Finding a house in Geneva is not always easy. The situation is complicated not only because Geneva is a rather expensive city, but also because there is a serious shortage of rooms. The standard price for renting or subletting a room ranges from 800 to 1500 CHF per month depending on location, time of year, and luck. We do, however, try to assist our incoming students in the best possible way in finding external housing and to ensure they will enjoy living in Geneva. It is important to note that although GSD does offer support in finding accommodation, it is a students’ own responsibility to start their search for accommodation in time as some of the options mentioned on this page work with waiting lists of a few months. Please click here to see an overview of short- and longer term accommodation options (possibly for the first weeks of your stay) in Geneva and their contact details for you to reach out to.
The best housing options are living in student residences, other housing associations, or rooms/apartments rented by private individuals. Many students also opt for living around Geneva – either further along the lake, usually between Geneva and Lausanne, or in France. Many independent municipalities such as Vernier, Meyrin, Troinex, or Lancy are effectively part of the town and commute to GSD can take 20-40 min. Lausanne is connected by train, approximately 40 min away. While living in France can be much cheaper, depending on your nationality you may need to arrange for French visa, residence permits, etc. and it may thus not be an option for non-EU or non-Swiss citizens.
Student housing is usually less expensive, ranging from approximately 500 to 800 CHF. While trying to find a flat to share with more people seems like a good idea it is generally difficult to make happen. A Swiss guarantor is often required and not everyone is willing to rent to students. Hence, you are more likely to find a room for one person.
Most students live in one of the student ‘foyers’ (residences/dormitories). Usually, these offer furnished single rooms with shared bathroom (but often with sinks in the room) and kitchen facilities, both dormitory-style and apartment-style. Kitchens are shared and you are often required to provide your own cookware and utensils.
Please be aware that, unfortunately, some of the housing offers available on the Internet can turn out to be scams. Therefore, keep the following in mind:
- Never send money to a stranger using a money transfer service.
- Beware of deals or opportunities that seem too good to be true.
- Always ask for the full details of the person (including telephone number) and the full address of the offered accommodation.
- Always make sure you can visit the place and meet the owner in person before signing any contract. Do not sign contracts via e-mail.