You are on page 1of 36



Editor © EPFL (february 2010)

Design & Layout

OH NO, OH YES! Design
D. S. Stefanovich

Atelier Création Photographique
A. Herzog

IRL Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA
Swiss Printers

Embark on a great adventure

Thinking of joining EPFL? You To guarantee your chances of

will become one of the women success, the EPFL offers excep-
and men who shape our society’s tional conditions and outstand-
scientific future – the scientists, ing infrastructure.
architects, engineers, innovators The School also provides a
and entrepreneurs-to-be, getting host of support opportunities
higher education on a unique and advice. The professors, as-
campus. You will contribute to sistants, students and staff are
exploring the new frontiers of here to help you on the human,
knowledge, supported by world- educational and social levels.
leading scientists. You will help In return the EPFL expects you
to solve major technological and to show commitment, perse-
environmental challenges. You verance and inquisitiveness,
will enhance your creativity to which will open up excellent
establish unprecedented con- vocational prospects. The suc-
nections between science and cess of EPFL Alumni evidences
the community. An extraordinary the value of our education
journey awaits you, not only in as well as its recognition on
the realm of science, but also on the employment market.
the cultural and social planes. You
will also have the opportunity to I look forward to welcom-
live among the over 110 nationali- ing you and wish you every
ties represented on our campus. success in your studies.
Yours faithfully,

Giorgio Margaritondo
Vice President for Academic Affairs


A Introduction G Housing
A 1 About Switzerland 4 G 1 Student Halls 21
A 2 About EPFL 4 G 2 Other Accommodation 21

B Bachelor /Master Studies H Health & Support

B 1 Educational Structure 5 H 1 HELP Support & Prevention 22
B 2 Education at EPFL 7 H 2 Health & Accident Insurance 22
B 3 Typical Academic Year 8 H 3 Health 22
B 4 Timetables 8 H 4 Medical Emergencies 23
B 5 Study Plans and Regulations 8 H 5 Old age and survivors insurance (AVS) 23
B 6 Course Books 9 H 6 Disabled Students 23
B 7 Student Card 9
B 8 Student File 9 I Campus Life
B 9 IT 10 I 1 Restaurants 24
B 10 Laptops 11 I 2 Parking 24
B 11 ECTS Credits 11 I 3 Getting to EPFL 24
B 12 Changing Programmes at EPFL 11 I 4 Shops 25
B 13 Grade Sheets 11 I 5 Child Care 25
B 14 Grade or Assessment Revision 11 I 6 Library 25
B 15 Army, Military Service 12 I 7 Career Center 25
B 16 Adapted Study Timetable 12 I 8 Language Centre 25
B 17 Teaching Languages 12 I9 Associations 26
I 10 University Sports Centre 26
C Bachelor /Master Admissions I 11 Culture on Campus 26
C 1 When and How to Register at EPFL 13
C 2 Transfer from another University 13 J Living in Switzerland
C 3 Admission to the Preparatory J 1 Social Life in Lausanne 27
Special Mathematics Course - “CMS” 13 J 2 Integration – Local Customs 27
C 4 Admission to 1st Year Bachelor 14 J 3 Shops & Second-Hand Stores 27
C 5 Admission Requirements for J 4 Post & Mail 28
Master Programmes 15 J 5 Telephone 28
C 6 Admission Requirements for J 6 Electricity 28
HES Graduates 15 J 7 Banking 28
C 7 Polymaths Admission Requirements 15 J 8 Transport 28
C 8 Admission Requirements for Students
from French Preparatory Courses 15 K Useful Addresses
C 9 Exchange - Mobility 15 K 1 Student Services Hotline 30
C 10 Welcoming Events 16 K 2 Swiss Embassies Abroad 30
K 3 Foreign Embassies in Switzerland 30
D Beyond Master Studies K 4 Emergency Numbers 30
D 1 Doctoral School 16 K 5 Insurance - Cantonal Supervisory Body 31
D 2 School of Continuing Education 16 K 6 Useful Addresses & Links at EPFL 31
D 3 Career Center 16 K 7 Useful services 31
E Residing in Switzerland L Check-List
E 1 Visa and Residence permit 17 L 1 Before you leave for Switzerland 32
E 2 Working in Switzerland 18 L 2 Upon arrival in Switzerland 32
L 3 During your studies 32
F Study Costs
F 1 Tuition Fees 19
F 2 Study Grants 19
F 3 Cost of Living 20

A1 A2
About Switzerland About EPFL
Switzerland is located at the EPFL is located on the shores of
heart of Europe, surrounded by Lake Geneva and brings together
Germany to the north, Austria over 10,000 people on a single
and Liechtenstein to the east, campus, including 7,200 students
Italy to the south and France to and 275 faculty members.
Introduction the west. It has an area of 41285 Since it was founded in 1853,
m2 with a population of 7,508,700 EPFL has become a world-re-
distributed across 26 cantons. nowned international institution
Switzerland has four national with more than 100 nationalities
languages : 63.7% of the inhabit- on campus. The School has
ants speak German, 20.4% French, a unique organisation to foster
6.55% Italian and less that 0.5% cross-disciplinary research and
Romansh. The Swiss Confedera- promote partnerships with other
tion was founded in 1291. institutions and companies. Its more than 250 laboratories
and research groups enable
EPFL to rank among the world’s
most innovative and productive
institutions in terms of science.
EPFL offers 13 complete
study programmes at the
Bachelor and Master levels in
engineering, basic sciences,
computer and communication
sciences, life sciences, architec-
ture and the environment.
The EPFL Doctoral School
enables PhD students of
the same subject to work
Lausanne together, transcending the
Lausanne, the capital of Canton boundaries of their own labs.
Vaud, lies on Lake Geneva in the
French-speaking area. Its popula- Students attending the EPFL
tion of 135,000 includes some School of Continuing Educa-
25,000 students. Lausanne plays tion have the opportunity to
a major role in the field of inter- strengthen and update their
national sport. In particular, as it skills and knowledge, giv-
houses the headquarters of the ing them a competitive
International Olympic Commit- edge in a rapidly evolving
tee (IOC), it has earned the title professional environment.
of “Olympic Capital”. The town is
characterised by its steep streets
and the over 500 m difference in
level between the shores of Lake
Geneva and the city’s heights.
B bachelor / master studies 5

Educational Structure The Bachelor qualification is
The educational structure at awarded for mastering the
EPFL is in line with the Bolo- basic knowledge required in a
gna Convention and includes given field. It serves as a pass-
two successive stages: port to enter the Master cycle
at EPFL or another university
Bachelor / Master O a Bachelor with 180 credits
in Switzerland or elsewhere.
Studies O a Master with 90 or
120 credits
Master programmes are based
Bachelor on the knowledge acquired in
The initial preparatory (so-called the Bachelor cycle and build on
“propédeutique”) year focuses on these skills. They are a gateway
basic training in science. to working in industry as well as
in research. Master programmes
This first year is completed in
offer great flexibility and freedom
one of the 13 available study
of choice as to the subjects,
programmes. However, several
enabling each student to have
programmes offer the possibility
a tailor-made curriculum.
of joining the Bachelor cycle
(2nd and 3rd year) of a related study The Master cycle includes either
plan after passing the 1st year 90 or 120 credits depending on
exam. your chosen programme and
specialisations or minors and
The Bachelor cycle (2nd and 3rd
is aimed at educating students
year) introduces the specific
across disciplines. The last se-
courses to be followed in each
mester is devoted to the Master
Programme, enabling you to
Project, a personal project,
gradually master the required
lasting from 4 to 6 months and
skills and working methods.
completed in the framework of
research conducted at EPFL, at
another university or in industry.

