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About Switzerland


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A Journey of Growth

This western region of Switzerland is situated at the crossroad of two pilgrimage routes; it has served as a thoroughfare for thousands of weary pilgrims traveling the well-worn pilgrimage routes to Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and Canterbury.

Drawing on this rich dimension of the region's history, "pilgrimage" has become the chief metaphor to frame the experience in the Switzerland Program. The semester or year abroad is a pilgrimage for students: an intentional and reflective journey of transformation.  Like many pilgrimages, this one is undertaken with a small group of friends that share the experience, discuss what they are learning, and grow together.  And just as pilgrims over the centuries have left everything that is familiar and comfortable, our students move into the mystery of the pilgrimage with the expectation of gaining a new perspective on who they are, the purpose of their lives, and the world they inhabit.

We look forward to you joining us on this pilgrimage!

Switzerland: A Place to Call Home

It is little wonder that Switzerland lies at the crossroads of many pilgrimage routes – it is in the very center of Europe! Its centrality, however, can obscure the beauty and richness of Switzerland itself. Students sometimes study in Switzerland because it will serve as a springboard for travel outside this small country. We encourage students to come to Switzerland and fall in love with this country for its own rich history, rugged beauty, and charming culture. Plan to spend a few weekends locally, get to know the hidden gems of this region, explore the communities and vineyards along Lac Léman, and ride the trains through the majestic Swiss Alps. We really believe that you could spend all your time within the borders of Switzerland and have an incredible experience!

More than a Tourist

The temptation when studying abroad is to measure one's experience by how many countries one visits ("I traveled to 3 countries last weekend!"). In this mindset, it is easy to use terms such as "bucket-list" to describe one's ambitious catalog of destinations. It is easy to claim one understands Paris because one has taken a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tour. In the end, travel becomes a personal conquest to check countries off a list, have an Instagram feed that will make one's friends green with envy, and fill-out one's "life resume."

We hope for travel to be more meaningful in the lives of our Switzerland students. We encourage them to see themselves as more than tourists who are passing through a place. We hope they would seek to understand the places they visit by engaging the experience on a deeper level. Do some research about the place before leaving; participate in a tour that provides a historical context; get off the beaten path to see what life is like away from touristy areas; talk to people who are from that place and (if appropriate) ask them about their lives. In the end, this shift acknowledges that places possess their own value apart from what they can provide to us. And when we begin to value them in this way, we gain a new appreciation for what they really are.

 Hauteville Campus

History of the Hauteville Campus

The Hauteville Campus will be opened in September 2023, after three and a half years of intense renovations which restored every aspect of the 18th-century château and orangerie.  While aspects of the Château d'Hauteville date back to the end of the 16th century, today's greatly-expanded château is a product of the mid-18th century.  In the early 1760s, French banker and businessman Philippe Cannac fled religious persecution and settled in Switzerland.  He bought the Hauteville estate, expanded the château, and presided as the Baron of Hauteville.  The château and the estate remained in his famiy's possession until they were sold 260 years later to Pepperdine University in 2019.

At 90 acres, this campus is the university's largest international campus.  The magnificent château boasts of 76 undergraduate beds, 7 classrooms, large common rooms, student kitchen, grand ballroom, library, cellar, and more.  The Orangerie holds a large commercial kitchen, grand dining hall, and 29 graduate beds. 


The Hauteville Campus is 5 minutes from Vevey, 10 minutes from the shore of Lac Léman (or Lake Geneva, as English speakers incorrectly call it), and just over an hour from the Geneva International Airport.

 Program Office

The Program Office is located in the central part of the château on the ground floor.  Normal office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Living in Switzerland


Arriving in Switzerland

Students will work with Corniche Travel to book the most economical and direct roundtrip flight available from the closest major international airport to their permanent address to the Geneva Airport and back based on the established program dates.

When you arrive, you will have to pass through Immigration or Passport Control before leaving the airport. You will be asked to show your passport and visa, which the International Programs Office assists all students to secure in advance.

If you are asked what you are doing in the country and how long you will be staying, the correct answer is that you are a student with an American university and are participating in their study abroad program. It is important for Pepperdine students to identify themselves as students in an American university program because Swiss laws restrict visitation periods and immigration that take jobs and/or positions in Swiss universities.

The next step in entering Switzerland is passing through Customs. Pepperdine students should pass through the gate posted "Nothing to Declare" (Green) since, as visitors, they can expect to consume or carry out whatever they bring in.

Transportation to Your Facility

By Coach 

Staff from the Switzerland program will arrange transportation from the Geneva airport to the Hauteville Campus by coach for students arriving in Geneva. A Switzerland Program staff member will greet you outside of the baggage claim area with a sign that reads "Pepperdine University."

All students are allowed a maximum of (2) full-size suitcases, one small carry-on, and a purse/daypack for their lap – no exceptions. If students have more luggage, they must arrange for their own transportation from the Geneva airport to the Château d'Hauteville.

