Geneva International Student's Program 2012

The Geneva International Student's Program 2012 offered by the University of Geneva will take place from February 20, 2012 to May 25, 2012. Application deadline is extended until November 15, 2011. 

It is a 3-month competitive program with
  • Intensive French language courses
  • Multidisciplinary courses taught in English
  • Exams for 30 transferable ECTS credits
  • Discovery of an international city at the heart of Europe

...designed for international students. 

GISP's unique design combines intensive French language courses with a series of lectures and seminars taught in English on subjects and issues relating to Geneva and its incredibly rich historical and contemporary influence. These include international law and international organizations, the intellectual and cultural history of Geneva, its importance on the scientific stage, issues of multiculturalism and plurilingualism and the present-day political, economic and social situation of Switzerland within Europe. 

GISP has been designed as an interdisciplinary curriculum to respond to the needs and interests of students from abroad. In such a perspective, we have brought together experts in a variety of different fields, including European studies, international law, human rights, political science, economics, banking and finance, natural sciences, sociolinguistics, cultural studies, translation studies, English and French literature and enlightenment philosophy. GISP's faculty includes professors and lecturers from the University of Geneva and guests speakers.  

In addition to lectures and seminars, the GISP curriculum entails visits to the most important international organizations based in Geneva. This allows students to engage with perspectives and approaches from outside the academic world and completes the overview of the offer provided by the University of Geneva's teaching programs. This "multi-voiced" program structure and pedagogical approach makes for an unusually enriching educational experience.

Application procedure

While it boasts of its specific insights in Law, Social Sciences and Humanities, the GISP is open to all undergraduate students with prior university experience. Students who already hold a BA are also encouraged to apply.

The program is NOT designed for students fluent in French or those from countries where French is a national language. However, admission requirements include basic knowledge of this language, as well as an advanced knowledge of English for non-native speakers. 

Application deadline - Novermber 15, 2011. Applications will NOT be considered on a "first come, first served" basis and will not be evaluated before the application deadline.

Applications must be sent to the GISP coordinator and include:

An application letter (in English) stating why you want to take part in this program (500-800 words).
  1. Fully-completed printed version of the online application form, duly signed and dated, with a passport-size photo attached.
  2. A photocopy of your passport (with the date of validity).
  3. A photocopy of your high-school diploma/school-leaving certificate and transcript of grades.
  4. A photocopy of your university degree (if applicable) and statement of grades.
  5. A résumé or curriculum vitae, giving full details of your education and language skills.
  6. Evidence of the required level of proficiency in both English and French.
If your official documents (transcripts, certificates) are not written in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish, a certified translation of each must be provided. 

All the above-mentioned documents must be sent in one single envelope to the following address:
            University of Geneva
            International Relations Office
            Bvd du Pont-d'Arve 40
            CH - 1211 Genève 4

Please note that there is a limited number of places in the program and that all applications are subject to a competitive selection process. This also applies to exchange students, whose access to the GISP is not guaranteed. 

Admission requirements

While boasting specific insights in Law, Social Sciences and Humanities, the GISP can be followed without prior knowledge in these fields and is therefore open to all undergraduate students with: 

1. Prior university experience / enrollment 

2. An elementary-to-intermediate knowledge of French, equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages level A2, or: 

- ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) Level 1

- DELF (Diplome d'Etudes de Langue Française) B1

- TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) B1 

- A certificate deemed equivalent 

Applications from students with a lower level of French will be considered, however, the level of French they will reach at the end of GISP will not be sufficient for them to enroll directly at the University of Geneva should they wish to do so.   

3.  An advanced level of English: mother tongue, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages level C1, or: 

- ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) Level 4

-TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), a score of at least 550 points in the paper-based test, 213 points in the computer-based one or 97 in the Internet-based test (IBT)

- IELTS (International English Language Testing System), Levels 7 to 9

- CPE (Cambridge Proficiency in English), Levels A - C

- CAE (Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English), Levels A - C 

- A certificate deemed equivalent

Tuition fees (session 2012)  

The GISP is a specific fee-paying program. Participation costs amount to CHF 2'800.- and include registration to the University of Geneva, French courses, participation to the GISP on-site activities, course material and the particular GISP framework. 

The GISP is also open to nominated exchange students from partner universities at a reduced rate of CHF 500.-. 

ALL applicants will be subject to the selection process of the GISP.

Once selected, students will be invited to make a down payment of CHF 250.- (deductable from the total cost and non-refundable) as confirmation of their participation to the GISP. 

Prospective GISP students should note that the cost of room and board in Geneva is higher than in many other parts of the world. It is estimated at around CHF 2000.- per month. 

GISP 2012 Award 

Scholarship provided to the best GISP 2012 candidates

The University of Geneva awards two scholarships of CHF 6'800- for the best GISP 2012 candidates. Students must demonstrate appropriate academic merit and have the project of enrolling to a complete UNIGE Master program after the GISP.

The two scholarships are reserved for non-exchange students. 

Application procedure and granting criteria
Students applying to the GISP 2012 Award must necessarily tick the corresponding box of the online application form and enclose the following documents to their application package:
- specific application letter (300 words, in English) stating why he/she should be elected as one of the recipient of the scholarship (giving full details about his/her academic project at the University of Geneva)
- two academic letters of appraisal

Applications will be evaluated by the GISP selection committee. GISP Award recipients will be informed about their acceptance together with the GISP acceptance letter that will be sent by mid-November.
A monthly amount of CHF 1000.- will be given to GISP Award recipients from mid-February to mid-June (= CHF 4000.-). The remaining CHF 2'800.- (corresponding to the GISP tuition fees) will be given at the end of the program, under the following conditions:
- Award recipient must have obtained all GISP ECTS Credits, i.e. successfully passed ALL GISP exams.
- Award recipient must have undertaken the procedure for enrolling to a Master program at the University of Geneva for the September 2012 intake.

GISP Award recipients will be charged the same tuition fees as the other GISP students.

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact our GISP coordinator Ainsley Brown:

Program website: