Practical information


Some immigration formalities are very strict therefore we suggest you contact the Cantonal Population and Migration Office (Office cantonal de la population et des migrations – OCPM) as soon as you receive confirmation of your admission to the HEdS, no later than five or sixth months prior to your  arrival in Geneva.

If you are a not a citizen of European Union, you will need a student visa to enter Switzerland. Visa applications must be made to the appropriate Swiss embassy in your country of origin. You must report to the OCPM when you arrive in Geneva. You can check the following website to find out if you need a visa:

For European citizens, you may be able to come to Switzerland for three months without a visa. You must report to the OCPM when you arrive and apply for a residence permit.


Health and accident insurance is compulsory for anyone residing in Switzerland.

For more information please contact the cantonal Health Insurance Department (Service assurance-maladie – SAM).

We also advise you to carefully check your Public Liability and Repatriation insurance cover.


Geneva is currently experiencing a housing crisis and we advise you to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible.

HES-SO Geneva runs a student residence and reserves an apartment with few rooms for exchange students. You are welcome to get in touch with the International Relations Office if you wish and we will put you in contact with the hall’s administration manager. Important: this does not guarantee that you will be attributed a room. We can also send you our accommodation list for students coming to Geneva.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Geneva is high. The average budget for a student coming to study in Geneva is around CHF 1,400 a month.

Community, cultural and sporting activities

Geneva is a university city offering numerous cultural and sporting activities. Thanks to our partnership with the University of Geneva, you will have access to sports facilities and a wide range of appealing activities.

The School’s students’ association, La Sonde, will be in touch to help you settle in successfully. Once you are here, you will also be welcomed by a mentor from your degree programme.

You can also look at the following student guides before your arrival: