A Journey of Growth
In the heart of Lausanne there is a massive Gothic cathedral that has towered over the city for nearly 800 years, the Notre Dame de Lausanne. It is disproportionately large for the small city of Lausanne because it is situated at the crossroad of two pilgrimage routes; it has served as a stopping point for thousands of weary pilgrims traveling the well-worn pilgrimage routes to Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and Canterbury.
Drawing on this rich dimension of Lausanne's history, "pilgrimage" has become the chief metaphor to frame the experience in the Lausanne 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 Lausanne 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 Lausanne because it will serve as a springboard for travel outside Switzerland. 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 Lausanne, 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 Lausanne 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.
Maison du Lac
History of Maison du Lac
The Pepperdine Lausanne program was opened in January 2007 after searching across Europe for the ideal place for its French-language program. The facility, called Maison du Lac (The Lake House), previously served as a hotel for a Christian foundation. The facility is the largest of all Pepperdine's international campuses, with a large industrial kitchen, student dining room, student center (with Media Room and Music Room), 3 classrooms, 2 large study rooms with student computers, 3 small study rooms, a library, and an outdoor garden area.
Maison du Lac is a mere 10-minute walk from the center of Lausanne and the train station, and only 20 minutes from the shore of Lac Léman (or Lake Geneva, as English speakers incorrectly call it). The house has magnificent 180-degree views of the lake and the French Alps.
The Program Office is located on the ground floor of Maison du Lac. Normal office hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm and 2-5pm.
Living in Lausanne
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. U.S. citizens studying in Switzerland must apply for a student visa. Students will be given instructions on obtaining this visa well in advance of the program's start date. Please note that there is a fee associated with this visa.
Non-U.S. passport holders may be required to have visas to enter some countries. It is the responsibility of the International Program participants to make sure that they have all the necessary visas for the program country and the country for the Educational Field Trip BEFORE DEPARTING the U.S. Consult local consulates and/or embassies to obtain information about which countries require visas.
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 travel-study tour. When asked the date of expected departure, you reply that you will be staying until the date you first expect to leave the country. For example, you may decide to go to Paris during one of the first few weekends you are there and that means leaving your host country.
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 (Group Flight)
Group Flight Students: If you are on the group flight, you are guaranteed transportation from the Geneva airport to the Pepperdine house by coach. There will be a staff member from the Lausanne Program to greet you at the gate with a sign that reads "Pepperdine University."
All group-flight 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 Pepperdine house.
Non-Group Flight Students: All non-group flight students must arrive at the Pepperdine house in Lausanne on the same day as the group flight (from NOON to 6:00pm - no exceptions).
If you are not on the group flight, you will need to arrange your own transportation to the Lausanne house (most likely, by train). You may take the bus if there is room, but please note that if the time of the group flight changes the bus will adjust its arrival time. It is your responsibility to find the Pepperdine group and inquire if there is space on the bus.
There is a shuttle that runs between the Geneva Airport and Lausanne that must be pre- booked online. The shuttle is more expensive than the train but less expensive than a taxi. The shuttle is a good option if you have a lot of luggage and you want to arrive directly at the Pepperdine House (Maison du Lac). You will need to know the address and phone number of Maison du Lac when booking the shuttle. The address is Av. Marc- Dufour 15, 1007 CH Lausanne. The phone number is +41 21 321 0909. The website for the shuttle is http://www.navette.ch/page8.php.
There is a train station right in the Geneva Airport. The train leaves approximately every 20 minutes for Lausanne. It takes about 50 minutes to get to Lausanne. The price for a one-way ticket is 26 CHF (Swiss Francs) and 52 CHF for a round-trip. You must purchase your ticket before you board the train at a ticket kiosk in the train station. When you arrive in Lausanne, you can either take a taxi or walk from the train station to Maison du Lac (it is about a 10-minute walk).
