Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. Just click on a question to expand the answer.

How do I get to Gland from Geneva?

By Taxi

Taxis can be found next to the airport and can be located by following the signs “Taxi”.
Taxis can also be pre-booked over the phone. Drivers’ English however may be poor. There are several taxi companies in Geneva, all with roughly the same fare rates. (fairly costly) The main ones are:
Taxi-Phone : +41 22 331 4133
Ambassador Taxi : +41 22 731 4141
Taxi 202 : +41 22 3 202 202

By Train

There is a train station at the airport that can be located by following the signs “CFF”, “Gare”. All trains from there go to Geneva’s main station. At Geneva train station you can take a train to Gland, that is scheduled every 30 min and costs 10 CHF. The journey takes around 15 min. The train schedule is as follows:
Train Geneva-Gland: 6:19, 6:49, 7:19, 7:49, 8:19, 8:49.. etc.

SUMAS Transfer

SUMAS provides pick up and transfer services for newcomers upon their arrival to Geneva airport. Transfers from the airport to Gland cost approximately 250-300 CHF. All transfers muct be requested in advance.

How can I find accommodation?

If you are interested in one of our accommodation options, please contact our admissions officer at gmenini@sumas.ch
SUMAS has on-campus accommodation For more information on the different types of student residences and costs, you can view the following link: https://sumas.ch/about-us/facilities/accommodation/.
If you are interested in living in student residences, you should contact us as soon as possible, as these accommodation options are in high demand.
In case there is no more space available in the SUMAS residences, you can view the following links:
Studenthome           Homegate            Immoscout24          Immo          Immostreet         Newhome      UMS      Anibis        Comparis       Petitesannonces 
Various choices are available, such as rooms in shared apartments or rooms in private houses/apartments (landlord-occupied), student residences or studio apartments.
Students desiring assistance must complete an Accommodation Request form (located here) indicating the type of property they are looking for, their budget and any specific requirements. This must be completed as soon as possible after your place in the school has been confirmed to ensure the best possibility of finding an appropriate property.
Estimated accommodation costs per month:
  • Rooms in Apartments: Gland – from 800 CHF; Lausanne – from 900 CHF; Geneva – from 1200 CHF
  • Apartments and Studios: Gland – from 1200 CHF; Lausanne – from 1400 CHF; Geneva – from 1500 CHF
Please note that first month’s rent payment includes a mandatory security deposit (two months payment).
The payment terms can usually be found in the lease contract or can be acquired through the landlord (when renting rooms in private houses/apartments.) If you are renting a furnished room, the house/apartment owner can provide bed sheets and towels on request. Please contact your landlord or real estate agency to clarify what furniture and bedding are provided.
Please consider that your living expenses in Switzerland will also include health insurance and other expenses.

What are the living expenses like in Switzerland?

Living costs vary greatly depending on the chosen standard of living, and in particular the chosen accommodation and location (Gland, Geneva, Lausanne).
Students should plan on monthly living expenses excluding accommodation of at least 1350 CHF.
Estimated living costs per month include:
  • Food: 800 CHF
  • Personal expenses: 250 CHF
  • Internet & phone: 100 CHF
  • Study-related expenses: 100 CHF
  • Local transportation: 100 CHF
At the beginning of your stay you should also take into consideretion payments for your residence permit (around 250 CHF for foreign students).
Please consider that your living expenses in Switzerland will also include accomodation and health insurance.

How does health insurance work in Switzerland?

