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Old 13.02.2013, 10:22
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Student Life at ETH

Hello everyone!
I just got admitted to the Chemical and Bioengineering MSc programme at ETH Zurich. It has always been my dream to study there but know i am worried about many things. I come from Greece and i have never been in Switzerland before. Is there anyone who is going to study at ETH in september? How is student life?
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Old 13.02.2013, 10:36
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Re: Student Life at ETH

Accommodation is really the only thing to worry about. Can you get help with that?
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Old 13.02.2013, 10:37
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Re: Student Life at ETH

I am afraid not .. But i am thinking of coming to zurich in about a month to see what i need to do
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Old 13.02.2013, 13:23
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Re: Student Life at ETH

I'm not sure what your past uni experience was like, but compared to North American Universities, ETH is very different.

It doesn't have the 'party' culture that many associate with Uni..students are much more focused on learning and studying. The social diversity is also a lot narrower. There are a lot of nerds, A LOT of nerds.

There are very few females --so they get a lot of constant attention from the boys. (I commonly see the group dynamic with a female in the middle and surrounded by a gaggle of guys walking along trying to get a comment in).

Of course these observations are not absolute, just a few occurrences I notice a bit more than back home.

There's still a lot of good people and fun times, but not to the extent I was used to.
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Old 13.02.2013, 13:26
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Re: Student Life at ETH

i am pretty used to that ''party'' mode. of course i am prepared for a very different life just i hope it's not a lonely one
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Old 13.02.2013, 13:36
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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i am pretty used to that ''party'' mode. of course i am prepared for a very different life just i hope it's not a lonely one
The social life is still there----but you will see more 'wine-and-cheese', aperos, and dinner parties rather than the crazy clubbing gong-shows.

Also note, many of the exams are oral one-on-one with the professor, so keeping a good rapport with them goes a long way since in the end, they will choose what grade you receive.
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Old 13.02.2013, 13:51
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Re: Student Life at ETH

Since you'll be a masters student, your social circle will most likely be primarily other masters students and the PhD students, postdocs, and scientists of whatever groups you do your projects and thesis in.

The bachelor's level students can throw some pretty wild, big parties (well, at least I imagine they are), and you can probably check them out if you want (they are constantly advertising these things). But if you don't speak German then it will be tough to socialize with them.

Typically, at the research group level, socializing is there, but a bit more tame. I'm sure if you are a party type person, you can easily find other kindred spirits, however.
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Old 14.02.2013, 00:57
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Re: Student Life at ETH

I too have been admitted to the MSc chem-engg program at ETH-Z. I graduated from an American university (University of Minnesota) and I had a pretty similar question.

I was also wondering, if its easy to move around Zurich late at night. Does anyone suggest buying a car or is the transport system decent enough to get by?
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Old 14.02.2013, 08:12
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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I too have been admitted to the MSc chem-engg program at ETH-Z. I graduated from an American university (University of Minnesota) and I had a pretty similar question.

I was also wondering, if its easy to move around Zurich late at night. Does anyone suggest buying a car or is the transport system decent enough to get by?
Of course there are social events and parties , but they are lot quieter and formal as compared to UK or US. But I do not find them boring rather cool and easy. There are bars and clubs where young students hang out.

Great transport system, car will be burden (with super expensive parking charges)
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Old 14.02.2013, 08:27
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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Accommodation is really the only thing to worry about. Can you get help with that?
And I have to warn you, try not to live with Bachelor's students, they party constantly because it's not a big deal for them to fail a year, they can just repeat it with no problem. Try to live with foreign students that have respect with the people they live with.
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Old 14.02.2013, 08:38
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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I too have been admitted to the MSc chem-engg program at ETH-Z. I graduated from an American university (University of Minnesota) and I had a pretty similar question.

I was also wondering, if its easy to move around Zurich late at night. Does anyone suggest buying a car or is the transport system decent enough to get by?
Zurich is pretty compact and great to get around with public transportation and a bicycle, so I really wouldn't recommend getting a car.
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Old 14.02.2013, 08:43
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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And I have to warn you, try not to live with Bachelor's students, they party constantly because it's not a big deal for them to fail a year, they can just repeat it with no problem. Try to live with foreign students that have respect with the people they live with.
I do not agree at all, many times there are foreign students who parties (or invites guests) all the time and they forget there are other housemate as well. How the housemates are really depends on person and not on country where they are form.
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Old 14.02.2013, 09:19
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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I do not agree at all, many times there are foreign students who parties (or invites guests) all the time and they forget there are other housemate as well. How the housemates are really depends on person and not on country where they are form.
I don't know about you, but sticking together a bunch of kids that don't have to work, living on their parents' money and not caring about the future because it's okay to fail your exams ... is a recipe for disaster.

The entire time I lived with Bachelor's students here, I had maybe 1 night per week in which I was not awoken in the middle of the night by people screaming or playing loud music at 3am. Most of them were Swiss, but not all... my opinion stands that if you find non-bachelor's students that are foreigners, then you're finding people that have to apply into their programs and thus actually care about the future. This is not something I had a problem with in Canada, I lived with engineering students that studied at night or hung out with friends, not the kind that screamed randomly for no reason when people were sleeping. The only difference I can see is that you can't simply fail your courses in Canada (or other countries) without losing 10k and possibly being kicked out of your program.

Anyhow, the OP can make up his or her own mind on this. It looks like if she/he can afford a car, then she/he can afford to live alone or with people that won't knock down his door at 3am when there's an 8am class the following morning.
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Old 14.02.2013, 09:44
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Re: Student Life at ETH

Thank you all for your answers! i will be positive and everything will be all right!
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Old 14.02.2013, 09:48
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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I too have been admitted to the MSc chem-engg program at ETH-Z. I graduated from an American university (University of Minnesota) and I had a pretty similar question.

I was also wondering, if its easy to move around Zurich late at night. Does anyone suggest buying a car or is the transport system decent enough to get by?
I have heard from a friend studying there that the transport system is more than fine but you have to get used to it a bit at first i don't think that a car is a good idea
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Old 14.02.2013, 09:53
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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Thank you all for your answers! i will be positive and everything will be all right!
Good attitude and positive energy is all you need. You will meet all kinds of people, like everywhere in the world. But infrastructure and facilities for students within ETH is great.

Good luck
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Old 14.02.2013, 09:56
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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Good attitude and positive energy is all you need. You will meet all kinds of people, like everywhere in the world. But infrastructure and facilities for students within ETH is great.

Good luck
Thank you so much!!!!!! Good luck to you too
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Old 14.02.2013, 10:08
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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i will be positive and everything will be all right!
FLW - (Famouse Last Words)

Report back after the first year
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Old 14.02.2013, 10:10
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Re: Student Life at ETH

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FLW - (Famouse Last Words)

Report back after the first year
LOL i can do that :P
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Old 14.02.2013, 10:12
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Re: Student Life at ETH

I agree with others here that housing is really the bottleneck here.

ETH has a website on housing.

Or you can also try WOKO.

Good luck!
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