The University of Bern offers various exchange programs for students. This applies to students that study at the University of Bern and would like to go for 1-2 semester abroad as well as for students that would like to come to Bern from another University.
The detailed information on these programs can be found on the website of the International Office of the University of Bern.
Exchange programs for outgoings
The chemistry department – under which also the biochemists can plan an exchange – has several agreements with universities all over Europe (Swiss-European Mobility Programme SEMP - former Erasmus program) and worldwide (ISEP, other exchange partners), where our students can study for 1-2 semesters. For the pharmacy students, unfortunately only one SEMP university offers a program due to the fact that it is very difficult to find a suitable program that complies with the Swiss requirements in order to be able to pass the federal examination.
Often, the usually required 30 ECTS per semester in the chemistry and biochemistry study program, cannot be acquired during one semester abroad. This can lead to an extension of your studies in Bern. Should you be interested in such an exchange, the director of studies recommends that you plan the exchange for the 5th semester. First of all, you have acquired a good basic knowledge until then and second of all it is technically the most suitable semester for an exchange: you do not yet work on your bachelor thesis and in addition you could, if necessary, attend some more bachelor courses that are requird for the completion of your degree during the 7th semester, but at the same time already start with your master's program. Theoretically, it is therefore possible to not lose a semester while following an exchange program.
An exchange program CANNOT be done during the two semesters you are working on your master's thesis.
Should you be interested in such an exchange program, we recommend, that you contact the administration office for chemistry in advance to discuss the possibilities. As soon as you fill out the learning agreement in the process of your application, you have to contact the responsible person for the exchange program at the chemistry department in order to get the confirmation signature.
Exchange programs for incomings
Please note, that lectures from the bachelor program "Chemistry and Molecular Sciences " and "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" are held in German. You should therefore have very good knowledge of the German language if you want to attend lectures from these programs. It is of course possible for bachelor students to also attend lectures from the master's program, which are held in English, but in this case it is recommended, that the students are at least in the 5th semester of their bachelor studies to be able to follow the lectures.
For administrative questions (application, travel formalities, information material etc.) for the various exchange programs you should contact directly the international office of the university of Bern. For questions regarding the content of lectures etc you can contact the subject coordinator Prof. Andreas Türler or the secretary of the administration office for chemistry Frau Sandra Zbinden.
Students coming for a Swiss-European Mobility Programme-Internship (former Erasmus)
In the field of Chemistry it is possible to come to the University of Bern for an internship in one of the research groups, if you study at a University in a participating country. In this case please pay attention to the following points:
- Such internships can also take place during the summer months and don’t necessarily have to be completed during the usual semester.
- You have to find a research group that is willing to host you during your stay. The research groups can be found here: DCBP > Research > Research Groups
- The acceptance from a research group is not yet the final acceptance for the mobility stay. Once you know that a research group would be willing to host you, you have to fill-out the application for the Swiss-European Mobility Programme. The final acceptance will be confirmed once we have received your application documents.
- Please make sure you start the application process early enough (at least 3 months prior to the starting date, better earlier). The application process can take several months because of the visa application etc. Also the search for accommodation can be difficult in Berne as there are limited student lodging houses and other accommodation options. So the earlier you start the organizational process, the better your chances are to find accommodation.
2-year program in chemistry (Bachelor level) or 6-week internship at the University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo offers a so called "Undergraduate Transfer Program" for bachelor students. That means that you can apply for this program after you have successfully passed the first two years of your bachelor studies in chemistry. The education at the University of Tokyo takes another two years and you will receive your degree from the University of Tokyo. Those, who will get accepted to this program also receive a monthly scholarship from the University of Tokyo. Further information about this program can be found on the follwoing websites.
In addition, the University of Tokyo offers the "University of Tokyo Research Internship Program". Bachelor students in the 2nd or 3rd year of their science studies can apply for this 6-week summer internship. The University of Tokyo supports the participants of this program with a scholarship. Further information on this program can be found here.