Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Have a look at some commonly asked questions about the application process by providing guidelines on where to find relevant information regarding logistic details on the application process, eligibility, costs, working times, and more.
- Which documents and information do I need for the application?
Can I submit my application via email?
No, only applications submitted through the online application form are accepted.
I am following a 4-year BSc program and will finish my 3rd year before the start of the internship. Can I apply?
Yes, if you are enrolled in a 4-year BSc program, you can apply after completing either your 2nd or 3rd year. You'll need to provide proof of enrollment for the following academic year.
I am a MSc student, can I join the program?
Unfortunately not, the program is intended for BSc students only.
I come from a country requiring a Visa for a stay in Switzerland. Am I eligible to apply?
Applicants from countries requiring a Visa for Switzerland are not eligible to apply.
Applicants coming from a country with a Visa exemption agreement with Switzerland for a maximum period of stay of 90 days are eligible. Read more HERE.
On the application form, should I indicate the nationality of my home institution or my country of origin?
Indicate the nationality that you will use to travel to Switzerland.
I cannot stay the full 8 weeks of the program due to obligations at the University. Can I shorten my stay for a couple of days or start the internship before 15 June?
Unfortunately not, the minimum duration of the stay is full 8 working weeks between 15 June and 15 September.
I cannot be present at the poster session on 22 August 2024. Can I still participate in the internship?
It is obligatory for all the students to take part in the poster session on the 22 August 2024 in the late afternoon.
Do I need to organize the accommodation on my own?
The centre organizes and directly covers the costs of housing for the whole period of the research stay. The centre’s administrative staff directly organizes the accommodation for students staying in Fribourg and the centre does not reimburse costs of housing organized by the students themselves.
However, for students staying at EPFL or ETHZ, the search of a room needs to be done by the student him/herself as such service is not provided by these institutions; NCCR administrative staff will provide information about lodging possibilities and reimburse the costs.
The Center does not organize nor cover costs of housing for periods beyond those of the research stay (such as extended stay for holidays).
Is transport covered by the centre?
NCCR covers the travel costs to Switzerland and return home (up to a total of 1’500 CHF for overseas travel, and 600 CHF for European travel; economy class, only public transportation), including the train ticket from and to the airport. City travel (bus, tram, metro) is not covered.
We recommend getting the Swiss Travel Half-Fare (SBB) card (not covered by the centre) and the SBB app to navigate and plan your trips within Switzerland.
What kind of accommodation can I expect?
There are two student housing locations in Fribourg: in both, there are single rooms with private or shared bathrooms and a common kitchen. The choice of location depends on its availability, and information regarding it will be provided in May.
The offer of housing in Lausanne (EPFL) and Zürich (ETH) varies depending on the availability.
Are the expenses for meals covered by the centre?
The meals are not covered by the centre. However, students coming from European countries (excluding the UK) are entitled to apply for the Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP). Applications for the grant shall be submitted only after acceptance to the internship program. Contact us at NCCR-URI@unifr.ch for more information.
Students from non-European countries and from the UK are encouraged to inquire with their home institution about potential funding support / grants.
When and how will I know if I am accepted to the program?
We will inform you by email in mid-March.
Do I need a special insurance for Switzerland?
Yes, all students are required to have health and accident insurance from their home country that is valid in Switzerland for the entire duration of their research stay. We recommend checking with your current health insurance provider to see if it can be extended to cover you in Switzerland. The NCCR additionally recommends that students obtain/extend their personal liability insurance for Switzerland.
The centre does not organize the insurance nor cover the costs.
Can I get ECTS credit for attending the program?
Yes, there is the possibility to have ECTS assigned, however only for stays at the University of Fribourg (not possible at ETHZ or EPFL). For two months in the lab, 6 ECTS are credited and 9 ECTS for 3 months.
Where can I practice and learn the local languages (French, German) in Fribourg?
Free courses for beginners are offered every summer from mid-July to mid-August at the Parc des Grand Places in Fribourg on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 17.00 to 18.30. Emphasis on oral communication.
Explore the latest summer language course offerings HERE. Please note that the University's language center is closed during the summer.
When will I receive the travel reimbursement after the stay?
The NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials will reimburse your travel costs to Switzerland and return home only at the end of your research stay by bank transfer.
Working time & Bank Holidays: What are the weekly working hours?
Working hours: 40 hours/week over 5 days.
Bank Holidays in the Canton of Fribourg: Thursday 1st August 2024 and Thursday 15th August 2024.
In addition, 2 vacation days may be granted during the stay.
The exact date of your arrival and departure will be communicated with your supervisor after acceptance to the internship program.
More questions? Contact us: NCCR-URI@unifr.ch