Come to Geneva

Why Geneva?

Welcome by the Rector

Why Geneva: have a look at our video

A cosmopolitan City in the Heart of Europe

What do Frankenstein, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jean Calvin and Kofi Annan have in common? They have all helped shape the history and identity of Geneva!

Ideally situated close to renowned Alpine ski slopes, not far from the Mediterranean Sea and anchored in the heart of Europe, Geneva offers the rare advantage of being a cosmopolitan city of a relatively small size.

Its privileged geographic location makes the City of Calvin a hive of rich exchanges. This cosmopolitan city, the population of which encompasses more than 180 nationalities, is known worldwide for its tolerance and its open mindset.

Geneva is home to more than 80 international organisations such as the UN, the WTO, the WHO and the ILO, plus some 250 NGOs and 170 permanent missions of foreign states.

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A top-Ranking international university

Geneva's multicultural environment is reflected in the University of Geneva’s student body and its strong international relations policy. The University takes part in numerous agreements, networks as well as bilateral and multilateral programmes such as the Swiss European Mobility Programme (ex-Erasmus). These partnerships take the form of student or teacher exchanges, research and joint programmes, participation in international events, and more.


Founded in 1559 by Jean Calvin, the father of the Protestant Reformation, the University of Geneva is ranked in the world top 100 universities:


It encourages multidisciplinary research through its 9 Faculties and 14 interdisciplinary centres. These include:

-       Faculty of Science

-       Faculty of Medicine

-       Faculty of Humanities

-       Faculty of Law

-       Faculty of Theology

-       Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

-       Faculty of Translation and Interpreting

-       Geneva School of Economics and Management

-       Geneva School of Social Sciences

-       Global Studies Institute

-       Institute for Environmental Sciences

-       Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences

The University counts more than 17’000 students from 152 countries. Every year, the number of students rises by some 500. Around 37% of the students and 44% of teaching staff are foreign. More than 800 students come here on exchange, and approximately 600 go abroad during their studies. The University of Geneva is one of the few to allow its exchange students to simultaneously take classes in more than one faculty.

 Member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is active in research projects nationwide and worldwide. The University’s teaching and research staff are currently active in more than 700 projects financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) as well as in 6 National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCRs), such as LIVES, SwissMAP, Synapsy and Affective Sciences.



A vibrant student life

The University of Geneva has more than studies to offer! A rich sports and cultural activities programme awaits its students all year-long: more than 40 cultural activities and 80 types of sports (including camps and championships) are on offer.



Studying at the University of Geneva is also the perfect opportunity to start or to improve your French – the official language of the University, even though more and more courses are now taught in English. Summer courses as well as language support classes during the academic year are available to regular and exchange students. On top of this, and benefitting from the international student and staff body of the UNIGE community, the Language Tandems programme allows anyone to learn any other foreign language “offered” by a native speaker in exchange for one’s own.

A long list of student associations means many more activities, networking and friendship opportunities await all students. In its turn, the members of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) dedicate their time and efforts to helping exchange students get the most out of their stay in Geneva: activities, outings and a “Buddy System” are on the menu.

Geneva being a city of culture, modernity, and tradition, much more is to be found outside the walls of the University. Well-known music and film festivals of all genres can be found in Geneva and its surroundings, as well as numerous theatrical performances, exhibitions of both modern and fine arts:


Final warning for those about to come: once a Genevan, always a Genevan!