Frequently Asked Questions
- Does the Graduate Institute offer any on-campus housing?
- Is health insurance compulsory while staying in Switzerland?
- I am a non-Swiss resident, can I apply?
- Do I need a visa to attend the Programme?
- I do not speak French, is it a problem?
- Can I bring my own laptop?
- How much money can I expect to spend during my stay in Geneva?
- Am I eligible to attend the Summer and Winter programmes?
- What do I need to support my application?
- Do I need to provide proof of proficiency in English?
- Do I need to include a letter of reference with my application?
- Are there prerequisites for the programme?
- When do I have to apply?
- How is my application assessed?
- Does the Graduate Institute offer any financial aid for Summer and Winter Programmes participants?
- When do I have to pay the tuition fees?
- Can I pay by bank transfer?
- Will I get a refund if I withdraw from the programme?
- How do I withdraw from the programme?
- Can I attend only one week of the Programme?
- What will my timetable look like?
- Will I have full access to the Library and IT facilities?
- How many credits can I obtain for attending the Programme?
- Do I need to take exams during the Programme?
- When will the exam take place?
- When will the research paper be due?
- Will I get a certificate at the end of the Programme?
- I am a Master student at the Graduate Institute. Can I follow the Graduate Institute Summer or Winter Programmes?
- Is there any dress code for the programme?
- How much reading will I be expected to do before the course? During the course?
The Graduate Institute is not able to provide participants of the Programme with accommodation. We strongly advise you to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible; we will be happy to provide advice on hostels and hotels according to your needs and budget. Hostels and residences welcome interns and students from a number of different nations and organisations. They provide a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures and make new contacts.
Health insurance is not compulsory for a short stay in Switzerland. However, we strongly advise participants to register to take out a private "short term study abroad" insurance in their home country.
Yes, the Graduate Institute welcomes all nationalities in its Summer and Winter Programmes.
The majority of participants do not require a visa. As the programme is less than three months in duration most participants can enter Switzerland on a tourist visa. Please ensure that you have a valid passport and check the visa requirements for your country.
Invitation letters for visa purposes will only be sent after payment and confirmation that funds have been received.
Classes are taught in English, and there are plenty of English-speaking activities and services in Geneva. Geneva offers excellent opportunities for improving and practising your French!
Wireless network access for laptops is available in most areas of the Graduate Institute. Full details of IT services will be provided upon your arrival. Please do not forget to bring a power adapter from your country to be able to plug in your laptop.
If you stay in a hostel, CHF 100 per day for housing and food should suffice. It is easy to buy a snack lunch for around CHF 15 and an evening meal for CHF 30. Given that the city is quite small, most facilities and place of interest are within walking distance. The cheapest way to travel around Geneva is on public transport: CHF 30 will buy you a weekly travel card valid on any bus, tram and even boat in Geneva. Please budget extra funds if you plan on participating in any leisure activities (travel, excursions, cultural events, etc.).
The level of participants usually is as follows:
- Junior and senior undergraduate students in international affairs (or social sciences);
- Graduate students
- Young professionals keen to improve their knowledge of current major issues in multilateralism, governance and international affairs.
Testimonials from past participants are available on this webpage
The application process is quite simple. Applicants must submit the completed application available online. More info on the application process
Since the programme is taught in English, applicants are expected to be proficient in the use of English; this includes an ability to understand in full the taught classes and to draft short essays. No certificate is required.
The application form includes nomination of two referees, but it is not necessary to include a written reference letter. In some cases we may contact your referees to ask them for your academic reference.
Courses generally do not have prerequisites. Participants are expected to have a good command of English.
Check application dates on each programme calendar. Application forms will be assessed within three weeks after receipt. The programmes have rolling admissions, which means that we will make a decision on an application to a programme as soon as possible after the application is complete. We encourage students to complete their applications early. Late applications will be considered subject to availability.
Upon receipt of your application, you will receive a confirmation by email.
An academic evaluation is made to determine if the Programme provides an appropriate challenge for applying participants.
