Incoming Exchange Student Portal

Students on exchange at the Graduate Institute, Geneva will find important information on this page with everything they will need to anticipate their arrival and subsequent stay here. 

Before you get here


You will find below the different steps to follow to prepare for your stay in Geneva:

  1. Submit your housing request (the applications for a room in the Autumn 2024 will open on 19th of March)
    Accommodation must be secured before starting the visa procedure

  2. Apply for your visa & residence permit. READ CAREFULLY 
    It takes up to 3 months for your visa application to be processed.

  3. Activate your Geneva Graduate Institute email and Campus account and download the Pocket IHEID smartphone app and start looking at the course offering.

  4. Read information on health insurance





The academic year at the Graduate Institute consists of two semesters, each 14 weeks long.

The typical course load is five courses each semester; you can therefore expect to have at least 10 class hours each week.

Most courses require a large amount of reading, individual or group research, papers and other types of preparation before each weekly class.

Class attendance is expected; instructors should be notified in advance of any absences. In many courses, a significant portion of the grade is based on the quality of class participation. Students are required to come prepared for each class and are encouraged to engage actively and critically with the academic material.

Each course counts as 6 ECTS.

Exams usually take place during the last week of classes and can be either sit-in or take-home exams.

Class size varies between introductory lectures and specialised seminars. On average, there are about 20 students in each course, providing numerous opportunities to interact with the professor.


  • Master-level courses listed on your Campus portal (access is given upon admission) are open to incoming exchange students.
    Please note that the following courses are not accessible to exchange students:
        - Compulsory courses
        - Research method electives are not open to exchange students
        - Workshops 

  • Admitted students will receive instructions on how to register for courses by email.

  • Changes to course registrations can be made during the first week of classes but are subject to places available.




A Welcome Meeting for incoming exchange students will take place on the first day of the semester. Details will be sent by email.

Students will officially register to the Institute during this meeting and attendance is therefore mandatory. During this meeting, students will finalize their registration to the Institute and receive their multi-service student cards.

The Institute’s Academic Adviser will also be present if you have any questions pertaining to course offerings and registration.


Practical Information about life in Geneva 

Office Cantonal de la Population et des Migrations (OCPM)

Website: Welcome to Geneva

Route de Chancy 88, 1213 Onex
Opening hours: Mo, Tue, Th, Fr: 7:30-13:30; Wed 9:00-16:30
Telephone : +41 22 546 47 95, Mo-Fr: 13:30-16:30
Access: Tram 14, Bus K and L «Bandol» stop. Map



Incoming Exchange students who have received a residence permit are required to inform the OCPM ) about their departure, at the latest, two weeks prior to leaving by sending the departure formThis procedure is mandatory.

Remember to cancel your insurance policy upon departure, otherwise, you will continue to receive invoices.


Campus and Opportunities




The Campus de la paix
Life in Geneva