There are taxis waiting just outside the Lausanne train station, and they cost about 15 CHF to go from the station to the house. It is not customary to tip in Switzerland. However, if they help you with your luggage, you could tip a franc or two. The street address for Maison du Lac is Av. Marc-Dufour 15.
Exit the station by following the "Centre-ville" direction. When you come out of the main exit facing the street, you will walk to the left, cross onto the street that goes uphill which is called "Avenue Louis Ruchonnet" (the restaurant Asia Express is on the corner). Stay on the left hand side of the street when facing uphill. Walk about 1/3 of a mile uphill until you come to "Avenue Marc-Dufour." Follow the sidewalk left and go downhill approximately 500 feet until you arrive at Maison du Lac. Maison du Lac is the red-orange building on your left. There is a big sign that reads "Pepperdine University." The street address is Av. Marc-Dufour 15.
Public transport is reliable and efficient in Switzerland.
- Train Schedules & Fares: https://www.sbb.ch/en/timetable.html
- Boat Schedule & Fares: https://www.cgn.ch/en/
Trains and boats are a very efficient method of travel here in Switzerland. They are never on strike (contrary to France for instance) which is one great benefit of Swiss culture. You have to purchase your train tickets at the train station either in advance or right before your departure 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.
There are two main discount options that are of benefit while traveling in Switzerland:
- Option 1: The "abonnement demi-tarif" is 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: https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets.html
- Option 2: The Voie 7 is only available if you choose to buy the above Demi- Tarif. The Voie 7 is a pass for students under 25 that is valid for free travel between 7 PM and 1 AM inside Switzerland. It is possible to reach almost any destination in Switzerland within 6 hours. This pass costs 129 CHF for 1 year (i.e. 304 CHF for both the Voie 7 and the Demi-Tarif). The website is: https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/seven25-travelcard.html
Information about other deals on travel around Switzerland can be found at www.swisstravelsystem.ch. If you have one, don't forget to use your ISIC card to get discounts.
There is a very convenient bus and metro system here in Lausanne. The company is called the "TL." Visit http://www.t-l.ch for more information
- A helpful tip: The TL website can be a little confusing. The train website (www.sbb.ch) can be viewed in English and will also give you route information for the bus system. Simply type your starting point and destination, and all the different travel options will be given to you.
It is possible to buy individual tickets at each stop before your trip. For this, you will need change. The ticket machines do not accept bills.
If you plan on using the bus or metro system more than three times in one day, it might be more cost effective to buy a daily pass. You can buy this pass at all the new machines, or you will have to go to the office which is fairly close to Maison du Lac. The cost is about 9 CHF for two zones (center of Lausanne and the suburbs); 10.80 CHF for three zones. With a half-pass, two and three zones costs 6.90 CHF.
Week, Month or Year Pass
If you want to purchase a long-term pass from a week up to a year, you will have to go to the bus office with your identification and a loose photo for them to scan. By purchasing a yearly pass, you can save two full months.
Geneva International Airport (GVA)
The Geneva Airport is located an hour from the Lausanne house 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:
- 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.
- 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 think about using. The most popular companies are Sunrise, Salt and Swisscom.
- Packages range from roughly 30 franc a month to 60 franc 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 cancelling your plan when the time comes.
- 25 francs/month*: 500 MB data in Switzerland (charge per GB abroad), unlimited minutes in Switzerland
- 45 francs/month*: 2 GB data in Switzerland, unlimited minutes
- 65 francs/month*: Unlimited data in Switzerland, unlimited minutes
- 20 franc initial charge*, plus 10 francs/phone*; however, you will need to take a look at the roaming charges for minutes + data plans online here: https://www.salt.ch/en/prepay/
- 24.90 francs*/30 days: 1 GB data*, unlimited text/minutes
*Please Note: These prices are as of November 2018, and are subject to fluctuation.
In House Communications
As one can imagine, communication can be challenging in a program with 70 students. Daily, there is a need to share information in a quick and efficient manner.
