HES-SO Genève

Student affairs

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You are already enrolled at the HES-SO Genève (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland in the Canton of Geneva) or you are newly arrived, and you are looking for information on the out-of-the classroom services that you are eligible for?

The Student Affairs division of the HES-SO Genève aims to enhance students’ success and to promote integration and wellbeing through a number of actions that complement the academic path.  It provides a wide range of services that are free of charge or offered at favorable prices to students.


Special needs
Students with special needs, sports & arts studies

Libraries, linguistic tandems

Practical information
Health insurance, accident and third party liability insurance, cost of living, military service and civil defense, accommodation, transport, student permit and visa

Student deals
Bank account, computer and IT, books, hobbies, magazines, language course abroad

Extracurricular activities
Sports and arts activities

Health and wellbeing
Workshops offered by the “Service Santé et Psychologie” of the University of Geneva, health counseling

Financial Aid
Scholarships and loans

Temporary jobs
Student jobs

Agreement with the University of Geneva




Special needs


Students with special needs

Integrating disabled students with special needs is a priority for the HES-SO Genève. Thanks to its “HES-SO Genève without obstacles” concept, specific measures are provided and can be taken to make study arrangements for students with disabilities and special needs. The aim is to avoid any functional limitation, without discrimination or privilege, through a variety of actions: architectural accessibility, human assistance, study and examination arrangement.

Consult the “HES-SO Genève without obstacle” concept (in French)

Measures related to disability compensation and special needs recognition may be applied to candidates during information sessions and admission tests. The University of Applied Science to which the student has enrolled must meet the implemented logistic standards allowing candidates to get information or to take admission examinations. Any costs occurring in relation to special arrangements are borne by candidates and students.  Financial aid can be requested and obtained from a number of private organizations (Pro Infirmis, Brain Foundation, etc) or from disability insurance companies. 

Contact persons:

HEPIA : Ms. Anne-Catherine Rinckenberger, contact

HEG : Mr. Maurice Fratianni, contact

HEAD : Ms. Emilie Parendeau, contact

HEM : Ms. Christelle Enndevell, contact

HEdS : Ms. Marie-Hélène Guyon, contact

HETS : Ms. Marie Anderfuhren, contact


Sports & arts studies

Specific arrangements may be made for students active in top class sports or arts.




Students have access to the whole network of libraries at the six Universities of Applied Sciences in Geneva: libraries


Linguistic tandems

Free platform offering students the opportunity to learn and practice a foreign language: https://tandems.unige.ch (select “membres des HES-SO Genève” on the list of institutions and sign in with your AAI login).

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Practical information


Health insurance

Health insurance is compulsory for all students living in Switzerland, be it only temporary. Students must get an insurance policy covering any health issue for the whole duration of their studies or their internship even if it takes place abroad.

Information sheet on health insurance

List of Swiss insurance companies offering coverage for foreign students


Third party liability insurance (RC Insurance)

All enrolled students are covered during classes, events, holiday camps or activities planned by groups of students, provided the event is organized by the HES-SO Genève management and supervisory organs. Students are not insured when travelling to or from HES schools.

During internships, the company hiring the student must guarantee third party liability coverage, or commit to take responsibility for any damage caused to the student during the internship.

In principle, students must get a personal insurance coverage for any damage they may cause while doing an internship in Switzerland or abroad.

HEdS students are insured for up to CHF 10,000,000 for the physical and personal damage they may cause to third parties while doing an internship lasting up to six months, in Switzerland or abroad.


Old Age and Survivor Insurance (Swiss AHV=AVS), Disability Insurance (AI) and Loss of Income Insurance (APG)

Contributing to the AVS/AI/APG is compulsory for anyone living or working in Switzerland.

From the age of 20, Swiss and foreign students living in Switzerland are required to pay a fee of CHF 482.00 (minimum contribution) to the AVS/AI/APG. Administrative costs may be added to this amount.

Students who are working start paying fees as of January 1st of the year following their 17th birthday.

Students may be exempt from paying fees:

  • Should they prove with a certificate from their employer or a compensation fund that they have already made contributions of at least CHF 482.00 out of their income or on their Loss of Income Allowances;
  • Should they be staying in Switzerland only for study purposes;
  • Should their spouse be affiliated with the Swiss AVS/AI/APG and have paid at least twice the minimum required contribution (CHF 964.00).

Students who have paid fees of less than CHF 482.00 (minimum contribution) per year out of their income must only pay the balance.

Information as to the amount of contributions to be paid is sent directly to students from the Compensation Fund of the Social Insurance Office (OCAS).

Information and contact on the OCAS website



Cost of living

The cost of living in Switzerland is high. The summary table set out here will help you evaluate your expenses and plan your budget as a HES-SO Geneva student.


