Bonjour et Bienvenue! Hello and Welcome to Geneva, the International city of Switzerland. It is the town hosting many International Organisations and the cradle of some of them. For medical students the main one would be the ICRC, for sure! Here you will enjoy the mix between an international way of life and a normal swiss one. You have the choice, just decide! So, shall we go?
Geneva is well centered in Europe, but not in Switzerland! It is at the far south-wes of it. Geneva shares more borders with France than with Switzerland! It has about 200'000 inhabitants in the city, but if you count the wall Canton (Swiss micro-state) it rises to 450'000 people. The main language is french, but you can be easily understood in other language such as English, German, Italian, Spanish, and so on... It has many things to see, but it seems that Geneva's people don't see it sometimes. It is well located with the beautifull Leman lake, and the mountains not so far. You have also the Rhone river exiting from the lake, with beautifull landscape. Even if it is one of the biggest city of Switzerland, you can find calm place inside the city, for example in one of it's multiple parks!
The clerkships take place at the Geneva Universitary Hospital (HUG), one of the biggest hospital in Switzerland. It has got 11 medical departments with some subdivisions. The main building is in the city center, near the CMU, wich is the Medical Faculty of Geneva and one of the greatest research center in Switzerland. Working hours usually are from 8h to 18h with 2 hour break to eat. You can do duties during night and weekend,but it depends on the department's chief.
Usually we try to lodge the student in a host family's house, with a swiss medical student. But sometimes our students just leave their appartments to do an exchange abroad so we use them to lodge the incoming students. For the breakfast you will eat at your house, and for the lunch at the hospital, with special price for student. At night it is up to you to eat wherever you want!! You will get 200 CHF (130 Euro) pocket money a month that you can use to eat lunch (or not...)
To do a clerkship in Switzerland, you will need a working permit! So send to us all the documents we will ask you (see exchanges conditions). You will get a badge which will give you access to medical place in the hospital. The hospital will provide you every medical clothes you will need. Just bring with you your stethoscop and reflex hammer. You have to SPEAK FRENCH to work in the hospital!!
It changes a little with the SCOPE programm. You will do the clerkship in the Faculty, in an english speaking team. You dont really need anything, just your brain!!
Here you have the choice! You like Museums? You have the choice between so many museums that even a Geneva native has not visited all of them! See the link below in Geneva Toursim, you will find the informations you need. One of the most famous is certainly the ICRC Museum. You can visit also some International Organisations such as UNO. We hare proud to say to you that we have also plenty of Theatres, Concerts, and an Opera. Just see what is going on when you are planning to stay, you will see how much Geneva's culture is rich! Cinemas are expensive, but you will have the choice depending on your preferences. Some tours are offered too, from city tour to lake tour. You can also simply chill out in one of our beautifull park.
The main social programm takes place during summer when the City organises free public concerts, open air cinema and many others. Usually we go out in a bar to share a drink, but we can do a barbecue depending on the weather. More than organized social programm, we offer onformations about what you would like to do, and we try to find something together. Geneva night life is very nice during weekend, from monday to thursday you dont have many things, but friday and saturday, you can find so many things to do, you have got what you want for each one's taste!
Transportation network is increasing these days in Geneva. The build new bus and tram lines, so it will be easier now on to move in and out the city. You will get a pass for the length of your stay when you come, so you could use any transportations as much as you want! Thank the LP for that, because if not, the ticket is quite eypensive (3.50 CHF one track, so about 3 Euro for one hour!!) The center of the Canton is well deserved, but the extremities not that good, anyway when you go there, it is countryside, so you have to take your time! You can also use bike or simply your feet!!
Geneva's weather is very nice because of the lake. It plays a role of thermostat, so it refreshes during summer and it warms during winter. In summer it is warm and a little bit wet, with temperature reaching 30° Celsius (rarely more). In winter it can reach 0° and sometimes less, but dont worry we have well warmed house and public buildings!
We are a small team doing everything we can to make your exchange unforgettable! We are parte of the AEMG, the Geneva's Medical Students Association, so depending on the time you come, you could meet plenty of students. If you have some questions, dont hesitate to contact us : [swimsa.geneva_at_gmail.com]