All students must arrive at the Château d'Hauteville on a specific arrival date and within a set window of time (usually between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. CET).  All dates and times will be given to students well in advance and prominently featured on all program calendar documentation. For questions regarding arrival time, please contact program staff. 

By Train

There is a train station located in the lower floors of Geneva Airport. The train leaves approximately every 20 minutes for Vevey. In Vevey, passengers must change tracks and proceed to the Chateau d'Hauteville. Trains from Vevey to the Château d'Hauteville depart every 15 minutes. From Geneva Airport, it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get to the Château d'Hauteville. The price for a one-way ticket is 36.60 CHF (Swiss Francs). You must purchase your ticket before you board the train at a ticket kiosk in the train station. When you arrive at the Château d'Hauteville, you may simply walk through the estate's front gate and proceed up the beautiful tree-lined drive to the Château entrance. 

By Taxi

Taxis are waiting outside the Vevey train station, and they cost about 20 CHF to go from the station to the Château d'Hauteville. It is not customary to tip taxis in Switzerland. However, if they help you with your luggage, you could tip a Franc or two. The street address for the property is Chateau d'Hauteville, Chemin des Boulingrins, 1806 Saint-Légier-La Chiésaz.


Public transport is reliable and efficient in Switzerland.

Trains and boats are a very efficient method of travel here in Switzerland. You can purchase your train tickets at the train station either in advance or right before you depart for the same price. You can also buy a ticket for the boat on the pier where it leaves or on the boat itself. You can either use a credit card or cash for these purchases.

Swiss Passes

The main discount option for train travel in Switzerland is the "abonnement demi-tarif," a half-price pass for trains, inter-city buses, and boats. This pass costs 175 CHF for one year. Apart from trains, boats, and inter-city buses in Switzerland, this pass also gives a 25% discount on trips to Germany and Austria from Switzerland if the train ticket is bought in Switzerland. This pass also gives you a discount when purchasing individual bus and metro tickets. The website is:

Information about other deals on travel around Switzerland can be found at If you have one, don't forget to use your ISIC card to get discounts.  If you are still confused, there's no need to fret now. Program staff will orient you to the various passes you can purchase during your orientation period after you arrive in Switzerland. 

International Airports

Geneva International Airport (GVA)

The Geneva Airport is located an hour and 20 minutes from the Hauteville Campus by train. Most major airlines fly in and out of this airport. The major discount airline that flies from GVA is EasyJet. The train station is conveniently connected to the airport terminal. 



What are your smartphone options?

We require students to secure a smartphone with an international calling and data plan or an in-country call and data plan in order to take advantage of all International SOS applications (our travel assistance provider) and to be able to be reached in cases of emergency. Please consider one of the following options:

U.S. Options

  • Use your existing smartphone. This may be possible depending on your carrier and smartphone. Contact your cellular provider to understand how your phone would work abroad and about any international calling and data plans available.
  • Purchase a new U.S. smartphone with global service (e.g. google phone plan, select T-Mobile, and select Sprint offerings).
  • Purchase an international sim card similar to one found at Cellular Abroad. Please visit this page to learn about unlocking your smartphone and contact your current provider to know if your phone can/should be unlocked and how to do so.

Options for Phone Communications in Switzerland

  • Bring your existing unlocked smartphone or another unlocked smartphone phone that you can put a local sim card into.
  • You will need to purchase a Swiss SIM card (around 40 U.S. dollars). This requires you to remove your American SIM card, so it's important to know if that will impact your phone plan in the future.
  • Purchasing a Swiss phone plan is recommended, and there are many packages and providers to consider. The most popular companies are Sunrise, Salt and Swisscom.
  • Packages range from roughly 30 CHF a month to 60 CHF a month (unlimited everything plan). The more expensive packages usually mean that your phone will work in other European countries as well.
  • Local program staff will be able to help you with setting up your account, paying monthly bills, and canceling your plan when the time comes.
  • Sunrise
    • 25 CHF/month*: 500 MB data in Switzerland (charge per GB abroad), unlimited minutes in Switzerland
    • 45 CHF/month*: 2 GB data in Switzerland, unlimited minutes
    • 65 CHF/month*: Unlimited data in Switzerland, unlimited minutes
  • Salt
    • 20 CHF initial charge*, plus 10 CHF/phone*; however, you will need to take a look at the roaming charges for minutes + data plans online here:
  • Swisscom
    • 24.90 CHF*/30 days: 1 GB data*, unlimited text/minutes

*Please Note: These prices are subject to fluctuation.

In-House Communications

As one can imagine, communication can be challenging in Pepperdine's largest international program. There is a daily need to share information quickly and efficiently. To aid us in this task, we collect student telephone contact information and add students to a WhatsApp group chat. The chat keeps our group on the same page as we navigate life together, last-minute logsitical changes, or unforeseen complications. You can download the WhatsApp application for all major phone operating systems here



Most students use WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout on their phones or personal laptops to
communicate with family and friends back home. There are also a variety of mobile phone apps which students can use to call other mobile phones for free (WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime).

Dialing Instructions

When dialing the US from Switzerland:

First dial the international calling code 001, then the area code, then the number.

For example, to call the Pepperdine switchboard from Maison du Lac—001 310 506 4000.

When dialing the Château d'Hauteville from outside Switzerland:

First dial the international calling code (either 011 from the USA or 00 from Europe),
41 (Switzerland's country code) followed by the local 9-digit number.

For example dialing the program office from the USA 011 41 21 321 0909 or from Europe 00 41 21 321 0909.

Student Mail

Student mail is distributed daily into student mailboxes near the Program Office.

Postal Services

Post offices are generally open from 7:30am–6:00pm Monday through Friday and from 8:00am–11:00am on Saturday. The main Post Office near the Chateau d'Hauteville is located in Vevey. International mail can be sent either 'Priority' or 'Economic,' with the latter being quite a bit slower but cheaper.

Stamps can be purchased from the Chateau d'Hauteville's main office and posted mail can be sent directly from the main office anywhere in the world. For assistance with packages or mailing questions, please see our program staff. 

 Program Facilities

The Hauteville Campus

The Hauteville Campus is located on 90 acres of magnificent vineyards, gardens, forests, orchards, and farmland. From virtually every vantage point, the estate features uninterrupted views of the towering French and Swiss Alps above one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Europe, Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Although the campus is only five minutes from the heart of the city of Vevey, it exudes a sense of tranquility normally associated with the countryside. From the changing leaves and harvests of autumn to the gentle snows of winter, the delicate wildflowers of spring to the swaying fields of wheat in summer, each season will define and redefine life and beauty at the Château d’Hauteville as students observe and participate in the rhythms of nature on an active agricultural site. 

In addition to the generous outdoor opportunities provided to students on the Hauteville Campus, the location of the campus provides students with an unprecedented ability to connect with rugged outdoor life in Switzerland. Students will have access to skiing, biking, hiking, sailing, swimming, climbing, horseback riding, and more, all within a short distance from the estate. This proximity is an opportunity to improve student well-being and enjoyment and will also deepen students’ understanding of Swiss culture and their deep connection to the natural environment. 

Classroom Facilities

Virtually all classrooms are located within the Chateau d'Hauteville's west wing, except for one classroom located on the ground floor near the main office. Classes are conducted Monday-Thursday and sometimes on Friday. Eating and drinking are not permitted during class, nor is the use of cell phones. The classrooms may be used for study during non-class periods during the day but are locked at night (usually at 10:00 pm). Equipment (e.g., class laptop, projector, screen, sound system) may only be used by faculty or staff, except when permitted by the Program Director or Associate Director. Any items left unattended in the classrooms may be thrown away during morning cleaning. Classroom furniture and equipment must not be rearranged or moved out of classrooms without prior permission from the Program Director or Associate Director.

Student Rooms


Students will access the spaces in the Château and Orangerie by using a special access application and their cell phones. The application and access instructions will be provided to students during program orientation. Any student providing their cell phone to a non-program participant will be immediately dismissed from the program for security reasons. Program staff will be available for 24-hour support to assist students with access challenges if their phones are lost, damaged, or stolen. 

The Library

The Château d'Hauteville features a stunning library that will inspire students' intellectual growth. From 1760 to 1920, the library served various purposes: as a theatre venue for the Grand d'Hauteville family, a smoke room, and a grape pressing room. Today, our library features beautiful bookcases with cozy study nooks, a fireplace, and beautiful views of the château's central and western courtyards. 

Common rooms

The Château d'Hauteville has two principal common rooms located on the top residential floor. Features include soaring timber beams, a fireplace, and views of the surrounding gardens and lake. The soft furniture and thoughtful lighting features will make this the perfect place to study, worship, or plan your next adventure. 


The Château d'Hauteville features a thoughtfully designed laundry room with 8 state-of-the-art large capacity washers and dryers available for student use. The cost is 2 CHF for a complete wash and 2 CHF for a complete drying cycle. Students will be able to add money to their laundry account in our main office and will be able to view which machines are busy in real-time with the Miele MyWash application on their phones. 



The production of food and agricultural products has always been the main raison d'etre for the land surrounding the Château d'Hauteville. Since 1555, the estate's lands were cultivated with vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, and grain fields. Today, food at the Château d'Hauteville will be provided by a dedicated team of chefs and food service personnel from the château's own kitchen. Students will eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday-Thursday in the dining hall located in the newly renovated Orangerie.  Inspired by other great dining halls at European universities, the Orangerie dining hall features long tables, a monumental fireplace, a beautiful coffered ceiling, and large windows facing the gardens and orchards. In keeping with the château's history as a major hub of agricultural activity, we hope that a portion of the food we consume will be grown in the campus' vegetable garden and that students will be involved in cycles of planting, harvesting, and food production as a core part of the learning process at the Château d'Hauteville. 

