Read carefully through this info before you come to Switzerland.
Good preparation is essential for any trip. Below are some important areas of information that you will need to consider and organize before setting off for Switzerland. Check out the video below to learn more about arriving to YWAM Lausanne.
If you do not have a U.K. or European passport from a Schengen nation and your stay exceeds 90 days, you will need a visa for your time at YWAM Lausanne (mandatory for all DTS students). Contact our admissions team for more information about how to apply for a visa before you arrive in Switzerland.
The national currency is the Swiss franc. The standard international definition for the Swiss franc is ‘CHF.’ There are 100 centimes to each franc. You will be able to use credit cards at most major retailers. If you have a bank account you should be able to withdraw Swiss francs at ATMs. This will usually give you the best exchange rate. Check with your bank to see if your bankcard will work in Switzerland. You should bring cash, traveler’s cheques, or a credit/debit card to have access to your own money. Personal cheques and money orders are not accepted in Switzerland.See exchange rates
The electrical current is 240 volts and 10 amps. The plugs are Type J and are either two or three small, round pins that are always smaller than the standard ones in other parts of Europe. While you may be able to find plug adapters and voltage converters in Switzerland, it is usually easier and cheaper to purchase these items in your own country.See swiss power plug
The Swiss healthcare law requires that everyone in the country holds medical health insurance. YWAM Lausanne has worked to find an insurance provider that will meet the needs of students and staff, and that complies with all Swiss healthcare requirements. We recommend Swisscare, a Swiss health insurance provider that offers an affordable policy for our students and staff.
This coverage provides at minimum the entire list of the benefits according to the healthcare law: worldwide coverage, sickness and accident, maternity, hospital in-/out-patients, general practitioners or specialists, prescription medicine, search and rescue and assistance 24/7. Also, in case of a problem in a foreign country, medical repatriation to Switzerland or to the home country is included in the insurance.
The deductible for this insurance is CHF 500. This means that the first CHF 500 in medical costs will have to be paid by the student. Once this limit is reached, he or she will only have to pay 10 percent of the additional costs (to a maximum of CHF 700), the rest being totally reimbursed by Swisscare.
When students arrive, they register with Swisscare and pay CHF 86 per month for the duration of the time they are with YWAM Lausanne. After registering through YWAM Lausanne, students may pay their bill online with a credit card or with cash at the local post office.
You may want to complete, or update, the following vaccinations with your local doctor: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Polio. Some of these could be compulsory for outreach destinations if you are attending a school here at YWAM Lausanne. You may find it more cost effective to receive these immunizations in your own country.
When booking your flight, you may want to use a flight search engine, for example Orbitz or Skyscanner – when you’ve found the flight you want, open an incognito window and go directly to the airline if you want to do a final comparison of flight prices. For inexpensive flights within Europe check out: Easy Jet or Ryanair. However, note that EasyJet’s baggage allowance is only 20kg/45lbs, so if you are transferring from an international flight make sure to pack lightly. Depending on your age and student status you may be able to find inexpensive international flights at STA.Skyscanner
Mail is delivered daily to the campus and we will put your mail in the student mailbox in the main building. Stamps can be purchased at the reception desk. The closest post offices are Vers-chez-les-Blanc (about 2 km away) or Epalinges (about 2.5 km. away). The post office in Vers-chez-les-Blanc is open weekdays 7:30 to 11:30 and 15:00 to 18:00 and Saturday 9:00 to 11:00. The post office in Epalinges is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 13:45 to 18:00 on weekdays only.
In Cafe des Alps on the ground floor of the Chalet we have two campus computers. The computers are available between the hours of 8:30 to 23:00 Monday to Thursday, 8:30 to 24:00 Friday, 6:00 to 24:00 Saturday, and 6:00 to 23:00 Sunday. In addition, we also have wireless access in the Chalet starting and ending at the same time as the cafe computers.
Bus: to get to YWAM Lausanne from the Lausanne main station takes: 30 min. Frequency: The metro leaves every 6-8 minutes, buses leave approximately every 15-20 minutes. Cost: 5.40 CHF for 2 hours or 10.80 CHF for an all-day ticket. You can purchase a tickets at all bus/metro stops that will function as both your metro and bus ticket. On the machines outside the metro, select the “destination name” and enter Ecole Hôteliére. From the main Lausanne train station, cross the street and take Metro 2 (M2) by the McDonald’s to Croisettes. From Croisettes, take bus number 45 (direction: Chalet-à-Gobet) and get off at the Ecole Hôteliére stop, which is almost directly in front of the YWAM Lausanne base. YWAM Lausanne is a five-story building opposite Ecole Hôteliére. You have arrived!Lausanne bus/metro timetable
Weather-wise, Switzerland is relatively mild, though sometimes rainy. It could be considered similar to New England in the U.S. or British Columbia in Canada. It can peak at around 30C/86F in the summer and as low as -10C/15F in the snowy winters. This can change rather drastically, as the base is situated up high in Chalet-a-Gobet (just below 900 meters/3000 feet). You’ll feel the shift in altitude as you head down to the city of Lausanne and Lake Geneva.See current weather
The challenge with packing your bag is the uncertainty of where you will go for your outreach phase, which is determined during the lecture phase. You may find yourself in the midst of winter in Switzerland for lecture phase leaving for a hot-climate country for your outreach. The best option is to pack clothes that can be layered easily so that you are prepared for a variety of climates and situations. It is also important to pack modest, culturally appropriate clothing, including at least one long skirt for women and at least one collared shirt and one long pair of pants for men. Also be prepared with at least one appropriate outfit for church and/or nice events. While it is best to come prepared, it is in your best interest and in the best interest of your roommates on base and outreach team members that you pack lightly as there is limited storage in the bedrooms. The best luggage to bring would be a piece with wheels or a backpack. You will not like the extra books and clothing you brought when you have to drag your luggage around with you on trains, planes, and buses. Don’t forget to consider the baggage allowances and related fees that airlines are charging. Some airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet are very strict and will not allow more than 20kg/45lbs, so pack light! Here is the General Packing List for specific information.Packing List
Like most things in life, your experience at DTS will come down to your expectations. For some, it will be five of the most beautiful, unique months of their lives. However, if your expectations are unreasonable, you will inevitably be disappointed. It is important to fully research the DTS before committing to come. While ultimately you decide to apply for the school, communicating with God throughout the process, taking time to listen and reflect, and assessing your expectations will ensure that your expectations are realistic and that you have a positive experience. It is wise to take time to prepare your heart and mind too. You will be glad you did!