All students in the Lausanne Program are required to be a part of the Program Facebook page. This tool allows the group to communicate, mass information to be distributed, and media to be shared (pictures, videos, etc.). This is a "private" page that cannot be accessed or viewed by those outside the group, and therefore, students should not admit any non-Lausanne student to the page. Students must use their pepperdine.edu email address in order to be added to this page. All users of this page are expected to be kind and respectful in their posts.
There are telephones in all student rooms, so parents or friends can call the students directly. Students cannot dial out (with the exception of 3 emergency numbers). Most students use Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout on their personal laptops to
communicate with family and friends back home. With these free, online video- conferencing services, students can make calls for free to other people who have the same software installed on their computers. There are also a variety of mobile phone apps which students can use to call other mobile phone for free (MagicJack, Viber, FaceTime), and these are worth investigating before coming to Lausanne.
When dialing the US from Lausanne:
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 Maison du Lac from outside Switzerland:
First dial the international calling code (either 011 from the USA or 00 from Europe),
41 (Switzerland's country code), then 21 (Lausanne's city code) followed by the local 7-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 is distributed by room number into the mailboxes next to the Program Office on a daily basis.
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 in Lausanne is situated in Place St François. Mail within Switzerland may be sent either by mail "A" or "B". "A" mail is generally delivered the following day; "B" mail takes 3 or 4 days. International mail can be sent either 'Priority' or 'Economic', with the latter being quite a bit slower but cheaper in price.
The post office closest to the Pepperdine House is only open between 7:00–10:00am and 3:00–6:00pm on Monday through Friday and is located right before the Migros (grocery store) closest to the house. Street Address: Av. De Tivoli 70.
The Main Office is open between 7:30am–6:30pm Monday through Friday. Street Address: Place Saint-François 15
Classes are conducted Monday-Thursday and sometimes on Friday. When classes are in session, students must refrain from making noise in public areas outside the classrooms. Eating and drinking are not permitted during class, and neither 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 11:00pm). Equipment (e.g., class laptop, projector, screen, sound system) may only be used by faculty or staff, except when given permission by the Program Director. Any items left unattended in the classrooms may be thrown away during morning cleaning periods. Classroom furniture and equipment must not be rearranged or moved out of classrooms without receiving prior permission from the Program Director.
Room keys are issued to each student. If a key is lost, it should be reported to the Program Office immediately; students are required to pay for the cost of a new key (CHF 50). Keys must be returned to the Program Office at the end of each semester.
The exterior doors are opened with a pin-and-card system which is similar to the one used on the Malibu campus. For security reasons, any student providing a pin or card to a non-program person will be immediately dismissed from the program. Lost cards will be replaced for a fee of CHF 25.
The Study Rooms on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors are available for quiet study, but may be reserved for group projects. The Study Room on the 1st floor may be used at time as a classroom. Academic use always takes priority over other activities.
The Student Center, TV Room and Music Rooms are for the enjoyment of all students. Students should care for the television, DVD players, and other items in the student areas. Be respectful of people in surrounding rooms and monitor noise levels to promote a peaceful environment. Loud noise is prohibited after 10:00pm by Swiss law; in light of this as well as respect for neighbors, students must avoid loud activities and music in the Student Center in the late evening hours.
Please be respectful of the furnishings in the Student Center, Media Room, Music Room, study rooms, and classrooms. Do not lean back in the chairs. Do not drag the tables – if you need to move them, be sure to lift them with two people. Furniture is not to be moved from room to room or within rooms without the permission of the Director. Please report any furniture parts that break or tear, so that these repairs can be made quickly.
Each student is assigned a bedroom at the beginning of the semester. Students found sleeping in the Student Center instead of their beds during regular sleeping hours (or in another area in the facility) will be written up, and a second violation will place the student on automatic probation.
