CORONAVIRUS

Update: November 30, 2020

For the Spring 2021 semester

On 21 July 2020, we received the first exchange cancellation notice for the Spring 2021 semester. To date, more than 32 partners in 14 countries, including Australia, Japan, Canada, the United States, and Netherlands have already canceled exchanges, resulting in changes to the plans of the numerous students who were to leave for those destinations.

Certain of those students had planned to leave for the Autumn semester, and had subsequently postponed their exchanges; these new cancellations have resulted in great disappointment, with some students deciding to completely cancel exchange plans and others choosing new destinations in Europe.

At the current time, the numbers for outgoing exchanges for the Spring (SP) semester are as follows:

 

OUT

Announced SP 21

Registered SP  21

Progression

Average SP*

Destinations outside Europe

150

89

59%

118

Destinations in Europe

154

138

90%

111

Destinations in Switzerland

16

16

100%

11

General Totals

320

243

80%

240

  *The average corresponds to the average of students who left for an exchange programme in the spring semester in the last three years.

 

IN

Registered SP 21

Difference from the average

Average SP*

World

51

27%

187

Europe

113

191%

59

Swiss exchange programme

19

158%

12

General Totals

183

71%

258

  *The average corresponds to the average of students who went on exchange in the spring semester in the last three years. 

The increase is due to the large number of cancellations of non-European exchanges and the postponement of exchanges to 2021.

Numbers for exchanges in Switzerland are not yet available.

 

For the Autumn 2020 semester

Starting on 9 April 2020, we received numerous exchange cancellation notices from our partners for the Autumn semester. More than 65 universities in 23 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, the United States, and Japan, sent messages announcing cancellations, generally reciprocal. Certain European partners, mostly in the United Kingdom, have continued to accept our students even though their students were not permitted to leave on exchanges.

At the current time, the numbers for exchanges for the Autumn (AU) semester are as follows:

 

Outgoing exchange

 OUT

Registered SA 20

Departure SA 20

Departure rate

Average SA*

Destinations outside Europe

158

9

6%

152

Destinations in Europe

192

98

51%

138

Destinations in Switzerland

50

42

84%

41

Total 

400

149

37%

331

 *The average corresponds to the average of students who left for an exchange programme in the fall semester in the last three years.

Demand for an exchange has not been affected (approx. +20%). On the other hand, only 37% were able to be realized. Exchange oustide Europe is particularly affected.

Incoming exchanges

IN

Anounced SA 20

Registered SA 20

Arrival rate

Average SA*

Outside Europe

65

30

46%

155

Europe

172

112

65%

185

Swiss exchange programme

24

27

113%

21

General Totals

261

169 65%

361

* The average corresponds to the average number of students who came to an exchange in the fall semester over the last three years.

 IN exchange enrolments are down 53% from the average.

 

For the Spring 2020 Semester

The widespread confinement this Spring caused courses to be moved online, and generated anxiety for students who were obliged to decide very rapidly if they wished to remain at their exchange destinations or if it would be safer to return home. Additionally, certain partners with semesters starting later than ours, for example in Germany and Japan, canceled outgoing exchanges for the Spring semester.

Contacted starting 18 March, 80% of the approximately 700 students registered for exchanges at that time (around 350 incoming and 350 outgoing) elected to maintain their exchanges. Of these 560 students, an early return was elected by 55% of the outgoing students and 65% of the incoming students.

 

 

Organization of the office

The academic exchange office continues to receive students every day from 10:00 to 12:30 at MR050.

If you are looking for a specific manager, please refer to the schedule below

Programme

Responsable

   Monday   

   Tuesday   

 Wednesday  

   Thursday     

 Friday  

IN - World

Mrs Claire Giordano       x

x

IN - Europe

Mr. Arnaud Waeber    

x

   

Mobilité suisse

Mrs Marisol Pedrosa

     

x

Internships (european students)

Mrs Marisol Pedrosa

x

     

x

Exchange Info Desk

Mrs Isabelle de Vinck

x

       

OUT - World

Mrs Vera Sandoval    

x

   

OUT - Europe

Mrs Tanya Schaetzle  

x

     

Please note that, the exchange info desk is open on Monday only for the reception of the documents; for advice, please contact Mrs Isabelle de Vinck by phone or email.

Your registration documents for an outgoing exchange program must be hand delivered to the exchange info desk or MR050 office. If you are unable to come in person, you can send your file by mail, postmarked by November 30, by postal mail.

 


Informations For incoming Students

Concerning entry into Switzerland: if your government permits it and if you meet entry requirements (including obtaining a visa if necessary), it is possible to enter Switzerland. More information is available here: Entry by third-country citizens (non-EU/EFTA citizens) for education or training courses.

There are two possible scenarios on your arrival:

  1. You are arriving from a country that is not included on the list of countries and areas subject to quarantine, and in that case you will need to abide by the applicable hygiene and social distancing rules;
  2. You are arriving from a country included on the Swiss government’s list and you must quarantine for 10 days. The list of countries and regions, and other details on quarantine, are available on the Swiss government’s website ; as the list is frequently updated, you should check it regularly. Please bear in mind the following points:
  • The trip from your arrival point to your quarantine area can be made via public transport, while wearing a protective face mask;
  • You must wear a mask at all times, even in your residence, unless you live alone;
  • You have a period of two days in which to announce your arrival to the Cantonal health service;
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 during quarantine, it is important to immediately inform the competent Cantonal authorities. They will inform you of what you should do, for example being tested.
  • All costs related to quarantine and the organization thereof are borne by you; you will find information here and here regarding food delivery services.

Reminder: wearing a mask is mandatory in university buildings. Masks may only be removed when students have reached their work space and when it is possible to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters between people at all times. The mask must be put back on whenever you are moving about.

All courses are prioritizing in-person class sessions; however, to make it possible to respect quarantine and isolation measures, all courses must also be able to be followed without a physical presence at the University. More information is available on the learning support website.

 

Information For outgoing students

Reminder: exchanges are validated when students go to their destination, regardless of the format of courses offered by the partner university. Students whose exchanges are mandatory (FTI, IHDS...) represent an exception to this rule.

Some of our partners have chosen to cancel exchanges for the Spring 2021 semester; students affected have been notified and alternative solutions are being organized by the academic exchange office.

Please note that students are required to hold accident and health insurance policies as well as repatriation insurance; these policies should be valid throughout the exchange period. Additionally, we recommend purchasing cancellation insurance when buying airplane tickets.

Before traveling to another country, you are strongly advised to seek information from the embassies or consulates for your destination country. In all cases, it is absolutely essential to carefully follow rules of hygiene and behavior recommended by the Federal and Cantonal health authorities. Members of the university community must also be aware of UNIGE’s policy regarding risk areas.


Personal travel

UNIGE encourage members of its community to avoid unnecessary travel outside Switzerland, in accordance with recommendations from the Federal Office of Public Health.