Student Kitchen

The Château d'Hauteville features a fully equipped kitchen and pantry that can be used by students to prepare meals and store food. The kitchen and pantry have multiple refrigerators, freezers, ample storage space, and professional-grade cooking appliances. Please note that students with OSA-approved dietary restrictions, which cannot be accommodated by our food service team, may be required to provide their own meals using the student kitchen. 

Digital Disbursements

Money for some meals will be digitally disbursed monthly to an account of your choosing. It needs to be attached to a personal debit card. These funds can be used in many establishments throughout Switzerland, or students may withdraw cash from an ATM to purchase food. Students can save money by making large withdrawals, thus saving processing fees.



Breakfast will be provided in the campus Dining Hall Monday-Friday. It is open from 7:30am to 9:15 am.


Lunch will be provided in the campus Dining Hall Monday-Thursday and, in some cases, on Fridays. Most weeks, students will receive digital funds for lunch on Friday.


Dinner will be provided in the campus Dining Hall Monday - Wednesday. Digital funds for dinner will be provided on Thursday and Friday.

OSA Accommodations

Our program always attempts to honor OSA accommodations to the fullest extent possible. However, sometimes our foodservice team cannot provide the kinds of food that are in keeping with every students' dietary constraints.  At the Château d'Hauteville, the student kitchen (where a student can prepare their own food) and the dining hall (where all other students eat food prepared in our industrial kitchen) are separated by a 10-minute outdoor walk. Given this distance, students who are required to provide their own food will likely choose to eat their food in the student kitchen and not in the campus dining hall. Because mealtimes are a major part of the normal social rhythm of program life, missing mealtimes may impact the quality of the student experience. While we will likely be able to accommodate more students' diverse dietary requirements at the Chateau d'Hauteville, students should understand how dietary restrictions may impact their social experience if they are required to provide their own meals. 

Meals for Guests

If a student wishes to invite a guest to join the program for an in-house lunch or dinner, they can do so for a small fee.


What do you need? What should you leave behind? How will you ever get all of your things into the suitcases the airline will let you check in? The answer to all three of these very valid questions is "Less is definitely more!" Do not take too much and choose carefully what you do take. Before you do anything, check out this video on the 10 Rules for Packing in Switzerland.  This video will walk you step-by-step through some of the major things you need to consider as you pack to come abroad. 


Typical Luggage Allowance

Policies on maximum number of checked luggage, dimension and weight restrictions, and checked luggage fees vary from airline to airline. It is the student's responsibility to check with his or her airline for these luggage restrictions. Most airline carriers charge a fee for each piece of checked luggage. Fees vary by airline, and it is the student's responsibility to be prepared to pay these fees at the airport.

What to Take

During the week, students have a schedule much like Malibu. Classes and meals will take up most of the day, but evening activities may vary. The most common student dress is casual – jeans, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. It is much colder and damper in Europe in the fall and winter than it is in Malibu. However, there will be enough warm days to justify taking short-sleeved t-shirts. Summer and fall temperatures typically range from 60–70°F, and winter and spring between 28°F and 42°F. Students need to be prepared for a range of temperatures dependent on altitude.

Take clothing that can be layered. Start with jeans or slacks and a long-sleeved shirt. For really cold weather, add an under layer of thermal or silk underwear (one bottom and one top should be sufficient) and a top layer that is lightweight and warm (a wool or polar fleece pullover), which you can add or remove, depending on the temperature. The outer layer (coat) needs to be waterproof and warm. A winter coat, or ski-type jacket, is ideal for very cold weather and travel. But it might also be desirable to have a long, dark- colored raincoat (perhaps with a zip-out insulated lining) for city wear. Three pairs of shoes should cover it: waterproof comfortable walking shoes are absolutely necessary, athletic shoes for daily wear and nice shoes for dressy occasions. Waterproof sandals or flip-flops are a good idea for wearing in the showers and bathrooms, both in the house and when traveling.

One of the most obvious cultural differences between Europeans and Americans is dress. When Europeans go out at night, even to a local restaurant, they tend to dress up. You should, too, even when traveling. This doesn't mean formal wear – nice slacks or jeans and a sweater are fine for all but the fanciest restaurants. Something dressier is appropriate for the opera, the symphony or the theatre. Dress to blend in with your country's culture.

Also, remember that on many weekends you will be visiting museums, historical sites, and places of worship (old cathedrals, temples, and mosques). In order to be a respectful traveler and "outsider," it is important that you wear clothes that are perhaps more dressy and conservative than you might normally wear. Some places will not let you enter with shorts, sandals, tank tops, shirts with spaghetti straps, or even an uncovered head, so pack with this in mind (for example, bringing a light scarf is a good idea!).