3rd year
Humanities & Social Sciences (SHS)

Bachelor cycle (120 credits)

Specific courses
2nd year (lectures, lab work, projects and
options as from the 3rd year)
Basic Sciences (continued)

Preparatory year (“propédeutique” 60 credits)

Basic Sciences
1st year (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,
Computer Science)
Introductory courses (programme-specific)
6 B bachelor / master studies

90-credit Programme 120-credit Programme

Humanities & Social

Sciences (SHS)
Minor (optional) (30 credits) Master Project (30 credits)

Master cycle (90 credits)

2nd year Master Project (30 credits)

& Social Sci-


ences (SHS)
Optional courses, projects
Master cycle (60 credits) Specialisation or Minor
1st year Optional courses, projects (30 credits)

Upon completion of your Master CMS - Special PolyMaths

studies, EPFL awards the EPFL Mathematics Course PolyMaths is a one-semester
Master of Science (MSc) in the The Cours de mathématiques optional course dedicated to
chosen discipline. Holders of spéciales (CMS) is a prepara- the holders of a Swiss “ma-
an EPFL MSc are concurrently tory course to join EPFL. turité gymnasiale” wishing
awarded the title of EPF graduate Over 2 academic semesters, this to perfect their knowledge
engineer or architect (“dipl. EPF”). course serves to acquire the basic before starting their first year.
All titles awarded by EPFL are understanding in Mathemat- Organised each year in Spring
acknowledged by the Center of ics (Calculus, Linear Algebra and (February to end May), Poly-
Accreditation and Quality As- Analytical Geometry), Physics, maths is a full-time course to
surance of the Swiss Universities Chemistry, and Biology that is master various general aspects
(OAQ) and engineering degrees required to begin EPF studies. of mathematics and physics
are also accredited by the Com- The course is aimed at : through a university teach-
mission des Titres d’Ingénieur ing method. Together with a
(CTI) in France, where the “Engi- O Swiss or foreign students module on work techniques,
neer” title is protected by law. residing in Switzerland Polymaths offers ideal prepara-
without a “maturité” certificate tion for polytechnic studies.
acknowledged by the Swiss
Confederation. Whether you are taking a few
months’ leave after your “ma-
O students with a school-leaving turité”, are at military service or
certificate obtained abroad simply feel the need to strength-
(“baccalauréat”) subject to en your skills in mathematics,
the applicable admission this course may be of interest.
procedure (see chapter C3 on For non French-speaking school-
“Bachelor/Master Admissions”) leavers, this is also an opportunity
For further information : to practice your French before starting university education!
Languages courses are offered
free of charge to complement
the science curriculum.
For further information :
B bachelor / master studies 7

Education at EPFL O Mathematics
Depending on your interests, (Masters in Mathematics or
skills and professional projects Mathematical Sciences)
you may join EPFL in any of the O Chemistry & Chemical
following study programmes : Engineering (Masters in
Molecular & Biological
Chemistry or Chemical &
Biochemical Engineering)
O Life Sciences and

Master level only :

O Nuclear Engineering
O Financial Engineering
O Management of Technology
and Entrepreneurship
O Computational Science
& Engineering
Study plans and regulations for
Bachelor and Master these curricula are available on
level programmes : - “Study plans
O Architecture and rules” link in the index.
Detailed information is also avail-
O Civil Engineering
able online on the “Prospective
O Environmental Science and Students” portal on
Engineering Programme-specific leaflets
can also be ordered via : http://
O Electrical & Electronics
O Mechanical Engineering
O Materials Science and
O Micro-Engineering
O Computer Science
O Communication Systems
O Physics
8 B bachelor / master studies

Typical Academic Year Major Deadlines Planning Your Time
The academic year at EPFL Early September : Our study programmes are de-
is divided into two (autumn Registration week and welcom- signed for full-time studying to
and spring) semesters of ing activities for new students obtain 30 credits per semester.
courses, 14 weeks each, fol- (see chapter C10 on “Welcom- The information provided during
lowed by 2 to 3-week (winter ing Events” in the “Bachelor/ lectures may be substantial as
and summer) exam sessions. Master Admissions” section) from the start of term, which is
O Autumn semester course Mid September : why you should schedule practi-
schedule : mid September courses start 30 September : cal work and exam preparation
to end December deadline for late arrivals of as from the onset of the courses.
admitted students and for Both the winter and summer
O Winter exam session : eligible students registered exam sessions are punctuated
last three weeks in January at another Swiss university to by 2-3 weeks’ revision time dur-
transfer for their 1st year at EPFL. ing which there are no lectures.
O Spring semester course
These weeks are not holidays
schedule : mid February Early October and should be used to complete
to end May (end of the 2rd week of courses) : reports on practicals and projects
deadline to register for and revise for the exams which
O Summer exam session :
courses and request a change are within a three week period.
mid June to beginning of July
in study programme.
Academic Calendar 1 December :
The Academic Calendar deadline for 1st-year students B5
( to withdraw without failure Study Plans and
html) provides all major dates and/or register for Polymaths Regulations
and deadlines for comple- as per the rules set out on the site Detailed study plans for each
tion of your studies. programme specify compulsory
lectures and available optional
courses for each semester, in-
B4 dicating the number of hours
Timetables and credits. These plans also
Course Timetable set when and how teaching
Course timetables and descrip- assessment takes place.
tions are posted online on The Rulebooks include legal pro- visions governing the passing of
page51706.html several weeks the exams for each programme.
before the start of the semester. These documents are avail-
Exam Timetable able on http://sac.epfl.
Exam timetables are available ch/page9617.html.
online on http://is-academia. several
weeks prior to the start of each
session. They are designed to
avoid two tests on the same
day, which is why it is impor-
tant that you register properly
within the set deadlines.
(see Chapter L3 Check-list “During
your studies”)
B bachelor / master studies 9

Student File
Access to your academic
file and academic manage-
ment tool : IS-Academia
The IS-Academia software
enables you to consult your
personal academic file online
Access to the application is
divided into two sections :
Part of the IS-Academia data
is accessible to the public.
Access to individual and per-
sonal data is protected and
you will need a username and
password (allocated to you
at the beginning of your stud-
B6 B7 ies) to view this section.
The following functions are
Course Books Student Card
available in the protected sec-
There is a descriptive course What is the CAMIPRO tion (see also Chapter B9 on IT and
leaflet for each of the courses student card?
to be found in the Bach- Your student badge confirms
elor / Master study plan. your status as an EPFL student. Personal Data
This leaflet also gives the teach- This microchip badge called Identification
ing objectives, the content, CAMIPRO is imperative and Lists your personal data
the required level necessary to you should always have it with (name, address, etc.)
follow the course, the number you. It is used to borrow books,
of hours, the number of cred- sit exams and access certain Address Changes
its, the bibliography and the classrooms. Additionally, you Form to notify a change
information relating to how may charge your badge with of address.
the course is evaluated. cash and use it as an electronic
Enrolment Certificate
The course leaflets are available purse to pay in campus res-
Page enabling you to print
on : taurants at a discount or make
your student certificate.
page51706.html photocopies. You will also be
(“Course description” link) able to use your card to borrow
free-access bikes. At the start of
each term you should update
the data on your badge on one
of the Polyright infoterminals.
For further information :
10 B bachelor / master studies

Academic Registration Form Oral Exam Timetable E-mail address “”

Form indicating the semester Individual timetable for oral An e-mail address “first name.
and programme under which exams if posted by your class” is allocated to
you are registered. You should delegate in IS-Academia you when you first register.
validate this form at the start Throughout your studies at EPFL,
of each term. This is compul- Statement of Results important information, remind-
sory to enable you to regis- To view and print your vari- ers, etc., will be e-mailed to you at
ter for the courses you have ous exam grades (.pdf file). this address, enabling the EPFL to
selected for the coming term. reach you quickly, either individu-
Students Online B9 ally or as a group. You are ex-
pected to read your e-mails and
Application Form IT manage your mailbox diligently.
Page to register as a contact Access to IT Resources This e-mail address will also be
student to answer que- To access secured IT services you posted in the student directory.
ries by new students. must identify yourself with a user- To manage your account please
Teaching name and password provided to connect to :
you at the beginning of your first
Course Registration study semester. Identification Printing
Page enabling students to regis- and authentication principles You will find all the informa-
ter for Bachelor / Master courses. are described at the following tion related to reloading,
You should tick off all the courses address : prices and the state of your
you attend within two weeks fol- account for the EPFL printing
lowing the start of each semester. machines on the following
Password Management page :
Evaluation of Teaching You may change your origi-
Page dedicated to assess- nally allocated password on the Communication Tools
ing your own courses only. GASPAR portal : The various EPFL communica- tion tools are listed on the link :
Evaluation Results
Page to consult the results of your Available IT Resources
course assessments. The list of available IT resources Purchasing a Computer
(and to withdraw from exams) may be consulted on : Attractive terms for students via the Poseidon portal :
Exam Registration
Page to consult registrations for
(and withdrawals from) exams. Help / Support
Online support is avail-
You are automatically registered
able in the form of Web
for exams based on your course
pages, wikis or directly linked
registrations. However, you
to the IT applications, e.g. :
are entitled to withdraw up to
two weeks prior to the start
of the exam session. Caution : page48561.html
you may not withdraw from a
subject with exams during the support/etudiants.bama
term, or from 1st year courses.
B bachelor / master studies 11

B 10 B 13
Laptops The ECTS system is based on Grade Sheets
Why purchase a laptop? the assumption that the quantity The Registrar’s Office sends
Access to computers is available of work required by a full-time students an official grade sheet
in dedicated IT rooms. How- student over an academic year is by post only at the end of each
ever, in order to study under equivalent to 60 credits. As the study cycle (“Propédeutique”,
the best possible conditions workload of students registered Bachelor, Master). Provisional
your are advised (although not for a full-time study curricu- results for interim years may
obliged) to purchase a laptop as lum in Europe is usually about be consulted and printed
from your 1st year of studies. 1500-1800 hours per annum, from IS-Academia (see sec-
one credit represents approxi- tion B8 on the ”Student File“).
Purchasing a laptop - mately 25 to 30 hours’ work.
Poseidon For further information
The Poseidon service enables see : http://bachelor.epfl.
you to purchase a computer ch/page28393.html
at preferential rates, with a
3-year warranty, and to ben-
efit from support thanks to the B 12
education-oriented helpdesk. Changing Programmes
In addition, Poseidon pro- at EPFL
motes the use of open source During Bachelor studies at EPFL
software in education. you may change programmes
For further information : once, provided that you have not had a final failure.
In the 1st year you may apply for a
change of programme before the
B 11 end of the 2nd week of courses
ECTS Credits in the autumn semester, either B 14
The European Credit Transfer by filling in the “Academic Reg- Grade or Assessment Revision
System (ECTS) serves to as- istration Form” on IS-Academia, Students are entitled to make
sess the level reached by a or by e-mail to the Student an official request to have
student by awarding credits Services Hotline provided that a grade revised, within the
to a completed course. you have validated this form. set deadline and according
ECTS credits are proportional As from the 2nd year you must to established procedure.
to the volume of work to be fill in the relevant form on the For further information :
completed by the student Registrar’s Office Web page
in the form of either courses, to apply for a change of pro- (“Demande de nouvelle ap-
practicals, laboratory work, gramme, to be decided by préciation ou de recours” link)
projects or homework. the authorities concerned.
For further information :
12 B bachelor / master studies

B 15 B 16
Army, Military Service Adapted Study Timetable The EPFL recommends that
It has become difficult for EPFL If you have a physical disability students starting at EPFL should
students to reconcile their stud- or are an elite sportsperson or have minimum B2 level in the
ies with military obligations. musician, you may – subject teaching languages (as defined by
You are therefore advised to to certain conditions – request the Common European Framework
complete the whole of your an adapted study schedule. of Reference for Languages scale).
military training before starting Kindly fill in the relevant form For further information : http://
your university curriculum, so as on
to avoid suspending your educa- html and send it to the Reg-
tion at the risk of losing a year of istrar’s Office together with Cours de Mathématiques
studies. If you decide to take a the required evidence, i.e. : Spéciales
year’s leave after leaving school to Teaching is exclusively in
O elite sportsperson (official French and a good under-
complete your military training, certificate from your Swiss
it would be wise to use the time standing of this language is
sports federation, together needed to follow the courses.
to do a few compulsory refresher with training and competition
courses or to opt for long serv- schedule) Bachelor
ice so as to complete your life’s Most courses are given in
military duties once and for all. O musician (official certificate French although a few (Analysis
You will find further informa- from the Conservatoire de or Physics) can be followed in
tion on the EPFL http://bachelor. Musique stating the number of German or English depend- and the hours devoted to music lessons) ing on the programme.
Army’s O disabled student (medical Master
net/vtg/fr/home.html Websites. certificate stating why you need The teaching language is strongly
During your studies requests for an adapted study schedule) dependent on the chosen
leave, postponement or exemp- curriculum. Some Master pro-
tion should be submitted to the grammes are available mostly
Army subject to the Registrar’s B 17 in English, others in French and
Office’s prior agreement. All the Teaching Languages some are bilingual. The trend
necessary information and links There are four official languages is for most Master classes to
to fill the relevant forms are on in Switzerland : French, German, be taught mainly in English. Italian and Romansh. Although Details on the specific page of
a number of persons understand the Master programme of your
English, the official language choice, under the “Curriculum in
in Canton Vaud is French. Brief” link :
French is the official language for
legal texts at EPFL. Teaching is
partly in French and partly in Eng-
lish depending on course levels.

