Sean - University of Lausanne

B. Science
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

Courses: Biotic Interactions, Advanced Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Genetics and Genome Evolution, DNA Structure and Topology, Darwinian Medicine
I enjoyed that all students needed to register in person so you can register for the same courses with your friends and meet new people. The challenges were the high number of university hours and the lectures were not recorded. Overcome by increasing my workload and ensuring I attended all classes.

Personal experience

I gained many new friendships with people from different parts of the globe. It was a great experience to meet people and travel around Europe with them. We skied, or attempted to ski, in the Swiss Alps, we drove a campervan through the south coast of England, drank fine whiskey and visited Guinness brewery in Dublin and visited many other places. Lausanne has French as the main language and using Duolingo and some practice, I was able to learn simple phrases necessary for everyday life.


Atrium is an on-campus accommodation that is beside EPFL and only one metro stop away from UNIL. I lived in Atrium and have seen the housing residence of friends, and Atrium is undoubtedly the favoured residence for UNIL. I would recommend getting a shared house with 8 people as this allows you to build Swiss contacts easily. Nevertheless, there are plenty of exchange students (and many QLD/NSW) living in Atrium.


Rent was 720CHF per month, groceries were approximately 100CHF per month, transport was 50CHF per month and entertainment/travel depends on the individual. I would recommend saving a couple thousand dollars and apply for the OS Help loan if you plan on travelling around Europe. Watch out for the exchange rate when converting from AUD to CHF.

Professional development and employability

I have become more open-minded to other cultures and have a greater understanding of the uniqueness of each culture. Meeting people from different parts of the globe provide me with an opportunity to understand the world from their perspectives.


Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

The highlight of the experience was travelling around Europe with friends.

Top tips

  • I would advise students to stay for as long as possible, as one semester was too short and time flew quickly.
  • Don't miss out on going on student exchange and travelling heaps, you won't regret it!
Sean - University of Lausanne