Suggestions from Program Alumni

  • Practical clothes that are dark-colored, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and colorfast will last longer and be more comfortable. Keep in mind that storage space is limited in the bedrooms.
  • Don't take too many shoes. You'll be much happier with a few pair of versatile, comfortable shoes than a suitcase of shoes to match every outfit.
  • You can find personal products like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. – often even the same brands. However, bring your favorite product if you can't live without it. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to take along a supply of lens solution. Deodorant is often found in liquid roll-on or spray. The brands overseas may differ slightly from those in the U.S. If you plan to travel frequently by rail, it is helpful to bring a couple travel-sized bottles of antibacterial gel to wash your hands with. Also bring travel-size refillable bottles if you plan to fly.
  • Cathedrals and other religious sites often require modest attire, which is defined both for men and women as covered shoulders and long pants (or skirts). Women may wish to carry a large, lightweight scarf during warm weather so they can quickly cover their shoulders.
  • If you are on prescription medication, bring a supply from home. U.S. prescriptions will not be filled overseas. Generic brands of aspirin, cough syrup, etc., may be found locally, but not always the brands you prefer. When traveling with a medication, keep it in its regular prescription container and keep a copy of your doctor's prescription with you. If you must take medication by injection (i.e., insulin) please carry your doctor's letter describing your condition and inform Pepperdine's staff overseas immediately upon arrival.
  • Bring a supply of basic medications (aspirin, cold and cough medication) as brands differ overseas, and labels can be difficult to decipher.
  • BED LINENS & BATH TOWELS ARE PROVIDED in the houses, but you may want your own washcloths or a separate towel for traveling. When you travel, you will find that many hotels do not provide washcloths. (If space is an issue, you can always get towels overseas)

Clothing to Pack

  • Slacks or jeans
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Warm sweaters/polar fleece pullover/sweatshirt
  • Warm coat (which you may need to wear over dress clothes) and/or jacket
  • Warm, water-proof shoes or boots
  • Walking shoes
  • Underwear, warm socks
  • Cold-weather gear: thermal underwear or heavy knit tights, gloves/mittens, warm hat or scarf
  • Warm pajamas and a lightweight robe
  • Slippers or sandals – bare feet aren't allowed in our houses or in hotel lobbies
  • Some special occasion wear (theatre, opera, banquet, a date)


Other Essential Items to Pack

  • Textbooks (unless you buy them on the Switzerland Program website)
  • Emergency envelope (see following pages for details)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Lightweight towel and washcloth (at least one of each; more can be purchased locally)
  • Backpack for weekend travel
  • Money belt or passport pouch (to store valuables under your clothes)
  • Umbrella (as collapsible as possible)
  • Spare contacts or glasses
  • Supply of prescription medication
  • Lined paper
  • Book light for reading at night

A Few Tips on How to Pack

  • Avoid over-packing your bag so that the airport security screener will be able to easily re-seal your bag if it is opened for inspection.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Place identification tags with your name and phone number on all your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is also a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage.
  • Pack one change of clothing and necessary toiletries in your carryon luggage. Suitcases do not always arrive when you do.
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This saves space and leaves room for overseas purchases.
  • Wear your bulkiest, heaviest shoes and your coat or jacket on the plane so you won't have to pack them.
  • Use the space inside your shoes for small items (socks, toiletries, etc.)
  • Don't forget to save space for your books!
  • DO NOT pack money, travelers' checks, or credit cards in your checked luggage.
  • Save space for your return trip – luggage restrictions can be even more strict flying from Europe to the United States.

Do Not Bring

  • Sheets, pillowcase, blankets, pillows
  • Expensive jewelry or other valuables
  • Too many shoes
  • Sophisticated electronic equipment
  • Things on the list above that you'd rather buy overseas
  • Any electrical appliances other than your laptop and cellphone

 Electrical Appliances

Voltage and plugs differ in Europe. Using an American appliance (110 volts) on European electricity overloads the appliance, which burns up internal wiring and can cause an electrical fire. Voltage converters that are sold widely with plug converters do not work in spite of manufacturers' claims. Do not bring electronic equipment that might be damaged by even the slightest voltage change unless they are battery operated (and bring a good supply of batteries!).

In Switzerland the power is 220V/50hz, and the electrical sockets are diamond-shaped ("J-type"). Other round standard European plugs will not work in Switzerland.

The ONLY appliances allowed in the house are laptops and cell phones. DO NOT bring American hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons since converters are not sufficient for their high watt requirements. European versions are readily available and reasonably inexpensive.

 Student Employment

Resident Advisors

At least one male and two female RA are hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. RAs are expected to work together with the Program Director, Associate Director, Faculty-in-Residence, and IP Office to maintain Pepperdine community standards, create a strong learning community, and promote the IP mission statement within the group. Through addressing violations of program policies, planning events, acting as a leader, and working as a liaison between the students and the program staff, RAs are essential for the development of camaraderie within the house.

