Support for student parents

Despite the cost and challenges of living in Geneva with children, it's worth noting that families benefit from a number of amenities and activities, including an abundance of green spaces and playgrounds scattered throughout the city, toy libraries, free access to museums and public transportation for small children (and even adults depending on where), nature trails, and many other fulfilling and affordable opportunities.

Below, the Institute, together with GISA's Parent Initiative, have compiled a list of resources to help parents navigate a new life in Geneva with their families. 

Tips on how to best organise your family life, while studying at the Graduate Institute

For both mothers and fathers, a successful reconciliation of work, studies and family life may be quite challenging. Life standards in Geneva are quite high and thus, rent, food, childcare facilities, insurance and medical costs may heavily impact a family's budget. 

It might be useful to know that: 

  • Primary and secondary schools are OFF on Wednesdays.

  • Most public day care has a waiting list of up to two years.

We recommend that you check out the CAGI Family Life website from the International Geneva Welcome Centre, which includes helpful information for parents on schools and childcare. 

The Bureau d'Information Petite Enfance (BIPE) (Early Childhood Information Office) in Geneva welcomes parents, directs them to the different methods of care and registers enrolment applications for all of the centres supported by the City of Geneva.

For parents who are also students, the Graduate Institute offers the following: 

  • A private room located on Level 1 of Petal 1 is available for pregnant or breastfeeding persons, as well as for anyone needing rest and privacy.  The keys are available upon request at the reception desk..

  • A changing table in the accessible bathroom near the front entrance of Petal 2 on level 3.

  • Highchairs, which are available in the cafeteria for children eating with their families at the Institute. 

  • Parents with documented financial needs may contact the financial aid office for further information.

  • A request for examination and study arrangements can be submitted to the Academic Adviser.

IHEID Parent Initiative

The IHEID Parent Initiative is a community group centered on Graduate Institute parents. We primarily serve as a starting point for helpful information about living in Geneva with children, but also to create a sense of community through child-friendly events. Simultaneous to our direct support for parents, we advocate for more family-friendly facilities and to those ends, we are involved in the Gender and Diversity Commission's Parenting Subgroup. For more information and for our parent guide visit our website


IHEID Parent Guide

Childcare facilities in Geneva

Practical info about child care centres, the schooling system, and sports and recreation for children and teens