Associate Vice Presidency for Student Affairs and Outreach (AVP-SAO)
About the AVP-SAO
The AVP-SAO was established as a center of excellence in supporting young scientists and engineers and encouraging them to pursue high-quality studies in these fields, from grade school through the end of university. Its main focus is ensuring the well-being of EPFL students by creating a nurturing environment in which all can flourish and realize their full potential. The AVP-SAO’s various functions include conducting outreach activities for schoolchildren and the general public, running inspiring educational programs for high-potential primary and secondary students, helping new EPFL students make the transition from high school to university, promoting EPFL’s degree programs, setting up agreements with other schools around the world, advising students to find jobs when they graduate, providing them social, psychotherapeutic and spiritual support, helping them in finding accomodation, and offering the opportunity to learn many languages and practice various sports.
Let’s make EPFL a model university, exhibiting a strong culture of respect, tolerance, responsibility, integrity, and diversity, and offering a wide range of activities to complement classroom learning.
Departments and Units
The Education Outreach Department works with local governments as well as schools and teachers both in Switzerland and abroad to carry out EPFL’s core missions, helps prospective Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD students decide what subjects to study and outline their goals, and boosts the visibility of EPFL study programs among industries and in academic spheres.
The Science Outreach Department promotes science and technology to children and young people, introduces them to the STEM fields and shares scientific discoveries and technological advancements with the general public.
The Euler Course is a math program for high-potential primary and secondary school students in French-speaking Switzerland. The program runs alongside the conventional primary/secondary-school curriculum.
The Student Affairs Office provides information, advice and support to EPFL students at all levels, and promotes their well-being and development. The Student Affairs Office runs the Student Services Desk, the Housing Office and the Social Affairs Office.
EPFL’s student associations run a variety of student-led extracurricular activities. The School provides different kinds of services and resources (including financial assistance in some cases) to these associations to help them with their larger projects. The goal is for students to get involved in associations and learn skills that complement the technical knowledge they acquire in class.
The Interface with high schools is part of EPFL’s Interface with schools and institutions which updates these schools on the skills students need to study science and engineering under the best possible conditions, and aims to encourage students to pursue careers in science and engineering.
The Career Center serves as a bridge between EPFL graduates and the business world. It offers a variety of services to students while they’re at EPFL and for up to six months after they graduate. The Center also works with potential employers.
The Language Center encourages students to learn different languages so they are better equipped to seize the opportunities provided by an international university education, including in foreign exchange programs. The Center also enables students to develop the multilingual and multicultural skills needed to work effectively in different environments and towards different goals.
The Spiritual Care Service gives students a place to cultivate their spirituality in an open-minded atmosphere. The Service runs a range of activities that are open to everyone, encouraging students to explore existential questions, helping foreign students integrate into our School and fostering dialogue between religions.
The UNIL/EPFL Sports Service runs sports activities and classes in over 125 disciplines, as well as different kinds of sporting programs and events. The Service is open to EPFL students and staff and draws on a network of hundreds of enthusiastic instructors.