Many new subjects, confusing buildings and lots of unfamiliar faces: studying at ETH can be quite exhausting at the beginning. But once you have gotten used to it, ETH offers you a variety of exciting leisure activities. In addition, as the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has a lot to offer culturally.
A detailed compilation of all relevant information for new students is published annually in the How To ETH.
ETH is mainly divided into two locations in the city of Zurich: The ETH campus in the city center near the main station and the ETH campus on the Hönggerberg, which is located slightly outside on a hill above the city. Both locations are connected by the ETH Link, a shuttle bus.
There are several restaurants at both locations, which offer their meals at different prices. There is also a bar (bQm) and several student pubs and event locations. There are also student apartments on the ETH Hönggerberg campus.
The student services of the ETH helps with the choice of study, prepares students for the reality of the chosen courses and facilitates the first phase of study.
The joint Language Center of the University Zürich and ETH Zurich offers language learning modules in 12 foreign languages. The modules support you in studying in German or English and prepare you for international study visits. The Language Center also offers you the opportunity to learn languages together with students from different faculties to participate in an interlingual exchange. As a supplement to the language learning modules, the Language Center’s Self-Study Center offers you various options for independent language learning, whether as a supplement to a course attendance or for individual autonomous learning.
The Student Exchange Office is the contact point for students who want to participate in one of the exchange programs. It helps with advice and registration for exchange programs at ETH Zurich, supervises mobility students and federal scholarship holders at ETH Zurich, and works together with the Departmental Exchange Coordinators of the ETH departments.
The International Student Support supports foreign Bachelor and Master students with immigration, finding accommodation, insurance and general questions about life at ETH and in Zurich.
The ETH Store is the central address for pen, paper, books, merchandising articles and other services on the ETH campus. Students and employees of ETH Zurich benefit from the tailor-made range of products, professional advice and favorable conditions. The ETH Store operates five branches – including the Polyterasse and Hönggerberg – and an extensive web store.
Project Neptun offers the latest devices from evaluated manufacturers (currently Apple, HP and Lenovo) at attractive prices at the beginning of each spring and autumn semester. During the sales campaigns, demo days are held where the devices can be tried out and questions can be asked. In the ETH Store (ML building) a Help Desk is operated, which offers assistance for laptop problems.
VSETH, the professional associations and other student organizations offer a wide range of services for students. You can find more information on the websites of the organizations and also in the How To ETH. In Zurich there is also the opera house, large and small theaters, the Tonhalle, jazz clubs and of course countless clubs and bars. As the largest city in Switzerland, there is always something going on in Zurich during the day and at night. An extensive night-time public transport network takes you home almost anywhere on weekends.
The ASVZ (Akademischer Sportverband Zürich) offers a wide range of sports activities. More than 120 sports at various locations, an extensive infrastructure, the latest sports equipment and expert supervision are at your disposal. As a student of ETH Zurich, many of the courses and the many sports facilities are available to you free of charge. In addition, the ASVZ organizes popular sports events such as the SoLa relay, which is completed in a team of 14 people around Zurich.
There are also plenty of local recreation areas; the lake and the Limmat invite you to swim or take a boat trip, the surrounding hills are perfect for walking and cycling. The city also offers many sports and leisure activities.
Finding an apartment in Zurich is not easy. Especially on the free housing market, students often have bad cards due to high demand and high prices. Some therefore move to cheaper communities outside the city of Zurich.
Cheap housing in the city of Zürich is offered by
- WoKo: The housing commission offers small apartments and rooms in student residences at affordable prices.
- Juwo: The youth living net foundation offers favorable Wohnugen for young people with small income.
You can find another compilation on www.wohnen.ethz.ch.
The Childcare Service of ETH Zurich supports ETH staff and students in their search for a suitable childcare place in the city of Zurich or in their community of residence. Among other things, there are daycare centers on campus.
The ETH Career Center is the central point for everything about careers at ETH. The Career Center supports students and doctoral candidates with lectures, training and consulting services to help them start their careers. In addition, it organizes about 30 events a year with companies to provide students with valuable contacts. The Career Event Calendar provides an overview of all relevant career events at ETH.
Life in Switzerland and especially in Zurich is quite expensive. With rent, food and cultural things, soon more than 1400 francs per month are gone. The ETH even reckons CHF 2250 (2020, see ETH cost of living).
ETH offers supplementary scholarships for all students who are already financially supported by other institutions. Studies at ETH should not fail due to financial hurdles.
The student-organized Nightline listens to you in case of personal concerns, difficult phases of life, burdens in your studies or conflicts. Furthermore, the ETH Psychological Counseling Services is open to all students and doctoral candidates of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The consultations are free of charge and confidential and provide quick and uncomplicated support, even in acute crises.