Work and Graduate Studies in Switzerland

    Hello, dear habravchane. It turned out that about six months ago I managed to get a job in Switzerland, at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (EPFL) in Lausanne. By the current moment, many different impressions have accumulated, which I want to talk about.

    I must say right away that up to this point, I have never had to work at least for a long time abroad, and I also did not go on vacation further than Belarus.


    So, I found a job offer quite by accident, browsing our university forum. The announcement, as it turned out, was placed by a graduate of our university, on whose position I subsequently appeared. From the very beginning, I was upset that I did not reach the stated requirements for the candidate, but still decided to write, embellishing my skills a little.

    After a standard description of their achievements and life goals, it was necessary to demonstrate their programming skills. To do this, it was necessary to solve (and implement) the problem of cleverly sorting input data (numbers, strings, dates) and writing a medium-complexity web application in django. After completing these tasks, I was among the suitable candidates, and the final test was writing additional functionality for the existing code. To do this turned out to be much harder than abstract tasks, since I was not at all familiar with the code, and time was limited. But in the end, it all ended happily and after a telephone conversation with employers I was officially hired and I began to actively get involved in the development process, get acquainted with the same code, and in parallel began the process of obtaining a visa.
    You can read about the project itself on our website , in this article I will not dwell on it in detail, but I will immediately go on to the moment banks and hours arrive in the country.


    When I got there, I was very impressed. Despite my knowledge from stories and photos about life in Europe, I simply could not fully imagine how different it was from Russia. Now all the local blessings already seem familiar and natural, but at first I was fascinated by almost everything, from the modern station, air-conditioned electric train cars and the internal arrangement of public transport in general to the general friendliness and friendliness of others. The striking savings and optimization of everything in the world are immediately evident: in each corridor of residential and working premises, the light is turned on by a motion sensor, almost all pedestrian crossings are equipped with a traffic light switch, in unloaded hours, metro trains consist of fewer cars than during peak hours .

    Separately, I want to note the culture of cycling in Switzerland, almost every resident has a bicycle here, from a student to a pensioner, it is very convenient to travel around the area and go in for sports, most roads are marked as bicycle paths, and there are separate bicycle tracks for trips around picturesque places.


    Geographically, the place of my work is one of the university buildings, and the EPFL campus itself is very unusual in comparison with Russian university campuses. When walking, it’s most striking is its huge area - it will take at least 25-30 minutes to get from one end of the campus to the other on foot. On campus there are many outdoor venues equipped with tables for playing table tennis and table football. Part of the territory is often fenced with a portable fence, creating a pasture for local sheep or cows. Believe me, I was impressed when, behind the opened doors of the train at the metro station, I saw a cow grazing on the lawn in front of me.

    You can get into EPFL either with an intern for 6 months, or immediately enroll in a PhD for 4 years, but many local laboratories (especially those specializing in Computer Science) take PhD students to themselves only after you successfully establish yourself as an intern. If it is interesting, I can describe in more detail the procedure for applying for PhD.


    Currently, I have been here for about 4.5 months and, despite all the beauty and color of the local culture, I have already managed to miss my girlfriend, friends and relatives in Russia and in Russia. Perhaps this is the only thing because of which I still can not give a definite answer to my employers about my further plans for working here.

    Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that you try your hand and work abroad, you will get a huge amount of experience and you will definitely have something to compare your work with in Russia. I don’t think that in the near future Russia will be able to achieve a household living arrangement comparable to the countries of Western Europe. All conditions are created here in order to allow a person to work and relax efficiently, to feel safe from bureaucratic red tape, traffic jams, crowds in the subway and other nonsense.

    A couple of photos: a
    local dormitory for students
    looking at the alps from the city

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