Travel and Visa Information
Participants are encouraged to arrive in Bern at least one day in advance of the beginning of their course to arrive by daylight, rest from their travel, and to get oriented to the city and the university setting.
Please alert the IPDET team of your travel plans as soon as they are finalized. Although there are direct flights to Zurich or Geneva, many connections from abroad might go via London Heathrow, U.K.; Paris, France; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; or Frankfurt, Germany. Swiss Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, the leading global airline network, with an extensive route network.
From Zurich or Geneva international airport you have access to the fast train network www.sbb.ch going directly to Bern. Travel time is a little over an hour. A City-Ticket from the airport to your accommodation location includes the train ride and the local public transport in one single ticket.
Visa – Entry to Switzerland
A basic distinction is made between citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and those of other countries, who will require a Schengen visa.
Almost all nationals of non-EU/EFTA countries require a short-stay Schengen tourist visa for up to 90 days, which allows entry to the whole Schengen area, including Switzerland. Contact the embassy or the Swiss consulate in your own country for information on visa regulations and applying for a visa. Please note that it can take up to ten weeks for a visa to be issued. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs informs on Visa requirements and offers an online visa system:
These are general requirements to apply for a Swiss Tourist Schengen Visa for educational training purposes. The requirements might vary depending on the country you are applying from:
- Invitation letter stating the purpose of visit to Switzerland from the inviting organization
- Filled in and signed application form
- Valid passport, 2 recent passport format photos and proof of civil status
- Proof of accommodation for the whole duration of the intended stay in Switzerland
- Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in Switzerland
- Proof of compliant travel medical insurance
Information on Swiss medical insurance for visitors who are staying temporarily in Switzerland on a Schengen visa is here.
Each participant must make his or her own travel arrangements. Bern is a very popular tourist destination in summer and you are encouraged to make your plans as soon as possible.