C1 C2
When and How to Transfer from
Register at EPFL another University
Cours de Mathématiques Candidates registered with
Spéciales “CMS” and Bachelor another Swiss University or
Registration deadline : University of Applied Sciences
may apply for a transfer of their
Bachelor / Master mid-January to end of April
registration to EPFL until the end
Admissions Registration form :
to be filled in online on
of September. However, transfer
will only be accepted provided that the applicant meets the
All applications – even if incom- EPFL’s own admission criteria.
plete – must reach EPFL by end Transfer applications should
of April. They may, however, be be sent to the Student Services
completed with the latest results Hotline by e-mail to
obtained until 15 July latest.
Master Students no longer entitled to
Registration deadline : pursue their studies in a Swiss
early November to 15 January University or University of Applied
and 15 January to 15 April. Sciences may not be admitted to
The application form is EPFL in the same programme.
totally online and must
imperatively be validated
before the deadline.
Admission to the Preparatory
Access to the online application
Special Mathematics
form on the next page :
Course – “CMS”
Acknowledged Swiss
N.B. : Although the Admission
certificates (“maturité”)
Committee for Master programmes
The holders of a “maturité” ac-
meets twice a year, the start of the
knowledged by the “commission
academic year is only once a year
suisse de maturité” and eligible
in mid September.
for 1st-year admission may request
admission to the CMS.
For these students, succeeding
Registration deadline :
in the CMS is not compulsory,
1 December
although they will only be enti-
Registration form to be printed tled to start the spring semester
from the following link : if they have obtained a minimum average grade of 3.5 at the
When submitting your applica- end of the autumn semester.
tion, please attach all documents
required in the admission pro-
cedure. Incomplete applica-
tions will not be reviewed by
our Admission Committee.

Swiss certificates not Entrance exam HES Bachelors

acknowledged (”maturité Applicants who do not meet the The holders of an HES Bachelor
professionnelle”, “maturité 1st-year admission requirements are eligible for admission to the
commerciale”, “diplôme de must pass an entrance exam 1st year of any EPFL programme.
culture générale”, etc.) to start Bachelor studies. This
The holders of a “maturité” not exam may be prepared at EPFL Foreign applicants
acknowledged by the “com- within the Special Mathemat- with a foreign diploma
mission suisse de maturité” are ics Course (CMS). However, Applications by foreign students
eligible for the CMS and will be there are a restricted number holding a foreign diploma are
required to pass an admission of spaces. Students who do dealt with by our Admission
exam at the end of the CMS to not qualify for the CMS may Committee, which decides
be admitted to 1st-year courses. also turn to private schools to whether or not a student
prepare this entrance exam. may be admitted to EPFL.
Swiss nationals with a However, the holders of a “bac-
foreign “baccalauréat” The terms of the entrance exam
are set in the “ordonnance calauréat” (or equivalent) from an
Swiss national holders of a EU or EFTA member state with
foreign baccalauréat are admit- d’admission à l’EPFL” http:// an average grade (weighted by
ted automatically to the CMS. applicable coefficients) of 70% or
The entrance exam schedule over in the following subjects :
Foreign applicants may be obtained on the follow-
with a foreign diploma Mathematics, Natural Science
ing webpage: (Physics or Chemistry or Biol-
Applications by foreign students page9617.html. Registration by
holding a foreign diploma are ogy), the baccalauréat teaching
emailing language and another modern
dealt with by our Admission
Committee, which decides Registration deadline : language, are admitted into
whether or not a student may 15 January to 31 May. 1st year without an exam.
be admitted to the CMS. Entrance exam fees are set out on Entrance exam
Admission requirements by Applicants having passed the
country are available from the entrance exam to EPFL or ETHZ page - link on
“Admission requirements at EPFL”.
C4 are admitted into 1st year.

Admission to The Cours de Mathématiques

You are advised to check these Spéciales “CMS” prepares stu-
out as they may change from 1st Year Bachelor
dents for this exam. However,
one year to the next. Swiss certificates (“maturités”) admission to the CMS is on per-
The holders of a “maturité” sonal record (see section C3 on
acknowledged by the “com- “Admission to the Preparatory
mission suisse de maturité” are Special Mathematics Course”).
eligible for 1st-year admission.
Admission requirements by
country are available from the page - link on
“Admission requirements at EPFL”.

C5 C6
Admission Requirements Admission Requirements application file for admission
for Master Programmes for HES Graduates to a higher year. These files are
Provided that they apply for the dealt with in a very selective
Bachelors from EPFL way. Only students from a top
Students with an EPFL Bachelor same field of study as their diplo-
ma or Bachelor, the holders of an preparatory school with excel-
are automatically admitted to lent results are accepted and
the Master programme in the HES Bachelor may be accepted
for an EPFL Master programme an interview may be required.
same field of study without
having to apply again. However, subject to certain conditions. For further information : http://
if they aim at an EPFL Master in For further information,
another subject, they should please look up http://bachelor. EPFL guarantees admission
apply online within the set in 3rd year without any exam
deadline and follow the rel- in certain study programme
evant application procedure. to students who have suc-
Registrations on  : http://mas-
C7 cessfully passed the entrance Polymaths Admission exam from the ENS Lyon.
Requirements For further information : http://
Bachelors from another Swiss The holders of a Swiss “maturité”
or Cluster network university or students already registered
Students with a Bachelor from in a 1st-year EPFL programme
another Swiss university are may register for PolyMaths (see C9
automatically admitted to the chapter B1) by following the Exchange - Mobility
Master Programme linked to official application procedure. The EPFL Student Affairs De-
their Bachelor studies, although Access to PolyMaths is on person- partment – more precisely the
specific conditions may ap- al record as the number of places Student Exchange Office – is in
ply (validate additional credits). is restricted (to 80 students). If the charge of promoting and or-
However, such students should number of applicants exceeds ganising student exchange
apply online within the set this limit, the CMS management programmes. It offers academic
deadline and follow the rel- will select applicants. exchange opportunities to 3rd
evant application procedure. In addition to their school year Bachelor and 1st year Master
Foreign Bachelors record, major emphasis will be students and for Master projects
The holders of a foreign Bach- put on the candidates’ motiva- in the framework of the Erasmus
elor should apply online within tion. The final decision rests European programme as well
the set deadline and follow with the CMS and will be noti- as based on agreements signed
the relevant application proce- fied latest by mid January. with over 120 partners through-
dure. An Admission Committee For further information : http:// out the world :
reviews all complete applica-
tions. Only students with an This department is also in charge
excellent academic record and of welcoming over 400 exchange
references can be accepted. C8 students per annum from our
For further information : Admission Requirements worldwide partners. To be ac- for Students from French cepted as an exchange student
Preparatory Courses (CPGE) at EPFL, you must be selected
Applicants from preparatory sci- by your home university and
ence classes in the higher math- announced as such to the EPFL
ematics (MPSI, PCSI, PTSI, TSI) or Student Exchange Office :
special mathematics (MP, PC, PSI,
PT, TSI) channels may submit an
16 D Beyond Master Studies

C 10 D2
Welcoming Events School of Continuing
Various welcoming activities are Education
organised in the weeks prior to Full details about each
the start of the academic year. course are online on http://
A Welcome Day for all new
directly under each continu-
students on the Friday before
the start of term in September.
Beyond ing education programme.
As this enables you to gather Master Studies
important information about
your studies and to meet
your future lecturers, you are Career Center
required to attend. The pro- The Career Center is a bridge
gramme is set out on http:// between EPFL and working life. As such it has a dual role :
How to be a successful stu- to provide academic guid-
dent : during the week before ance and to support inte-
courses start, EPFL offers a range gration into working life at
of workshops to prepare you the end of your studies.
for polytechnic education and In order to help you to be pre-
to learn “Le métier d’étudiant” : pared for your working life, the Career Center offers individual
Integration Week, extremely
D1 sessions and a range of courses
useful to establish contacts, is Doctoral School on vocational integration and
organised in the week prior to The PhD in Science – the development of useful skills
the start of term in September the ultimate degree awarded for working life. Various work-
by the executive committee of by EPFL – is generally granted shops on career opportunities
AGEPOLY, the EPFL student asso- after 4 years of research further for engineers are also organised
ciation : to graduate studies for a Mas- and usually moderated by EPFL
Click on the link “semaine ter, an engineer’s diploma or Alumni with active careers.
d’intégration” equivalent degree (see below). For further information :
Doctoral theses are often com-
(See also section I9 “Associations”)
pleted in conjunction with paid
Welcoming Programme employment as a PhD Assistant
for foreign students : in an EPFL lab or institute. The Doctoral School offers
a wide range of high-level
courses providing the neces-
sary credits to obtain a PhD.
Information about doctoral
studies is provided on http://
The application form and
registration procedures for
PhD studies are on http://phd.
E Residing in Switzerland 17

