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Old 16.12.2011, 08:39
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Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Applying to ETH or EPFL

Hello there!
I have been reading threads on this forum for some time, and although I have read many threads on ETH and EPFL, most of them are related to Master's degrees or people that want to apply to a Bachelor degree from another university, so hopefully this will be different.

I have already read the Application/Admission page of the ETH and basically know what I need:

- CV/résumé -table form
-Photocopies of matriculation certificate (High school diploma, etc.) In my case, ICFES, as I'm from Colombia
-Application fee
-Admission test

By the way, I want to study architecture... and I'm aware of the costs of living in Zurich, but this shouldn't be a problem.

Well, I have no problems with the photocopies or the Application and exam fee, but I'm most worried about the Aufnahmeprüfung and the résumé...
Seriously, what am I supposed to write on my résumé? I'm only 15 years old, and, well, I have basically studied in just one school my entire life, so It'll look pretty empty...

I already know some German, so that shouldn't be a problem and I'm planning to take the ''C2: Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom'' at the Goethe-Institut next year, so there's plenty of time to study...
I'm fluent in English and I speak French, Portuguese and have some knowledge of Japanese, maybe this isn't important at all but, well, it may help... (I'm aware that ETH doesn't take this into account)

As I told you later, I'm quite concerned about the entrance examination, as I've read that it's very (if not extremely) difficult to pass it -actually the EPFL ''strongly discourages students from taking the exam merely with the knowledge they acquired at their school'' but I actually think it's quite exaggerated- I still have one year to go, as I'm on 10th grade and the Colombian secondary system just goes till the 11th grade, so I'm not in a hurry...
The financial issues aren't that important, so my main concern is to pass the exam...

They also say it's impossible to start studying the same year you present the exam, but maybe it is possible for me to enter the country with a Schengen visa issued by another country to present the examination, and have enough time for my student visa to go through, as it takes three months (!) to process... but actually this seems very unrealistic...

I still have one question, does the ETH calls every student that applies to take the exam or they basically select those with the most impressive résumés and the ones with the best grades? If it is so, can I take the Umfassende Aufnahmeprüfung so I have more chance? I know it sounds quite naive, but, who knows?
My grades aren't bad, but they aren't perfect either. I've lost some subjects throughout my scholar life but I've been on the top 3 of my class every year. My average score is 8.7/10... (last two years)

Finally, do you think it's better to apply to ETH or to EPFL, maybe Lausanne its a little bit cheaper... Or do you think I should instead apply to another university...I have also thought about RWTH Aachen in Germany and TU Delft in the Netherlands, so I have considered a lot of options...

Just to organise the aforementioned ideas, I write my precise questions:

1) What am I supposed to write on my résumé?
2) Does ETH call every student that applies, or they base their decision on my grades/résumé?
3) Is it better to apply to ETH or EPFL?
4) Is it better to apply to a different university in another country?
5) Do you think that the exam is that difficult?
6) ETH says you'll need about 1500 CHF to live comfortably, is this realistic?

Thank you very much indeed!
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architecture, bachelor, epfl, eth, university

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