There are three washers and three dryers available for student use. The cost is 2 CHF for a complete wash. The cost of the dryer depends on the amount of clothing (you pay for a specific amount of time), but costs approximately 2 CHF. There is also a drying room with clotheslines and a dryer that is free for students to use. Please see notices in laundry rooms for details and instructions.
The Lausanne Program provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner to students Monday-Friday. Students are encouraged to recognize that food will be very different from what they experience in Malibu. However, this is an important part of your cultural experience so students should approach it with openness.
Money for food is 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 Lausanne, or students may withdraw cash from an ATM to purchase food. Students can save money by making large withdrawals, thus saving the processing fees.
A European continental breakfast is provided in the house seven days a week. It is open from 7:30am to 9:00am on weekdays, and 9:00-11:00am on weekends.
Food must not be removed from the fridge or cupboards in the main kitchen without permission. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disciplinary action. Any leftover food will be placed in the student kitchen.
Lunch is catered in the house Monday-Thursday and in some cases on Fridays. Most weeks, students receive funds for lunch on Friday.
Students receive funds for dinner on Thursday and Friday.
Meals for Guests
If a student wishes to invite a guest to join the program for one in-house lunch or dinner, they can submit a Meal Request Form to the Program Assistant, Karine Grivet, at least one week in advance. Request forms are available by the student mailboxes.
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.
As to choice, that should be determined by two factors: climate and cultural differences. As to quantity, that will be determined by airline luggage restrictions. Airlines have strict luggage allowances, and they will charge you a costly excess baggage fee for exceeding the maximum weight or size allowed. In some cases, they may refuse to allow luggage on the airplane.
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 Lausanne 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)
- Thumb/Flash Drive
- 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 of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
- 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
- Anything you don't absolutely need
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.
At least one male and one female RA are hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. RAs are expected to work together with the Program Director, Visiting Faculty, 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 the 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.
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: http://vimeopro.com/pepperdine/ip and http://vimeopro.com/pepperdine/lausanne.
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 in the Lausanne Program. Most of these involve working in the kitchen or helping keep common areas tidy. The Assistant Director in Lausanne will have more information on each position during orientation.
A Student Service Coordinator position is available in Lausanne. Students can apply for this position when they come to Switzerland. The Student Coordinator will work with the Program Director and Assistant Director and will be trained in this position when chosen.
Béthanie Elderly Home
Béthanie Elderly Home is one of the organizations we work with. Residents of Béthanie are invited to Maison du Lac once a month for tea, music and conversation. In addition, students have the possibility of visiting the elderly at their residence and can participate in concerts, tea dances, and several other activities organized in Béthanie Elderly Home. http://www.bethanie.ch/.
Several new service opportunities are under discussion at the moment and exciting new possibilities are underway.
As a European crossroads, Lausanne has won a reputation as a city that is demanding, open and dynamic in the field of the arts. Every year there are numerous events in the city's cultural life: the shows put on by 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.
But Lausanne also has many artists from the surrounding region who offer the public creative work in all sorts of fields. There are many different venues for these events as well. Theater at the Arsenic, Kléber-Méleau, Boulimie, at the Grange de Dorigny and at the 2.21, classical music in Paderewski, dance at Sévelin 36, and finally jazz at Chorus and Pianissimo. The magnificent Métropole hall hosts the Béjart Ballet and the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, the Théâtre de Beaulieu touring shows (dance, classical, variety shows). Also, there are innumerable small venues and clubs offering contemporary music.
And that's not all: the capital of the Vaud region also has a large range of museums just waiting to be explored. To name but a few, the Collection de l'Art Brut (Collection of Raw Art), (the only museum of its kind in the whole world), 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).
Finally, throughout the season a wide audience is invited to attend numerous lively festive events (Festival of Music, Festival of Cinema, Bach Festival, Festival of the City, Museums' Night, etc.).
There are many local museums in Lausanne. Here a few to get you started.
- Musée d'Élysée: Photography Museum located right by the Olympic, http://www.elysee.ch.
