Pursuing a degree abroad will mean that one will need to stay there for quite a period of time. Students who plan to pursue their degree in Switzerland will also need to adapt oneself to the living environment there. In fact, Switzerland is a very desirable place to live. To help you plan ahead and also get the general picture of how life as an international students in Switzerland looks like, here is some information about life in Switzerland to help students plan ahead and adjust to the country more easily.
Choosing the accommodation is important because it will be the student’s new home there. Students are strongly encouraged to arrange their accommodation prior to their arrival. Generally speaking, there are three options of accommodations.
- On-campus housing: It is the most common and usually most convenient option. Living on campus also helps students to quickly immerse in university life and to make friends with other students. What is special about living on campus in Switzerland is students of some universities such as the Swiss Hotel Management School have the chance to stay in the magnificent palace of their university.
- Off-campus housing: This is also an option for students to choose to stay off-campus and rent an apartment or room alone or shared with another roommate. Students should also consider the time and expense of traveling to university when staying off-campus.
- Homestay: Another option is to stay with a local Swiss family through a homestay arrangement. Some students might choose to rent a flat or a room of a Swiss family to experience the culture and way of living. This is a great way to connect and immerse oneself in the local culture and practice.
Food in Switzerland or in Europe, in general, will be quite different from food in Cambodia. The breakfast in Switzerland would include bread, butter, margarine or jam with cheese or cereals plus hot or cold milk or chocolate, tea or coffee. The other meal might be just sandwiches or another western cuisine such as Raclette or melted cheese served with potatoes and similar food. As a country famous for its Swiss cheese, you might expect to see many meals served with cheese. Rice and Asian noodle will not be an important part of every meal for western countries as expected. Instead, potato, pasta, and bread will be part of the main course. Besides, there are many must-try foods in Switzerland which you should take note of. Swiss chocolate and cheese are the must-try. Other includes the Swiss fondue, Raclette, Älplermagronen, Bundenernusstorte and many more.
Switzerland has four official languages which are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Though English is not one of the official languages of Switzerland, English is considered as the business language among the different cantons that is dominated by different languages. For Switzerland as a whole, there are around two-third of the total population can speak English. The international programs that use English as the medium of instruction are widely available. Therefore, you should not worry much if you only know English as the second language. Moreover, it can also be a good chance for you to learn and adopt another language.
Students who plan to study in Switzerland must be wondering how to get around in Switzerland. The public transportation system in Switzerland is actually one of the best in the world and can usually get you to most parts of the city. Students can also purchase the Swiss Travel System rail passes that allow traveling on nearly all trains, buses, boats, cable cars and other modes of transport across Switzerland. Due to the geographical features and landscapes of Switzerland, its transportation method also includes boat, cable car, and cogwheel train in addition to train, bus, and car.
- Train: Switzerland's railway system like the public transportation system is clean and efficient. It can generally take you almost everywhere. There are many types of trains in Switzerland. Some of which cut across the glacier and mountain ranges which is also a great way to relax and enjoying the natural beauty of Switzerland.
- Bus: This is another convenient way for international students to travel. The bus service in Switzerland has two categories of urban/suburban routes and regional/rural bus routes. The price and ticket sale differs depending on the company that operates and the canton that the bus service is located.
- Taxi and Uber: This is a more expensive option comparing to the public transportation of trains and buses. In some cities such as Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich, Uber ride-sharing services are also available.
- Cable Car & Cogwheel Train: If you want to travel up the mountain top, there is the option of the cable car and cogwheel train available in Switzerland. It can also be one of the new experiences to give it a try.
- Boat: Though Switzerland is a landlocked country, there are many beautiful lakes. The boat trip is actually one of the attractions to enjoy the scenic views of nature around.
Cambodian parents and students can now get the general picture about life in Switzerland for a student who plans to pursue their education in Switzerland. The article provided the complete guide to life in Switzerland including information about the types of accommodation, food, language, and transportation.
Preparation for overseas education is complicated but it should not be a problem. Cambodian students and parents who wish to study abroad can always contact us WEduAbroad, the local consultancy for study abroad for free consultations about studying abroad at the 7th Floor, B-Ray Tower, Preah Norodom Blvd, Tonle Bassak Commune, Chamkamorn District, Phnom Penh (map here) or contact us via phone call (855) 17 548 354 or (855) 81 63 63 60. You can also visit our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/WEduAbroad/ to take a quick look at what we have been doing so far.