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.