Practical aspects, on and off campus
The Students Affairs (SAE) from EPFL is there to help you at all practical levels when preparing your arrival and during your studies. On this service’s portal, you will find a lot of useful information regarding subjects such as:
- Health Insurances
- Living costs in Lausanne, tuition fees, scholarships
- Health advice
- Studies Management advice
EPFL encourages international mobility and offers the option of accomplishing part of your studies abroad. The range of possibilities is very wide, with partner universities all around the world. Some double degree opportunities are also offered from the 3rd year or at Master’s level (competitive admission).
EPFL is a bilingual university (French/English). At Bachelor’s level, a majority of courses are taught in French, where at Master’s level English becomes the most used language. However, the teaching language varies from a program to another. Please see the specific program’s pages and study plans for detailed information about the teaching language, and have a look at our recommendations concerning the advised level of French and English necessary to follow your program in good conditions.
In first year, the fundamental courses “Mathematical Analysis”, “Linear Algebra” and ” Physics” are also taught in German and English in order to not disadvantage the students who might be more comfortable with those languages. However, it is recommended for the students enrolled in the programs Physics or Mathematics to follow those courses in French together with their class, as the level aimed at in those subjects is slightly higher than in the other programs (students from several classes will be grouped in a common English or German course for those subjects).
In order to promote the development of language skills and cultural interactions, EPFL offers free language courses all year round to its students, through the Campus’ Language Centre. An online plateform where you can learn some basis of French and find integration tipps before arriving in Lausanne is also at your disposal, try it here!
The academic year is split into 2 semesters. The first semester (Fall semester) starts in week 38 (mid-September). The courses finish in week 51. Then follow 3 weeks of holidays, also used to prepare the semester’s exams that happen in weeks 3,4 and 5.
The second semester (Spring semester) starts in week 8 and ends in week 22. Then follow 2 preparation weeks before the exams session happening in weeks 25, 26 and 27.
Life on campus is also animated by many memorable events: culture, sports, parties are also important aspects of a student’s life.
- The music festival Balelec
- The Beachvolley tournament Polybeach
- The legendary Satellite bar and its cultural program
- Polynite, being traditonnally the first big party of the academic year
- And many others!
A majority of those events are organized by students associations, groups that are worth volunteering for. The main students association at EPFL is called Agepoly.
It is of course possible to practice a wide variety of sports at EPFL, furthermore, in a stunning natural environment and state of the art facilities. The sports service works for both EPFL and our neighbour, the University of Lausanne.
Plan your future
The EPFL Career Center offers to students services and organizes events that will help you plan your professional future. During your studies, remember to use these opportunities!
If you haven’t found the information that you were looking for on this website, have a look at our list of FAQs or contact the students services.