Military service and civil defense

Military service is mandatory for Swiss men (boot camp, rehearsal courses and civil defense). As far as possible, students must carry out their military service before the beginning of their studies in order to avoid any consequences on their curriculum. Indeed, an absence of several months due to military service implies an interruption of studies. However, if, for academic reasons, military service or civil defense must be postponed (annual courses, exams), students may file an application. Within each of the six schools of the HES-SO Geneva, a liaison office advisor is in charge of reconciling studies with military or civil service. The notice of the advisor is mandatory when students submit a request for postponement:



Mrs. Anne-Catherine Rinckenberger

Tel. 022 546 24 22

Email: anne.rinckenberger@hesge.ch


Mr. Alexandre Boder

Tel. 022 388 17 87

Email : alexandre.boder@hesge.ch


Mrs. Lise Marine Ben Hassel

Tel. 022 388 51 03

Email : lise-marine.benhassel@hesge.ch


Mrs. Joëlle-Anne Cavat

Tel. 022 327 31 02

Email : joelle-anne.cavat-roulin@hesge.ch


Mrs. Dominique Allamand

Tél. 022.388.57.16

Email : dominique.allamand@hesge.ch


Mrs. Diane Christinaz

Tel. 022 388 96 24

Email : diane.christinaz@hesge.ch

Procedure to postpone military service

Requests to move service must be submitted to the military authority in written form, together with all the necessary supporting documents. Replies from the Swiss Army are also sent in writing to  students. Generally speaking, requests must be made no later than 14 weeks before the start of service, even if the order has not been received yet. In the case of late submission of the application, the unit commander has the competence to release the student on the first day of military service.
The dates of boot camps and the rehearsal courses are on the army’s website and it is up to the students to consult them in advance (in French/German/Italian): https://www.vtg.admin.ch/fr/mon-service-militaire/conscrits/recrues.html 


For any justified request of service postponement, students must complete the required form available on the army's website and submit it to the liaison advisor at their school (in French/German/Italian): https://www.vtg.admin.ch/fr/mon-service-militaire/generalites-concernant-le-service-militaire/deplacement-de-service.html

Upon review of the application, the liaison advisor completes the student's documents and sends them to the military liaison body.

With regard to requests for postponements of civil defense, students must duly complete and submit a specific application form intended for UNIGE and HES students (in French): https://www.ville-geneve.ch/demarches-administratives/ajournement-cours-protection-civile-etudiants/



HES-SO Genève students have access to the students’ residences managed by GELOGE, an HES-SO Genève foundation for student housing:

They also have access to the Cité Universitaire de Genève.

Other housing options are available to students:

Students’ residences:

Furnished accommodation for young people:

Homestay accommodation: free or low-cost housing in exchange for services in everyday life:

Rental platform for homestay and roommates in Switzerland and abroad:

Housing portals and online ads :




Benefits to students for Mobility car rental.


CFF (Swiss Federal Railways)

Benefits for students between the ages of 25 and 30 when buying a general Junior Travelcard:

  • As of January 1st, 2020, only the 2020 form can be used.
  • Only official enrollment certificates are accepted at the CFF points of sale.
  • Forms must be completed and stamped by the school’s registrar office.

Should the enrollment certificate not be complete or accurate, the CFF will require a new form. The forms below are available on the HES-SO Genève intranet site (in French, Italian or German) (access with your AAI student account).


Additional information is available on the CFF website at:


Student permit and visa


If you are not an EU/EFTA student, check whether you are required to apply for a visa: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/publiservice/weisungen-kreisschreiben/visa/liste1_staatsangehoerigkeit.html

Should you hold several nationalities, please carefully check all the entry conditions as one of them may allow you to enter Switzerland without applying for a visa. To travel within the European Union, you must hold a valid passport.

Permit of stay:

All students living in Switzerland have to apply for a residence permit, regardless of their nationality.

Please contact the Residents Registration Office (OCPM) at:

Office Cantonal de la population et des migrations
88 route de Chancy
1213 Onex

Useful links

State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)

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Student deals

How to buy a computer, go on a language program abroad, online product delivery


Online product delivery

10% discount upon presentation of a student card by the Deli'Vrac.ch grocery store for the delivery of local or organic bulk products in reusable containers.
Info: https://www.delivrac.ch/



Bank account

The Swiss “Banque alternative” offers students (between the age of 16 and 30) accounts with no annual bank fees. Foreign students are required to submit their residence permit when opening their account.
Info: Student account (in French)



Computer and IT

Microsoft Office Suite: HES-SO students and staff can install the Office 365 ProPlus suite free of charge thanks to the “campus” contract signed with Microsoft.
Info: Conditions and instructions (in French)

Good computer deals: purchase an affordable computer and benefit from free support thanks to the “Poseidon project” intended for Swiss Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences.
Info: List of support centers by university of applied sciences (HES)




Permanent 10% discount at the Payot bookstore to students registered in Switzerland upon presentation of their student card.

Monlivre.ch offers the possibility to print books on demand from pdf files.



Aquatis / Aquarium-Vivarium: entrance preferential rate at the Aquarium-vivarium.