Upon acceptance, you will receive a formal letter of admission with invoice details for tuition fees.
Unfortunately, the Summer and Winter Programmes are not able to provide any financial assistance to the candidates. However, we will be happy to provide a letter of recommendation directly to scholarship sponsors where appropriate and upon request.
Tuition fees should be paid to confirm your seat and at the lastest within three weeks of the receipt of the formal acceptance and invoice. Your place on the course will only be guaranteed upon receipt of the full tuition fees.
Upon acceptance to the Programme, you will receive an invoice with a refernce number. Payment of the invoice may be made online through our electronic system.
For the Winter Programme: should you withdraw before 15 December, the Programme will refund 95% of the tuition fees paid. Should you withdraw after that date, the refund will be 65% of the tuition fees. No refund will be given after the start of the Programme.
For the Summer Programmes: should you withdraw before 15 April, the Programme will refund 95% of the tuition fees paid. Should you withdraw after that date, the refund will be 65% of the tuition fees. No refund will be given after the start of the Programme.
You should immediately inform the Programme Officer of your withdrawal by email. It is important that you do so as soon as possible so that we can offer your place to another applicant.
You cannot attend only one week of Programme.
Classes will be held daily from Monday to Friday. There will be approximately 5h30 of classes per day. The three-hour morning sessions will consist of lectures; all participants are expected to attend. Afternoon sessions will be conducted in smaller seminar groups (20-25 participants per group) and will last approximately 2h30. Afternoon sessions may also include on-site visits to international organisations located in Geneva.
All participants are encouraged to make full use of the Graduate Institute's facilities. They will be given access to the library upon registration. Participants will also be given a personal IT account, a printing quota and internet access in the Graduate Institute's computer rooms. Wireless network access for laptops is available in most areas of the Graduate Institute.
Our Summer and Winter Programmes are accredited according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Participation in a programme of at least 2 weeks may be accepted for credits at your home university. It is up to your home university to evaluate our courses and decide the amount of credits you will receive (approximately 6 European ECTS credits for 2 weeks). If you are interested in obtaining credits for the Programme, you should contact the Study Abroad Office of your University. We can provide more information about the course, including a syllabus and the academic level to your Study Abroad Office upon request.
More info on certification.
Examinations are not compulsory: if you do not apply for credits, you are not required to sit for exams.
Participants who choose to follow the Programme to obtain credits will have to attend an examination and write a research paper. Evaluation will consist of:
- Class participation (20%);
- A written essay exam (30%). The exam takes place at the end of the Programme;
- A research paper covering experience in the programme as a whole (50%). The paper will be due at the latest three weeks after the end of the programme. The topic is left to the participants’ choice; they can receive guidance from an academic adviser.
A certificate of attendance will be issued to all participants.
The exam will take place at the end of the Programme.
Our academic advisor will help you prepare for your research paper from the beginning of the programme. The 15-page paper will be due at the latest three weeks after the end of the programme.
All participants who attend the course will be awarded a "certificate of participation" signed by the Director of the Graduate Institute. Conditions: active participation in class discussions and practical exercises; readings covered and understood; attendance at all classes and visits.
Participants who choose to follow the Programme to obtain credits and who successfully complete the evaluation will be provided with an academic transcript and a certificate, after the programme is finished.
Transcripts and certificates are mailed to participants approximately two months after the end of the Programme.
Graduate Institute students with a strong interest in the Summer or Winter Programmes can attend some of the courses. However, they cannot take the courses for credits.
The dress code at the Graduate Institute is usually casual. But please do not forget to bring suitable attire for more formal occasions, such as visits to international organisations and missions.
Each week of the Programme has its own syllabus which includes the topic to be covered, discussion questions and key points, and required reading. Each week, required reading will be approximately 100 pages; it will be tailored to the needs of the course. Supplementary reading will also be provided; students are strongly encouraged to cover it as part of efforts to enhance their learning. All reading lists will be posted in electronic format on the password-protected section of the website.