The currency in Switzerland is Swiss Francs (CHF), although many shops accept Euros. The cost of living in Switzerland is higher than in the rest of Europe. For basic expenses such as food, accommodation and transportation, students will need about CHF 1,500 per month (1400€).
It is almost impossible for foreign students to obtain a work permit in Switzerland, other than in exceptional cases during holidays.
There are two international airports, one in Geneva and one in Zürich. Both airports have a direct train connection so that students can easily get to Yverdon. For further information on train schedules and reduced fare cards see: www.sbb.ch/en
If you plan on using the train to visit the country, it will be worth it to buy immediately a half-price annual card and the Track 7 card, giving you unlimited travel before 5am and after 7pm. If you prefer to concentrate all your travels on a short period, then the SwissPass will be a better option.
Health care is very expensive in Switzerland. According to Swiss law, all students must have health and accident insurance. European students need a European insurance card and must submit a copy to HEIG-VD's International Office prior to arrival. For non-European exchange students, HEIG-VD's International Office takes out health insurance according to Swiss law to cover possible expenses. A part of the student grant will be used for this purpose. Students from North America and Japan have to send a copy of their health insurance coverage (in French or English) to HEIG-VD's International Office together with their application documents. With sufficient coverage according to Swiss law no new insurance is necessary.
HEIG-VD has no residential campus. Foreign students can stay in private homes or in student housing. Rent is around CHF 600 per month. All the rooms are single and simply furnished. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared.
The HEIG-VD's International Relations Office usually manages to find accommodation for the exchange student and if the student is coming to work on a research project, the monthly rent will be deducted from the grant.
The school has numerous partnerships so that student can practice freely varied sports such as badminton, football, rugby, squash, basketball...
In addition to this, the city of Yverdon offers a wide range of clubs, public beaches, swimming pools and parks. In winter, skiing and snowboarding are very popular. Some of the slopes can be reached by public transport in less than an hour.
Grading system in Switzerland
In Switzerland, grades vary on a scale of 1 (worst) to 6 (best), with 4 being the minimum grade to acquire the credits.
Here is an indicative conversion table of Swiss grades in other grading systems to help you with procedures in other countries.
Facilities for special needs students
School access for physically disabled students: The HEIG-VD has been designed to make it easier for students in wheelchairs to enter its various buildings. Parking spaces are especially reserved for physically disabled students. Where auditoriums, administrative offices, telephones, student lockers and cafeterias are not located on the ground level, access to these areas is possible via lifts.
Registered students may take out books from the HEIG-VD library and from other university libraries throughout Switzerland thanks to our national library network NEBIS.
Most students use their personal laptop. Internet access is available everywhere in the school, but only in some of the student accommodations.
Classrooms have electronic teaching and learning aids, such as overhead projectors, video beamers, etc., which are available to lecturers and students.
Getting around in Yverdon
As Yverdon is a small town, you can get around by bus, on foot or by bike. It is also possible to buy a bike pass giving you access to bikes on the 2 campuses and all around town, more info on velopass.ch/
There are very few parking lots on the campuses, and one must buy a "macaron" or pay for the day, the use in Yverdon is to come to the campus on foot, by bike or public transport.
Most engineering courses at HEIG-VD are taught in French, with the exception of Media Engineering where some courses are taught in German. It is therefore essential that students’ French language skills are sufficient to enable them to take part in normal classes.
The business department offers a full semester load of courses in English
A French language course is given but not throughout the entire year. Otherwise, french language courses are available upon request from a number of private and public institutions in the vicinity. Students doing a study project can communicate in English with their professors.
The students association aims to promote students interests and encourage exchanges between students from different departments. It also organizes social events such as sporting events, concerts, grill parties, etc. age.heig-vd.ch