E1 Commune of Residence
CH - 1022 Chavannes-près-
Visa and Residence permit Renens
Visa Ch. de la Gare 46
For nationals of CH - 1023 Crissier
an EU country Ch. de Chisaz 1
No visa needed to enter Swit-
Residing in zerland, so no administrative CH - 1026 Denges
Switzerland steps to be taken from abroad.
CH - 1024 Ecublens
For nationals of
Place du Motty 4
non-EU countries
A visa is compulsory and must CH - 1002 Lausanne
be applied for from the “Swiss Rue du Port-Franc 18
representation” (embassy or consu-
CH - 1008 Prilly
late) closest to your home abroad.
Rue de Cossonay 40
The visa application must be
submitted at least 3 months CH - 1028 Préverenges
prior to the start of your study Rue de Lausanne 23
curriculum by means of the CH - 1020 Renens
appropriate “visa application Rue de Lausanne 33
form”. In order to improve the
effectiveness and the speed of CH - 1025 Saint-Sulpice
the process, it is required Rue du Centre 47
to join to the visa application For other communes, you will
file the following document : find the address of the residents’
“Application for a Temporary office on the following page :
Residence Permit for Study Pur- select “annuaire des
poses in the Canton of Vaud” communes”. You should submit
Site for general information on the following documents :
entry into Switzerland : O Passport
All documents on our web- O EPFL enrolment certificate
site : (which you can print as soon
as you are registered)
Residence permit
You have to register with the O ERASMUS grant certificate
residents’ office (“contrôle des (if applicable)
habitants”) of your commune O 3 passport photos
of residence within 14 days
of your arrival in Switzerland. O 1 document proving that
For conferated people coming you have sufficient funds
from another canton, this proc- (minimum CHF 1,600 per
ess has to be also followed. month) to cover your stay in
Switzerland (letter from your
parents, bank statement,
grant, etc.).
18 E Residing in Switzerland

Working in Switzerland Tax at source refunds
The police cantonale des Foreign students working
étrangers authorise EU students in a company are subject to
to work as from the start of their social deductions and tax
studies at EPFL. They may work deducted at source. The
maximum 15 hours per week latter can be reclaimed in
during semesters and full-time December of each year pro-
during the academic holiday. vided that the student’s annual
Non-EU students are not al- income is under CHF 8,000.
lowed to work during the first six For Canton Vaud, applications
months of their stay in Switzer- for refunds should be submit-
land, after which they may work ted in writing to the address
maximum 15 hours per week below, together with :
during semesters and full-time O employers’ certificates for
during the academic holiday. the given tax year
For all regular paid work, stu-
dents holding a B permit must O copy of the residence permit
ask their future employer to fill O copy of the EPFL registration
in and sign a form for employ- certificate
ment (form 1350 for Canton
Vaud). They should then have O your bank or postal account
this document endorsed by number for reimbursement
the Student Services Hotline.
Administration cantonale vau-
The form is available on : doise des impôts (Impôts à la source)
Route de Berne 46
CH - 1014 Lausanne
Failure to comply with these Tel. +41 (0)21 316 21 21
rules may result in refusal to
extend the residence permit.
For further information
F Study Costs 19

Tuition Fees PhD
The amounts below are sub- No fees are charged during
ject to changes by the Board the period of thesis preparation.
of Swiss Federal Institutes of The candidate does, however,
Technology (ETH Board). have to pay a tax of CHF 1200 to
sit the oral thesis examination.
Study Costs Bachelor and Master studies
In exceptional situations,
At the beginning of each semes-
ter, you will receive an invoice a request for exemption from
by post for tuition fees, cur- payment of this tax may be
rently CHF 633 per semester. submitted to the EPFL So-
cial Service, which decides
In addition, as a new student, on a case-by-case basis.
you should pay a registration tax
(CHF 50 for the holders of a Swiss Continuing Education
certificate and CHF 110 for foreign Registration fees, which vary
certificates) at the beginning depending on the chosen pro-
of your 1st semester at EPFL. gramme, are listed on
Exceptionally and as a last resort
only, any student with insufficient
means to pay his/her tuition fees
and related taxes may apply for
assistance from the Fondation Study Grants
des Etudiants de l’EPFL. The Swiss nationals and residents
application should be submitted Swiss and foreign students resid-
to the EPFL Social Service by 1 ing in Switzerland should apply,
September of each year. You may before they start their studies,
make an appointment by e-mail to the grant office of the canton
to or by of their parents’ domicile. The
phone on +41 (0)21 693 43 45. office may award a grant based
For further information about on a scale taking income and
social grants awarded by the family situation into account.
Fondation des Etudiants de The addresses of the cantonal
l’EPFL please refer to the “direc- grant offices are listed on
tive concernant l’attribution
des bourses d’études par l’Ecole
Polytechnique fédérale de
Lausanne” on http://polylex.
Exchange students are exempted
from tuition fees and taxes at
EPFL provided that an agreement
exists with their home university.
For further information :
20 F Study Costs

Swiss students living abroad Master applicants Private foundations

Swiss students living abroad The EPFL does not offer social The list and terms for eligibility
should apply to their canton grants to start Master studies. are set out on
of origin and to AJAS (Asso- However, a few scholarships are
ciation pour l’encouragement awarded to students with an
de l’instruction des jeunes Su- outstanding academic record.
issesses et Suisses de l’étranger) : For further information :
Alpenstrasse 26 Cost of Living
CH - 3000 Berne The cost of living is high in Swit-
Foreign students wishing to zerland and you are strongly ad-
Tel. +41 (0)31 351 61 00 do a Master in Switzerland may
Fax +41 (0)31 351 61 01 vised to prepare a budget in ad-
apply to the Federal Commis- vance of your studies. Amounts
e-mail : sion for Scholarships for a grant
Website : may naturally vary according to
by the Swiss government. your consumption habits. How-
Foreigners not residing For further information : ever, be prepared to spend more
in Switzerland money at the start of your stay.
Study grants are very rarely A typical annual budget is as
Exchange students
awarded to foreign students. follows :
Erasmus grants are awarded
In the EPFL framework they
only to students from EPFL
never apply to 1st-year stud- partner European schools. As
ies and must meet a number of
no further grants are offered by
very specific criteria. You should
EPFL you are advised to apply
therefore secure adequate fund- Tuition and
for a grant in your home country CHF 2,500
ing before applying to EPFL so supplies
before leaving for Switzerland.
as to avoid wasting time and
disappointments and to settle For further information : Accommodation CHF 7,000
in under the best conditions.
Food CHF 7,000
For further information about Continuing education Clothes and
social grants awarded by the and PhD applicants CHF 2,000
personal items
Fondation des Etudiants de The EPFL does not offer continu-
l’EPFL please refer to the “direc- ing education grants and only Insurance,
CHF 3,500
tive concernant l’attribution rarely steps in at the end of a transport, misc.
des bourses d’études par l’Ecole thesis upon a formal request by Total CHF 22,000
Polytechnique fédérale de the Dean of the Doctoral School.
Lausanne” on http://polylex. For members of the EPFL Alumni Association A3, a possibility exists
Under no circumstances are of obtaining an “honours loan”
students entitled to any grant
as of right. Grant applications
must imperatively be submitted For further information :
to the Social Service within the
deadlines set in the academic
calendar :
Please make an appointment
with the Social Service for
any grant application.
G Housing 21