- L'Hermitage: https://www.fondation-hermitage.ch/actualite/.
- La Musée de l'Art Brut: http://www.artbrut.ch.
- The Béjart Ballet: Maurice Béjart was one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th Century for contemporary ballet. His school is located here in Lausanne and trains some of the world's leading dancers. Check the website for performance times: http://www.bejart.ch/en/.
- Concerts at Lausanne Cathedral: http://www.grandesorgues.ch.
- Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne: http://www.ocl.ch.
- Lausanne Opera: http://www.opera-lausanne.ch.
Lausanne has many theaters. The closest to Maison du Lac are the following:
- Les Cinémas Pathé: There are many around the city, and show a variety of movies at the same time, like a traditional American cinema. They show movies in French and English. The closest one is in Flon. For movies and show times, check the website: https://pathe.ch/en/cinema-infos/lausanne/les-galeries.html#/
- La Cinémathèque Suisse: The Swiss Cinémathèque is located very close to the Pepperdine House in the Montbenon Park. It is unique in Switzerland and plays a key role in the Locarno Film Festival. For movies and show times, check the website: https://www.cinematheque.ch/d/
- The International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights: Inaugurated in 2003, the inspiration and impetus behind the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights came from human rights defenders active in NGO's, filmmakers, media representatives and the University of Geneva. The FIFDH coincides with the UN Human Rights Council's main session. This simultaneous event makes the Festival a Free Platform for discussion and debates on a wide variety of topics concerning human rights: https://fifdh.org/en/
Opportunities at the University of Lausanne (UNIL)
The UNIL is composed of seven faculties where approximately 10,700 students and 2,200 researchers work and study. One fifth of the student population and one third of the teaching staff come from abroad. It has an open cafeteria and beautiful grounds if you want a place to go meet other Swiss or International college students.
- EPFL Library: The Bibliothèque de L'EPFL is a public library which offers access to digital media and printed books. The library provides access to more than 40,000 e-books, 10,000 e-journals and 500,000 printed documents. To borrow documents or consult electronic collections, a library card is required (free of charge). Also, the Library offers an optimum working environment: 860 study desks spread throughout the building are at the users' disposal. All of them are equipped with power and connected to the internet through the wireless network. Hours: 7am until midnight, 7 days a week. http://library.epfl.ch/en/
- Tandem Language Exchange: Tandem is a free program that matches language partners for the purpose of practicing foreign languages. The program is initially coordinated by the University of Lausanne and then left up to the language partners to arrange their own schedule. It is a great program because it offers a lot of flexibility depending on your schedule. Tandem is also a great way to get connected with other university students here in Lausanne. To participate in this program it is necessary to register ahead of time. To find the time of the next information session visit: http://www.unil.ch/tandem/
- Gospel Choir: There is a gospel choir that is open for participants if this is something that might interest any of you. You just need to contact the director who is Christian Vez tel: 079.565.81.89 The website with more information is: https://www.unil.ch/aum/home/menuinst/in-english/activities/art-and-culture/gospel-choir.html
Sports in the Park
The closest park where you could play football, soccer, or Ultimate Frisbee is located just below the Pepperdine House called Parc de Milan. There are also fields by the lake if you keep walking toward the lake from the house.
Anyone can check out bikes and helmets at no cost at Lausanne Roule (though a donation is appreciated). The website is: www.lausanneroule.ch. It is just 10 minutes walk from Maison du Lac, down in the Flon next to the Ochsner Sporting Goods store. Lausanne Roule is open 8:00am to 9:00pm, year-round.
Lausanne Roule is a non-profit association based on sustainable development, social integration and health. Some of the people that work there are asylum seekers following an occupation program. It is wonderful to bike down along the lake and up in the vineyards toward Montreux! Obtain map of bike routes around Lausanne from Tourist info at train station! The bikes all have baskets on them for carrying things. You must show an ID (driver's license is fine) and leave a 20 CHF deposit, which is returned to you when you return the bike.
Windsurfing, Kayaking, Sailing
There is a place that gives lessons and rents equipment by the hour down in the Vidy area close to the UNIL. The service is available from April to November so depending on when you are here, there is a short window of time to take advantage of this. The program office has the brochure with price information if you are interested.
There is an equestrian center where you can take riding lessons just outside of Lausanne but you can still get there by the metro. It is called the Centre équestre lausannois. The staff only speaks French, so it is a great opportunity to use your language skills. It costs about 33 CHF/hour and once you show you are able to ride, you can go on the trails. It is best to call ahead for an appointment, but they will try and accommodate you if you just show up. They do not accept cards, so bring enough cash! Take the metro northbound called M2 from the train station or Flon. Exit at the last stop called Croisettes. Take the bus 62 toward Moudon-Gare and exit at Chalet-à-Gobet. Walk from there.
304, rte. de Berne
Tel:+41 21 784 1434
Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, and Sledding
In the winter, Lausanne has a great place to get out in nature and do some mild winter activities: an area is called Chalet-à-Gobet, just north of Lausanne. Unless you have your own equipment, you can rent sporting equipment at any "magasin de sport" in Lausanne prior to going to Chalet-à-Gobet. To get there, take the metro northbound called M2 from the train station or Flon. Exit at the last stop called Croisettes. Take the bus 62 toward Moudon-Gare and exit at Chalet-à-Gobet.
- Christian City Church "C3 Lausanne"
Palace de Beaulieu Av. des Bergières 10
Sunday Services: 10:00am (coffee at 9:30am); 6:00pm (coffee at 5 :30pm)
Pastors Thierry & Marianne Moehr
Tel: 021 729 94 54
- Anglican Church
Av. de I' Eglise Anglaise 1
Sunday Services: 10:30am
Rev. Adèle Kelham
Tel: 021 617 76 70
- Scot's Kirk
Av. de Rumine 26
Sunday Services: 10:30am
Reverend Melvin Wood
Tel: 021 323 98 28
- Roman Catholic Church Our Lady of the Faith
Av. de Bethusy 54
Sunday Services: 10:30am
Father Stephen Gilhooley
Tel: 021 653 42 58
- All Saints' English Church
Av. de la Prairie 40
Sunday Services: 10:30am
Rev. Clive Atkinson
Tel: 021 922 94 57
Bookstores and Libraries
- FNAC: Bookstore, DVD/CD, and everything computer related.
- Payot: The biggest bookstore in Lausanne that is similar to a Barnes 'N Noble without the coffee bar. They have a wide selection of English books.
- Books Books Books: This is the English bookstore in Lausanne. It is small but has a nice atmosphere. Website: http://www.englishbookstore.ch
Students can receive a card for the two main public libraries for free if they are here longer than three months. Present the Maison du Lac address when requesting a membership card. The website is: https://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/en/libraries/
Dining out can be quite expensive in Switzerland (even Starbucks and McDonalds will be more expensive than in the U.S.), but there are several places which cater for a smaller budget. For example, the department stores offer one course and a drink for around 15 CHF (Manor and Coop are the largest in Lausanne).
Going Out for Dessert
- Le Barbare: This is a tearoom that stays open late and is famous for its hot chocolate. Be prepared for something akin to melted chocolate! Le Barbare is located on the stairs between Place de la Palud and the Cathedral.
- Ladurée: Ladurée is a "très chic" cookie shop that is famous for macaroons and flavored marshmallows. Ladurée began in Paris in the 19th Century and is a little piece of Parisian culture here in Switzerland. It is located in the Rue du Bourg near Saint-François. The dessert is for take away only.
Most shops are open from 8:30am – 6:30pm, except on Saturdays when almost all shops are closed. Most of the shopping is located near Place Saint-François, although there are some new trendy stores in the Flon area. The major department stores in Lausanne are: Coop City, Manor, and Globus.
