The foundations of the University of Bern were laid in the 16th century, when the Reformation made it necessary for new priests to be educated in a higher education establishment. In 1805, as part of the reorganization of higher education, the Bern government converted the former School of Theology into an Academy with four faculties.
The university's comprehensive offering includes 8 faculties, some 160 institutes, 60 Bachelor- and 83 Masterprograms, PhD in all disciplines and more than 200 executive programs. Courses include theology, humanities, law, the economic and social sciences, medicine, veterinary medicine and sciences. It’s your option to make various combinations, including across different faculties. Whether you want to combine economics with archaeology or psychology with computer science, you will not be short of choices.
The University of Bern excels in five major areas:
The modern spirit of the University of Bern is at home in a traditional environment. In a central location, new and historical buildings are spread across an entire neighborhood that has nevertheless remained familiar. Regardless of the age of the buildings, we offer a modern infrastructure everywhere.The workplaces can be reached easily and quickly from all over Switzerland on public transport.
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Office for gender equality - The university is committed to gender equality for men and women. It promotes the success of both men and women in academia with effective instruments of gender equality and career models.International Office - The University of Bern has numerous exchange contracts with partners in Europe and all over the world that make it possible for students from the University of Bern to gain experience at a foreign university for one or two semesters. Interested students obtain information from us on possible destinations, how to register and how to prepare for an experience abroad.
Irrespective of whether you are alone or with your partner or family - allow sufficient time to look for a room or apartment. If you come from abroad, we particularly recommend dealing with accommodation several weeks before you arrive (e.g. temporary accommodation, a room in a student residence etc.).Many apartments on offer are not available for occupation immediately due to the period of notice and are only free after a period of 1 to 3 months.The Welcome Center publishes offers accommodation from landlords in Bern and the surrounding area. They do not, however, act as direct intermediaries – please contact the landlords yourself.
The University Library of Bern not only provides books and journals in print and electronic format and access to subject-specific databases, but also offers courses in topics such as research methods, academic writing and citation, as well as support and equipment for electronic publishing.
The IT Services Office (ID) offers a wide range of IT-related services, support and advice. It supports students, central administration staff and the institutes' IT managers.
We are responsible for planning and installation, and for ensuring uninterrupted, secure operation of the entire wired and wireless network.
People in further and continuing education can apply to be exempted from the compulsory health insurance in Switzerland, providing they can prove they are in possession of a comparable foreign health insurance. In the canton of Bern, the application must be submitted in writing to the Office for Social Insurance within three months of your entering Switzerland.
Most of the institutes are located in the Länggasse, a lively student quarter that offers a wide range of places to eat and drink: snack bars, restaurants and cafes are an invitation to wind down. The railway station and city center with an abundance of shops are just a few minutes' walk from the different university buildings.
The city of Bern is listed among the cities that offer excellent quality of life in the world. The people of Bern are welcoming and peaceable, and the old town of Bern, nestling in a breath-taking setting surrounded by the Swiss Alps, is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The Swiss capital also has an broad range of cultural activities.
We offer a diverse sports and exercise program for students and staff at the university and the university of teacher education. University Sports organizes guided training sessions, courses, competitions and events, offers advice and provides infrastructure for independent training. University Sports is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Center for Sport and Sport Science as well as other sports infrastructure.
Student Union - The Student Union of the University of Bern (SUB) represents the concerns and interests of the students of the University of Bern. It is a public law entity based on the University Law of the canton of Bern. Over 90% of students in Bern are SUB members. As well as political representation, the SUB offers the students of the University of Bern a comprehensive and varied range of services and advice, such as jobs, accommodation, free tickets to cultural events, legal and financial advice and help.Cultural associations:
The English Department at the University of Bern is lively, close-knit and fosters each student's special interest, be it literary or linguistics-focused. The professors and instructors are highly specialized, professional and at the same approachable and quick to help. I enjoy my time there, also making use of extracurricular activities such as in acting workshops.
What I was most surprised by/ what I appreciated the least was that there were no other exchange students in my classes. Of course this is out of the control of the University, and it is impossible to know beforehand, but I think this made my study abroad experience a bit less appreciated than had I had some other exchangers in my classes. Most of the contact with...
Quite high quality of teaching and curriculum following up-to-date trends in economics (Behavioural Economics, Political Economics of Climate Change etc.); many devoted professors but as everywhere - there are exceptions. However, there is little flexibility in the choice of your own program. The biggest disadvantage is relatively little support for students - many...
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