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University of Bern

Program Terms:

Fall Semester, Spring Semester, & Academic Year


The University of Bern is a top-class university in teaching and research, and is counted in the top 150 universities in the world. The university is host to a range of international students coming fro more that 125 different countries, and half of the University’s professors come from highly reputable universities outside of Switzerland.

Bern is the capital city of Switzerland and is located in the center of the country, close to its French-German language border. Its been rated one of the most livable cities in the world, and is considered incredibly safe. In the city there are plentiful things for students to do, including cafes, restaurants, bars, art, theater, music, and even swimming in the Aare river. The beautiful countryside of Switzerland is also just a bike ride away, and the world-famous Berner Oberland is just an hour away for mountain sport enthusiasts. The city of Bern is also on the UNESCO list of World Heritage, as the city’s sandstone buildings and medieval architecture has remained relatively unchanged for centuries.

(Source: University of Bern website)

Academic Details:

Classes at the University of Bern are based on lectures, seminars, readings, and examinations. Exchange students are encouraged to take 20-25 credits (ECTS) per semester, although they may take more as a full course load is generally 30 credits. Each credit consists of 25-30 hours of work, so a semester may contain up to 900 credit hours. The grading scale at the University of Bern is on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 as the lowest, and 6 as the highest possible grade a student can earn.

Exchange students may take any course offered at the University across eight different faculties, so long as they are offered in English. These faculties are as follows: Theology, Law, Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Medicine, Vetsuisse (Veterinary), Humanities, Human Sciences, and Science.

The University offers two weeks of German language courses prior to the start of the semester, and students may further their language skills in courses held during the normal semester on various levels of proficiency.

(Source: University of Bern website)

Housing Details:

New international students are guaranteed accommodation by the University as long as they apply by the deadline. Students can choose from on or off campus, en suite or non en suite and catered or self-catered rooms. The university provides numerous social activities for students in the residences, making it easy for exchange students to feel at home and make friends. The University has 24 different resident options to choose from, which students can search for depending on their accommodation and room type preferences.

(Source: University of Bern website)


  • Sophomore standing
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Students who wish to take courses in English exclusively do not need to demonstrate any language proficiency. Students who wish to take courses in German are required to demonstrate German language proficiency sufficient for academic study, level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Useful Links for Exchange Students:

Program Budgets:

  • Fall Semester Budget
  • Spring Semester Budget
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