You are not required to have insurance to enter Switzerland or obtain a long-term student visa (more than 90 days), however it is mandatory to apply for health insurance upon your arrival to Switzerland. All people residing in Switzerland are required to have valid health and accident insurance. You also have the option to insure your valuable personal belongings.
Students who have the blue European health insurance card with the EU logo can send a copy (front and back) to:

Organe cantonal de contrôle de l’assurance maladie et accidents
Ch. de Mornex 40
1014 Lausanne
0041 21 557 47 47
(Office is reachable between 8am – 11:45am)

Students who do not have a European health insurance card, but who believe they have the equivalent should check upon arrival with the office cantonal.
If you do not have the equivalent of the Swiss/European health insurance, we will provide you with assistance in finding an insurance company with convinient offers and rates.
The cost of student insurance varies from 70 to 100 CHF per month.
For more information, please download the guide to health and accident insurance by clicking here .
Please consider that your living expenses in Switzerland will also include accomodation and other expenses.

Where can I buy a local SIM card?

You can buy pre-paid SIM card at the post office at the airport or at the local newspaper store in Gland next to the school (Rue Mauverney 18). In order to buy a contract you will need a residency permit.

How can i pay tuition fees?

Accepted students will receive a detailed invoice of the fee and due date for the pre-payment. In case of visa refusal, all fees are refundable, excluding the application fee.

Bank Transfer

You can pay your application fee by direct bank transfer. Just send it to the following account, quoting your name as the payment reference:
Account Name: Sustainability Management School SA
Swift Code: UBSWCHZH80A
IBAN: CH67 0024 3243 2172 4401 M
Account Number: 80-2-2
Bank Name: UBS Switzerland AG
Bank Address: 45 Bahnhofstrasse
CH-8098 ZURICH, Switzerland

Do I need a laptop within the campus?

SUMAS highly encourages students to buy a portable computer before their classes begin. Paperless Classes at SUMAS are a new educative reality that we promote. If you are not able to get a portable computer in time for your classes, contact SUMAS to assist you with ordering one.

Minimum Requirements

  • PC running Windows 7/8 or a recent Macbook
  • Microsoft Office 2007-2013 (or equivalent)
  • Google Chrome / Mozilla Firefox
  • 1.6 GHz processor, 4Gb RAM, external port for USB
  • Wifi

Do I need to have a Swiss bank account?

We advise you to open a personal bank account to avoid carrying cash (for example a special student account at Postfinance.ch ). Only a small amount of cash is required in case of accident or emergency. In order to open a bank account, you must have a residency permit.
You may be able to use your current card, although this option will be subject to high transaction charges.
The majority of shops and stores in Switzerland accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, etc). Some of them may require a minimum purchase for card payment.

Do I need any books or class material to attend the lectures?

As we encourage paperless classes, you are free to use the SUMAS RESOURCE CENTER to find all required reading material for lectures (academic journal articles, online magazines and databases). Your login and password to access to the SUMAS SRC are given by the Academic Officer upon registration for the first term.
Please note that you may be requested by professors to buy hardcopies of books, if e-books are not available.
Students should bring their personal notebooks, agendas and pens, if needed.

What kind of clothing should I bring?

There is no uniform at SUMAS. The style is generally casual, do not change how you dress now, just come as you are!
In Switzerland, the weather ranges from cool to cold between mid-October and mid-April. Most of your wardrobe should reflect the cool reality of Swiss climate. Those of you from warmer climes should be sure to bring a warm winter jacket (e.g. parka, wool coat), sweaters, warm mittens, a hat, scarf, and other warm articles of clothing. Winter footwear is important too, as sneakers provide little traction in snow.

Am I eligible for discounts with my Student ID card?

Many students forget that their Student ID Card is a gold mine for savings. In many places, students get discounts at the movies, stores, museums, play houses, bars and even restaurants. For the students under 25 years old there are student discounts for public transportation.
So take advantage of your Student ID Card and take it everywhere you go!

Can I work part-time while studying?

Different Cantons in Switzerland have different rules regarding work permits for students. In Canton Vaud, where SUMAS is located, students are able to apply for a part-time working permit after 6 months from arrival. The procedure requires the support of the school.
Please note that foreign students are not allowed to work more than 15hours/week.

Can I travel around Europe during my stay in Switzerland?