Student Halls Studio flats and apartments
The Fondation maison pour Apartments and studio flats are
étudiants Lausanne (FMEL) man- essentially managed by estate
ages 7 residences with accom- agents. Financial guarantees
modation (rooms and studio flats) are required and an amount
for EPFL and Lausanne University equal to 3 months’ rent should
Housing students only. The monthly rent be deposited before moving
for a room is from CHF 450 to in (see rental guarantee below).
CHF 526 *, and from CHF 610 to As flats are usually unfurnished,
CHF 665 * for studios, depending an amount of about CHF 2,500
on the building. Applications for should be foreseen to purchase
a room can be made online. new furniture and equipment.
Les Estudiantines - brand new For further information :
halls of residence on campus -
offer 330 accommodation units
(studios and furnished rooms) Rental guarantee
available to EPFL students as The EPFL and SwissCaution
a priority. Monthly rent for have formed an exclusive
a room from CHF 570 *, and partnership allowing you
from CHF 670 * for a studio. to provide rental guarantee
There are other student halls. without a bank deposit under
For further information : particularly reasonable terms. For further information :

G2 Emergency accommodation
If you arrive in Lausanne with-
Other Accommodation
out a place to stay, Lausanne
Private rooms Tourisme (office at Lausanne train
The Lausanne University/EPFL station) provides hotel addresses.
housing department has a list
For further information :
of rooms for rent – rooms in
a private flat, flats shared with
other students or self-contained Offering accommodation
rooms. There are also studio Looking for a flatmate, to
flats and apartments for rent. sublet your apartment or to
The list can be obtained by find a new tenant for your
e-mailing studio flat? Use our housing
Students already on the cam- database to place an ad.
pus may view vacancies on the
For further information :
*prices subject to change
22 H Health & Support

HELP Support & Prevention Students from EU countries are
Students needing psychological, entitled to an exemption from
social or health support dur- the obligation to use Swiss
ing their studies may contact insurers provided that they
the HELP network at all times. submit their European Health
Insurance Card to the same
Health & Support The HELP network offers several
services to promote the qual-
Organe Cantonal de Contrôle de
l’assurance maladie et accidents.
ity of human relationships on
campus and to support students For further information :
in various fields : psychothera-
peutic consultation, individual
interviews in case of personal or
economic problems, mediation
and individual support, coach- Health
ing, chaplaincy, health at work, Healthcare
equal opportunities office, etc. Students in need of medi-
All HELP network services are cal care can go to the closest
provided in strictest confidence. medical centre or to the Univer-
sity Hospital CHUV. The list of
For further information : hospitals, medical centres and emergency services is given
H2 On the campus two nurses
Health & Accident Insurance look after the HealthPoint.
Health and accident insurance You can contact them by
is compulsory in Switzerland phone +41 (0)21 693 20 02 or
and all foreign students must by email
have insurance approved by the For further information :
Swiss authorities : http://sae.epfl.
ch/assurances. In certain cases,
provided that the foreign health Dental care
and accident cover is equivalent Swiss health insurance does not
to that foreseen under Swiss cover dentists’ bills. It is best
law, students may ask to keep to arrive in Switzerland with
their foreign insurance. They healthy teeth as dentists can be
should apply to the cantonal extremely expensive. You are
supervisory body as follows : advised to ask for an estimate
before having treatment.
Organe Cantonal de Contrôle de
l’assurance maladie et accidents The list of dental care centres
is on
Ch. de Mornex 40
CH - 1014 Lausanne
Tel. +41 (0)21 557 47 47
Fax +41 (0) 21 557 47 50
E-mail :
H Health & Support 23

Psychological distress Psychiatric help (Service de Disabled Students
Students needing psychiatric or psychiatrie et de liaison - SPL) The EPFL is determined to
psychotherapeutic support may Policlinique médicale make the life and integration
make an appointment with a Universitaire of disabled persons easier.
specialised psychiatrist subject to Rue du Bugnon 44 You may request an adapted
medical privilege. Consultations CH - 1011 Lausanne study plan from the Student
take place on campus and you Tel. +41 (0)21 314 61 04 (24/7) Affairs Department. In addi-
should make an appointment by tion, the EPFL Website provides
contacting the Student Affairs Psychiatric emergencies
many useful contacts on
Department, BP 1 242, Please call the centre
campus and beyond for help
Tel. +41 (0)21 693 22 82 for doctors on duty.
on access, transport, leisure, adapted housing, travel in
Medicines H5 Switzerland and abroad, home
Prescription drugs must be help and care and legal issues.
Old age and survivors
purchased at a chemist’s. insurance (AVS) For further information :
According to AVS law, Swiss and

H4 foreign students holding a C

permit must subscribe for AVS
Medical Emergencies if they do not have any gainful
Call 144 for the medical employment. This contribution
emergency centre serving applies from 1 January of the
the whole canton of Vaud. year following that in which the
Medical and surgery student reaches the age of 20.
emergencies Students must pay an annual
CHUV University Hospital subscription by means of a pay-
(Centre hospitalier universi- ment slip provided by the Agence
taire du canton de Vaud) communale des assurances
Rue du Bugnon 46 sociales in Lausanne, even if
CH - 1011 Lausanne they do not live in Lausanne.
Surgery : For students who work, AVS
Tel. +41 (0)21 314 38 77 contributions during each period
Medicine : of employment are deducted
Tel. +41 (0)21 314 38 78 from the annual subscription.
Service des assurances
Centre for doctors and sociales
dentists on 24h duty Cotisations et prestations
(Lausanne) AVS/AI/APG
Tel. 0848 133 133
Place Chauderon 7
Treatment centre 1003 Lausanne
for poison cases (Zurich) Tel. +41 (0)21 315 11 11
Call 145 For further information :
24 I Campus Life

I1 I3
Restaurants Getting to EPFL
There are several restaurants Metro
and cafeterias on the EPFL The M1 line takes you to the EPFL
campus. For the menus and stop in 15 minutes from central
opening times please look up Lausanne (Flon stop) or 7 min-
Campus Life Meals are usually served Mon-
utes from Renens train station
(ticket valid for 1 zone – 1 hour).
day to Friday from 11.30h to For further information :
14.00h and 18.00h to 20.00h.
Students who pay with their
CAMIPRO badge – which doubles Bus
up an electronic purse – get Several bus lines stop at EPFL.
a discount. You can load your TL (Transports publics de la ré-
CAMIPRO badge at the AGEPoly gion lausannoise) :
shop, at the Information desk and No 33 (from Mont-Goulin/Prilly)
in the IN, CM and CE buildings.
TPM (Transports publics morgiens)
Note that if your badge does
not have sufficient cash, your
No 1 and No 5 (from Denges)
meal will be charged at full
price. You cannot pay part Students using the bus and
with your card and part in metro in Lausanne are advised to
cash, so make sure the balance purchase a monthly pass at stu-
on your badge is sufficient. dent rates. Information on rates,
timetables and destinations can
be obtained from the Flon station
I2 or by telephone on 0900 564 900.
Parking For further information :
Car parks are available to students
on the EPFL site by purchasing a page14498-en.html
monthly or yearly parking permit
from the “Accueil-information”
office located on the Esplanade.
Parking permits may be By car
bought at any time, even Follow the “Lausanne-Sud”
after the start of term. direction on the motorway and
take the “EPFL” exit (about 5
However, you are advised to
minutes from the motorway exit).
opt for public transport as
parking spaces are limited.
Your parking permit does not
guarantee a free space.
For further information :
I Campus Life 25