Yverdon-les-Bains Thermal Center:
For administrative and academic staff: on presentation of a HES-SO work badge, preferential rates on individual entrance or annual subscriptions to the baths, as well as semi-annual or annual subscriptions to the "Fitness & Baths" / "Relaxation & Baths" / "Fitness & Relaxation & Baths" area. A 10% discount is also offered for treatments at the “Espace Beauté”.

For students: preferential rate on individual entrance to the baths, only on Tuesdays and upon presentation of the student card.




Free subscription to the Hemisphere magazine. Requests must be sent to hemispheres@hes-so.ch from the university's email address.


Language courses abroad

10% discount on programs in more than 50 destinations around the world offered by EF Education.
Info: Info and requirements

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Extracurricular activities


Arts activities

A wide variety of workshops and courses offered in the art field: choir, orchestra, film club, free tickets.


Sports activities (online registration)

Activities for all, weekends, camps, competitions

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Health and wellbeing


Workshops offered by the “Service Santé et Psychologie” of the University of Geneva

Apply online on the page of each workshop, renseignements : sante@unige.ch

  • Sophrology (in French)
  • Mindfulness Yoga (in French)
  • Mindfulness Yoga (in English)
  • Self-assertion (in French)
  • Stress management (in French)


Nutrition counseling

The Haute école de santé de Genève (Heds, Health University of Applied Sciences of Geneva) provides students with customized advice in the nutrition field.


Psychological counseling

Confidential counseling related to stress, eating or sleep disorders, family issued, depression, etc.


Laboratory for Analysis and Counseling in Physical Activities and Health (LACAPS)

Students enrolled in the Physiotherapy bachelor’s degree at HEdS in Geneva provide students with tests measuring physical efforts. You will then receive personalized advice on how to improve your training or resume physical activity.


Social Counseling

Counseling related to social issues such as stress management, budget management, administrative procedures, insurance, violence and harassment, social anxiety, personal or family issues.



Out-patient General Internal Medicine Consultation for students, Primary Care Service of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG – Geneva University Hospitals).

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Financial aid


The HES-SO Genève does not want to leave any student by the wayside. This is why help and support may be provided to students who are experiencing difficult personal situations.


Scholarship and Student Loans Service (SBPE)

If you need financial assistance to start or continue your studies after the completion of compulsory education, make sure that you meet the requirements set by the State. Depending on your family and personal circumstances, you may receive financial support to study at the HES-SO Genève.

Applications may be submitted during the Summer before the start of the study period and within 6 months.


Scholarships from the “Service Social and Finances”

Within the frame of its agreement with the University of Geneva, the HES-SO Genève provides students who do not meet the requirements set by the State “Scholarship and Student Loans Service (SBPE)” with a counseling and financial aid service. The aim is to guarantee a minimum income for precarious students either by a monthly grant or through emergency scholarships:


Monthly scholarships (from the 2nd year of studies)

Emergency scholarships (from the 1st year of studies)

Mobility grants (during the exchange program abroad)


From the start of the academic year 2020/21, the monthly scholarships follow a new flat-rate model according to two income limits (600 CHF/month or 950CHF/month) and are subject to two grant periods at the start of each semester.


Make sure to meet the application deadlines:

  • Fall semester: August 1 to September 30
  • Spring semester: from January 15 to February 28


Emergency scholarships are available all year round along 5 non-cumulative lines (except for study cost). Only one type of aid may be awarded each semester, renewable for a period of 3 months:

  1. Job loss (up to 600 CHF)
  2. Food aid (up to 600 CHF))
  3. Housing aid (up to 700 CHF)
  4. Health costs (up to 1000CHF per year, by submitting a CUMD certificate)
  5. Study costs (up to CHF 600. Certificates signed by the Head of Study Coordination “Responsable de la coordination de l’enseignement” or by the Study Advisor at the students’ school will be required.


Study costs include: fees for material resources (books, computers, printer, internet subscription, telephony, artistic material, provided that access to these resources is not offered by the school), travel costs related to studies, well as fees and study taxes (although students cannot benefit from an exemption, punctual assistance may be granted in the event of unforeseen and proven financial difficulty).


To apply for any type of financial aid, fill out the online form on the "Service Social and Finances" website.

If you are a first year student and if you have difficulty login in to the online form, please contact your school to get your matriculation number and send it to age@hesge.ch


Ehrhardt-Hornung Fund Scholarship

The aim of this fund is to provide financial aid to deserving students up to the Master's level who lack the financial resources to start or pursue their studies in Switzerland or abroad.



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Temporary jobs

Platform of the Career Centre at the University of Geneva for temporary job vacancies to finance your studies. Sign in with your Switch AAI login.

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Some of our services are offered in the framework of an agreement with the University of Geneva.

For further information:

Non professorial teaching staff is also eligible for sports and arts activities offered by the University of Geneva.

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For any information, please contact the Student Affairs division of the HES-SO Genève:

Luce Schneider Varin

Battelle Campus - Building F
Rue de la Tambourine 2
CH-1227 Carouge

Rachel Desbiolles

Battelle Campus - Building F
Rue de la Tambourine 2
CH-1227 Carouge