Media Coordinator

One IP Media Coordinator (IPMC) is hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. The IPMC acts as a liaison to the IP Office for collecting photos and video footage from the program and then creating videos from that footage. The IPMC creates two end-of-the-semester videos, an Orientation House Tour video, a service-oriented video, and a 5-minute video to be shown at The Return the following Fall semester. Additionally, they are responsible for creating two "check in" videos per month while abroad. These videos are posted onto both the IP and program-specific Vimeo sites: and

Library Worker

The library worker is hired on the Malibu campus before departure for the program. This position serves as a resource for managing and organizing the library resources at the facility and helping students to more effectively use online library resources provided by the Pepperdine University Libraries. Training is done before departure by Malibu librarians.

Student Worker Positions

There are a variety of student worker opportunities on the Hauteville Campus. For more information, please see the employment section of the Switzerland Program's website:

Service Coordinator

A Student Service Coordinator position is available in Switzerland. Students can apply for this position when they arrive. The Student Coordinator will work with the program Associate Director and will be trained in this position when chosen.

 Cultural Activities

Pepperdine's Hauteville Campus is situated above the beautiful town of Vevey. As the home of Nestlé and numerous other multi-national companies, Vevey offers various cultural and civic events, the most famous of which is the Fête des Vignerons, a once-in-a-generation spectacle that transforms Vevey's rich history of wine cultivation into story, dance, and song. 

Vevey is also flanked by two major Swiss cities: Lausanne and Montreux.  To the west, Lausanne has a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and culturally rich cities in Switzerland. Every year there are numerous cultural events: the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, concerts by the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne (Lausanne Chamber Orchestra), the musical drama productions put on by the Opéra de Lausanne (Lausanne Opera House) and finally plays at the Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne E.T.E., which enjoys Europe-wide prestige. The presence of the Cinémathèque Suisse (Swiss Film Archive), one of the richest anywhere on the continent, adds to the originality of a city whose productions or artists often tour abroad. And that's not all: as the capital of the Vaud region, Lausanne also has a large range of museums just waiting to be explored. To name but a few, the Collection de l'Art Brut (a collection of art created by people on the margins of society), the Musée de Design et d'Arts Appliqués Contemporains (mu.dac – Museum Of Contemporary Design And Applied Arts) with its exceptional collection of glass-based art, the Fondation de l'Hermitage, the Musée de l'Elysée (devoted to photography) and the Musée Olympique (Olympic Museum). Lausanne is also putting the finishing touches on a beautiful new arts district, easily accessed just outside of the Lausanne train station.  

To the east, Montreux is best known for its world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, the second largest jazz festival in the world, consisting of two weeks of concerts from some of the world's best artists across every genre of music. However, Montreux is also one of Switzerland's most beautiful cities, home to the iconic Château de Chillon, and one of the most charming Christmas markets in Switzerland.

 Spiritual Life

At the heart of the international experience is the community that forms as our students explore the world and share their lives together in our house.  They foster trust and interdependence by pledging to conduct themselves with integrity, to treat each member with dignity, and to “speak the truth in love.”  This supportive context allows students a space to reflect deeply and develop in the intellectual, social, and spiritual domains of their lives.

A central component of our community is our desire to wrestle together with the critical and timeless questions of the Christian faith: “Who is God?”, “Who am I?”, and “How do I live a life of significance?”  We probe the Bible, examine the life of Jesus, and seek to understand the relevance of the Christian faith to the world today.  In this search, we seek to be guided by love, honoring the faith journey that each student is on and the questions that propel them to greater understanding and transformation.  Our hope is that students will grow in their love for God and in their desire to serve others, as Jesus expressed in Matthew 22:37-38: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In support of these objectives, students in our program participate in a weekly time of worship and devotion known as "The Gathering" and are invited to participate in a faculty-in-residence House Church service every Sunday evening. In addition to these central pillars, students often participate in student-facilitated bible studies and as members of local French and English-speaking churches.


The Hauteville Program strives to fulfill the mission of Pepperdine's Convocation Series: "The Convocation Series is dedicated to help Pepperdine students build Christian faith, affirm Christian values, and address the moral and ethical dimensions of current issues." Each semester, there are 12 "House Convocations" which are mandatory and cannot be made up. In addition, there are numerous other opportunities that connect faith with culture, politics, and service so that students can enjoy 2 more convocations (for a total of 14 per semester).

 Exploring Hauteville

Ordering Rail Passes through Corniche Travel from Europe

Here is how to order a rail pass from Corniche Travel Agency if you have already arrived at your IP program location.

Visit Rail Europe's website ( to familiarize yourself with the various pass options. The most common pass requested is either 10 day/2 months or 15 day/2 months Global Flexi Youth pass.

Use word doc or note pad and save below information:

  • Your name
  • IP Program you are in
  • Pass you want
  • Approval of cost
  • Credit card number
  • Cid Number or security code on back of card
  • Expiration date
  • Billing address
  • Your passport number
  • Date of birth
  • How you want it delivered.
  • Rail Protection additional $20 in case pass is lost or stolen

Email this information to using Wavenet or send it in an attachment using Pepperdine encrypts all the information and keeps it safe while sending it online. Corniche will mail the pass with the standard International Programs bi-weekly deliveries. If the student would like the pass expedited, Corniche will charge an additional $25.00 to send via UPS or FEDX two day International delivery. For further questions, please email

Day Trips


Gruyère is a quintessential Swiss town featuring a chateau on the hill and quaint shops all surrounded by farmland and cows with bells.

Cheese Factory: La Maison du Gruyère
Situated in the very centre, near the alpine pastures and at the foot of the Château de Gruyères, La Maison du Gruyère invites you to discover the king of cheese: Le Gruyère AOC. Come and experience La Maison du Gruyère with your family, in a group or on your own and delve into the secrets of the making of Le Gruyère.

Chocolate Factory: Maison Cailler
Imagine a place where all your senses can be immersed in the wonderful world of Cailler chocolate. Your eyes discover mysterious old Aztec cocoa ceremonies. Your ears hear fascinating tales of François-Louis Cailler, who brought the first chocolate recipe to Switzerland in 1819. Your hands hold roasted cocoa beans and your nose will want to follow the wafting smell of fresh chocolate. And what would Cailler chocolate be if it didn't find its way to your mouth, where it caresses your taste buds with the fabulous flavours of the best cocoa, milk from Gruyère, and other delicious ingredients? Experience all this and much more in the newly opened Maison Cailler in Broc-Gruyère.

Lausanne North

Hermitage Museum
The villa of the Hermitage Foundation solely houses changing art exhibitions. What is permanent is the magnificent view of Lake Geneva and Notre-Dame Cathedral, a view that inspired the leading landscape painter Camille Corot. A private foundation owns paintings created by past and present painters from the Canton of Vaud as well as past and present foreign artists, including Bocion, Degas, Magritte, Oudot and Plazzotta. Every year the foundation organizes two to three large exhibitions of international importance.

Lac de Sauvabelin
A great destination for a relaxing outing: watch the animals or take a trip in a rowboat on the romantic little lake.

Lausanne Sauvabelin Tower
The Union of Societies for the Development of Lausanne (USDL) decided to mark the entry inside the third millennium with the construction of the Sauvabelin Tower. This tower built with local wood and an environmentally friendly approach provides beautiful panoramic views of Lausanne.

Le Chalet Suisse Restaurant
Authentic chalet located in the Sauvabelin woods above Lausanne. It is a magnificent site with a panoramic terrace overlooking the city of Lausanne and Lake Geneva. It has culinary specialties from all regions of Switzerland - carnotzet for cheese dishes, fondues and raclettes.

Lake-side Ouchy

The Olympic Museum
Enjoy a walk around this stunning Olympic museum while listening to the history of the organization and learn about some of the world's greatest sports achievements via a rented headset.

Walk by the Lake
The view from the lakeshores of Ouchy are truly stunning. On a clear day you can see clearly to Evian in France.

Crêperie d'Ouchy
For sweet and salty "crêpes" while enjoying the view of the lake. Place du Port 7, 1006 Lausanne

Pédalos/Paddle Boats
Relive your childhood and rent an inexpensive paddle boat for an hour or so. There are 2 rental places directly across from the the Crêperie d'Ouchy on the lakeside.

City Center

Cathédrale de Lausanne
Lausanne Cathedral is generally considered Switzerland's finest Gothic building, on par with French Gothic architecture. It is topped with towers and spires; the south facade is pierced by a giant Gothic rose window; and flying buttresses support the choir.

Lausanne was one of many medieval cities to institute a nightwatch to prevent the all-too- common threat of devastating fires. Although it is mostly stone, the city was once made mostly of wood and burned down several times. Every night, watchmen stationed on the wall surrounding the town would call out to each other, ensuring that there were no fires and that no enemy was approaching.

The cathedral nightwatch was the most important. Every night, the watchman walks up the 153 stairs to the top of the tower. Every hour on the hour from 10pm to 2am, he calls out to the four directions: C'est le guet; il a sonné l'heure ("This is the nightwatch; the hour has struck"). Lausanne is the only city in Europe to continue this tradition to this day.

In 1536, the combined forces of the Reformation and Bernese army stripped Lausanne Cathedral of virtually all its decoration, including altars, statues and paintings. The beloved Golden Virgin was melted down to make coins. Its treasury, a unique collection of liturgical vestments and tapestries, was taken over to Bern, where it is now preserved in a museum.

Le Barbare
Le Barbare is located on the wooden staircase just below the Cathedral. Pop into this quaint Swiss café to see why Pepperdine students rave about their legendary hot chocolate.

"Le Barbare is the place to go for hot chocolate as thick as pudding. At first sip, it did taste like warm pudding but after savoring a bit, the milk and fine mellow chocolate permeated my palate like a top quality cocoa confection. So I left with the notion of having just imbibed a liquid truffle." – Lausanne Alum

Pedestrian Streets and Markets
The main shopping area of Lausanne is situated on steep pedestrian streets, which on Wednesdays and Saturdays also host the twice-weekly markets. Here you can buy fresh produce directly from the farmer himself, such as fruit, vegetables and flowers and further up the hill, but still in the city center on the Place de la Riponne there are several stalls selling fresh fish, cheese, bread and meat

Lavaux Vineyards: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Château de Chillon
An architectural jewel located in the most beautiful setting imaginable, between the shores of Lake Geneva and the Alps, this monument with over 1,000 years of history, has always inspired artists and writers, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron, from Delacroix to Courbet. Spend a morning or afternoon exploring this historical and beautiful castle only 30 minutes by train from Lausanne.

Hiking in the Vineyards
You can take the train from Lausanne to Chexbres Village or a number of other small wine villages to start a hike through the vineyards. One beautiful walk is from Chexbres Village to St Saphorin. For a little longer walk, you could follow the path from Chexbres Village to Cully. There are conveniently posted yellow walking signs with directions and times to each village.

Boulangerie Bidlingmeyer
Located on the Grand-Rue in Chexbres, there is a charming little restaurant perfect for a light lunch. The draw of this "Boulangerie" is its outdoor terrace with a stunning view of the lake.

Lutry is a beautiful village just east of Lausanne. You can get there by bus or train. The town has wonderful food, a gorgeous path by the lake, swimming, wine tasting, and many shops to explore. It sits nestled along Lake Geneva with an impressive view of the nearby Alps and offers fine dining, a bustling market and a lovely walk through cobblestone streets.

The winemaking region of Lavaux, in Switzerland's canton of Vaud, is comprised of eleven scenic villages. Lutry is the largest of these UNESCO-protected towns. This is a stunning village with narrow, twisted streets, a lively port, several wine cellars, numerous restaurants and a selection of exceptional boutiques.

Lavaux Express Tour
The Lavaux Express leaves from Lutry or Cully and makes a tour around the Lavaux region. It costs 15 CHF/person and lasts one hour.

Yvoire, France

Yvoire is set on a peninsula on Lake Geneva, the Leman peninsula, which divided the Lake into the 'small lake' and the 'large lake'. It is a very attractive little village, dating back some 700 years. The stone doors through the ramparts, and the chateau (only the keep remains), are existing remnants of this earlier more turbulent time. Nowadays Yvoire is a town of medieval architecture, artisans and cafes, and above all, lovely views out across the Lake... but also of flowers - the town has won numerous awards for its flower displays, and attracts many visitors as a result. The lovely gardens surrounding the castle are a highlight of a visit to Yvoire.

Jardin des Cinq Sens (The Garden of Five Senses)
In the heart of Yvoire, medieval village on Lake Geneva: awaken your senses in a beautiful botanical garden! This garden walk will delight young and old alike.
Taking its inspiration from the Middle Ages, this garden elaborates the theme of the five senses in the maze and in the various green spaces. You are invited to smell, touch, contemplate, listen, and sometimes to taste! As you round a bend in the pathway, you may meet one of the gardeners. With great passion and a deep respect for nature he takes care of this plant kingdom nestled in the heart of a medieval village classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The cost is 12 Euros/person.

Visiting Switzerland

 General Info

Country Facts

  • Area: 41,290 sq km (80 604.25 sq mi)
  • Population: 7 million
  • Capital City: Bern
  • People: Swiss German 65%, Swiss French 18%, Swiss Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
  • Language: Swiss German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch 0.5%, other 2.8%
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 4.3%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1%
  • Government: Swiss Confederation
  • Head of State: President Simonetta Sommaruga (although, CH has a Federal Council as the collective Head of State)
  • Head of Government: President Simonetta Sommaruga
  • GDP: U.S. $240.9 billion GDP per capita: U.S. $32,200 Inflation: 1.2%
  • Major Industries: Banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, precision instruments, tourism, machinery, watches, textiles
  • Major Trading Partners: EU (esp. Germany, France, Italy, UK), US, Japan
  • Member of EU: No
  • Currency: Swiss Franc
  • Time: GMT/UTC +1 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  • Dialing Code: 41
  • Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
  • Weights & Measures: Metric

 Housing and Residence Life

Just as housing on the Malibu Campus is only available for current students, faculty, and staff, the Hauteville Campus can only offer housing to Pepperdine students who are enrolled and faculty and staff who are currently employed on the campus; otherwise, they must seek accommodations at one of the nearby hotels.

Hotels and Hostels

When choosing a hotel, it is helpful to know that every hotel or hostel in the surrounding area will give their guests a public transportation pass that works on the bus and the metro system in the city for the duration of their stay. The Lausanne Tourism website contains a comprehensive list of places to stay: near the Hauteville Campus.

The city of Lausanne, 25 minutes away from campus, offers various housing accomodations. Explore some of the options below. 

Most Affordable

  1. Y

Middle to Upscale Hotels

  1. H