Switzerland is part of the Schengen zone which means that once you have a valid student visa or residency permit, you are allowed to travel to the following countries without a visa: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Your residence permit process may take up to 2 months. Therefore, you should not make any travel plans abroad before receiving your permit.

Residency Permit Information (EU)

Students must submit the following documents to the address listed below.
  • Arrival announcement (.pdf) (in complete control with the locals and foreign office of the municipality of residence)
  • Copy of passport or identity card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Credential issued by a school, mentioning the duration of the studies provided
  • Evidence showing that the financial means are provided in a sustainable manner or ‘certificate of assumption’ (.docx) signed by a guarantor, together with documents demonstrating that the financial means are provided in a sustainable manner
  • Copies of documents related to the scholarship if any (amount, duration, etc.)
Service de la population
Av. de Beaulieu 19
CH – 1014 Lausanne
+41 (0) 21 316 46 46
+41 (0) 21 316 4

Residency Permit Information (Non EU)

For non-EC/EFTA nationals (foreign nationals of a country that is not a signatory to the Agreement on the free movement of persons concluded between Switzerland and the European Union who wish to come to study in the Canton of Vaud and at schools situated in the same Canton )
Students must submit the following documents to the address listed below.
  • A fully completed and signed residence permit application form (.doc).
  • Attestation of studies. Attestation of definite registration with the school confirming that the student has the educational level and language knowledge required for the envisaged studies.
  • School fees. Attestation by the school of the payment of the school fees for the 1st semester at least or confirmation by the school that the student is able to pay the school fees.
  • Letter of Intent. A letter signed by the student indicating the reasons for his/her decision to pursue studies in Switzerland and his/her plans for the future on completion of the studies envisaged in Switzerland.
  • Curriculum vitae. Curriculum vitae indicating the schools attended and relevant dates together with copies of the study diplomas, certificates or attestations obtained.
  • Financial means. The sufficiency of financial means is demonstrated by :
      • the existence of a solvent bank account in Switzerland or abroad (enclose a statement of account), or
      • an acceptance of responsibility by a solvent guarantor domiciled in Switzerland (enclose attestation of the acceptance of responsibility, form no 5 > http://www.vd.ch/formulaires-etrangers ), or
      • an acceptance of responsibility by a solvent guarantor domiciled abroad (in this case, the Swiss embassy must attest the acceptance of responsibility), or
      • a firm guarantee of the student’s entitlement to a study grant or loan (enclose a copy of the decision making the grant or the loan)
  • Accommodation conditions. Indication of the planned accommodation (copy of a lease, confirmation by a landlord or provision of a room by the school, together with the amount of the monthly rent to be paid).
  • Written commitment to leave Switzerland at the end of the planned studies. A separate dated and signed letter or attestation, having the validity of a formal commitment.
  • Custody of a minor student. Document signed by the legal representative indicating to whom the custody of the minor is entrusted.
  • Identity Documents
      • If the application is filed abroad, a copy of the passport and the visa application.
      • Birth Certificate
      • If the application is filed in Switzerland, a copy of the passport and the visa, together with the arrival report and 2 photos as well as the form to be scanned for the issue of the residence permit.

Service de la population
Av. de Beaulieu 19
CH – 1014 Lausanne
+41 (0) 21 316 46 46
+41 (0) 21 316 46 45

Switzerland is a part of the Schengen zone which means that once you have a Student B permit, you are allowed to travel to the following countries without a visa: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Your residence permit process may take up to 2 months. Therefore, you should not make any travel plans abroad before receiving your permit.

Can I find SUMAS on any social networks?

Facebook

Join SUMAS on Facebook. Like our official facebook page  to keep up with events and become part of our social network.

Twitter

Follow SUMAS on Twitter @SUMAS_Suisse  to be one of the first to hear about our news and organized events.

YouTube

Subscribe to SUMAS’ official youtube channel  to watch videos from SUMAS.

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