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Travel Information

Important note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, further information and guidelines must be observed when entering Switzerland. Read the details here and get access to additional links from the Swiss Government.

Participants are encouraged to arrive in Bern one day in advance of the start of their course. This allows arrival by daylight, rest from travel, and sufficient time to get oriented to the city and the university setting.

Please note: On-Site Registration takes place on Sunday, July 10 and 17 for full week bookings. Plan your travel accordingly!

If you will be accommodated in one of the student`s houses, it is advisable to go to the on-site registration directly from the train station and before you proceed to the student`s house.

Please advise the IPDET team of your travel plans as soon as they are finalized. Although there are direct flights to Zurich or Geneva, many connections from abroad might go via London Heathrow, U.K.; Paris, France; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; or Frankfurt, Germany. Swiss Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, the leading global airline network, with an extensive route network around the world.

From Zurich or Geneva international airport you have access to the fast train network going directly to Bern. Travel time is a little over an hour from Zurich, and almost 2 hours from Geneva. A City-Ticket from the airport to your accommodation location includes the train ride and the local public transport in one single ticket.

Medical Insurance

Visitors have no medical coverage in Switzerland. You must have your own adequate coverage for medical emergencies while attending the program. Please check with your insurance provider or purchase a medical travel insurance before you depart to Switzerland. You can upload your proof of medical coverage under ‘My IPDET’ in your ‘Check In’ after your application is submitted.
Your medical coverage should meet the following criteria:

  • Validity during the visit to Switzerland
  • Amount insured at least 50,000; also in the case of a COVID-19 disease
  • Cover for accommodation costs in case of necessary quarantine

You will be asked for proof of your insurance policy at the On-Site registration.

visa entry to switzerland

A basic distinction is made between citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and those of other countries who will require a Schengen visa.

Almost all nationals of non-EU/EFTA countries require a short-stay Schengen tourist visa for up to 90 days, which allows entry to the whole Schengen area, including Switzerland. Contact the embassy or the Swiss consulate in your own country for information on visa regulations and applying for a visa. Please note that it can take up to ten weeks for a visa to be issued. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs informs on Visa requirements and offers an online Visa system.

These are general requirements to apply for a Swiss Tourist Schengen Visa for educational training purposes. The requirements might vary depending on the country you are applying from:

  • Invitation letter stating the purpose of visit to Switzerland from the inviting organization
  • Filled in and signed application form
  • Valid passport, 2 recent passport format photos and proof of civil status
  • Proof of accommodation for the whole duration of the intended stay in Switzerland
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in Switzerland
  • Proof of compliant travel medical insurance

Information on Swiss medical insurance for visitors who are staying temporarily in Switzerland on a Schengen visa is here.

Overview of ID and visa provisions according to nationality by Swiss Goverment

Each participant must make his or her own travel arrangements. Bern is a very popular tourist destination in summer and you are encouraged to make your bookings as soon as possible.