Grocery stores in Switzerland are usually open between 8:00am – 6:30pm and are closed on Sundays. There are small convenience stores called Coop Pronto which is like a Seven Eleven that are more expensive but open on Sundays. When you buy fruits and vegetables, it is necessary to weigh them on the scales provided and print out the sticker that goes on the bag before checking out. If the item is packaged with a price tag, this is not necessary. It would also be a good idea to know the meanings of different food items in French. The products are not described in English. Take a pocket dictionary if necessary. Milk is a product that is a little different here in Switzerland. The milk is pasteurized in a way that doesn't need to be refrigerated until it is opened. Therefore, you'll find room temperature cartons of milk in the stores, so do not be alarmed! There are two options for milk here: whole milk "lait entier" or skim milk "lait demi-écrémé." The most common skim milk carton will read "Drink."
- Migros: This is the least expensive grocery store in Lausanne. It has all its own products, so it doesn't pay import costs but also does not carry brands you will recognize. Migros is known for quality fruits and vegetables and is where the Swiss buy their groceries. The price for each item is printed on the package. There is not a label below each product showing the price. There is a small Migros located very close to Maison du Lac.
- Coop: This is a grocery store that sells imported products. For example, you might be able to find your favorite cereal at Coop. Foreigners often go to Coop, but it is a bit more expensive.
- Outdoor Markets: There are two outdoor markets "marché" in Lausanne. One is on Wednesday morning in the Old City from 8:30am – 12:00pm. The other is on Saturday mornings in the same general area but has more venders and is also open from 8:30am – 12:00pm. This is the best place to buy seasonal products and experience the culture.
The Lausanne 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).
Traveling/Places to Visit
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 (www.raileurope.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org using Wavenet or send it in an attachment using http://attachments.pepperdine.edu. 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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
For sweet and salty "crêpes" while enjoying the view of the lake. Place du Port 7, 1006 Lausanne
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.
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 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.
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 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.
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will I be able to buy my Eurail pass once I'm in Lausanne?
A: You will not be able to buy your Eurail pass from the train station in Lausanne. The closest point to purchase your Eurail pass will be their office in the Geneva train station. This is not the Geneva airport train station, but the train station in Geneva proper. Other options are to order them online through the Eurail website or Corniche at Pepperdine and have them mailed to the house. Make sure you do this at least a week in advance if you are planning on traveling right away.
Q: How do I exchange my US dollars or Traveler's Checks for Swiss Francs?
A: You will need to take your foreign currency to a bank a currency exchange office. There is a currency exchange office at the Lausanne train station. There are a number of banks in town that hold normal business hours of 8-5pm that exchange Traveler's Checks and foreign currency for a small transaction fee (but, as mentioned earlier, we recommend against bringing Traveler's Checks).
Q: What's the weather like in Lausanne?
A: There are four distinct seasons in Lausanne. While the weather can always vary, it is consistently hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Be prepared for warm weather continuing through September and early October. Fall in Lausanne can be rainy and windy, but there are often nice days on and off. Winter varies with how much snow there is in Lausanne itself. You can expect snow in other colder parts of Switzerland during the winter months. It is smart to have a good coat, hat, gloves, scarf, and waterproof shoes. Spring is a mixture of warm and cold days. Summer is mostly in the mid seventies and eighties. These are just estimates, we recommend checking the forecasts before coming and preparing somewhat for some warm and cold weather.
Housing and Residence Life
Just as housing on the Malibu Campus is not available for general use, the Lausanne House can only offer housing to Pepperdine faculty or staff who are present on University business; 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 Lausanne and 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: https://www.youthhostel.ch/en/hostels/.