By plane Library The Career Center offers a range
Geneva International Airport is Situated in the Rolex Learning of courses you can attend along
60 km from Lausanne. There are Center, the mission of the EPFL your whole academic cursus
several trains per hour from the Library is to help you to succeed focused on the development
airport to Lausanne station and in your studies and personal of useful skills for working life
the journey takes about projects. In short, the EPFL library : such as “soft skills” and to de-
45 minutes. termine the business field in
O provides scientific and which you will be able to work
technical information and once you have graduated.
I4 documents in the EPFL’s
education and research fields. For further information :
Various shops and services O offers EPFL students the (see Chapter D3 ”Career Center”)
are available on campus : appropriate tools and
methods to conduct
Post office
CFF train ticket shop documentary research I8
“La Fontaine” bookshop independently. Language Centre
“Le Négoce” grocery store In order to promote the de-
O is a place of work, study,
Bank Credit Suisse velopment of the necessary
documentation and meetings
“Tech Travel” travel agency multilingual skills for students to
for the EPFL community.
Les Presses Polytechniques communicate across cultures,
Universitaires Romandes For further information : the EPFL Language Centre offers
(university publishers) various possibilities to learn the
following languages : English,
For further information : French, German and Italian.
http://information.epfl. I7 Various types of training are of-
Career Center fered during and between terms
The Career Center is a bridge with modules for integrated
I5 between EPFL and working life. skills, specific skills for academic
Child Care As such it has a dual role : to and vocational requirements,
There are two day-care centres provide academic guidance and external exam options, intensive
on the EPFL campus : La Cro- to support integration into work- and semi-intensive, self-learning
quignole and Le Polychinelle ing life at the end of your studies. in the multimedia centre (with
or without support) and tandem
As the number of places is lim- Academic / career advisors
with or without tutorial support.
ited you are advised to register are available should you have
as soon as possible or even to questions or doubts about your Intensive French courses are spe-
put your name down on the studies and to take stock of your cifically dedicated to new, non
waiting list. Do also contact situation. Individual interviews French-speaking students before
your commune of residence are made on appointment. the start of the academic year.
for information on childcare These courses are aimed at ex-
Please contact the Student serv-
facilities and a list of daycare change students (ERASMUS) and
ices desk by phone on
providers (“mamans de jour”). students starting a Master course.
+41 (0)21 693 43 45 or
For further information : by e-mail to student. Courses are free of charge and restricted to members of
the EPFL community (French
courses for spouses for a fee).
Please register online on
26 I Campus Life

I9 I 11
Associations O acquire books at a discount Culture on Campus
Student Associations through the book exchange There are special offers for
There are over 60 student as- students in the field of artistic
Look up creation – theatre, dance, movies,
sociations on the EPFL campus,
dedicated to all sorts of sports, museums, modern and classical
board or network games, organis- I 10 music. Please look up
ing acclaimed festivals, acting, University Sports Centre
singing or playing an instru- For a better lifestyle or just to do Subscribing to the newslet-
ment or shaping your career… yourself some good while having ter will keep you informed of
These associations help new fun, this exceptional site offers 85 special offers :
students to settle in at EPFL. sports to choose from, in coop-
Please look up the site http:// eration with over 200 instructors. to give The University Sports Centre
your studies added meaning! is a joint venture between
You will also find all necessary the two universities in
information should you wish to Lausanne - UNIL and EPFL.
establish a new association. A leaflet listing all sports, includ-
ing schedules, is available at the
AGEPoly EPFL Student Services desk.
AGEPoly is the EPFL student
association. It represents the This information is also on
interests of all registered students
and promotes them vis-à-vis the Some sports disciplines can
EPFL management via commit- be practiced at competition
tees in charge of making deci- level within the University
sions affecting life on campus. club. For further information
AGEPoly enables students to : please contact the sports de-
partment :
O join into campus
community life
O make the most of the
entertainment activities
organised by the association
and through its committees
O enjoy benefits negotiated by
the students for the students
O purchase EPFL branded items,
photocopy cards and many
other goodies from the
association boutique
J Living in Switzerland 27

J1 J2
Social Life in Lausanne Integration – Local Customs
The city of Lausanne – the Olym- Switzerland is very unusual in
pic capital – attracts thousands that its various language regions
of tourists every year from all have close relationships with
over the world to visit the historic their immediate neighbours
buildings of the town’s rich as they share a language and
Living in heritage. culture. Thus the French-
Switzerland There are also a number of con- speaking area (“Romandie”)
cert halls, a dense museum net- has close ties to France, the
work, music festivals, renowned German-speaking area to
sport events, great restaurants, Germany and the Ticino to Italy.
discos and many other places for To help you fit in we recommend
your entertainment. Please look the following links and books :
up the offer on the site of the
Lausanne Tourist Office :

If you are into movies please look

up the programme in Lausanne
on EPFL has set up a coaching pro-
And the local cultural agen- gramme to help new students
da : to fit in by taking advice from a
Winter sports such as down- more experienced student :
hill or cross-country skiing, ski
mountaineering, snowshoeing,
ice skating and ice hockey are
extremely popular in Switzerland
and Lausanne has several ice Shops & Second-
rinks. A number of ski resorts Hand Stores
are less than an hour away. Most shops are open from
08.30h to 18.30h except on
Summer sports - nautical Saturdays where closing
sports, mountain hiking or time is earlier. Except in train
climbing, cycling - find an stations and airports shops
ideal home in Lausanne and are closed on Sundays.
the surrounding area.
Most Swiss cities have a
fruit and vegetable street
market twice a week.
A list of second-hand stores
is provided on
28 J Living in Switzerland

J4 J6 J8
Post & Mail Electricity Transport
Post offices are generally open The standard voltage in Switzer- Switzerland has a highly devel-
from 07.30h to 18.00h Monday to land is 220V. Standard sockets oped public transport network.
Friday and 08.00h to 11.00h on are for three-pin plugs :
Saturdays. There is a post office Train (CFF)
on the EPFL campus : php?paysfr=Suisse Train fares are relatively high in
http://information.epfl. Switzerland. You are advised
Transformers and adapters can to purchase a half-fare card
ch/page14481.html be purchased from electronics which enables you to buy train
Mail can either be sent by “A” post stores, supermarkets or DIY stores. and boat tickets at half price.
(delivered on the following day) or
“B” post (which takes 3-4 days). Youngsters under 25 with a

