictures you’ll take here! Be sure to visit the heart of the city, Old City Of Geneva, which offers numerous shops and  buildings.

Start your adventure of architecture with the most typical Swiss buildings by visiting the area of Eaux-Vives. After that, you might want to pass by the Tour de L'ile, which are the remnants of a fortified castle from the 13th century. Visit the whimsical village of the Quartier des Grottes, which has an area of building called “les Schtroumpfs” in which the constructor of this unbelievable region tried to avoid straight lines at all costs!

One of the most famous landmarks in Geneva is the Jet d’Eau, a fountain of water that shoots 459 feet up into the air! The Jet d’Eau can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. When visiting it, be careful where you stand — the slight change of wind can cause the stream to switch directions, and you may be finding yourself drenched. Lit up at night, it’s a spectacular sight.

Benefits & Challenges

While Geneva offers decadent delights with its world-class amenities, it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Transportation shouldn’t empty your pockets though — Geneva claims to have the shortest commuting time in the world with the public transportation (one of which is a water taxi) being quite affordable; you could also choose to walk around freely and get up close and personal with the sights. Speaking of navigating, the locals in Geneva are generally friendly and can speak English, so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem getting to where you need to go.

More savings tips: Refill your water bottle in the fountains, as they are clean, and make sure you go to the restroom before touring the city because most washrooms aren’t free. Take advantage of lunch specials for a nice meal instead of eating large dinners in the evening. France is also just across the border, so you could choose to purchase necessities and other personal expenses there as well.

If you’re here in the summer, be sure to visit Fêtes de Genève, a festival with a one-hour firework display; for any other time of the year, explore the chocolateries and take some home for your friends and family! With its pleasantly warm summer and fairly mild winters along with its many archaeological sites and various museums, you’re sure to fall in love with Swiss cultural offerings when you choose to study in Geneva.

Read our comprehensive guide on studying in Switzerland.

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The Boston University Geneva Physics Program brings students directly to the cutting edge of modern physics. With classes at the University of Geneva and directed research at the CERN, straddling the French-Swiss border just outside Geneva, students will work with the world's leading physicists to explore the universe on the level of its most basic constituent particles. Upon successful complet...

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Voyager Europe, offered by Voyager Study Abroad, is a unique study abroad program. Our students experience an intimate real-world learning experience that immerses them in the art, history and culture of some European countries. In summer 2017, we visit five countries – Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Germany as well as important European cities including Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Floren...

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Earn 6 credits in 4 weeks this summer while traveling and studying in 7 amazing European cities: Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Geneva, Milan, Rhodes (Greek Islands) and Chamonix (French Alps). Students from the U.S. and 15 other countries travel together (with the professors) taking classes, visiting universities, companies and international organizations. Open to all majors. AACSB-accredited univers...

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Examine models of health systems and development policy in Geneva and the surrounding region, the world’s capital for international organizations dedicated to public health, social justice, and sustainable development. The program investigates prominent issues dominating the international health and development arena. Students learn through onsite briefings and lectures with health and dev...

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Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery. A Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) study abroad program is an experience that will immerse you in the lives, cultures, and communities of a real family in one of more than 40 countries around the globe. An adventure where you'll learn, in a year, semester or a summer, what life is like for teens in another part of the world. An experience that ...

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Take two courses during this six-week summer program offered by the the Philosophy Department, Markets and Management Studies Program, and Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO-U) of Duke University. It takes place in Geneva, with the Cité Universitaire De Genève as the host institute. Geneva is the European base of the United Nations and many NGOs, as well as home to over a hundr...

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Take part in the International Cultural Heritage Law summer school, which aims to build participants’ general understanding and awareness of the main themes of international cultural heritage law, specifically the following: - safeguarding of the diversity of cultural expressions and intangible cultural heritage - the protection of the built heritage from human-induced and natural disasters...

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At the beginning of the 21st century, international discussions and actions play an important part in public and private policy-making. The Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance takes you to the heart of international policy-making: it provides participants with a unique combination of academic expertise and practical experience on issues of economic integration, human...

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Enroll in the Kent State Geneva program, a study abroad program set amidst a picturesque landscape with views of the majestic Swiss Alps. It is based at Webster University Geneva, our partner institution. On campus, you will become part of a diverse student body as well as receive personalized attention within small classes and and comprehensive support services for your academic needs and cult...

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Students can study at Webster University in Geneva, the institution's first European campus. The campus is situated in a park-like setting located near Bellevue, and is only a seven-minute train ride from the city center. Campus facilities include on-campus bookstore, student center, cafeteria, a library, and computer labs. Students can enjoy annual film and music festivals, clubs, and restaura...