updated 4.12.2023

1. Housing

HIP summer students organize their own accommodation. CERN Housing Service offers different accommodation options and practical advice.

You can book a room at CERN hotel or Schuman residence. Hotel room rates on CERN’s main campus range from 14 to 64 CHF per night. In Schuman residence, a basic level hostel in Saint Genis Pouilly, France, room rates range from 19.90 to 32.50 € per night. The easiest way to make a room reservation is using the hotel and hostel booking form (CERN status: “USER”, Reason for visit: “Experiment / Project Collaboration”, CERN guarantor: “Taina Onnela”, “taina.onnela@cern.ch”). Room reservations can also be made by calling +41 22 767 4481 or contacting housing.service@cern.ch. We recommend reserving a room as soon as you know your arrival date at CERN. It’s difficult to get free rooms as summer approaches. Finnish office assists in housing related questions and offers French translation help.

If you want to try to rent a furnished room or apartment in France close to CERN, you can search on CERN Marketplace (login with CERN account or with any social media account). The most popular residential area is St. Genis Pouilly in France, just 2 km away from CERN-Meyrin.

For rooms in Geneva pay a visit to CAGI housing platform. In their housing types section, you’ll find some references and a directory of student residences to contact.

You can rent a room and, in some student residences, conclude a sublease contract with the resident.

Rental prices for apartments in France and Switzerland: room in a shared apartment in France starting 600 €/month, in Switzerland 700-1200 CHF/month. In some cases, you must pay separately also for water, electricity, and heating, unless these costs are included in the rent.

The rental agreement should be accompanied by a statutory “Constat d’état des lieux”, an inspection of the apartment. It’s carried out and signed by both parties at the beginning and at the end of the lease. You should require a copy of this document for yourself. The handing over and return of the keys should always be done in the presence of the landlord or a trustee and confirmed in writing. Home insurance is compulsory in France, in Switzerland it’s recommended.

The landlord has the right to require a rental guarantee. In France it equals to max 2 month’s rent, In Switzerland to max 3 month’s rent. But the most common practice for landlords is to ask for 1 month’s rent as a guarantee. The rental guarantee is returned within 1-2 month of handing over the apartment if there are no material damages. Normally the guarantee should be paid at the same time as the first month’s rent.

ATTENTION! Be very cautious, especially in Geneva where scams are frequent! Always get as many details as possible from the person or entity renting the accommodation. Check the housing location. Always pay using bank transfer and only to established banks! It’s best if you do not make any money transfers before you have been able to visit the property and draw up a proper rental agreement.

2. Get around

Instructions on how to get to CERN from the airport .

CERN-Meyrin is situated in Switzerland, near the French border, 6 km from the center of Geneva and 3 km from Geneva Airport. The smaller CERN-Prevessin is located in France, 4 km from CERN-Meyrin.

St Genis Pouilly (2 km from CERN-Meyrin) has good bus connections to CERN. Bus 68 runs from St.Genis Pouilly -> CERN 3-7 times/h on weekdays, ticket price 2 €. From Thoiry (7 km from CERN-Meyrin) and Sergy (5 km from CERN) buses run less frequently. Bus 68 operates between Thoiry – Sergy -> CERN on weekdays 1-3 times/h, ticket price 4.10 €. More detailed information from tpg.ch.

A good means of transport is a bicycle, as the distances are not long. It’s possible to borrow a bike from CERN for the summer. Bicycle rental is 1 CHF / day. You can borrow a helmet, safety vest and lock from the rental company. Remember to use safety vest and reflectors when cycling in the dark!

On the CERN campus the addresses of the offices are abbreviated as follows: building/floor-room, eg Finnish office is “32/1-B20” (B stands for the wing of the building). You can find your way around using CERN map.

3. Registration and permits

The registration process is initiated by the Finnish office 1-2 months before your arrival to CERN and you will be able to activate your computing account. The process is completed during your first working days in the USERS office and you will get your CERN access card. Holders of a valid passport, together with a valid Finland student residence permit will allow you to stay in Switzerland and France up to 3 months. NOTE! Your passport and residence permit MUST be valid for another 3 months after the end of your trip.

4. Insurance

University of Helsinki’s travel insurance covers only persons who belong to the Finnish social security system and have an employment contract. If you do not belong to the Finnish social security system, you will receive a grant, calculated to cover the cost of your travel insurance. The insurance should cover both accidents and illnesses while in Geneva region, both at work and during your free time. We expect you to acquire the travel insurance yourself. Some travel insurance options: SIP Integral , Aon Student Insurance and Swisscare of Switzerland . If you need assistance, feel free to contact Finnish office.

5. Travel arrangements

Finnish office arranges flight tickets only for persons with an employment contract. If you are a grant beneficiary, please buy your flight tickets yourself. The grant covers also the cost of your flight tickets. If you need assistance, feel free to contact Finnish office.

6. Opening hours

CERN’s official working day starts 8:30 and finishes 17:30. Lunch hour take place between 12:00-14:00. Coffee breaks at CERN are held around 10:00 and 16:00.

CERN’s Restaurant 1 and Restaurant 2 are situated on Meyrin campus, and Restaurant 3 on Prevessin campus. Restaurant 1 is open 6:00-22:00 every day. For more information see CERN restaurants, cafeterias and vending machines.

Users Office is open on weekdays 8:30-12:30 and 14:00-16:00. Closed on Wednesday mornings. Kiosk / Post office is open on weekdays 7:30-16:00.

7. Other

The universal emergency number 112 operates in Switzerland and France. CERN’s internal emergency number is +41 22 767 4444.

Your postal address is your name + CERN / EP, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland.

The official languages ​​at CERN are English and French. You can cope well with English only. However, in the region, outside CERN, the main language is French, and it’s recommended to master some basics in the local language.

Food price level in Switzerland is higher than in Finland. In France, food prices are quite the same as in Finland. French and Swiss supermarkets are similar to the Finnish ones. The only difference is that you can buy strong liquors in all of them except in Migros stores.

A brand new educational and outreach facility Science gateway opened for the public in October 2023. In addition to restaurants, cafés, kiosk, and post office CERN also has a bank, a travel agency and several clubs, such as Frisbee-, climbing-, and tabletop games club to mention some of them.

We hope this guide has answered some of your questions. In addition to Finnish office in 32/1-B20, you can get help from Users office, your experiment secretariat, your supervisors and your colleagues. Welcome to CERN!

8. Links

Housing links

 Other links


 CERN Summer student and Student programmes