Post offices also offer other

J7 half-fare card are also entitled to
Banking the additional “Track 7” (Voie 7)
services – telephone, Fax, offer, enabling them to take the
money transfers, debit card for You may open a bank account in
Switzerland by submitting ID and train free of charge from 19.00h
shopping. You can also open onwards (
a postal account to manage your residence permit. There is
a bank on the EPFL campus and en/reisemarkt/abonnemente/
your funds and pay your bills. gleis7.htm). There is a CFF ticket
another at Lausanne University :
Further information on http://information.epfl. shop at EPFL on the Esplanade. ch/page14481.html For further information :
Bank cards/debit cards are
J5 widely used for cash with- Bus & Metro (TL)
Telephone drawals and accepted for The public transport network in
Coin payphones are fast disap- payment in most shops. the Lausanne area is highly de-
pearing and have been replaced Swiss currency veloped. It is divided into several
with payphones operating The Swiss currency unit is the zones and the ticket or season
with phone cards – for sale in Swiss Franc (abbreviated CHF or ticket price is based on the
post offices or at newsagents. simply Fr.) number of zones selected :
For calls in Switzerland please
Coins come in 5, 10, 20, and 50 php/tarifs/abonnements
dial 0, then the area code (21 centimes and 1, 2 and 5 franc
for Lausanne) and a seven-digit pieces. Tickets can be bought from
number for your correspondent. automatic ticket dispensers at
Banknotes come in denomina- the bus/metro stop, and
To call abroad from Switzer- tions of CHF 10, 20, 50, 100, 200,
land please dial 00 followed monthly or yearly season tick-
and 1000. ets from several points of sale
by the international code,
area code, and your corre- (see
spondent’s phone number. points-de-vente-tl.html).

The Swiss phone directory During the week bus services

is on stop around midnight. On week-
ends a late service is foreseen
To purchase a mobile phone (see
please contact one of the
mobile network operators. For further information :
J Living in Switzerland 29

Cycling The “Mobility Car Sharing” serv-

To promote eco-mobility on ice enables members to have
campus, the EPFL provides a access to a car 24h a day. EPFL
“bike point” service enabling cooperates with this service and
you to hire, purchase or repair a there are several “Mobility” cars
bike or electric bike at low cost. available on campus as well as in
For further information : over 400 cities in Switzerland. For further information :
Driving and
The legal age to learn to drive in
Switzerland is 18. Holders of a Travel agency
valid foreign driving licence can The travel agent on the EPFL
drive in Switzerland for maximum Esplanade offers attractive rates.
12 months, then have to apply for
a Swiss licence :
The speed limits in Switzerland
are 120km/h on the motorway,
80 km/h on other roads and
vary from 30 to 50km/h in towns
and villages. Traffic in town is
very dense, radar checks are
frequent at major crossroads
and parking is for a short time
only. You are therefore advised
to opt for public transport. As
for parking at EPFL please re-
fer to the relevant section in
the “Campus Life” chapter.
30 K Useful Addresses

K1 K3
Student Services Hotline Foreign Embassies
The Student Services Hotline is in Switzerland
the focal point for all academic The addresses and phone num-
queries. The desk is open daily bers of foreign representations
from 09.00h to 18.00h during in Switzerland are given in the
term (shorter offices hours in sum- link below :
Useful Addresses mer) and located in the BP build- eda/en/home/reps/forrep.html
ing hallway. You may also call the
hotline on +41 (0) 21 693 43 45 or
e-mail K4
Your query will be answered Emergency Numbers
immediately or, if necessary, O Emergencies at EPFL :
an appointment will be made dial 115 (extension) or
with the appropriate special- 021 693 30 00
ised staff in Student Services. (from a mobile phone)
You will also find many answers O Police - dial 117
to your academic queries in the
Student Guide : O Fire - dial 118 O Doctor/Ambulance - dial 144
For further information : O CHUV - University Hospital,
page25189-en.html Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 46
Tel. +41 (0)21 314 11 11
K2 O Morges Hospital,
Swiss Embassies Abroad Morges, Ch. du Crêt 2
The link below provides the Tel. +41 (0)21 804 22 11
list of Swiss embassies abroad.
Please contact them for any
query relating to visa and permit
applications. www.eda.admin.
K Useful Addresses 31

Insurance – Cantonal AGEPoly Student Association
Supervisory Body CP120 - Esplanade 13
Organe cantonal de contrôle CH - 1015 Lausanne
Chemin de Mornex 40  Tel. +41 (0)21 693 20 95
CH - 1014 Lausanne Fax +41 (0)21 693 20 97
Tel. +41 (0)21 557 47 47 E-mail :
Fax +41 (0)21 557 47 50
E-mail :
Further information (French only) :
social/assurances-sociales/contact Useful services
Lausanne Tourisme
Tel. +41 (0)21 613 73 73
Useful Addresses &
Links at EPFL Lausanne public transport (TL)
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale
de Lausanne - EPFL Train timetable
Station 1
CH - 1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 (0)21 693 11 11 Taxi Services
Fax +41 (0)21 693 43 80 Tel. 0800 810 810 or Taxiphone 0800 801 802 or
Allo Taxi 0800 870 872
Student Services
EPFL AA-DAF Directory
BP 1229 (Bâtiment BP)
Station 16
CH - 1015 Lausanne Weather
Tel. +41 (0)21 693 43 45
Fax +41 (0)21 693 30 88 Info on Switzerland

Health Point
Tel. +41 (0)21 693 20 02

Language Centre
CE 2445 (Bâtiment CE)
Case postale 117
CH - 1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 (0)21 693 22 89
Fax + 41 (0)21 693 22 60
32 L Check-List

If you are a Swiss national :
m Passport or ID card
m Swiss insurance card
m Letter from your third-party
(liability) insurance
if you have one
m Acceptance letter from EPFL
If you are an exchange
student :
m Go to the Information session
for Exchange students to
collect your student card and
the useful information for the
beginning of your studies
m Register with the residents’
L1 m Booked a hotel or lodgings office of your commune
Before you leave for the first few days m Check your choice of courses
for Switzerland m Copy of your lease if you have and related schedules
If you come from abroad rented a room for your stay m Register online for the
and are not a Swiss m A few passport photos courses (and architecture
national, make sure you studios) for the term to come
m Registered online for the
have (done) the following : within the set deadlines
intensive French course or
m Passport or ID card
other language courses : m Contact your programme’s
m Visa (non-EU citizens) Exchange Coordinator with
m European Health Insurance any academic queries
Card (EU-EFTA)
m Letter from your foreign
L2 m Contact the professor in
charge of supervising your
health/accident insurance Upon arrival in Switzerland Master project if applicable
confirming coverage of your If you are a new Bachelor m Contact the Xchange
medical costs in Switzerland or Master student : association
(for non-EU students) m Introduce yourself during
m Letter from your third-party registration week (except
(liability) insurance for exchange students) L3
if you have one m Register with the residents’ During your studies
m Acceptance letter from EPFL office of your commune At the start of each term
m Proof of adequate funding to m Send a copy of your European m Validate the academic
cover your stay in Switzerland health insurance card to registration form
(bank statements, letter from the cantonal supervisory m Print your enrolment
your parents, grants, etc.) body if you do not have certificate (for family
Swiss insurance allowances, applications
m Booked a hotel or lodgings
for the first few days m Register online for the for residence permits, etc.)
courses (and architecture m Register online for course,
m Copy of your lease if you have studios) for the term to come
rented a room for your stay projects and studios
within the set deadlines.
m A few passport photos m Pay your tuition fees for
the term (invoice mailed to
m Registered online for the your address for the term)
intensive French course or
other language courses : During term m Fill in the course
assessment forms
m Possibility of withdrawing
from certain exams
(Cf. academic calendar)