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Overview of Switzerland

■ Housing

In most cases students are responsible for arranging their own housing. International students may rent an apartment for their own or a room in a student house. In some special cases, the University might offer housing. It’s highly advised that you contact your host institution to check their housing policies.

■ Transportation system

Switzerland has an extensive rail road system, with a total length of 24,500km and more than 26,000 stations. You’ll be able to get pretty much everywhere by train or other public transportation.

■ Shopping

Shopping in Switzerland can be extremely expensive. To try running away from the high prices, look for outlets – actually, the largest European outlet, called FoxTown, is located there, in a city called Mendrisio. In July and January you can find goods with up to 70% off.
For buying cheap food, do your groceries in a supermarket. If you need to eat outside, go to a cafe. Food can be very expensive in Switzerland, so we recommend you to do your best eating at home.

■ Cuisine

Swiss cuisine is influenced by French, German and Italian cuisines. Some of the staple food is cheese, meat, nuts and chocolate. Enjoy your time in Swiss to visit different cities and try their local food. In Italian-influenced cities, try the polenta and the saffron risotto; in German-influenced cities, Rosti potatoes and Zopft bread; in French-influenced cities, fondue and meringue (a lot of cheese here!).

■ Culture

Switzerland is a country which has received major influence from three countries: France, Germany and Italy. As a result, the country is a place where you can taste at least three cultures in only one place: only in the linguistic aspect, there are four national languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh).Of course the country also has developed its own culture over the years, and since over 22% of the population is consisted of foreigners, you can expect to meet other cultures there as well.
Thus, not only the linguistics, but also the arts, dance, festivals. cuisine, and many other culture aspects have been influenced by the people living there. Going to Switzerland is a great way to try a little bit of many cultures, both in their modern and ancient ways.

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