Living and studying in Bern

What you need to know

The city of Bern
Bern, the capital of the Swiss Confederation, is home to the Swiss Government, the Swiss National Bank, Swiss Railways,  Swiss Post, the University of Bern and a population of about 138,000. The city is a one-hour train ride away from Basel (home of many pharmaceutical multinationals),  Zurich (one of the most important financial centres worldwide) and about two hours from Geneva, home of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many other international organisations.
For more on what Bern has to offer check out the Bern Tourismus website.

The majority of students choose to book a room with the Bernese Student Lodging Association (see link on right) or find a room in a shared apartment. The World Trade Institute unfortunately cannot provide accommodation.

We encourage you to start looking for accommodation well in advance. The number of rooms available at the student residences and the number of rooms/apartments for rent in the Bern region is very limited.

Rooms for rent in shared apartments can be found at and; available apartments in Switzerland can be found on this search engine

Health insurance
Swiss law mandates that you have health insurance during your stay in Switzerland. In the first week of the MILE and TRAIL+ programme, we'll invite a representative of a Swiss health insurer to hold a presentation. You will be able to sign up for health insurance right after the presentation. Alternatively, special plans for temporary residents can be found on the internet.

Visa and immigration
If you are an international applicant to the WTI, you should ensure that you can provide evidence of adequate funding to Swiss visa/immigration authorities.

The WTI will send confirmation of your admission to study to the Bernese Migration Office. Once you arrive in Switzerland, you are required to register with them within seven days. More details will be given on your arrival.