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Information for ESST students going to Lausanne
(based on experiences in 1999)

Norwegian students: See the Norwegian version

Before you leave:

  • Contact the ESST secretary Margaret Howett (email, tel. +41 21 693 71 98) to check whether she can arrange accommodation
  • You might want to buy a student insurance
  • Arrange with your bank how to transfer money to Switzerland

    What you ought to bring:

  • Copy of university-level diplomas or transcript of exam results
  • Proof that you are in possession of sufficient funds (or guarantee of funds, e.g. from parents) for an 8-month stay (approx. SF 12000)
  • Proof that you have a medical insurance
  • 4 passport photographs
  • Books you think you will need (the EPFL library is not particularly good)
  • Winter clothes (winter temperatures approx. -5 to +5 C)
  • Alpine skiing clothes (if you do not hate skiing)
  • Mountain shoes (if you like trekking in the summer)
  • Some kitchen utensils (do not expect that any is provided)
  • French dictionary

    Last train from Genève Aéroport to Lausanne normally leaves around midnight and takes approx. 50 minutes. If you arrive too late, here is some advice.

    Tips when you land in Geneva:
    If you plan to do some travelling in Switzerland it is beneficial to buy a half-price-card ("carte demi-tarif annuel") for train which costs SF 150 (lasts a year and covers all departures). You ought to purchase it already before you take the train from Geneva airport, so that you save SF 12,50 on the trip to Lausanne. You will need a passport photograph.

    Registration at EPFL:
    The ESST secretary there will arrange this. She will ask for:

  • A copy of university-level diplomas or transcript of exam results
  • Two passport photographs
    A French dictionary is handy when filling in the French form.
    After 2-3 weeks you will receive your student card from the ESST secretary.
    How to get to EPFL

    Registration with the immigration authorities:
    The office is in Rue Beau-Séjour 8. Bring the following:

  • Proof that you are in possession of sufficient funds
  • Filled out "Arrive" form (obtained from the concierge at the halls of residence)
  • Proof that you are a student at EPFL (obtained from the ESST secretary)
  • One passport photograph
  • Passport
    After a couple of weeks you will be mailed a blue card wich gives a discount on season tickets for the local transport. You will also soon be asked to pick up an ID card which costs SF 132.
    More info

    Medical insurance:
    The local authorities wil mail you a letter where they ask for proof that you have a medical insurance. Otherwise you will have to buy an expensive Swiss insurance.

    When it comes to opening a bank account UBS is a handy bank, since they have relatively many cashpoints. At the main branch office at St-Francois they speak English.

    Local transport:
    Monthly season ticket for metro and bus (line 1-50) costs SF 42 if you are under 25. This can be purchased e.g. at the Lausanne-Flon metro station. You will need a passport photograph.
    If you are over 25 it costs SF 49 if you have the blue Lausanne card. Since you do not get this before 2-3 weeks have passed, you can expect to pay SF 71 the first month.

    French language course:
    The language centre (Centre de Langue) at EPFL provide free language courses for all levels. There are intensive courses and ordinary courses. The latter lasts from March to June (two 2-hour lessons per week).

    Data tips:
    The ESST students normally only get access to a room with Macintosh maschines, where you do not get your private storage area. Ask therefore the ESST office to also get access to the PC room EL E-121, or the PC room in the architecture department (which is in the city centre).

    Alcatraz squash centre has student discount (SF 12 per court for 45 min.) in the period 9:15-11:30am og 1:00-5:30pm Mon-Fri. Address: Chemin du Chêne 7 (Renens), tel. (021) 634 10 00. Take bus 32 or 33 from Malley metro station. It is possible to rent (and buy) equipment.


  • Recommended events

    For more info:
    Contact us who were in Lausanne in 1999

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