- Youth Hostel: This Hostel is not limited by age, and you do not need a hostel membership to stay here. There are both common rooms and private rooms available, and breakfast is included. The hostel is located in Vidy which is right outside Lausanne but close to Maison du Lac. It takes about 15 minutes to get from the Hostel to Maison du Lac. There is a 10 minute walk from the Hostel to the bus stop and then a 5 minute bus ride to Maison du Lac. The website for this Hostel is: https://www.youthhostel.ch/en/hostels/lausanne-jeunotel/.
- Lausanne Guest House: This is probably the most affordable hotel in Lausanne. It is close to the station and the Pepperdine House. This hotel is well known and is often booked early, so it is a good idea to plan ahead. The website is: http://lausanne-guesthouse.ch.
Middle to Upscale Hotels
- Hotel City Lausanne: This hotel is pretty basic with average priced rooms but it is located very conveniently in the old city of Lausanne. The website is: http://fassbindhotels.com/en-home.html.
- Hotel Elite: This hotel is located within walking distance to the house and the train station. They have different options for rooms with and without views. The website is: http://www.elite-lausanne.ch.
- Best Western: The Best Western is also located downtown and is everything you might expect from this hotel chain in the States. The website is: http://www.mirabeau.ch.
- Mövenpick: This hotel is by the lake with a view on one side and a wonderful restaurant. The website is: http://www.moevenpick-hotels.com.
- Lausanne Palace & Spa: This hotel is downtown and is the closest to Maison du Lac. It is one of the most luxury hotels in Lausanne. Due to a Pepperdine contact with the Lausanne Director, Pepperdine has a special rate for this hotel. Please ask for the price list. The website is: http://www.lausanne-palace.com/uk/index.php.
Family and Other Non-IP Guests of Lausanne Students
- Guests/Visitors (i.e. non-Seaver students) are allowed in Maison du Lac during normal hours (9:00am-10:00pm) and may be entertained in public areas.
- All guests must sign in to the guestbook immediately upon arrival, wear a guest lanyard, and be introduced to the Director, Assistant Director, or Program Assistant before being allowed to leave the Reception.
- Guests must stay with their host (Lausanne student) at all times.
- Guests are never permitted to go onto any floors above the ground floor without prior approval from the Director or Assistant Director.
- Guests of students are not allowed to stay in the facility overnight.
- Students may request for their guests to share one in-house lunch or dinner with the Pepperdine group. To request approval, please fill out a Meal Request Form a week in advance and submit it to Karine Grivet in the main office.
- All visitors must be out of the building by 10:00pm.
- Visitation times:
- While family members and friends are welcome to escort students to the Pepperdine house, the program staff cannot provide or allow house tours during the arrival or orientation days.
- Guests must avoid visiting during Orientation, Midterms, and Final Exams.
Though alumni are not permitted to stay in Pepperdine's International Program facilities, tours may be requested and are dependent upon the availability of the International Program staff. If you are interested in attending an alumni trip held at your International Program site, please contact the Seaver College Alumni Relations Office to find out about upcoming Pepperdine Alumni Travel trips.
Visiting Students from other Pepperdine European International Programs
- The Lausanne facility has rooms available for students coming from other Pepperdine International Programs on permitted weekends. Reservations are only official when submitted on the Lausanne Program website (http://www.pepperdinelausanne.com/ip- visitors-weekend-reservations/) and an email confirmation has been received.
- Students who wish to stay in another Program's facility must request permission to do so by submitting a request on the Lausanne Program website (http://www.pepperdinelausanne.com/reservation-requests/) by 5:00pm on the Tuesday prior to your intended travel. You will be contacted by the Lausanne Program Assistant via email regarding whether your request has been accepted or declined.
- For insurance reasons, only current International Program students may stay in Maison du Lac; therefore, accommodations cannot be extended to current Pepperdine University students, alumni of the Lausanne Program, alumni of other International Programs, or alumni of Pepperdine University.
- All visiting IP students must sign in to the guestbook immediately upon arrival and sign out before departing.
- Visiting IP students may eat breakfast in the main kitchen or student kitchen.